Psalms 53 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

Psalm 53
Pulpit Commentary
<A Psalm of David.>> The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
Verses 1 and 2 are identical with the same verses of Psalm 14, with the single exception that "Jehovah "is replaced by" Elohim," as the first word of ver. 2.
God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Verse 3. - For "they are all gone aside" (הכּל סר) in Psalm 14, the present psalm has, "every one of them is gone back" (לּכּו סג) - a difference which may be due to corruption, and which is, at any rate, of no importance.
Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.
Verse 4. - For "the workers of iniquity" in this verse, Psalm 14. has "all the workers of iniquity " - a difference wholly unimportant.
There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.
Verse 5. - There were they in great fear, where no fear was. So long a phrase as "where no fear was" (לא־היה כּחד) can scarcely have "fallen out," and must have been added intentionally to mark that, on the occasion in connection with which the revision was made, there had been no ground at all for the panic. For God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee. This clause takes the place of the following in Psalm 14.: "For God is in the generation of the righteous" - a very considerable change, which must certainly have been intentional. On the second occasion whereto the psalm was made applicable, there must have been a very great catastrophe - some vast slaughter of an enemy who had been at open war with Israel. Sennacherib is suggested (Canon Cook). Thou hast put them to shams, because God hath despised them. The clause in Psalm 14. which this replaces runs as follows: "Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his Refuge." Here again, both the phrases used, and the whole tenor of the thought in either case, are different.
Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
Verse 6. - This verse is identical with Psalm 14:7, except in the substitution of "Elohim" for "Jehovah," and in the pointing of one word.

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