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Psalms 38:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.]] O Jehovah, rebuke me not in thy wrath; Neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.]] O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[A Psalm of David, for a memorial.]] O LORD, rebuke me not in Your wrath, And chasten me not in Your burning anger.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.]] O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance.]] Jehovah, rebuke me not in thy wrath; neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[A Melody of David. To bring to Remembrance.]] O Yahweh, do not, in thine anger, correct me, nor, in thy wrath, chastise me;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— A Psalm of David, 'To cause to remember.' Jehovah, in Thy wrath reprove me not, Nor in Thy fury chastise me.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— A psalm for David, for a remembrance of the sabbath. Rebuke me not, O Lord, in thy indignation; nor chastise me in thy wrath.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[A Psalme of Dauid, to bring to remembrance.]] O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[A Psalm of David for remembrance concerning the Sabbath-day.]] O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath, neither chasten me in thine anger.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[A Psalm of Dawid, to bring to remembrance.]] O Yahweh, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[A Psalm 4210
{4210} Prime
From H2167; properly instrumental music; by implication a poem set to notes.
of Dwi דָּוִד, 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
to bring to remembrance.]] 2142
{2142} Prime
A primitive root; properly to mark (so as to be recognized), that is, to remember; by implication to mention; also (as denominative from H2145) to be male.
<8687> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 1162
O Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
rebuke 3198
{3198} Prime
A primitive root; to be right (that is, correct); reciprocally to argue; causatively to decide, justify or convict.
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
me not x408
(0408) Complement
A negative particle (akin to H3808); not (the qualified negation, used as a deprecative); once (Job 24:25) as a noun, nothing.
in thy wrath: 7110
{7110} Prime
From H7107; a splinter (as chipped off); figuratively rage or strife.
neither chasten 3256
{3256} Prime
A primitive root; to chastise, literally (with blows) or figuratively (with words); hence to instruct.
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
me in thy hot displeasure. 2534
{2534} Prime
From H3179; heat; figuratively anger, poison (from its fever).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 38:1-4

_ _ Psalms 38:1-22. To bring to remembrance, or, remind God of His mercy and himself of his sin. Appealing to God for relief from His heavy chastisement, the Psalmist avows his integrity before men, complains of the defection of friends and persecution of enemies, and in a submissive spirit, casting himself on God, with penitent confession he pleads God’s covenant relation and his innocence of the charges of his enemies, and prays for divine comfort and help.

_ _ He deprecates deserved punishment, which is described (Psalms 6:1), under the figure of bodily disease [Psalms 38:3].

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 38:1-11

_ _ The title of this psalm is very observable; it is a psalm to bring to remembrance; the 70th psalm, which was likewise penned in a day of affliction, is so entitled. It is designed, 1. To bring to his own remembrance. We will suppose it penned when he was sick and in pain, and then it teaches us that times of sickness are times to bring to remembrance, to bring the sin to remembrance, for which God contended with us, to awaken our consciences to deal faithfully and plainly with us, and set our sins in order before us, for our humiliation. In a day of adversity consider. Or we may suppose it penned after his recovery, but designed as a record of the convictions he was under and the workings of his heart when he was in affliction, that upon every review of this psalm he might call to mind the good impressions then made upon him and make a fresh improvement of them. To the same purport was the writing of Hezekiah when he had been sick. 2. To put others in mind of the same things which he was himself mindful of, and to teach them what to think and what to say when they are sick and in affliction; let them think as he did, and speak as he did.

_ _ I. He deprecates the wrath of God and his displeasure in his affliction (Psalms 38:1): O Lord! rebuke me not in thy wrath. With this same petition he began another prayer for the visitation of the sick, Psalms 6:1. This was most upon his heart, and should be most upon ours when we are in affliction, that, however God rebukes and chastens us, it may not be in wrath and displeasure, for that will be wormwood and gall in the affliction and misery. Those that would escape the wrath of God must pray against that more than any outward affliction, and be content to bear any outward affliction while it comes from, and consists with, the love of God.

