1 I said, I will take heed to my ways,
That I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep my mouth with a bridle,
While the wicked is before me.
2 I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from
And my sorrow was stirred.
3 My heart was hot within me;
While I was musing the fire burned;
Then spake I with my tongue:
4 Jehovah, make me to know mine end,
And the measure of my days, what it is;
Let me know how frail I am.
1-4, 9-12. The Lord’s patience in the state of temptations. P. P.
5 Behold, thou hast made my days as handbreadths;
And my life-time is as nothing before thee:
Surely every man at his best estate is altogether vanity.
Surely every man walketh in a vain show;
Surely they are disquieted in vain:
He heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall
And now, Lord, what wait I for ?
My hope is in thee.
Deliver me from all my transgressions:
Make me not the reproach of the foolish.
I was dumb, I opened not my mouth;
Because thou didst it.
10 Remove thy stroke away from me:
I am consumed by the blow of thy hand.
11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity,
Thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth:
Surely every man is vanity. [Selah]
5, 6. It appears as if by these words the times of life only were understood, the end of which he desired to know, and that those times pass away quickly, but in the spiritual sense times are not understood, but instead thereof states of life. Therefore by verse 5 is signified that he may know the state of his life and the quality thereof, thus what quality of life would remain with him. By “behold, thou hast given my days as a handbreadth” is signified that the quality of the state of his life was of very little moment. “My time is as nothing before thee,” signifies that the state of his life was of no avail. Time and day in the Word signify states of life as to truth and as to good, and thence as to intelligence and wisdom. Consequently it is here meant that both the latter and the former as far as they were from himself were worth nothing. E. 629.
5-8. He desires the end of the temptations. P. P.
11 Plagues signify spiritual plagues which affect men as to their souls and destroy them, which are evils and falsities. R. 657.
12 Hear my prayer, O Jehovah, and give ear unto my cry;
Hold not thy peace at my tears:
For I am a stranger with thee,
A sojourner, as all my fathers were.
13 By a stranger just as by a sojourner is signified a comer and inhabitant from another land, but by a stranger are signified those who were instructed in the truths of the church and who received those truths, by sojourners those who were not willing to be instructed in the truths of the church, because they were not willing to receive them. A. 8002.
13 Oh spare me, that I may recover strength,
Before I go hence, and be no more.
13, 14. Prayer to the Father that He be not forsaken. P. P.
Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)