Psalm 38:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For I said, "May they not rejoice over me, Who, when my foot slips, would magnify themselves against me."

King James Bible
For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me.

Darby Bible Translation
For I said, Let them not rejoice over me! When my foot slipped, they magnified themselves against me.

World English Bible
For I said, "Don't let them gloat over me, or exalt themselves over me when my foot slips."

Young's Literal Translation
When I said, 'Lest they rejoice over me, In the slipping of my foot against me they magnified themselves.

Psalm 38:16 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For I said - This is the prayer to which he referred in the previous verse. He prayed that he might not be permitted to fall away under the influence of his sins and sufferings; that his faith might remain firm; that he might not be allowed to act so as to justify the accusations of his enemies, or to give them occasion to rejoice over his fall. The entire prayer Psalm 38:16-18 is one that is based on the consciousness of his own weakness, and his liability to sin, if left to himself; on the certainty that if God did not interpose, his sins would get the mastery over him, and he would become in his conduct all that his enemies desired, and be in fact all that they had falsely charged on him.

Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me - literally, "For I said, lest they should rejoice over me." It is the language of earnest desire that they might "not" thus be allowed to rejoice over his fall. The same sentiment occurs substantially in Psalm 13:3-4. The motive is a right one; alike

(a) in reference to ourselves personally - that our foes may not triumph over us by the ruin of our character; and

(b) in reference to its bearing on the cause of virtue and religion - that that cause may not suffer by our misconduct; compare Psalm 69:6.

When my foot slippeth -

(a) When my foot really has slipped, or when I have committed sin (as the psalmist did not deny that he had done, Psalm 38:3-5, Psalm 38:18); or

(b) when it "might" occur "again" (as he felt was possible); or

(c) if I deviate in the slightest degree from perfect virtue; if I inadvertently do anything wrong.

The slipping of the foot is an indication of the want of firmness, and hence, it comes to represent the falling into sin.

They magnify themselves against me - See Psalm 35:26. They exult over me; they triumph; they boast. They "make themselves great" on my fall, or by my being put down. This he says

(a) they were disposed to do, for they had shown a disposition to do it whenever he had fallen into sin;

(b) he apprehended that they would do it again, and they had already begun to magnify themselves against him, as if they were certain that it would occur.

He did not deny that there was ground to fear this, for he felt that his strength was almost gone Psalm 38:17, and that God only could uphold him, and save him from justifying all the expectations of his enemies.

Psalm 38:16 Parallel Commentaries

Out of the Deep of Suffering and Sorrow.
Save me, O God, for the waters are come in even unto my soul: I am come into deep waters; so that the floods run over me.--Ps. lxix. 1, 2. I am brought into so great trouble and misery: that I go mourning all the day long.--Ps. xxxviii. 6. The sorrows of my heart are enlarged: Oh! bring Thou me out of my distress.--Ps. xxv. 17. The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping: the Lord will receive my prayer.--Ps. vi. 8. In the multitude of the sorrows which I had in my heart, Thy comforts have refreshed
Charles Kingsley—Out of the Deep

Question Lxxxiii of Prayer
I. Is Prayer an Act of the Appetitive Powers? Cardinal Cajetan, On Prayer based on Friendship II. Is it Fitting to Pray? Cardinal Cajetan, On Prayer as a True Cause S. Augustine, On the Sermon on the Mount, II. iii. 14 " On the Gift of Perseverance, vii. 15 III. Is Prayer an Act of the Virtue of Religion? Cardinal Cajetan, On the Humility of Prayer S. Augustine, On Psalm cii. 10 " Of the Gift of Perseverance, xvi. 39 IV. Ought We to Pray to God Alone? S. Augustine, Sermon, cxxvii. 2 V.
St. Thomas Aquinas—On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

Cross References
Job 19:5
"If indeed you vaunt yourselves against me And prove my disgrace to me,

Psalm 13:4
And my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.

Psalm 35:19
Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; Nor let those who hate me without cause wink maliciously.

Psalm 35:26
Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; Let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me.

Psalm 94:18
If I should say, "My foot has slipped," Your lovingkindness, O LORD, will hold me up.

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