Psalm 69:20
Reproach has broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) I am full of heaviness.—Rather, I am sick. The word here used (with its cognates), as well as that rendered pity in the next clause, are favourite words with Jeremiah, as also are the figures of the next verse. (See Jeremiah 8:14; Jeremiah 9:15; Jeremiah 23:15.)

69:13-21 Whatever deep waters of affliction or temptation we sink into, whatever floods of trouble or ungodly men seem ready to overwhelm us, let us persevere in prayer to our Lord to save us. The tokens of God's favour to us are enough to keep our spirits from sinking in the deepest outward troubles. If we think well of God, and continue to do so under the greatest hardships, we need not fear but he will do well for us. And if at any time we are called on to suffer reproach and shame, for Christ's sake, this may be our comfort, that he knows it. It bears hard on one that knows the worth of a good name, to be oppressed with a bad one; but when we consider what a favour it is to be accounted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus, we shall see that there is no reason why it should be heart-breaking to us. The sufferings of Christ were here particularly foretold, which proves the Scripture to be the word of God; and how exactly these predictions were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, which proves him to be the true Messiah. The vinegar and the gall given to him, were a faint emblem of that bitter cup which he drank up, that we might drink the cup of salvation. We cannot expect too little from men, miserable comforters are they all; nor can we expect too much from the God of all comfort and consolation.Reproach hath broken my heart - The reproaches, the calumnies, the aspersions, the slanders of others, have crushed me. I am not able to bear up under them; I fail under the burden. Distress may become so great that life may sink under it, for many die of what is called "a broken heart." Undeserved reproaches will be as likely to produce this result on a sensitive heart as any form of suffering; and there are thousands who are crushed to the earth by such reproaches.

And I am full of heaviness - Or, I am sick; I am weak; I am ill at ease. My strength is gone.

And I looked for some to take pity - Margin, "to lament with me." The meaning of the Hebrew word is to pity; to commiserate; to show compassion. Job 2:11; Job 42:11; Isaiah 51:19; Jeremiah 16:5.

But there was none - There was no one whose heart seemed to be touched with compassion in the case; none who sympathized with me.

And for comforters - For those who would show sympathy for me; who would evince a friendly feeling in my distress.

But I found none - He felt that he was utterly forsaken by mankind. There is no feeling of desolation like that.

19, 20. Calling God to witness his distress, he presents its aggravation produced by the want of sympathizing friends (compare Isa 63:5; Mr 14:50). Hath broken my heart: for reproach is most grievous to the most generous and noble souls; and besides, this was the highest degree and the worst kind of reproach, being cast upon him for God’s sake, and upon God also for his sake.

None, i.e. few or none, as that word is frequently used, both in sacred and profane writers. For whether you understand it of David, or of Christ, there were some who pitied both of them. Reproach hath broken my heart,.... This was his case when his soul was exceeding sorrowful unto death, and his heart like wax melted in the midst of his bows is, Matthew 26:38;

and I am full of heaviness; as he was in the garden, Mark 14:33; or, "very sick, yea, incurably sick", as the word (g) signifies; see 2 Samuel 12:15. For what cure is there for a broken heart?

and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none: his disciples forsook him and fled; the priests, scribes, and common people, that attended him at the cross, mocking him; the thieves that were crucified with him reviled him; and his Father hid his face from him; only a few women stood afar off and lamented.

(g) "adeo ut afficiar aegritudine", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "dolui vel aegritudine affectus sum", Gejerus.

Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and {q} I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.

(q) He shows men that it is vain to put our trust in men in our great necessity, but that our comfort only depends on God: for man increases our sorrows, then diminishes them, Joh 19:29.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. hath broken my heart] Cp. Jeremiah 23:9.

I am full of heaviness] Or, as R.V. marg., sore sick. A cognate word is frequently used in Jer., e.g. Jeremiah 15:18, A.V. incurable.

