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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 53



Verse 3

3. Every one of them—The distributive, each one, denoted by the suffix pronoun instead of the collective, the all, the totality, denoted by the prefix article in Psalms 14:3. The two passages, taken together, furnish the most literal declaration of universal, total, depravity, that words can give.

Verse 5

5. There were they in great fear—The particle שׁם, (sham,) may refer to time as well as place; then they trembled with fear, etc.

Where no fear was—Where there was no ground of fear, no visible cause. This has been supposed to refer to a supernatural panic, such as God struck his enemies with at different times. Thus Hammond: “God struck them with a sudden consternation for which there was no visible cause, and so they fled.” Others suppose it may mean, as in the destruction of Sennacherib’s army, that “in the midst of their proud security, when they were free from all apprehension, they were smitten with terror.”Perowne. So, also, Venema. It is a warning to the proud enemies of God and persecutors of Zion, that their destruction will come by the invisible agencies of God at a moment of fancied and fatal security. See Job 15:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:3.

For God hath scattered the bones—The judgment is from God, sudden, wide, wasting, terrible. Their “bones” should be dismembered, and strewn upon the earth without burial, to bleach in the sun.

Thou hast put them to shame—This address is to the persecuted righteous. The enemies of the Church had already “encamped against” them. But the righteous shall “put them to shame, because God hath despised them.” Thus faith triumphs and the godly are delivered.


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 53:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

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