PSALMS 32      Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  meaning  -  Psalms  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


A Psalm of David, (Mashkil) Instructive.

  1. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
  2. Blessed is the man to whom jehovah imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
  3. When I kept silence, my bones were consumed, through my roaring all the day.
  4. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my moisture is turned into the dryness of summer. Selah.
  5. I acknowledge my sin to you, and mine iniquity have I not hid; I said, I will confess my transgressions to jehovah, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
  6. Upon this account shall every one that is godly pray to you, in the season when you may be found; truly, in the floods of great waters they shall not reach to him.
  7. You are my hiding-place; you do preserve me from trouble; you do encompass me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
  8. I will instruct you, I will teach you the way in which you shall walk; I will counsel you; mine eye shall be upon you,
  9. Be not as the horse and mule which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near to you.
  10. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but mercy shall encompass him that trusts in jehovah.
  11. Rejoice in jehovah, and exult you just; and sing aloud all you upright in heart.

The Internal Sense

That the just is blessed, verses 1, 2; the grievousness of his temptations is described, verses 3, 4; confession of infirmities, and that he is delivered, verses 5 to 7; that he is wise, verses 8, 9; that he has confidence, verses 10, 11.


Verse 1. He whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Mention is made of transgressions, also of sin, by reason of the marriage of truth and good in singular the things of the Word, for transgression signifies evil against, truth, which is the lesser evil, and sin evil against good, which is the greater; hence it is that mention is made of both. AC 6563.

Verse 3. When I kept silence my bones were consumed through my roaring all the day. That roaring signifies grievous lamentation arising from grief of heart, is manifest from these words, also from these, "I am feeble and sore broken, I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart." Psalm 38:8. AE 601.

Verse 6. For this shall every one that is godly pray to you when you may be found, but in the floods of great waters they shall not reach him. That a flood of waters, or an inundation, signifies temptation, is manifest from these Words in Ezekiel, "Thus says the lord jehovah, I will rend it with a stormy wind in my wrath, and there shall be an overflowing rain in mine anger, and great hail stones in my fury to consume it; that I may destroy the wall which you have daubed with what is untempered," Ezek 13:13, 14; where a stormy wind and an overflowing rain denote the desolation of what is false; a wall daubed with what is untempered, denotes what is feigned appearing as true; and in Isaiah, "jehovah god a protection from inundation, a shade from the heat, for the spirit of the violent is as an inundation against a wall," Is 25:5, inundation here denotes temptation as to things intellectual, and is distinguished from temptation as to things voluntary, which is called heat. Again, "Behold the lord has a strong and mighty one, as an inundation of hail, a storm of destruction, as an inundation of strong waters over-inundating," Is 28:2; the degrees of temptation are here described; again, in the same prophet, "When you passest through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you; when you walkest through the fire you shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you," Is 43:3; where waters and rivers denote falses and phantasies; fire and flame denote evils and cravings; and in David, "Upon this every one that is godly shall pray to you, when you may be found, but in the floods of great waters they shall not reach him," Psalm 32:6; where an inundation of waters denotes temptation, which is also called a flood. AC 739.

The Translator's Notes and Observations

Transgression is an offence against the purity of divine truth, and therefore its remission, or what amounts to the same thing, its removal, cannot be effected but by the implantation of divine truth in its place; sin again is an offence against the divine good, and consequently its covering will require the presence and operation of the divine good to hide its pollutions. The blessedness then here announced is manifestly the communication of the divine truth and the divine good to the humble and sincere, who are desirous to have their natural errors of understanding supplanted by the one, and their natural corruptions of the will covered by the other.

Verse 3. When I kept silence my bones were consumed through my roaring all the day. If the reader be content with the mere literal meaning of this passage, he will find a difficulty in discovering the connection here insisted on between the silence of the tongue and the consumption of the bones, for there does not appear to be any connection between the one and the other. But this difficulty vanishes, whenever the views of the mind are elevated above the letter, to contemplate the spiritual sense of the passage, and by the bright light of correspondence to behold and to delight in the instructive and proper meaning of the two terms silence and bones. For what is spiritual silence but the torpor and inactivity of spiritual thought, occasioned in the present instances by a state of spiritual temptation? And what are spiritual bones but those principles in the human mind, on which all thought rests, and by which it exercises its activity, and thus gives utterance to the truth in which it principally delights? Here then we discover at once a connection between silence, or inactive thought, and bones, or the principles on which thought rests, and by which it gives utterance to its ideas. We see, therefore, at the same time, how a state of spiritual temptation must always have a joint effect on the tongue and the bones, by checking the activity of thought in the one, and its exercise in the other.

That by bones is figuratively signified something intellectual proper to man, both as to what is true and what is false, may be seen confirmed by a variety of passages from the holy word collected together in AC 3812, of the Arcana Coelestia, to which the reader is referred for the fullest and most satisfactory information on the subject.

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