Look at me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth.
Read Chapter 21
George Leo Haydock
Hearken to. Literally, "look steadfastly on me. "(Haydock)
Compare my present with my former condition, and do not pretend to fathom God's judgments; which fill me also with astonishment, when I consider why the virtuous are distressed, and the wicked prosper, ver. 7.
Mouth be silent. Harpo crates, the god of silence, was represented in this posture; and Virgil says, Intentique ora tenebant. (Æneid ii.)
Septuagint, "upon the cheek "like men in deep consideration. (Calmet)
43. i.e. Consider what I have done, and be astonished at the things that I undergo under this infliction of the rod. And he yet further rightly introduces the words;
And lay your finger upon your mouth.
As if he had said in plain speech; ‘Knowing the good things that I have done and seeing the ills that I am subjected to, your own selves keep even from offence in words, and in my strokes dread your own hurts.’ Or indeed seeing that by our fingers we distinguish things severally, discretion is not unfitly represented by the fingers; and hence it is said by the Psalmist, Blessed be the Lord my God, Which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight [Ps. 144, 1]; i.e. by the ‘hands’ denoting practice, and by the ‘fingers,’ discretion. And so the finger is laid to the mouth, when the tongue is bridled by discretion, that by what it utters, it may not fall into the sin of foolishness. And therefore he says, Lay your finger upon your mouth; i.e. ‘join the virtue of discretion to ...