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Psalms 38:20

    Psalms 38:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    They also that render evil for good are mine adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    They also that render evil for good are my adversaries; because I follow the thing that good is.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    They also that render evil for good Are adversaries unto me, because I follow the thing that is good.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    They give me back evil for good; they are my haters because I go after the thing which is right.

    Webster's Revision

    They also that render evil for good Are adversaries unto me, because I follow the thing that is good.

    World English Bible

    They who also render evil for good are adversaries to me, because I follow what is good.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    They also that render evil for good are adversaries unto me, because I follow the thing that is good.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 38:20

    Because I follow the thing that good is - The translation is as bad as the sentence is awkward. תחת רדפי טוב tachath rodpi tob, because I follow goodness. There is a remarkable addition to this verse in the Arabic: "They have rejected me, the beloved one, as an abominable dead carcass; they have pierced my body with nails." I suppose the Arabic translator meant to refer this to Christ.

    None of the other Versions have any thing like this addition; only the Ethiopic adds, "They rejected their brethren as an unclean carcass." St. Ambrose says this reading was found in some Greek and Latin copies in his time; and Theodoret has nearly the same reading with the Arabic: Και απερῥιψαν με τον αγαπητον, ῳς νεκρον εβδελυγμενον· "And they cast me, the beloved, out, as an abominable dead carcass." Whence this reading came I cannot conjecture.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 38:20

    They also that render evil for good - They whose characteristic it is to return evil for good, are opposed to me. This implies that those who were now seeking his ruin had been formerly benefitted by him. They were persons who cherished no grateful recollection of favors bestowed on them, but who found a pleasure in persecuting and wronging their benefactor. Compare Psalm 35:12-16. "Are my adversaries." Are now opposed to me; have become my enemies.

    Because I follow the thing that good is - This properly means, Because I follow the good. The Hebrew word rendered "because" - תחת tachath - means properly the lower part; what is underneath; then, below; beneath. The idea here is, that the "underlying reason" of what they did was that he followed good, or that he was a righteous man; or, as we say, This was "at the bottom" of all their dealings with him. Sinner as he felt he was (and as he acknowledged he was) before God, and true as it was that his "sickness" was brought upon him by God for his sinfulness, yet the reason why "men" treated him as they did, was that he was a friend of God - a religious man; and their conduct, therefore, was sheer persecution. We may, with entire consistency, be very humble before God, and acknowledge that we deserve all that He brings upon us; and yet, at the same time, we may be sensible that we have not wronged men, and that their conduct toward us is wholly undeserved, is most ungrateful, is sheer malignity against us.