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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 141:4

 

 

Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, To practice deeds of wickedness With men who do iniquity; And do not let me eat of their delicacies.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Let me eat not of their dainties - This may refer either to eating things forbidden by the law; or to the partaking in banquets or feasts in honor of idols.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-141.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Incline not my heart to any evil thing - Hebrew, to a word that is evil; that is, wrong. The connection seems to demand that the term should be thus explained. The expression “Incline not” is not designed to mean that God exerts any “positive” influence in leading the heart to that which is wrong; but it may mean “Do not place me in circumstances where I may be tempted; do not leave me to myself; do not allow any improper influence to come over me by which I shall be led astray.” The expression is similar to that in the Lord‘s Prayer: “Lead us not into temptation.” The psalmist‘s allusion here has been explained in the introduction to the psalm.

To practice wicked works with people that work iniquity - To be united or associated with people who do wrong; to do the things which wicked and unprincipled people do. Let me not be permitted to do anything that will be regarded as identifying me with them. Let me not, in the circumstances in which I am placed, be left to act so that the fair interpretation of my conduct shall be that I am one of their number, or act on the same principles on which they act. Literally, “To practice practices in wickedness with people.”

And let me not eat of their dainties - Let me not be tempted by any prospect of participating in their mode of living - in the luxuries and comforts which they enjoy - to do a wicked or wrong thing. Let not a prospect or desire of this overcome my better judgment, or the dictates of my conscience, or my settled principles of what is right. People often do this. Good people are often tempted to do it. The prospect or the hope of being enabled to enjoy what the rich enjoy, to live in luxury and ease, to be “clothed in short linen and fare sumptuously every day,” to move in circles of splendor and fashion, often leads them to a course of action which their consciences condemn; to practices inconsistent with a life of godliness; to sinful indulgences which utterly ruin their character. Satan has few temptations for man more attractive and powerful than the “dainties” which wealth can give; and there are few of his devices more effectual in ruining people than those which are derived from these allurements. The word here rendered dainties properly refers to things which are pleasant, lovely, attractive; which give delight or pleasure. It may embrace “all” that the world has to offer as suited to give pleasure or enjoyment. It refers here to what those in more elevated life have to offer; what they themselves live for.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-141.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Incline not my heart to any evil thing,.... Or "evil word"F26לדבר רע "ad verbum malum", Montanus. , as the Targum; since out of the abundance of that the mouth speaketh, Matthew 12:34; or to any sinful thing, to the commission of any evil action: not that God ever inclines men's hearts to sin by any physical influence, it being what is repugnant to his nature and will, and what he hates and abhors; for though he hardens the hearts of wicked men, and gives them up to the lusts of them; yet he does not move, incline, or tempt any man to sin, James 1:13; but he may be said to do this when he suffers them to follow their own sinful inclinations, and leaves them to be inclined by the power and prevalency of their own corruptions, and by the temptations of Satan, which is here deprecated; see Psalm 119:36. So as

to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity; to join with those that make a trade of sinning; the course of whose life is evil, in their unfruitful works of darkness; and do as they do, even commit crimes the most flagitious and enormous: he seems to have respect to great persons, whose examples are very forcible and ensnaring; and therefore it requires an exertion of the powerful and efficacious grace of God, to preserve such from the influence of them, whose business is much with them;

and let me not eat of their dainties; since their table was a snare to themselves, it might be so to him; and be a means of betraying him unawares into the commission of some sins, which would be dishonourable and grieving to him: the psalmist desires not to partake with them at their table; but chose rather a meatier table and coarser fare, where he might be more free from temptation; see Proverbs 23:1. Or this may be understood of the dainties and sweet morsels of sin; which are like stolen waters, and bread eaten in secret, to a carnal heart: though the pleasures of it are but imaginary, and last but for a season, and therefore are avoided by a gracious man; by whom even afflictions with the people of God are preferred unto them, Hebrews 11:25. The Targum interprets it of the song of the house of their feasts; which is ensnaring.


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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
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-141.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Incline not my heart to [any] evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their d dainties.

(d) Let not their prosperity lure me to be wicked as they are.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-141.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

Incline not — Suffer it not to be inclined.

Heart — Keep me not only from wicked speeches, but from all evil motions of my heart.

