David is very ill

Psalm 6

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 6


Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.


Jesus said, "I am always with you, to the end of time". (Matthew 28: 20)

Psalm 6

  (This is) a song of David.
  (Tell the) music leader, "Use a harp and male singers".

v1   LORD, do not become angry with me.
  Please do not become angry.

v2   LORD, be kind to me because I am not strong.
  LORD, give me health because my bones are afraid.

v3   I myself am very frightened. LORD - for how long?

v4   LORD, come back. Give me back my life.
  Make me safe because of your kind love.

v5   Nobody that dies can remember you.
  Who can praise you in Sheol?

v6   I am weak with crying.
  My bed swims on my tears every night.
  The place where I sleep is soaked.

v7   My eyes are so sad that they are growing weak.
  They are becoming old because of all my enemies.

v8   Go away from me all you bad people.
  The LORD has listened to the noise of my crying.

v9   The LORD heard me when I asked him for a kind answer.
  The Lord will listen to what I say.

v10   All those that hate me will be very much ashamed.
  They will also be disappointed.
  They will be disappointed and soon they will turn away.

Word list

harp ~ something that makes music

Sheol ~ where Jews thought that dead people went

tears ~ (sounds like hears) the salt water that comes from our eyes when we cry

soaked ~ very, very wet

The story of Psalm 6

King David was ill. We do not know what his illness was. We do not know why he was ill. We do not know when David wrote Psalm 6. Perhaps it was:

    when Absalom tried to become king (2 Samuel 15:14)

    when King Saul tried to kill David (1 Samuel 19:18)

Samuel is a book in the Bible. Absalom was a son of David. In Psalm 6 David was very lonely and not happy. He was ill in body and in mind. He thought that God had left him. He thought that God would not give him help. This made David so sad that he forgot what he believed. He had believed that he would always live with God. But David continued to pray, "LORD come back". One day God answered David. David then told the bad men to go away. These men wanted to hurt David. They probably told David that God would not listen to him. But God did listen. God made David feel much better.

Sometimes we feel as David felt. We think that God has left us. Psalm 6:6 says that David cried every night. Psalm 6:3 tells us David asked, "For how long?" One night God will answer us as he answered David. We too will say, "The LORD heard me!" God was really with us all the time. We could not see him through our tears. God is not angry with us. God loves us.

What Psalm 6 means

Verses 1 3: David is praying, "How long will my illness last?" This is what "how long?" means. He does not want this to make God angry. In verse 2 "my bones are afraid", probably means "my body is ill". In verse 3 "myself am very frightened" probably means "my mind is ill". David does not say that he is ill because he has done wrong.

Verses 4 7: God does not answer immediately. So David thinks that God has left him. David asks God to come back because:

    God is so loving and kind

    David cannot praise God in Sheol

Long ago people believed in Sheol. It was a place under the ground. People went there when they died. It was a dark place. In Psalm 16:10 David says he will live with God when he dies. Here, David is so sad that he forgets it! He cries so much his bed is like a boat on water. It floats on his tears! He cries until ...

Verses 8 10: ... God answers him! Then David tells his enemies to go away. They were probably telling David that God would not answer. They did this in Psalm 3:2. They said, "God will not save David". But God did answer David! God was not angry with David.

Something to do

1.  If you think that God has left you, pray the words of Psalm 6. God has not gone. One day you will hear his answer.

2.  When bad things happen to you pray the words of Psalm 6. If you have done wrong then turn away from your sin. (Sin is breaking God's rules.) Ask God to forgive you. (Look at the notes at the ends of Psalms 1 and 5.) If you have not done wrong ask God to make you strong.


2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)

January 2001

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