Psalm 40:12

12 For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.

Read Psalm 40:12 Using Other Translations

For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.
For troubles surround me— too many to count! My sins pile up so high I can’t see my way out. They outnumber the hairs on my head. I have lost all courage.

What does Psalm 40:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 40:12

For innumerable evils have compassed me about
Like floods of water all around him; see ( Psalms 18:4 Psalms 18:5 ) ( Jonah 2:5 ) ; these are the evils of punishment inflicted on him, as the surety and Saviour of his people; such as the sorrows and griefs he bore all his days; the cruel mockings and scourges he endured; his being buffeted and spit upon; his head crowned with thorns, and his hands and feet pierced with nails; insulted by men and devils; crucified between two thieves, and so died the shameful and painful death of the cross;

mine iniquities have taken hold upon me;
not any committed by him; he was conceived, born, and lived without sin, knew none, nor did he any; but the sins of his people, which were imputed to him, laid upon him, and which he voluntarily took and bore; and which he reckoned as his own and was responsible for them; these, when he hung upon the cross, came upon him from all quarters, and he bore them in his own body upon the tree;

so that I am not able to look up;
or "cannot see" F16; either the end of these iniquities, they being so numerous, as is after related; or he could not bear to look upon them, they were so filthy and nauseous, and he so pure and holy; or he could not behold his Father's countenance, which these sins that were upon him separated him from, and caused to be hid from him; or, like one pressed down with the guilt of sin, as the poor publican was, could not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, ( Luke 18:13 ) ;

they are more than the hairs of mine head;
as they must needs be, since they were the iniquities of all the elect of God, of the whole general assembly ad church of the firstborn, written in heaven, ( Isaiah 53:6 ) ;

therefore my heart faileth me;
as man; see ( Psalms 22:14 ) ; though being supported by his divine nature, and by his divine Father and eternal Spirit, he failed not, nor was he discouraged, ( Isaiah 42:4 ) ; this is said to show the truth of the human nature, the greatness of men's sins, the strictness of divine justice, and what strength was necessary to accomplish man's salvation.


F16 (ytlky al twarl) "non potai videre", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus; "cernere", Cocceius; "intueri", Gejerus.
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