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The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible

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Psalms 4:2

O ye sons of men
Meaning great men, the nobles of Israel; and so the Jewish interpreters F11 generally explain it; such as Ahithophel, and others, who were in the conspiracy with Absalom, (2 Samuel 15:12) : and so they were the kings and princes of the earth, and the rulers of the Jewish sanhedrim, the chief priests and elders, who were the enemies of Christ; and such, generally speaking, have been the persecutors of the saints; these men of power and authority, of dignity and honour, and who were in high places, and boasted of their titles and grandeur, the psalmist addresses by way of expostulation in the following words;

how long [will ye turn] my glory into shame?
Meaning either God, who was his glory, (Psalms 3:3) ; whom they reproached when they said there was no help for him in him; or his tongue, the instrument of praise, and the songs of praise he expressed by it, (Psalms 7:8) ; which they jeered and scoffed at: or rather his royal glory and majesty, which they attempted to vail by casting him down from his excellency, by dethroning him, and setting up Absalom in his room. So the Jews endeavoured to turn the glory of Christ into shame, which lay in his being the only begotten of the Father; by denying his sonship, by condemning him to death; because he said he was the Son of God; and by mocking at him under that character on the cross; and also by their spitting upon, buffeting, and crucifying the Lord of glory; by reproaching his Gospel, ministers, and people; and by not acknowledging him as the Messiah, and submitting to his righteousness. And wicked men do as much as in them lies to turn the glory of the saints into shame, by aspersing their character, taking away their good name and reputation among men; by reproaching and reviling them, and speaking all manner of evil of them; and by persecuting them in the most violent manner;

[how long] will ye love vanity;
or "a vain thing" F12. Such as the placing of Absalom upon the throne, on which their hearts were set; and such was the vain imagination of the Jews, with which they pleased themselves, that Jesus should die, and his name perish; and such are all the attempts of wicked men to ruin and destroy the people and interest of Christ; for no weapon formed against them shall prosper;

[and] seek after leasing?
Or "a lie" F13; or that which fails and deceives, as a lie does: and such were all the counsels and designs of the great men of Israel against David: and so the Jews may be said to seek after a lie, when they seek after another Messiah besides Jesus of Nazareth: for every other proves a "Bar Cozbi", that is, the son of a lie; as the false Messiah in Adrian's time was called by themselves. And so do all such as seek after and embrace false doctrines, errors, and heresies, and are given up to believe them. Now the psalmist suggests that these great men were obstinate, and continued in these sinful practices; and that in the issue all their efforts would be vain and fruitless; and which he further strengthens by observing to them what follows.

Selah; on this word, (See Gill on 3:2).


F11 Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, & Ben Melech in loc.
F12 (qyr) "inane", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Cocceius; "inanem rem", Piscator.
F13 (bzk) "mendacium", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator…


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalm 4:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <>. 1999.


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