My eye is consumed because of grief; it waxes old because of all my enemies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Consumed—i.e., sunken; literally, fallen away. The LXX. use the same word employed to render vexed in Psalm 6:2. Grief has brought the signs of premature age (Job 17:7; Psalm 31:9, and Note there). (See Homer’s Odyssey, xix. 360, “Quickly do mortals grow old from trouble.”)
It waxeth old - It seems to grow old; it experiences the effects commonly produced by age in blunting the power of vision. This is not an uncommon effect of grief and sadness. Even while I am writing this I am called in my pastoral visitations to attend on a young lady lying on a bed of languishing, and probably of death, one of whose symptoms is a quite diminished, and indeed almost total loss of vision, as the effect of trouble and disease.
Because of all mine enemies - From the trouble which they have brought upon me. The reference here, according to the interpretation proposed of the psalm, is to Absalom and those who were associated with him. Their conduct had been such as to bring upon David this overwhelming tide of sorrows.
waxeth old—or, "dim."
grief—mingled with indignation.Consumed; or, grown dim or dull, through plenty of salt tears which I shed; or through the decay of my spirits.
Because of grief, i.e. my grief arising from mine enemies, as the next clause interprets it, and from the consideration of their multitude, and rage, and falseness. Job 17:7;
it waxeth old because of all mine enemies; saints have many enemies, sin, Satan, and the world; and these are very oppressive ones, as the word (g) here signifies; such as beset them about, straiten them on all hands, and press them sore; and they must be pressed down by them, were it not that he that is in them is greater than he that is in the world; and David's enemies gave him so much trouble, and caused him to shed such plenty of tears, that his eye waxed old, was shrunk up, and beset with wrinkles, the signs of old age; or it was removed out of its place, as the word is rendered in Job 18:4; or the sight was removed from that, it was gone from him, Psalm 38:10.
(f) "prae ira", Pagninus; "prae indignatione", Montanus, Musculus; "ex indignatione", Piscator. (g) "angustiatores", Montanus; "angustiis afficientes me", Vatablus; "oppressores meos", Junius & Tremellius, Gejerus.Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. Mine eye Is wasted away because of provocation;
It is waxed old because of all mine adversaries.
With the first clause comp. Psalm 31:9. The look of the eye is a sure indication of the state of health, mental and bodily. The word rendered adversaries means literally them that distress me. Cp. Psalm 7:4; Psalm 7:6; and the cognate words in Psalm 3:1, Psalm 4:1.Verse 7. - Mine eye is consumed because of grief; or, mine eye is wasted away because of provocation. The eye falls in, becomes dull, and, as it were, "wastes away" through long-continued grief (comp. Psalm 31:9). The kind of grief expressed by the word ka'as (כַעַס) is "that which arises from provocation or spiteful treatment" (Kay). It waxeth old because of all mine enemies. It becomes dull and heavy and sunken, like the eye of an old man. How often has it not been noted that nothing so much ages a man as grief! Psalm 94:12; Psalm 118:17; Proverbs 3:11. speak of this loving chastisement. The man who should decline it, would act against his own salvation. Accordingly David, like Jeremiah (Jeremiah 10:24), does not pray for the removal of the chastisement but of the chastisement in wrath, or what is the same thing, of the judgment proceeding from wrath [Zorngericht]. בּאפּך and בּחמתך stand in the middle, between אל and the verbs, for the sake of emphasis. Hengstenberg indeed finds a different antithesis here. He says: "The contrast is not that of chastisement in love with chastisement in wrath, but that of loving rescue in contrast with chastisement, which always proceeds from the principle of wrath." If what is here meant is, that always when God chastens a man his wrath is the true and proper motive, it is an error, for the refutation of which one whole book of the Bible, viz., the Book of Job, has been written. For there the friends think that God is angry with Job; but we know from the prologue that, so far from being angry with him, he on the contrary glories in him. Here, in this Psalm, assuming David to be its author, and his adultery the occasion of it, it is certainly quite otherwise. The chastisement under which David is brought low, has God's wrath as its motive: it is punitive chastisement and remains such, so long as David remains fallen from favour. But if in sincere penitence he again struggles through to favour, then the punitive becomes a loving chastisement: God's relationship to him becomes an essentially different relationship. The evil, which is the result of his sin and as such indeed originates in the principle of wrath, becomes the means of discipline and purifying which love employs, and this it is that he here implores for himself. And thus Dante Alighieri
(Note: Provided he is the author of I stte Salmi Penitenziali trasportati alla volgar poesia, vid., Dante Alighieri's Lyric poems, translated and annotated by Kannegiesser and Witte (1842) i. 203f., ii.208f.)
correctly and beautifully paraphrases the verse:
Signor, non mi riprender con furore,
E non voler correggermi con ira,
Ma con dolcezza e con perfetto amore.
In חנּני David prays God to let him experience His loving-kindness and tender mercy in place of the punishment He has a right to inflict; for anguish of soul has already reduced him to the extreme even of bodily sickness: he is withered up and weary. אמלל has Pathach, and consequently seems to be the 3 pers. Pul. as in Joel 1:10; Nahum 1:4; but this cannot be according to the rules of grammar. It is an adjective, like רענן, שׁאנן, with the passive pointing. The formation אמלל (from אמל Arab. aml, with the primary meaning to stretch out lengthwise) is analogous to the IX and XI forms of the Arabic verb which serve especially to express colours and defects (Caspari 59). The two words אני אמלל have the double accent Mercha-Mahpach together, and according to the exact mode of writing (vid., Baer in my Psalter ii. 492) the Mahpach, (the sign resembling Mahpach or rather Jethib), ought to stand between the two words, since it at the same time represents the Makkeph. The principal tone of the united pair, therefore, lies on aani; and accordingly the adj. אמלל is shortened to אמלל (cf. אדמדּם, הפכפּך, מרמס, and the like) - a contraction which proves that אמלל is not treated as part. Pul. ( equals מאמלל), for its characteristic a4 is unchangeable. The prayer for healing is based upon the plea that his bones (Job 4:14; Isaiah 38:13) are affrighted. We have no German word exactly corresponding to this נבהל which (from the radical notion "to let go," cogn. בּלהּ) expresses a condition of outward overthrow and inward consternation, and is therefore the effect of fright which disconcerts one and of excitement that deprives one of self-control.
(Note: We have translated Dr. Delitzsch's word erschrecht literally - the vexed of the Authorized Version seems hardly equal to the meaning.)
His soul is still more shaken than his body. The affliction is therefore not a merely bodily ailment in which only a timorous man loses heart. God's love is hidden from him. God's wrath seems as though it would wear him completely away. It is an affliction beyond all other afflictions. Hence he enquires: And Thou, O Jahve, how long?! Instead of אתה it is written את, which the Ker says is to be read אתּה, while in three passages (Numbers 11:15; Deuteronomy 5:24; Ezekiel 28:14) אתּ is admitted as masc.
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