Psalm 38 – “Petition for Health and Safety”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist begs God to heal him from his wounds and to protect him from his enemies.

II. Photo
Beseeching God: “O Lord, do not punish me in wrath, do not chastise me in fury, for your arrows have struck me, your blows have fallen upon me!”

III. Select Verses
2-4: O LORD, do not punish me in wrath; do not chastise me in fury. For Your arrows have struck me; Your blows have fallen upon me. There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your rage, no wholeness in my bones because of my sin.
5: For my iniquities have overwhelmed me; they are like a heavy burden, more than I can bear.
13-15: Those who seek my life lay traps; those who wish me harm speak malice; they utter deceit all the time. But I am like a deaf man, unhearing, like a dumb man who cannot speak up; I am like one who does not hear, who has no retort on his lips.
19-21:  I acknowledge my iniquity; I am fearful over my sin; for my mortal enemies are numerous; my treacherous foes are many. Those who repay evil for good harass me for pursuing good.
22-23: Do not abandon me, O LORD; my God, be not far from me; hasten to my aid, O Lord, my deliverance.

IV. Outline
1. Superscription
2. Initial petition
3-9. Complaint and confession
10-15. Invocation and complaint
16. Trust
17-21. Complaint and confession
22-23. Petition

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Craigie, Peter C. “Psalms 1-50” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 19 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1983).
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
Photo taken from