Psalms 125:3 MEANING

Psalm 125:3
(3) Rod.--The imagery of this unusually long verse is peculiar. The "rod of the wicked," or "of wickedness," is the heathen sceptre, and the righteous are the Israelites who hold fast to the religion of their fathers. This sceptre now rests--a word expressing the presence of tyranny--upon the Holy Land; but this is not for a continuance. God will not suffer the tyranny to last, lest the righteous should be seduced or forced into connivance with practices which religion unites with patriotism to condemn.

Verse 3. - For the rod of the wicked; literally, the scepter of wickedness. Shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous. The possession, or inheritance, of the righteous, i.e. the land in which they dwell. This may fall for a time under the dominion of the wicked, but shall not "rest" - i.e. continue - under such dominion. Lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity; i.e. lest their patience be worn out, and they fall from grace. God will not try men beyond that they are able (1 Corinthians 10:13).

125:1-3 All those minds shall be truly stayed, that are stayed on God. They shall be as Mount Zion, firm as it is; a mountain supported by providence, much more as a holy mountain supported by promise. They cannot be removed from confidence in God. They abide for ever in that grace which is the earnest of their everlasting continuance in glory. Committing themselves to God, they shall be safe from their enemies. Even mountains may moulder and come to nothing, and rocks be removed, but God's covenant with his people cannot be broken, nor his care of them cease. Their troubles shall last no longer than their strength will bear them up under them. The rod of the wicked may come, may fall upon the righteous, upon their persons, their estates, their liberties, their families names, on any thing that falls to their lot; only it cannot reach their souls. And though it may come upon their lot, it shall not rest thereon. The Lord will make all work together for their good. The wicked shall only prove a correcting rod, not a destroying sword; even this rod shall not remain upon them, lest they distrust the promise, thinking God has cast them off.For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous,.... Which, according to Kimchi, is Jerusalem; but Aben Ezra interprets it of the Israelites that inherit the land. And, the people of God are no doubt designed; the Lord's justified and chosen ones, his portion, and the lot of his inheritance; and all that belong unto them, their persons, families, estates, and good name: in all which they are sometimes oppressed and afflicted by wicked men; who are a rod of correction in the hand of the Lord, the rod of men with which he chastises them; but this shall not always continue: so the word is used for a rod of correction, Proverbs 22:15. It sometimes signifies a sceptre; an ensign of power and government, Genesis 49:10; and here may intend the nations of the world, as Aben Ezra interprets it; or the antichristian states, prevailing and ruling over the people of God in a tyrannical manner, which shall not always last; the reign of antichrist will come to an end, and the Lord will destroy him with the rod of his mouth. It sometimes signifies a tribe; and the Syriac version seems so to take it here,

"the tribe of the wicked shall not rest in the part of the righteous;''

they shall no more dwell among them, lest, being led by their example, they should learn their works, and do as they do; so Aben Ezra and Kimchi. But rather, with Gussetius (o), this is to be understood of a measuring rod; laid not on persons, but on lands and estates; and best agrees with the lot, inheritance, and estate of the righteous; and may signify, that though wicked men unjustly seize upon and retain the farms, possessions, and estates of good men, as if they were assigned to them by the measuring line; yet should not hold them long, or always;

lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity; for the righteous are not perfect in this life: they are not without sin, nor do they live without the commission of it; and may be under temptation, by long afflictions and oppressions, and seeing the wicked prosper, to desert their profession of religion, and forsake the ways of God, and join with the wicked, and commit iniquity as they do; and therefore, to prevent this, the Lord will not suffer them always to be under affliction and oppression; see Psalm 37:8, or them and theirs to be always in the hand of the enemy.

(o) Ebr. Comment. p. 818.

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