and I looked &c.] Or, and I waited for some to sympathise, but there was no one.Verse 20. - Reproach hath broken my heart. (comp. vers. 7, 9, 19). Some of his enemies' reproaches were, no doubt, based on David's old misdoings. These, which he could not rebut, would cause him the severest pain. And I am full of heaviness; or, "full of sickness;" "very sick" (Kay); "sick to death" (Delitzsch). And I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. It is questioned whether David was ever without friends to pity and comfort him, and suggested that at this point he passes from narrative to prophecy, and describes, not his own condition, but that of the Messiah, whom he typified, speaking as he was moved by the Holy Ghost. Jesus was certainly left without pity or comfort, when "all the disciples forsook him, and fled" (Matthew 26:56). In this second part the petition by which the first is as it were encircled, is continued; the peril grows greater the longer it lasts, and with it the importunity of the cry for help. The figure of sinking in the mire or mud and in the depths of the pit (בּאר, Psalm 55:24, cf. בור, Psalm 40:3) is again taken up, and so studiously wrought out, that the impression forces itself upon one that the poet is here describing something that has really taken place. The combination "from those who hate me and from the depths of the waters" shows that "the depths of the waters" is not a merely rhetorical figure; and the form of the prayer: let not the pit (the well-pit or covered tank) close (תּאטּר with Dagesh in the Teth, in order to guard against its being read תּאטר; cf. on the signification of אטּר, clausus equals claudus, scil. manu) its mouth (i.e., its upper opening) upon me, exceeds the limits of anything that can be allowed to mere rhetoric. "Let not the water-flood overflow me" is intended to say, since it has, according to Psalm 69:3, already happened, let it not go further to my entire destruction. The "answer me" in Psalm 69:17 is based upon the plea that God's loving-kindness is טּוב, i.e., good, absolutely good (as in the kindred passion-Psalm, Psalm 109:21), better than all besides (Psalm 63:4), the means of healing or salvation from all evil. On Psalm 69:17 cf. Psalm 51:3, Lamentations 3:32. In Psalm 69:18 the prayer is based upon the painful situation of the poet, which urgently calls for speedy help (מהר beside the imperative, Psalm 102:3; Psalm 143:7; Genesis 19:22; Esther 6:10, is certainly itself not an imperative like הרב, Psalm 51:4, but an adverbial infinitive as in Psalm 79:8). קרבה, or, in order to ensure the pronunciation ḳorbah in distinction from ḳārbah, Deuteronomy 15:9, קרבה (in Baer,

(Note: Originally - was the sign for every kind of o6, hence the Masora includes the חטוף also under the name קמץ חטף; vid., Luther. Zeitschrift, 1863, S. 412,f., cf. Wright, Genesis, p. xxix.))

is imperat. Kal; cf. the fulfilment in Lamentations 3:57. The reason assigned, "because of mine enemies," as in Psalm 5:9; Psalm 27:11, and frequently, is to be understood according to Psalm 13:5 : the honour of the all-holy One cannot suffer the enemies of the righteous to triumph over him.

(Note: Both נפשׁי and איבי, contrary to logical interpunction, are marked with Munach; the former ought properly to have Dech, and the latter Mugrash. But since neither the Athnach-word nor the Silluk-word has two syllables preceding the tone syllable, the accents are transformed according to Accentuationssystem, xviii. 2, 4.)

The accumulation of synonyms in Psalm 69:20 is Jeremiah's custom, Jeremiah 13:14; Jeremiah 21:5, Jeremiah 21:7; Jeremiah 32:37, and is found also in Psalm 31 (Psalm 31:10) and Psalm 44 (Psalm 44:4, Psalm 44:17, Psalm 44:25). On הרפּה שׁברה לבּי, cf. Psalm 51:19, Jeremiah 23:9. The ἅπαξ γεγραμ, ואנוּשׁה (historical tense), from נוּשׁ, is explained by ענוּשׁ from אנשׁ, sickly, dangerously ill, evil-disposed, which is a favourite word in Jeremiah. Moreover נוּד in the signification of manifesting pity, not found elsewhere in the Psalter, is common in Jeremiah, e.g., Psalm 15:5; it signifies originally to nod to any one as a sign of a pity that sympathizes with him and recognises the magnitude of the evil. "To give wormwood for meat and מי־ראשׁ to drink" is a Jeremianic (Jeremiah 8:14; Jeremiah 9:14; Jeremiah 23:15) designation for inflicting the extreme of pain and anguish upon one. ראשׁ (רושׁ) signifies first of all a poisonous plant with an umbellated head of flower or a capitate fruit; but then, since bitter and poisonous are interchangeable notions in the Semitic languages, it signifies gall as the bitterest of the bitter. The lxx renders: καὶ ἔδωκαν εἰς τὸ βρῶμά μου χολήν, καὶ εἰς τὴν δίψαν μου ἐπότισάν με ὄξος. Certainly נתן בּ can mean to put something into something, to mix something with it, but the parallel word לצמאי (for my thirst, i.e., for the quenching of it, Nehemiah 9:15, Nehemiah 9:20) favours the supposition that the בּ of בּברוּתי is Beth essentiae, after which Luther renders: "they give me gall to eat." The ἅπαξ γεγραμ. בּרוּת (Lamentations 4:10 בּרות) signifies βρῶσις, from בּרה, βιβρώσκειν (root βορ, Sanscrit gar, Latin vor-are).

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