Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
God is good to His people. For although the prosperity of the
wicked, and the afflictions of the righteous, tempted the Psalmist to
misgivings of God's government, yet the sudden and fearful ruin of the
ungodly, seen in the light of God's revelation, reassures his heart;
and, chiding himself for his folly, he is led to confide renewedly in
God, and celebrate His goodness and love.
1. The abrupt announcement of the theme indicates that it is the
conclusion of a perplexing mental conflict, which is then detailed
Truly--or, "Surely it is so."
describes the true Israel.
2. The figures express his wavering faith, by terms denoting
tottering and weakness (compare
Ps 22:5; 62:3).
3-9. The prosperous wicked are insolently proud (compare
They die, as well as live, free from perplexities: pride adorns them,
and violence is their clothing; indeed they are inflated with
unexpected success. With all this--
8. They are corrupt--or, literally, "they deride," they speak
maliciously and arrogantly and invade even heaven with blasphemy
and cover earth with slanders
10-12. Hence God's people are confounded, turned hither (or back)
and thither, perplexed with doubts of God's knowledge and care, and
filled with sorrow.
12. prosper in the word--literally, "secure for ever."
13, 14. The Psalmist, partaking of these troubles, is especially
disturbed in view of his own case, that with all his diligent efforts
for a holy life, he is still sorely tried.
15. Freed from idiomatic phrases, this verse expresses a
supposition, as, "Had I thus spoken, I should," &c., intimating that
he had kept his troubles to himself.
generation of thy children--Thy people
offend--literally, "deceive, mislead."
16, 17. Still he--
thought--literally, "studied," or, "pondered this riddle"; but in
vain; it remained a toil (compare Margin), till he--
17. went into the sanctuary--to enquire (compare
Ps 5:7; 27:4).
18-20. their end--future
(Ps 37:37, 38),
which is dismal and terribly sudden
(Pr 1:27; 29:1),
aggravated and hastened by terror.
As one despises an unsubstantial dream, so God, waking up to judgment
(Ps 7:6; 44:23),
despises their vain shadow of happiness
They are thrown into ruins as a building falling to pieces
21, 22. He confesses how--
foolish--literally, "stupid," and
ignorant--literally, "not discerning," had been his course of
22. before thee--literally, "with Thee," in conduct respecting Thee.
23. Still he was with God, as a dependent beneficiary, and so
kept from falling
24. All doubts are silenced in confidence of divine guidance and
receive me to glory--literally, "take for (me) glory"
25, 26. God is his only satisfying good.
26. strength--literally, "rock"
27, 28. The lot of apostates, described by a figure of frequent use
(Jer 3:1, 3;
is contrasted with his, who finds happiness in nearness to God
and his delightful work the declaration of His praise.