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Psalm 38 is the 38th psalm of the Book of Psalms and titled "A psalm of David to bring to remembrance."[1] In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 37 in a slightly different numbering system.

Psalm 38
"A psalm of David to bring to remembrance"
The Hague, KB ms. 78 A 32- Franciscan psalter.jpg
Manuscript of Psalm 38
Other name
Textby David
LanguageHebrew (original)


The Psalm's topic is God's displeasure at sin. (1–11) and the psalmist's sufferings and prayers. (12–22).[2][3] The Psalm opens with a prayer, David felt as if he had been forgotten of his God. It then passes intermittently between complaint and hope.[4]Benjamin Weiss noted the "depth of misery into which the psalmist gradually plunges in his complaints, then the sudden grasp at the arm of mercy and omnipotence"[5]

Written late in David's Life,[6] though Coffman's believes it was early in David's reign[7] It was oft conjectured as a biography of sorts for David.[8] John Calvin thought rather it was David's intent to commit to music to transmit what he had learnt through his life, of the relationship he had with his Lord[9] before he passed.



New TestamentEdit

Catholic ChurchEdit

  • From around 530AD, this Psalm was traditionally performed at monasteries, during matins of lundi,[13] according to the Rule of St. Benedict.[14][15] Nowadays, Psalm 37 is recited during the liturgy of the hours on Friday, the second week, at the Office of Readings.[16]

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo ChurchEdit

Musical settingsEdit

First bars of second part of Psalm motet Domine ne in furore (Psalm 37 Vulgate or Psalm 38 Hebrew/English) by Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez (c. 1450-1521).


  1. ^ Matthew Henry, Commentaries on Psalm 38.
  2. ^ Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
  3. ^ John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes.
  4. ^ Charles H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David.
  5. ^ Benjamin Weiss.
  6. ^ Christopher Love
  7. ^ Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible.
  8. ^ Charles H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David.
  9. ^ Calvin's Commentaries, Vol. 9: Psalms, Part II, tr. by John King, [1847–50].]
  10. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 129
  11. ^ D’après le Complete Artscroll Siddur, compilation des prières juives.
  12. ^ Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 838. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  13. ^ Psautier latin-français du bréviaire monastique, 1938p. 149.
  14. ^ Règle de saint Benoît, traduction par Prosper Guéranger, p. 46, Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression
  15. ^
  16. ^ The main cycle of liturgical prayers takes place over four weeks.
  17. ^

External linksEdit

  • Psalm 38 in Hebrew and English - Mechon-mamre
  • Psalm 38 King James Bible - Wikisource