Psalms 6:4
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4  My whole being is stricken with terror, while You, Hashem—O, how long!

v’-naf-SHEE niv-ha-LAH m’-OD v’-a-TAH a-do-NAI ad ma-TAI

ד  וְנַפְשִׁי נִבְהֲלָה מְאֹד ואת [וְאַתָּה] יְהֹוָה עַד־מָתָי׃

 6:4   My whole being is stricken with terror

David mentions the idea of behala (בהלה) meaning ‘terror’ or ‘fear’, three times in this short, sad psalm. The first two times, he laments being in this melancholy state. The third time, he wishes it upon his enemies. The same term appears in the Torah as the first punishment for the Children of Israel when they begin to sin in the Land of Israel. In Vayikra (26:16), God begins His list of punishments for not listening to the Lord and abandoning His commandments by saying, “I will wreak misery upon you,” using the same Hebrew word behala. Yet, despite the long list of punishments delineated in that section, it ends with a divine promise to remember the covenant made with the forefathers and Eretz Yisrael: “Then will I remember My covenant with Yaakov; also My covenant with Yitzchak, and also My covenant with Avraham I will remember; and I will remember the land” (Leviticus 26:42).

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Comments ( 2 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • David's situation reflects the times in a believer's life when one is so troubled or scared, but like David, Yahweh expects us to encourage ourselves, to put on the spirit of encouragement every now and then, and even prophesy doom to our enemies, who may be people or sometimes plagues.

  • There are so many deep and powerful emotions in these few short yet powerful sentences. The very real fear of God's disdain as well as punishment weighs very deep upon Davids soul and that of his beloved Israel. David has to admit to himself that God's anger is however justified and wrath therefore in whatever form will and must be endured. He is under such emotional feeling of impending doom, depression of such dept that he can see no escape at this moment in time. If only his enemies could feel such sorrow what a weapon of war this could be? This was all because Israel had sinned. Why have they become such a stiff necked people at times is beyond question at times? I imagine David thinks to himself will they ever learn? However even David has been guilty of the same. The list of divine punishments will be many, however they are given not to destroy but to chastise, to teach, to correct. They are given to put the children of Israel, of God back on the right track. If God did not love his children he would not bother to teach them in this matter. He would just simply wave his mighty hand and they would simply cease to exist. Carl

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Psalms 6:4

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