Psalm 31:12
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.

King James Bible
I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.

Darby Bible Translation
I am forgotten in their heart as a dead man; I am become like a broken vessel.

World English Bible
I am forgotten from their hearts like a dead man. I am like broken pottery.

Young's Literal Translation
I have been forgotten as dead out of mind, I have been as a perishing vessel.

Psalm 31:12 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind - Like the man who is dead, and who has passed away from the recollection of mankind. Compare Psalm 88:4-5. The Hebrew is, "as a dead man from the heart;" that is, from the memory or recollection of men, so as to be no more remembered; no more regarded. The expression is nearly the same in meaning as our common English proverb: "out of sight, out of mind." The allusion is to the fact that a man who is dead is soon forgotten. He is missed at first by a few friends, while the rest of the world knows little about him, or cares little for him. He is no longer seen where he has been accustomed to be seen, at the place of business, in the social circle, in the scenes of amusement, in the streets, or in public assemblies. For a short period a vacancy is created which attracts attention and causes regret. But the world moves on. Another comes to fill his place, and soon his absence ceases to be a subject of remark, or a cause of regret; the world says little about him, and soon he altogether ceases to be remembered. At no distant time the rude board with his name written on it, or the marble sculptured with all the skill of art, falls down. The passing traveler casts an eye upon the "name" of him who slept his last sleep there, and neither knows nor cares who he was.

"The gay will laugh

When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care

Plod on, and each one as before will chase

His favorite phantom"

- Bryant

"On my grassy grave

The men of future times will careless tread,

And read my name upon the sculptured stone;

Nor will the sound, familiar to their ears,

Recall my vanish'd memory."

- Henry Kirke White

It is sad to reflect that this is to be our lot; but so it is. It would cast a most gloomy shade over life if this was to be the end of man, and if he passed from existence as soon as he passes from the recollection of the living. The idea of the psalmist here is, that, in the circumstances to which he referred, he had been forgotten by mankind, and he uses the most striking image which could be employed to convey that idea.

I am like a broken vessel - Margin, as in Hebrew, "like a vessel that perisheth." That is, like a vessel made of clay - a piece of pottery - that is easily broken and rendered worthless. This is a favorite comparison with Jeremiah. See Jeremiah 22:28; Jeremiah 48:38; Lamentations 4:2. Compare also Psalm 2:9; Isaiah 30:14; Hosea 8:8.

Psalm 31:12 Parallel Commentaries

Library
'Into Thy Hands'
'Into Thine hand I commit my spirit: Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.'--PSALM xxxi. 5. The first part of this verse is consecrated for ever by our Lord's use of it on the Cross. Is it not wonderful that, at that supreme hour, He deigned to take an unknown singer's words as His words? What an honour to that old saint that Jesus Christ, dying, should find nothing that more fully corresponded to His inmost heart at that moment than the utterance of the Psalmist long ago! How His mind must
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

"My Times are in Thy Hand"
Having thus taken to the best resource by trusting in Jehovah, and having made the grandest claim possible by saying, "Thou art my God", the Psalmist now stays himself upon a grand old doctrine, one of the most wonderful that was ever revealed to men. He sings, "My times are in thy hand." This to him was a most cheering fact: he had no fear as to his circumstances, since all things were in the divine hand. He was not shut up unto the hand of the enemy; but his feet stood in a large room, for he was
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

Appendix xiv. The Law in Messianic Times.
THE question as to the Rabbinic views in regard to the binding character of the Law, and its imposition on the Gentiles, in Messianic times, although, strictly speaking, not forming part of this history, is of such vital importance in connection with recent controversies as to demand special consideration. In the text to which this Appendix refers it has been indicated, that a new legislation was expected in Messianic days. The ultimate basis of this expectancy must be sought in the Old Testament
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

There are Some Things of this Sort Even of Our Saviour in the Gospel...
27. There are some things of this sort even of our Saviour in the Gospel, because the Lord of the Prophets deigned to be Himself also a Prophet. Such are those where, concerning the woman which had an issue of blood, He said, "Who touched Me?" [2431] and of Lazarus. "Where have ye laid him?" [2432] He asked, namely, as if not knowing that which in any wise He knew. And He did on this account feign that He knew not, that He might signify somewhat else by that His seeming ignorance: and since this
St. Augustine—Against Lying

Cross References
Genesis 40:23
Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.

Psalm 88:5
Forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom You remember no more, And they are cut off from Your hand.

Jeremiah 22:28
"Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered jar? Or is he an undesirable vessel? Why have he and his descendants been hurled out And cast into a land that they had not known?

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