John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible
- We have here the dignity and duty of magistrates, verse 1-4.
- The wickedness of some magistrates, and their doom, verse 5-7.
- A prayer to God, verse 8.
- A psalm of Asaph.
Standeth - To observe all that is said or done there. Mighty - Kings or chief rulers. By their congregation he understands all persons whatsoever of this high and sacred order. Judgeth - Passes sentence upon them. The gods - Judges and magistrates are called gods, because they have their commission from God, and act as his deputies.
How long - The psalmist speaks to them in God's name. Accept - By giving sentence according to your respect or affection to the person.
They - The magistrates of whom this psalm treats. Know not - The duty of their place. Nor will - Their ignorance is wilful. Walk on - They persist: it is their constant course. In darkness - In their sinful courses. The foundations - This corruption of the supreme rulers, flows from them to their inferior officers and members.
Have said - I have given you my name and power to rule your people in my stead. All - Not only the rulers of Israel, but of all other nations. Children - Representing my person, and bearing both my name and authority.
Like men - Or, like ordinary men.
Arise - Take the sword of justice into thine own hand.