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Donald C. Fleming

Bridgeway Bible Commentary - Psalms 39:1-13

Psalm 38-39 The cries of the sickThe psalmist David felt that sometimes punishment for his sins took the form of sickness (e.g. Psalms 6:0) or opposition from those who envied or hated him (e.g. Psalms 25:0). Both elements appear again in the prayer of Psalms 38:0, which, being a confession of sin, was suitable to be offered with certain sacrifices.As the suffering David cries to God for mercy, he admits that, because of his sin, he deserves what he has got (38:1-4). He vividly describes the... read more

E.W. Bullinger

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes - Psalms 39:5

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 . age = lifetime. Hebrew. heled. See note on "world" (Psalms 49:1 ). at his best state = though standing fast, or firmly established. altogether vanity = only all vanity. Some codices, with Syriac, omit "all". Selah. Connecting the vanity of Psalms 39:5 with the expansion and explanation of it in Psalms 39:6 . See App-66 . read more

James Burton Coffman

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible - Psalms 39:5

"Behold, thou hast made my days as handbreadths;And my lifetime is as nothing before thee:Surely every man at his best estate is altogether vanity. (Selah)"It appears to us that David mentions the pitiful brevity and vanity of life here as implied reasons leading up to some far greater reality than the pitiful summary of mortal life as all men know it.The Bard of Avon commented upon this very futility and nothingness of mortal life in these words:"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in... read more

Thomas Coke

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible - Psalms 39:5

Psalms 39:5. Every man at his best state— Every man living. Mudge. read more

Robert Jamieson; A. R. Fausset; David Brown

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Psalms 39:5

5, 6. His prayer is answered in his obtaining an impressive view of the vanity of the life of all men, and their transient state. Their pomp is a mere image, and their wealth is gathered they know not for whom. read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Psalms 39:1-13

Psalms 39David seems to have composed this individual lament during a prolonged illness that almost proved fatal (cf. Job). He petitioned God to extend his days rather than to continue the chastening. This psalm is quite similar to the preceding one, but in this one David did not mention opposition from his enemies.Jeduthun, mentioned in the title, was one of David’s chief musicians (1 Chronicles 16:41-42). Perhaps David wrote the psalm for Jeduthun to perform or lead, or for the group of... read more

Thomas Constable

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable - Psalms 39:4-6

David finally found relief in expressing his frustration to God. He prayed that God would teach him to appreciate the brevity of human life (cf. Psalms 90:10; Psalms 90:12). Evidently David was an old man at this time. His life seemed very short looking back on it. People measured short distances with handbreadths in David’s time (Psalms 39:5). The pursuits of life are relatively insignificant in view of the short time we live. read more

John Dummelow

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible - Psalms 39:1-13

This is a Ps. of great pathos and beauty. The writer’s sore sickness, accepted as the punishment of sin (Psalms 39:9-11), has impressed him with the frailty and vanity of human life. He refrains at first from all complaint lest his words should be sinful and harmful (Psalms 39:1-2). When he does speak it is to utter without bitterness his conviction of life’s brevity and nothingness (Psalms 39:3-6). He concludes with a humble prayer that though he is but a pilgrim on earth God may grant him... read more

Charles John Ellicott

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers - Psalms 39:5

(5) Handbreadth.—Better, some spans long. The plural without the article having this indefinite sense.Mine age.—Literally, duration. (See Psalms 17:14.) The LXX. and Vulg. have “substance.”Before thee.—Since in God’s sight “one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” “If nature is below any perception of time, God, at the other extremity of being, is above it. God includes time without being affected by it, and time includes nature, which is unaware of it. He too... read more

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