Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 38:19

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But mine enemies are lively - Instead of חיים chaiyim, lively, I would read חינם chinam, without cause; a change made by the half of one letter, נ nun for a י yod . See the parallel places, Psalm 35:19; (note); Psalm 79:5; (note). See also the Preliminary Dissertation to Dr. Lowth's Isaiah, p. 40: "But without cause my enemies have strengthened themselves; and they who wrongfully hate me are multiplied." Here the one member of the verse answers to the other.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But mine enemies are lively … - DeWette renders this, “My enemies live and are strong.” The word translated “lively” - חיים chayiym - means properly “living, being alive.” The literal translation would be, “My enemies, being alive, are strong.” The idea is, that while he was weak and apparently near to death, they were in the full vigor of life and health. They were able to engage in active efforts to accomplish their purposes. They could take advantage of his weakness; and he could not contend with them, for he was no match for them. In every respect they had the advantage of him; and he prays, therefore, for the divine interposition in his behalf.

And they that hate me wrongfully - Hebrew, “falsely.” See Psalm 35:19.

Are multiplied - They are numerous. They are constantly increasing.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Wicked men hate goodness, even when they benefit by it. David, in the complaints he makes of his enemies, seems to refer to Christ. But our enemies do us real mischief only when they drive us from God and our duty. The true believer's trouble will be made useful; he will learn to wait for his God, and will not seek relief from the world or himself. The less we notice the unkindness and injuries that are done us, the more we consult the quiet of our own minds. David's troubles were the chastisement and the consequence of his transgressions, whilst Christ suffered for our sins and ours only. What right can a sinner have to yield to impatience or anger, when mercifully corrected for his sins? David was very sensible of the present workings of corruption in him. Good men, by setting their sorrow continually before them, have been ready to fall; but by setting God always before them, they have kept their standing. If we are truly penitent for sin, that will make us patient under affliction. Nothing goes nearer to the heart of a believer when in affliction, than to be under the apprehension of God's deserting him; nor does any thing come more feelingly from his heart than this prayer, "Be not far from me." The Lord will hasten to help those who trust in him as their salvation.