The Psalms provide some of the most startling images of suffering in all the Bible. On par with Job and Lamentations and the wry musings of Kohelet in Ecclesiastes, metaphors of suffering in Psalms give the lie to the notion that the Bible is a simplistic faith in unreal providence.
בקרב עלי מרעים
Bik’rov alai merei’im
When evil-doers draw near to me
to devour my flesh . . .
The image is as penetrating as some other expressions in the Psalms: “my tears have been my food” (42:4(3)), “my eyes are wasted by vexation” (6:7(6)), “I have become like a broken pot” (31:13(12)), “you have put me at the bottom of the Pit” (88:7(6)), “an owl among the ruins” (102:7(6)).
Evildoers wish to consume David like predatory animals. To feel is authentic, human. The things we bring before God in the Days of Awe are no light matters. It is good to remember in pleasant times so we will not be unprepared for times when we feel like torn meat.