PSALMS 6      Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  meaning  -  Psalms  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


To Him that presides on Neginoth, on the Sheminith, a Psalm of David.

  1. O JEHOVAH, rebuke me not in your anger, correct me not in your wrath.
  2. Be gracious to me, O JEHOVAH, for I am feeble; heal me, O JEHOVAH, for my bones tremble.
  3. My soul, also, is disturbed exceedingly. But you, O JEHOVAH, how long?
  4. Return, O JEHOVAH, deliver my soul: save me for your mercy's sake.
  5. For in death there is no commemorating of you; in hell who shall celebrate your praise?
  6. I am weary with my groaning: all the night do I make my bed to swim; with my tears do I soak my couch.
  7. Mine eye wastes away through vexation; it is sunk because of all mine enemies.
  8. Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity; for jehovah has heard the voice of my weeping.
  9. jehovah has heard my prayer; jehovah will accept my supplication.
  10. All mine enemies shall be ashamed and disturbed exceedingly: they shall return, they shall be put to shame suddenly.

The Internal Sense

A prayer of the Lord to the Father when he was in an extreme state of temptation, which state is despair, verse 1-7; and that by his aid he restrained the hells, verse 8-10.


Verse 5. for in death there is no commemorating of you; in hell who shall celebrate your praise? By death is signified the want of spiritual life, and the possession of moral life without it. The reason why this is signified by death is because life, in the Word, signifies the life of heaven belonging to man, which also is there called eternal life; and death signifies the life of hell, which life, in the Word, is called death, because it is the privation of the life of heaven. Moral life without spiritual life is the life of self-love and of the love of the world; but moral life, grounded in spiritual life, is the life of love to the lord, and of love towards the neighbour. This latter life is the life of heaven, but the former is what is called spiritual death. As death denotes damnation, it also denotes hell; wherefore hell, in the Word, is everywhere called death, as in the following passages:-" Hell cannot praise you, death cannot celebrate you; they that go down into the pit cannot hope in your truth: the living, the living, he shall praise you;" (Isaiah 38:18, 19) again, "We have made a covenant with death, and with hell we have made a vision;" (Isaiah 28:15) and in David, "In death there is no commemorating of you; in hell who shall celebrate your praise?" (Psalm 6:5.) AE 186.

In the other life, by life is signified in general, heaven, specifically eternal happiness, and by death is signified in general, hell, and specifically eternal unhappiness there; as is evident from several passages in the Word. The reason why heaven in general, and specifically eternal happiness, is called life, is because in heaven there is the wisdom of good and the intelligence of truth, and in the wisdom of good and the intelligence of truth there is life from the lord, from whom is the all of life. But as in hell the case is reversed, since in the place of good there is evil, and in the place of truth there is what is false, and thereby spiritual life is extinguished, therefore in hell there is respectively death, for spiritual death is evil and falsity, and with man it consists in willing what is evil, and in thence thinking what is false. AC 5407.

Verse 6. With my tears do I soak my couch. By a tear from the eyes is signified grief of mind on account of false principles, and from false principles; and the reason is because by the eye is signified the understanding of truth, and hence a tear signifies grief on account of the non-understanding of truth, consequently on account of false principles. The like is also signified by a tear in Isaiah: "He will swallow up death for ever, and the lord jehovah will wipe away the tear from off all faces," (Is 25:8), by which is signified that the lord, by his coming, will remove evils and falsities with those who live from him, so that they shall have no grief of mind on account of those evils and falsities, and from them: death signifies evil, because from evil is spiritual death; and a tear is mentioned in regard to what is false. It is to be noted, that the shedding of tears and weeping, signify grief on account of false principles and from them; but the shedding of tears denotes grief of the mind, and weeping, grief of the heart, on account of those things. Grief of the mind is grief of the thought of the understanding, which relates to truth, and grief of the heart is grief of the affection or will, which relates to good; and since in the Word throughout, there is a marriage of truth and good, therefore mention is made of both in the Word, namely both of weeping and of tears, when grief is expressed on account of the false principles of doctrine or religion. That weeping is grief of the heart may be manifest from this consideration, that weeping is an outpouring from the heart, and bursts forth into lamentations through the mouth; and that shedding of tears is grief of the mind may be manifest from this consideration, that it goes forth from the thought through the eyes. In both cases, namely both in weeping and shedding of tears, there is an effusion of water, but bitter and astringent, which comes forth by influx from the spiritual world into man's grief; and bitter water corresponds to a defect of truth by reason of falsities, and hence corresponds to grief; wherefore with those who are principled in truth, there is grief by reason of falsities. From these considerations it may be seen whence it is that in the Word, where mention is made of the shedding of tears, mention is also made of weeping, namely that it is in consequence of the marriage of good and of truth in every part thereof. Let the following passages confirm this remark: "I will weep with the weeping of Jazer, the vine of Sibmah; I will water you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh;" (Isaiah 16:9.) and in Jeremiah, "My soul shall weep in secret places, - and mine eye shall run down with tears; (Jer 13:17) again, "O that mine eyes were a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night;" (Jer 9:1) "She weeps sore in the night, and the tears are on her cheeks;" (Lam 1:2) "Covering the altar of jehovah with tears, with weeping, and crying;" (Malachi 2:13) and in Jeremiah, "Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears;" (Jer 31:16) again, "Call for the mourning women, that they may come; - let them take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears; (9:17) and in David, "I am weary with my groaning: all the night do I make my bed to swim; with my tears do I soak my couch." (Psalm 6:6.) By making the bed to swim is meant, with weeping, which is of the mouth, because it is spoken of groaning; but to soak the couch, which yet is a similar thing, is spoken of tears. These passages are adduced, that it may also be known from them that two similar expressions in the Word, especially the prophetical, are not vain repetitions, but that the one has relation to good, and the other to truth. AE 484.

