…………………………..(a) The Verb “to say

This is frequently omitted in the original, but is generally supplied in italics in the A.V.

Where it is omitted the emphasis is to be placed on what is said rather than on the act of saying it.

Gen. 26:7 —“Lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me.”

1 Kings 20:34 —“Then said Ahab.”

Psa. 2:2—“Why do . . . the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying.”


Psa. 109:5 —The structure of this Psalm shows that the verb saying must be supplied at the end of verse 5.
……A / 1-5 David’s prayer for himself: and complaint.
…………B / 6-20 David’s enemies’ words against him:
…………………. (ending “that speak evil against my soul.”)
……A / 21-28 David’s prayer for himself: and complaint.
…………B -28-31 David’s enemies’ acts against him:
…………………..(ending “that condemn his soul.”)
Here in B and B we have David’s enemies. In B (6-20) their words and in B (28-31) their acts. So that verses 6-20 are not David’s words at all, but the words of David’s enemies, the evil which they speak against his soul. The evil which they speak is contrasted with the “good” which he prays for himself in the next verse (21).
“Let them curse,” he says in verse 28, “but bless Thou!”
Let them say “let Satan stand at his right hand” (verse 6); but he is assured (verse 31) that not Satan but Jehovah shall “stand at the right hand of the poor to save him from them that condemn his soul.”

Hence in verse 20 David prays, “Let this be the wages* of mine enemies from the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul.” So that verse 5 will now read: —

..“And they have rewarded me evil for good,
……And hatred for my good will [saying]
פְּעֻלָּה (peullah), wages, as in Lev. 19:13; Isa. 40:10; 49:4; 61:8; 62:11; Jer. 22:13.

Then the Psalm goes on (verses 6-19) to describe the “hatred.”

Having said in verses 2 and 3 that…

.. The mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened upon me.
…….They have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
…….They compassed me about also with words of hatred,
it is only natural to supply the verb saying at the end of verse 5.

Psa. 144:12 is similar. The structure shows that verses 12 to 15 contain the words of the “strange children,” and not the words of David.

……A1 / 1-7. David’s words (Thanksgiving and Prayer).
…………B1 / 8. The words of the strange children (vanity and falsehood).

A2 / 9-11- David’s words (Thanksgiving and Prayer).
…………B2 / -11-15- The words of the strange children (vanity and falsehood),

A3 / -15. David’s words. The true conclusion as opposed to the “vanity.”

The word say should be put in italics after the word “that” in verse 12,
and then all the many italics inserted in verses 11-15 can be dispensed with.
It is clearly suggested in verses 8 and 11. So clearly that there is hardly any necessity
to use it or repeat it in verse 12. The pronoun
אֲשֶׁר (asher), who, is clearer than “that.” Lit., “who [say]:” Then the Psalm (B 11-15) goes on to give the vanity and the falsehood as to what constitutes the true happiness of any people:—
Who say
Our sons are as plants grown up in their youth;
Our daughters are as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace;
Our garners are full, affording all manner of store;
Our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets;
”  Our oxen are strong to labour.
”  There is no breaking in nor going out.
 ” There is no complaining in our streets.
”  Happy people that are in such a case!

Then comes, in contrast, David’s true estimate:
“NO! Happy is that people whose God is Jehovah.”

This is the truth as to real happiness, as is so beautifully declared in Psa. 4:6, 7:—
There be many that say, Who will show us good?
Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us.
Thou hast put gladness in my heart,
More than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.”

Yes, this is the only real “good.”
This is the only source of abiding happiness and gladness for any People.
It is not the increase of corn and wine, but the light of God’s countenance;
it is not the store which men put in their garners, but it is the “gladness” which God puts in our hearts. The structure of the whole Psalm agrees with this, and indeed necessitates this interpretation.

So, in Psa. 146:6, happiness is declared to consist in having the God of Jacob
for our help, and our hope and help in the LORD our God: for there is “no help”
in man (verse 3).

Isa. 5:9 —“In mine ears said the Lord of hosts.”

Isa. 14:8 —“Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying

Isa. 18:2 —“That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying:”

Isa. 22:13 —“And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine; [saying] Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we shall die.”


Isa. 24:14, 15 —“They shall cry aloud from the sea, [saying], Wherefore”… etc. .

Isa. 28:9 —“Whom shall he teach knowledge?” etc.
That is, “Whom [say they] shall he teach knowledge?”

This verse and the following are the scornful words of “the scornful men” mentioned in verse 14. They ridicule the words of the prophet, saying, [v13] “for it is tsav upon tsav, tsav upon tsav, &c.,”* not “must be” but it is”.
See under Paronomasia.

Then, in verse 11, the prophet answers “For,” or “Yea, verily, with stammerings of lip and another (or foreign) tongue will he speak to this people,” and he tells them why “the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept;” viz. (verse 13), that they might fall and be broken.

Jer. 9:19 —“For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, [saying] , How are we spoiled!”

Jer. 11:19 —“I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying

Jer. 50:5 —“They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying

Lam. 3:41 —“Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens, [saying]”

Hos. 14:8 —“Ephraim shall sayetc.

Acts 9:6 —“And the Lord said unto him,” etc.

Acts 10:15 —“And the voice spake unto him again the second time.”

Acts 14:22 —“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to
continue in the faith, and saying that we must through much tribulation enter
into the kingdom of God.”

2 Cor. 12:16 —“But be it so, I did not burden you;
nevertheless [you say that] being crafty, I caught you with guile.”


From “Figures Of Speech Used In The Bible” by E. W. Bullinger,
(Public Domain) pages 32-35. Adapted for website compatibility.
See original at link.      Stream           Download.


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