_ _ II. He bitterly laments the impressions of God's displeasure upon his soul (Psalms 38:2): Thy arrows stick fast in me. Let Job's complaint (Job 7:4) expound this of David. By the arrows of the Almighty he means the terrors of God, which did set themselves in array against him. He was under a very melancholy frightful apprehension of the wrath of God against him for his sins, and thought he could look for nothing but judgment and fiery indignation to devour him. God's arrows, as they are sure to hit the mark, so they are sure to stick where they hit, to stick fast, till he is pleased to draw them out and to bind up with his comforts the wound he has made with his terrors. This will be the everlasting misery of the damned — the arrows of God's wrath will stick fast in them and the wound will be incurable. “Thy hand, thy heavy hand, presses me sore, and I am ready to sink under it; it not only lies hard upon me, but it lies long; and who knows the power of God's anger, the weight of his hand?” Sometimes God shot his arrows, and stretched forth his hand, for David (Psalms 18:14), but now against him; so uncertain is the continuance of divine comforts, where yet the continuance of divine grace is assured. He complains of God's wrath as that which inflicted the bodily distemper he was under (Psalms 38:3): There is no soundness in my flesh because of thy anger. The bitterness of it, infused in his mind, affected his body; but that was not the worst: it caused the disquietude of his heart, by reason of which he forgot the courage of a soldier, the dignity of a prince, and all the cheerfulness of the sweet psalmist of Israel, and roared terribly, Psalms 38:8. Nothing will disquiet the heart of a good man so much as the sense of God's anger, which shows what a fearful thing it is to fall into his hands. The way to keep the heart quiet is to keep ourselves in the love of God and to do nothing to offend him.

_ _ III. He acknowledges his sin to be the procuring provoking cause of all his troubles, and groans more under the load of guilt than any other load, Psalms 38:3. He complains that his flesh had no soundness, his bones had no rest, so great an agitation he was in. “It is because of thy anger; that kindles the fire which burns so fiercely;” but, in the next words, he justifies God herein, and takes all the blame upon himself: “It is because of my sin. I have deserved it, and so have brought it upon myself. My own iniquities do correct me.” If our trouble be the fruit of God's anger, we may thank ourselves; it is our sin that is the cause of it. Are we restless? It is sin that makes us so. If there were not sin in our souls, there would be no pain in our bones, no illness in our bodies. It is sin therefore that this good man complains most of, 1. As a burden, a heavy burden (Psalms 38:4): “My iniquities have gone over my head, as proud waters over a man that is sinking and drowning, or as a heavy burden upon my head, pressing me down more than I am able to bear or to bear up under.” Note, Sin is a burden. The power of sin dwelling in us is a weight, Hebrews 12:1. All are clogged with it; it keeps men from soaring upward and pressing forward. All the saints are complaining of it as a body of death they are loaded with, Romans 7:24. The guilt of sin committed by us is a burden, a heavy burden; it is a burden to God (he is pressed under it, Amos 2:13), a burden to the whole creation, which groans under it, Romans 8:21, Romans 8:22. It will, first or last, be a burden to the sinner himself, either a burden of repentance when he is pricked to the heart for it, labours, and is heavy-laden, under it, or a burden of ruin when it sinks him to the lowest hell and will for ever detain him there; it will be a talent of lead upon him, Zechariah 5:8. Sinners are said to bear their iniquity. Threatenings are burdens. 2. As wounds, dangerous wounds (Psalms 38:5): “My wounds stink and are corrupt (as wounds in the body rankle, and fester, and grow foul, for want of being dressed and looked after), and it is through my own foolishness.” Sins are wounds (Genesis 4:23), painful mortal wounds. Our wounds by sin are often in a bad condition, no care taken of them, no application made to them, and it is owing to the sinner's foolishness in not confessing sin, Psalms 32:3, Psalms 32:4. A slight sore, neglected, may prove of fatal consequence, and so may a slight sin slighted and left unrepented of.

_ _ IV. He bemoans himself because of his afflictions, and gives ease to his grief by giving vent to it and pouring out his complaint before the Lord.

_ _ 1. He was troubled in mind, his conscience was pained, and he had no rest in his own spirit; and a wounded spirit who can bear? He was troubled, or distorted, bowed down greatly, and went mourning all the day long, Psalms 38:6. He was always pensive and melancholy, which made him a burden and terror to himself. His spirit was feeble and sorely broken, and his heart disquieted, Psalms 38:8. Herein David, in his sufferings, was a type of Christ, who, being in his agony, cried out, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful. This is a sorer affliction than any other in this world; whatever God is pleased to lay upon us, we have no reason to complain as long as he preserves to us the use of our reason and the peace of our consciences.

