But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
Younger — Whom both universal custom, and the light of nature, taught to reverence their elders and betters.
Whose fathers — Whose condition was so mean, that in the opinion, of the world, they were unworthy to be my shepherds the companions of my dogs which watch my flocks.
 For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.
Solitary — Although want commonly drives persons to places of resort for relief, yet they were so conscious of their own guilt, that they shunned company, and for fear or shame fled into, and lived in desolate places.
 Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.
Who cut — Bitter herbs, which shews their extreme necessity.
Juniper — Possibly the word may signify some other plant, for the Hebrews themselves are at a loss for the signification of the names of plants.
 Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.
Brayed — Like the wild asses, for hunger or thirst.
Thorns — Under which they hide themselves, that they might not be discovered when they are sought out for justice.
 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
Spit — Not literally, for they kept far from him, but figuratively, they use all manner of reproachful expressions, even to my face. Herein, also we see a type of Christ, who was thus made a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
 Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.
He — God.
Cord — Hath slackened the string of my bow, and so rendered my bow and arrows useless; he hath deprived me of my strength or defence.
Let loose — They cast off all former restraints of humanity, or modesty, and do those things before mine eyes, which formerly they trembled lest they should come to my ears.
 Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
Right hand — This was the place of adversaries or accusers in courts of justice.
The youth — Heb. young striplings, who formerly hid themselves from my presence, chap. 29:8.
Push — Metaphorically, they endeavour to overwhelm me.
Ways — Cause-ways, or banks: so it is a metaphor from soldiers, who cast up banks, against the city which they besiege.
Destruction — To destroy me.
 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper.
Mar — As I am in great misery, so they endeavour to stop all my ways out of it.
Set forward — Increasing it by their invectives, and censures.
Even they — Who are themselves in a forlorn and miserable condition.
 They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.
Waste place — In the waste place; in that part of the bank which was broken down.
They rolled — As the waters, come rolling in at the breach.
 Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud.
Terrors — If he endeavoured to shake them off, they turned furiously upon him: if he endeavoured to out run them, they pursued his soul, as swiftly and violently as the wind.
 I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.
I stand — I pray importunately and continually.
 Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
Turned — As if thou hadst changed thy very nature, which is kind, and merciful, and gracious.
 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.
Thou — Thou exposest me, to all sorts of storms and calamities; so that I am like chaff or stubble lifted up to the wind, and violently tossed hither and thither in the air.
Substance — By which, my body is almost consumed, and my heart is melted within me.
 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
House appointed — The grave is a narrow, dark, cold house, but there we shall rest and be safe. It is our home, for it is our mother's lap, and in it we are gathered to our fathers. It is an house appointed for us, by him that has appointed the bounds of all our habitations. And it is appointed for all living. It is the common receptacle for rich and poor: we must all be brought thither, and that shortly.
 Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.
To the grave — The hand of God's wrath will not follow me beyond death; I shall then be safe and easy: Tho' men cry in his destruction: tho' most men cry and are affrighted, while they are dying, while the body is sinking into destruction; yet I desire it, I have nothing to fear therein, since I know that my redeemer liveth.
 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble was not my soul grieved for the poor?
Did not I — Have I now judgment without mercy, because I afforded no mercy to others in misery? No; my conscience acquits me from this inhumanity: I did mourn over others in their miseries.
 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
Upon me — Yet trouble came upon myself, when I expected it not.
 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
Affliction — Came upon me suddenly, and unexpectedly, when I promised myself peace and prosperity.
 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
Without the sun — Heb. black, not by the sun. My very countenance became black, tho' not by the sun, but by the force of my disease.
 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
A brother — By imitation of their cries: persons of like qualities are often called brethren.
Dragon — Which howl and wail mournfully in the deserts.