Dainties — The pleasures or advantages which they gain by their wickedness.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-141.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 141:4 Incline not my heart to [any] evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

Ver. 4. Incline not my heart] Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. For the better ordering of his words, therefore, he prayeth, not to be delivered up to Satan, and to his own heart’s lust (as he was, 1 Chronicles 21:1, with 2 Samuel 24:1), for God tempteth no man, but the devil and his own concupiscence, James 1:13-14, but to be bent the better way by God’s overpowering, efficacious grace, and to be stablished with his free spirit.

To practise wicked works] The Vulgate rendereth it, ad excusandas excusationes in peccatis, to frame excuse for mine offences; but that, when I have over reacted, I may confess and forsake, and so find mercy. Gnalai significat operari cum occasione, praetextu, causa.

And let me not eat of their dainties] Their murdering morsels of iniquity; or their flatteries and baits, whereby Saul’s courtiers sought to ensnare him. The Chaldee expoundeth it of their songs at banquets.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-141.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Incline not; suffer it not to be inclined or led aside, either by my own errors or lusts, or by the temptations of the world or of the devil. Thus God is frequently said to harden men’s hearts, not positively, for he can do no evil, nor tempt any man to it, James 1:3; but privatively, by denying softening grace.

My heart; keep me not only from wicked speeches, Psalms 141:3, but from all evil motions of my heart, which otherwise will draw me to many evil speeches and actions.

To practice wicked works with men that work iniquity; either,

1. To join with them in their sinful courses; or,

2. To do wickedly, as they do.

Let me not eat of their dainties; let me never enjoy or desire worldly comforts upon such terms as they do, to wit, with God’s wrath and curse, as instruments of wickedness, and of my own eternal destruction. My afflictions are more desirable than such prosperity. Let none of their sweet morsels, the pleasures or advantages which they gain by their wickedness, tempt me to approve of or imitate their ways.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-141.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4. Incline not my heart—As in Psalms 141:3 he would have the “door” of his “lips” guarded, so now he would have his “heart” rightly inclined. The prayer is against being abandoned to the pressure and tendency of external circumstances. If left to himself he would fall into sin.

Practise wicked works—Literally, To practise practices in wickedness. The habit of evil doing, into which he was in danger of insensibly gliding by the contagion of surrounding example, he here deprecates.

Not eat of their dainties— Neither at their idol feasts nor as a guest at their social entertainments; thus tacitly condemning their practices.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-141.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Knewest. With approbation, (Psalm i. 6.; Haydock) my department towards Saul, and also the dangers to which I was exposed, and the means of escaping. --- They. Ancient psalters add, "the proud," from Psalm cxxxvi. 6. (Calmet) --- The devil and his agents attack the just at all times. (St. Jerome) --- When I was reduced to such distress that I could not help myself, thou didst approve of my conduct, and deliver me. (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-141.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

evil. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.

wicked. Hebrew. rasha". App-44.

men. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

iniquity. Hebrew. "avert. App-44.

eat: i.e. partake of, or have fellowship with.

dainties = pleasant things. Compare Psalms 141:6.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-141.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) To practise wicked works . . .—The Vulg., ad excusandas excusationes, following the LXX., not only preserves the expressive assonance of the original, but probably conveys its meaning better than the somewhat tame English version. Evidently the danger to be guarded against was not so much a sinful act as a sinful utterance, and the expression “to make pretexts or excuses” may possibly refer to the casuistries by which some of the laxer Jews excused their participation in heathen rites or licentious banquets. Symmachus has, “to devise wicked devices.”

Dainties.—The word is peculiar to this passage, but derived from a root meaning “pleasant.” The LXX. and Vulg. refer it to persons instead of things. But the use of the same root in Psalms 141:6, “for they are sweet,” where the reference is to “words,” suggests a meaning here different both from the English and the ancient versions. “I will not taste of their sweets” may mean “I will not listen to their allurements: what finds favour with them shall not tempt me.” On the other hand, if we retain the English allusion to the dainties of a feast (so Symmachus), the word in Psalms 141:6 will be used metaphorically in contrast. The words of condemnation he utters, though bitter to these feasters, are in reality sweet with the sweetness of truth.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-141.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
Incline not
119:36; Deuteronomy 2:30; 29:4; 1 Kings 8:58; 22:22; Isaiah 63:17; Matthew 6:13; James 1:13
to practise
1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:4
and let me
Numbers 25:2; Proverbs 23:1-3,6-8; Daniel 1:5-8; Acts 10:13,14; 1 Corinthians 10:27,28,31

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 141:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-141.html.

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