I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
I am the man — It seems, this is spoken in the name of the people, who were before set out under the notion of a woman.
 My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones.
Made old — All my beauty is gone, and all my strength.
 He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.
Builded — He hath built forts and batteries against my walls and houses.
 He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked.
Enclosed — He has defeated all my methods and counsels for security, by insuperable difficulties like walls of hewn stone.
Crooked — Nay, God not only defeated their counsels, but made them fatal and pernicious to them.
 He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood.
Wormwood — With severe and bitter dispensations.
 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes.
Ashes — Mourners were wont to throw ashes on their heads.
 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.
Wormwood — Wormwood and gall, are often made use of to signify great affliction.
 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
This — Which follows, concerning the nature of God, and his good providences.
 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Faithfulness — In fulfilling thy promises to thy people.
 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
Bear — Quietly and patiently to bear what afflictions God will please to lay upon us. And if God tame us when young, by his word or by his rod, it is an unspeakable advantage.
 He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
Borne it — That he keep his soul in subjection to God, because God hath humbled him by his rod.
 He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.
In the dust — Both this and the former verses let us know the duty of persons under afflictions.
 For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
Willingly — Not from his own mere motion without a cause given him from the persons afflicted. Hence judgment is called God's strange work.
 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not.
To subvert — Here are three things mentioned, which God approveth not.
 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
Who — Nothing comes to pass in the world, but by the disposal of divine providence. This seems to be spoken in the name of the people of God, arguing themselves into a quiet submission, to their afflictions, from the consideration of the hand of God in them.
 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
Evil — Doth not evil or trouble come out of God's mouth from his direction, and providence, as well as good?
 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
Wherefore — The Jews, check themselves in their complaints from the consideration, that nothing had befallen them, but what was the just reward of their sins.
 We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned.
Thou — Thou hast plagued us according to the just desert of our sins.
 Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission,
Mine eye — The prophet speaks this of himself.
 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.
Dungeon — Dungeon seems here to be taken for the lowest condition of misery.
 Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off.
Cut off — I am undone, there is no hope for me.
 Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.
Heard — In former afflictions.
Hide not — Shew me now the same favour.
 O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.
O Lord — Thou hast been wont to take my part against my enemies.
 Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me.
Seen — Thou hast been a witness to all their fury.
 Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their musick.
I am — At feasts, and at their merry meetings, I am all the subject of their discourse.
 Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the LORD.
Persecute — Many passages of this nature which we meet with are prophecies, some of them may be both prophecies and prayers.