Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 38:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I am feeble and sore broken - I am so exhausted with my disease that I feel as if on the brink of the grave, and unfit to appear before God; therefore "have I roared for the disquietness of my heart."

That David describes a natural disease here cannot reasonably be doubted; but what that disease was, who shall attempt to say? However, this is evident, that whatever it was, he most deeply deplored the cause of it; and as he worthily lamented it, so he found mercy at the hand of God. It would be easy to show a disease of which what he here enumerates are the very general symptoms; but I forbear, because in this I might attribute to one what, perhaps, in Judea would be more especially descriptive of another.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I am feeble - The word used here means properly to be cold, or without warmth; and then, to be torpid or languid. Compare Genesis 45:26. Would not this be well represented by the idea of a “chill?”

And sore broken - This word means to break in pieces; to beat small; to crush; and then it may be used to denote being broken in spirit, or crushed by pain and sorrow: Isaiah 57:15; Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 19:10.

I have roared - I have cried out on account of my suffering. See the notes at Psalm 22:1.

By reason of the disquietness of my heart - The word here rendered “disquietness” means properly “a roaring,” as of the sea: Isaiah 5:30; and then, a groaning, or roaring, as of the afflicted. Here the “heart” is represented as “roaring” or “crying out.” The lips only gave utterance to the deeper groanings of the heart.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Nothing will disquiet the heart of a good man so much as the sense of God's anger. The way to keep the heart quiet, is to keep ourselves in the love of God. But a sense of guilt is too heavy to bear; and would sink men into despair and ruin, unless removed by the pardoning mercy of God. If there were not sin in our souls, there would be no pain in our bones, no illness in our bodies. The guilt of sin is a burden to the whole creation, which groans under it. It will be a burden to the sinners themselves, when they are heavy-laden under it, or a burden of ruin, when it sinks them to hell. When we perceive our true condition, the Good Physician will be valued, sought, and obeyed. Yet many let their wounds rankle, because they delay to go to their merciful Friend. When, at any time, we are distempered in our bodies, we ought to remember how God has been dishonoured in and by our bodies. The groanings which cannot be uttered, are not hid from Him that searches the heart, and knows the mind of the Spirit. David, in his troubles, was a type of Christ in his agonies, of Christ on his cross, suffering and deserted.