Psalm 38:20
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good.

King James Bible
They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

American Standard Version
They also that render evil for good Are adversaries unto me, because I follow the thing that is good.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They that render evil for good, have detracted me, because I followed goodness.

English Revised Version
They also that render evil for good are adversaries unto me, because I follow the thing that is good.

Webster's Bible Translation
They also that render evil for good are my adversaries; because I follow the thing that is good.

Psalm 38:20 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

(Heb.: 38:10-15) Having thus bewailed his suffering before God, he goes on in a somewhat calmer tone: it is the calm of weariness, but also of the rescue which shows itself from afar. He has complained, but not as if it were necessary for him first of all to make God acquainted with his suffering; the Omniscient One is directly cognisant of (has directly before Him, נגד, like לנגד in Psalm 18:25) every wish that his suffering extorts from him, and even his softer sighing does not escape His knowledge. The sufferer does not say this so much with the view of comforting himself with this thought, as of exciting God's compassion. Hence he even goes on to draw the piteous picture of his condition: his heart is in a state of violent rotary motion, or only of violent, quickly repeated contraction and expansion (Psychol. S. 252; tr. p. 297), that is to say, a state of violent palpitation (סחרחר, Pealal according to Ges. 55, 3). Strength of which the heart is the centre (Psalm 40:13) has left him, and the light of his eyes, even of these (by attraction for גּם־הוּא, since the light of the eyes is not contrasted with anything else), is not with him, but has become lost to him by weeping, watching, and fever. Those who love him and are friendly towards him have placed themselves far from his stroke (nega`, the touch of God's hand of wrath), merely looking on (Obadiah 1:11), therefore, in a position hostile (2 Samuel 18:13) rather than friendly. מנּגד, far away, but within the range of vision, within sight, Genesis 21:16; Deuteronomy 32:52. The words וּקרובי מרחק עמדוּ, which introduce a pentastich into a Psalm that is tetrastichic throughout, have the appearance of being a gloss or various reading: מנּגד equals מרחק, 2 Kings 2:7. His enemies, however, endeavour to take advantage of his fall and helplessness, in order to give him his final death-blow. וינקּשׁוּ (with the ק dageshed)

(Note: The various reading וינקּשׁוּ in Norzi rests upon a misapprehended passage of Abulwald (Rikma, p. 166).)

describes what they have planned in consequence of the position he is in. The substance of their words is הוּות, utter destruction (vid., Psalm 5:10); to this end it is מרמות, deceit upon deceit, malice upon malice, that they unceasingly hatch with heart and mouth. In the consciousness of his sin he is obliged to be silent, and, renouncing all self-help, to abandon his cause to God. Consciousness of guilt and resignation close his lips, so that he is not able, nor does he wish, to refute the false charges of his enemies; he has no תּוכחות, counter-evidence wherewith to vindicate himself. It is not to be rendered: "just as one dumb opens not his mouth;" כ is only a preposition, not a conjunction, and it is just here, in Psalm 38:14, Psalm 38:15, that the manifest proofs in support of this are found.

(Note: The passages brought forward by Hupfeld in support of the use of כ as a conjunction, viz., Psalm 90:5; Psalm 125:1; Isaiah 53:7; Isaiah 61:11, are invalid; the passage that seems most to favour it is Obadiah 1:16, but in this instance the expression is elliptical, כּלא being equivalent to כאשׁר לא, like ללא, Isaiah 65:1, equals לאשׁר לא. It is only כּמו (Arab. kmâ) that can be used as a conjunction; but כ (Arab. k) is always a preposition in ancient Hebrew just as in Syriac and Arabic (vid., Fleischer in the Hallische Allgem. Lit. Zeitschr. 1843, Bd. iv. S. 117ff.). It is not until the mediaeval synagogal poetry (vid., Zunz, Synagogal-poesie des Mittelalters, S. 121, 381f.) that it is admissible to use it as a conjunction (e.g., כּמצא, when he had found), just as it also occurs in Himjaritic, according to Osiander's deciphering of the inscriptions. The verbal clause appended to the word to which this כ, instar, is prefixed is for the most part an attributive clause as above, but sometimes even a circumstantial clause (Arab. ḥâl), as in Psalm 38:14; cf. Sur. lxii. 5: "as the likeness of an ass carrying books.")

Psalm 38:20 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

render

Psalm 7:4 If I have rewarded evil to him that was at peace with me; (yes, I have delivered him that without cause is my enemy:)

Psalm 35:12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.

Psalm 109:3-5 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause...

1 Samuel 19:4-6 And Jonathan spoke good of David to Saul his father, and said to him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David...

1 Samuel 23:5,12 So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle...

1 Samuel 25:16,21 They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep...

Jeremiah 18:20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have dig a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before you to speak good for them...

because

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

John 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?

1 Peter 3:13,17,18 And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good...

1 Peter 4:14-16 If you be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the spirit of glory and of God rests on you...

1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And why slew he him? Because his own works were evil...

Cross References
1 John 3:12
We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother's righteous.

Psalm 35:12
They repay me evil for good; my soul is bereft.

Psalm 109:4
In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer.

Psalm 109:5
So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

Isaiah 66:5
Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for my name's sake have said, 'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy'; but it is they who shall be put to shame.

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