_ _ 2. He was sick and weak in body; his loins were filled with a loathsome disease, some swelling, or ulcer, or inflammation (some think a plague-sore, such as Hezekiah's boil), and there was no soundness in his flesh, but, like Job, he was all over distempered. See (1.) What vile bodies these are which we carry about with us, what grievous diseases they are liable to, and what an offence and grievance they may soon be made by some diseases to the souls that animate them, as they always are a cloud and cog. (2.) That the bodies both of the greatest and of the best of men have in them the same seeds of diseases that the bodies of others have, and are liable to the same disasters. David himself, though so great a prince and so great a saint, was not exempt from the most grievous diseases: there was no soundness even in his flesh. Probably this was after his sin in the matter of Uriah, and thus did he smart in his flesh for his fleshly lusts. When, at any time, we are distempered in our bodies, we ought to remember how God has been dishonoured in and by our bodies. He was feeble and sorely broken, Psalms 38:8. His heart panted, and was in a continual palpitation, Psalms 38:10. His strength and limbs failed him. As for the light of his eyes, that had gone from him, either with much weeping or by a defluxion of rheum upon them, or perhaps through the lowness of his spirits and the frequent returns of fainting. Note, Sickness will tame the strongest body and the stoutest spirit. David was famed for his courage and great exploits; and yet, when God contended with him by bodily sickness and the impressions of his wrath upon his mind, his hair is cut, his heart fails him, and he becomes weak as water. Therefore let not the strong man glory in his strength, nor any man set grief at defiance, however it may be thought at a distance.

_ _ 3. His friends were unkind to him (Psalms 38:11): My lovers (such as had been merry with him in the day of his mirth) now stand aloof from my sore; they would not sympathize with him in his griefs, nor so much as come within hearing of his complaints, but, like the priest and Levite (Luke 10:31), passed on the other side. Even his kinsmen, that were bound to him by blood and alliance, stood afar off. See what little reason we have to trust in man or to wonder if we disappointed in our expectations of kindness from men. Adversity tries friendship, and separates between the precious and the vile. It is our wisdom to make sure a friend in heaven, who will not stand aloof from our sore and from whose love no tribulation nor distress shall be able to separate us. David, in his troubles, was a type of Christ in his agony, Christ, on his cross, feeble and sorely broken, and then deserted by his friends and kinsmen, who beheld afar off.

_ _ V. In the midst of his complaints, he comforts himself with the cognizance God graciously took both of his griefs and of his prayers (Psalms 38:9): “Lord, all my desire is before thee. Thou knowest what I want and what I would have: My groaning is not hidden from thee. Thou knowest the burdens I groan under and the blessings I groan after.” The groanings which cannot be uttered are not hidden from him that searches the heart and knows what is the mind of the Spirit, Romans 8:26, Romans 8:27.

_ _ In singing this, and praying it over, whatever burden lies upon our spirits, we would by faith cast it upon God, and all our care concerning it, and then be easy.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 38:1

"A Psalm of David, to bring to (a) remembrance." O LORD, rebuke me not in thy (b) wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.

(a) To put himself and others in mind of God's chastisement for sin.

(b) He desires not to be exempted from God's rod, but that he would so moderate his hand, that he might be able to bear it.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
(Title), This deeply penitential Psalm is supposed to have been composed by David under some grievous affliction, either bodily or mental, or both, after his illicit intercourse with Bathsheba.

to bring:

Psalms 70:1 [[To the chief Musician, [A Psalm] of David, to bring to remembrance.]] [Make haste], O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O LORD.


Psalms 6:1 [[To the chief Musician on Neginoth upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.]] O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
Psalms 88:7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted [me] with all thy waves. Selah.
Psalms 88:15-16 I [am] afflicted and ready to die from [my] youth up: [while] I suffer thy terrors I am distracted. ... Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
Isaiah 27:8 In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind.
Isaiah 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
Jeremiah 10:24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
Jeremiah 30:11 For I [am] with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.
Habakkuk 3:2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, [and] was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
Hebrews 12:5-11 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: ... Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.


Deuteronomy 9:19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure, wherewith the LORD was wroth against you to destroy you. But the LORD hearkened unto me at that time also.
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Dt 9:19. Ps 6:1; 70:1; 88:7, 15. Is 27:8; 54:8. Jr 10:24; 30:11. Hab 3:2. He 12:5.

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