Mine enemies reproach me all the day;
[and] they that are mad against me
are sworn against me.
Mine enemies reproach me all the day.
Their rage was unrelenting and unceasing, and vented itself in taunts and insults, the Psalmist’s patriotism and his griefs were both made the subjects of their sport. Pointing to the sad estate of his people they would ask him, “Where is your God?”
And exult over him because their false gods were in the ascendant. Reproach cuts like a razor, and when it is continued from hour to hour, and repeated all the day and every day, it makes life itself undesirable.
And they that are mad against me are sworn against me.
They were so furious that they bound themselves by oath to destroy him, and used his name as their usual execration, a word to curse by, the synonym of abhorrence and contempt. What with inward sorrows and outward persecutions he was in as ill a plight as may well be conceived.
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Explanatory notes and quaint sayings
Mine enemies reproach me.
It is true what Plutarch writes, that men are more touched with reproaches than with other injuries; affliction, too, gives a keener edge to calumny, for the afflicted are more fitting objects of pity than of mockery.
Mine enemies reproach me, etc.
If I be where they are they rail at me to my face; and if I be not amongst them they revile me behind my back; and they do it not by starts and fits, that might give me some breathing time; but they are spitting their poison all the day long; and not single and one by one, that might leave hope of resisting; but they make combinations, and enter leagues against me; and to make their leagues the stronger, and less subject to dissolving, they bind themselves by oath, and take the sacrament upon it.
And now sum up all these miseries and afflictions; begin with my fasting; then take my groaning; then add my watching; then the shame of being wondered at in company; then the discomfort of sitting disconsolate alone; and, lastly, add to these the spite and malice of my enemies; and what marvel, then, if these miseries joined all together make me altogether miserable; what marvel if I be nothing but skin and bone, when no flesh that were wise would ever stay upon a body to endure such misery.
— Sir R. Baker.
Swearing by one, means, to make his name a by- word of execration, or an example of cursing. ( Isaiah 65:15, 29:22, 42:18).
— Carl Bernard Moll, in Lange’s Commentary.
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Mine enemies reproach me all the day
▪︎ For his principles and practices, being different from theirs;
▪︎ For his religion, and preciseness in it;
▪︎ For his faith and profession of it,
▪︎ And for his holy walk and conversation.
Good men have their enemies, and always had; but then they are such who are also enemies to God and Christ, and true religion; and these, not content to reproach now and then, continually throw out their scoffs and jeers; which is not grateful, and is here mentioned as an article of complaint; though the saints should reckon reproach for the sake of Christ and religion greater riches than all the treasures in Egypt.
And they that are mad against me
▪︎ As the Jews were against Christ, because of his miracles, doctrine, and success, and therefore sought to take away his life (Luke 6:11),
▪︎ and as the Apostle Paul before conversion was, even exceeding mad against the saints, and persecuted them to strange cities, (Acts 26:11),
so were the psalmist’s enemies quite outrageous and implacable, being his sworn enemies.
Are sworn against me
Laid themselves under a curse, to do him all the mischief they could, and it may be to take away his life;
▪︎ as those who sware they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul, (Acts 23:12)
▪︎ Or they sware to lies, false charges and accusations brought against him, like those that Jezebel suborned against Naboth:
▪︎ Or “they sware by me”; as the words may be rendered; they sware by his calamities and distresses, and wished they might be as he was, if they did not do so and so; and took his name for a curse.
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