The Meaning of Psalms 39:2 Explained

Psalms 39:2

KJV: I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.

YLT: I was dumb with silence, I kept silent from good, and my pain is excited.

Darby: I was dumb with silence, I held my peace from good; and my sorrow was stirred.

ASV: I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; And my sorrow was stirred.

What does Psalms 39:2 Mean?

Context Summary

Psalms 39:1-13 - The Fleeting Measure Of Our Days
In the opening verses David describes the circumstances out of which this psalm arose. The presence and prosperity of the wicked stirred him to the depths, but he carefully refrained from speech. There are hot moments in our lives, when we do well not to say what is in our hearts. But if our feelings demand a vent, let us get alone and speak out our hearts to God. A softer tone settles on heart and tongue, when we reach His holy presence.
How frail we are, not only in our life, but in our moods! We need not fear men; they are but for a moment; as a breath that curls up in the frosty air, or as a shadow sweeping across the mountainside. Only God abides. Man is vanity; his pride and beauty are like a bursting soap-bubble; he is a stranger and pilgrim along this bank and shoal of time. But the child of the Eternal God is a guest with him, Psalms 39:12. He travels in our company. He makes Himself responsible for our well-being. He will bring us safely home as He did all our "fathers." [source]

Chapter Summary: Psalms 39

1  David's care of his thoughts
4  The consideration of the brevity and vanity of life
7  the reverence of God's judgments
10  and prayer, are his bridles of impatience

What do the individual words in Psalms 39:2 mean?

I was mute with silence I held my peace [even] from good and my sorrow was stirred up
נֶאֱלַ֣מְתִּי ד֭וּמִיָּה הֶחֱשֵׁ֣יתִי מִטּ֑וֹב וּכְאֵבִ֥י נֶעְכָּֽר

נֶאֱלַ֣מְתִּי  I  was  mute 
Parse: Verb, Nifal, Perfect, first person common singular
Root: אָלַם 
Sense: to bind.
ד֭וּמִיָּה  with  silence 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: דּוּמִיָּה  
Sense: silence, still, repose, still waiting.
הֶחֱשֵׁ֣יתִי  I  held  my  peace 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Perfect, first person common singular
Root: חָשָׁה  
Sense: to be silent, quiet, still, inactive.
מִטּ֑וֹב  [even]  from  good 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, masculine singular
Root: טָבַב 
Sense: good, pleasant, agreeable.
וּכְאֵבִ֥י  and  my  sorrow 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: כְּאֵב  
Sense: pain (mental and physical), sorrow.
נֶעְכָּֽר  was  stirred  up 
Parse: Verb, Nifal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: עָכַר  
Sense: to trouble, stir up, disturb, make (someone) taboo.