For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting…
"All my familiars watched for my halting": the original word does not mean my innermost friends, for true friendship can never be guilty of such treason, but the Hebrew word means, The men of my peace; the men who used to accost me on the highway with, "Is it peace?" — the men who salaamed me out of civility, but who never really cared for me in their souls: these men, behind their painted masks, watched for my halting; they all watched. Some men take pleasure when other men fall. What is the answer to all this watching of others? It is a clear, plain, simple, useful answer: Watch yourselves; be sober, be vigilant, for your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. It is not enough that others watch you — watch yourselves; be critical about yourselves; be severe with yourselves; penetrate the motive of every action, and say, Is it healthy? Is it honest? Is it such as could bear the criticism of God? Dare we take up this motive and look at it when the sun burns upon it in its revealing glory? If a man so watch himself he need not mind who else watches him. Watch the secret places; watch the out-of-the-way doors, the postern gates, the places that are supposed to be secure against the approach of the burglar; be very careful about all these, and then the result may be left with God. He who does not watch will be worsted in the fray. He who does not watch cannot pray. He who watches others and does not watch himself is a fool.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.
WEB: For I have heard the defaming of many, terror on every side. Denounce, and we will denounce him, [say] all my familiar friends, those who watch for my fall; perhaps he will be persuaded, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.