Bible Notes

"The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me" (Ps. 116:3)—In the original Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament there were only consonants, and we find that the form "CHBLY" can mean either "sorrows" (as here) or "cords," according to the vowels which are presupposed by the translator; moreover, the Hebrew term rendered "hell" is "sheol," which did not necessarily imply an abode of punishment, for the Jews employed this term in a general sense to designate the "grave," "the realm of the dead," or "the underworld" (cf. Brown, Driver, Briggs: Hebrew Lexicon, p. 982; and Hastings Bible Dictionary: Vol. II, p. 343).

"Thou hast delivered ... my feet from falling" (Ps. 116:8)—The Hebrew word here rendered "falling" means more literally "stumbling" (Brown, etc., op. cit., p. 191). Hence, Moffatt translates: "Thou hast saved ... my feet from stumbling;" and Smith: "Thou hast delivered ... my foot from stumbling."

February 5, 1938
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