By god's wiping away all tears from their eyes, (Rev 7:17), is signified that they shall no longer be in combats against evils and falsities, and thus no longer in griefs, but in goods and truths, and thence in heavenly joys from the lord: the reason is because above, at verse 14, it is said, that these are they who come out of great tribulation, by which is signified that they are those who have been in temptations, and have fought against evils; and they who afterwards are not in combats against evils, are in goods and truths, and thence in heavenly joys. Similar things are signified by these words in Isaiah: "He shall swallow up death for ever, and the lord jehovah shall wipe away tears from off all faces. And it shall be said in that day, Lo! this is our god; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is jehovah; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation." Is 25:8, 9. AR 385.

The Translator's Notes and Observations

Verse 1. O jehovah, rebuke me not in your anger, and correct me not in your wrath. In these words, as in many other passages, of the holy word, the distinct passions of anger and wrath are ascribed to jehovah. But what shall we say is the true ground of the application of such passions to the great and holy god? For is not god the purest love and goodness? How then can anger and wrath, which are in direct contrariety to those divine properties and characteristics, be supposed, with any show of reason, to apply to him? Besides, why is the divine displeasure marked by two distinct terms, anger and wrath, and what is the ground of this distinction? Would it not have been enough to say, O jehovah rebuke me not in your anger, without adding, and correct me not in your wrath? In vain shall we attempt, by any logical subtlety, to give a satisfactory answer to these questions, until it be seen, and seen clearly, in the first place, that when anger and wrath are ascribed to jehovah, it is owing solely to the appearance presented to the mind and conscience of every wicked man, who cannot help supposing that the almighty is angry with him, even at the very time that he is regarding him with an eye of the purest mercy; and in the second place, that the divine displeasure is marked by the two distinct terms, anger and wrath, to denote that it extends both to man's will, in its opposition to the supreme good, and to his understanding, in its contrariety to the supreme truth. From this appearance, then, of anger and wrath in the divine being, and from the double effect of rebuke and chastisement which is produced by these two apparent passions, it is again manifest, that even in this appearance there is contained a direct and positive indication of that marriage of the divine good and the divine truth, which is the grand characteristic of the godhead of his holy word, since, otherwise, it is impossible to assign a reason why these distinct passions should be ascribed to him.

Verse 2. For my bones tremble. By bones are not here meant the bones of the body, but those principles of the mind which are in correspondence with them; and what these principles are, may be manifest from what is written at AC 9643 of the Arcana Coelestia, where we read that "bases also correspond to the feet and soles of the feet in man; in general to the bones, which sustain all that is fleshy in the body; and by the feet, and by bones, in like manner is signified sustaining truth; and by what is fleshy in the body, the good which sustains itself by truth. That all things in nature have reference to the human form, and are significative according to that relationship, see AC 9496; that flesh denotes good, AC 3813, 6968, 7850, 9127; that feet denote the natural principle, thus truth in powder from good, AC 5327, 5328; that the body denotes good, AC 6135; that bones denote truth sustaining," AC 8312, 8005.

PSALMS 6    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  meaning  -  Psalms  -  BM Home  -  Full Page