My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore
As if it was a plague sore, lest they should be infected with it; or because they could not bear the stench of his wounds, and the loathsomeness of his disease, or to see him in his agonies, and hear his roaring and his groans, ( Psalms 38:2 Psalms 38:3 Psalms 38:5 Psalms 38:7-9 ) ; or as taking his case to be desperate, as if he was just dying, and no help could be given him, ( Psalms 38:10 ) ; If it was the leprosy, as some Jewish writers have affirmed, the word (egn) , translated "sore", being used for the plague of the leprosy, they were obliged by the ceremonial law to keep at a distance from him: but this rather seems to be voluntary, and to proceed from neglect and contempt. These "lovers" and "friends" were such for whom David had had an affection, and had been friendly to, and therefore it was ungrateful in them to act the part they did; and such who had pretended love and friendship to him in his health and prosperity, but now had deserted him, which is a common case; see ( Job 19:13 Job 19:14 Job 19:19 ) ( Psalms 69:8 ) ( 88:18 ) . Afflictions try men's friends; and as that is a time when friendly visits are most wanting and most useful, so it is an aggravation of the affliction, and makes it the heavier when such are denied;
and my kinsmen stand afar off;
that were near to him by the ties of nature or friendship.