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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 55:19

 

 

God will hear and answer them-- Even the one who sits enthroned from of old-- Selah. With whom there is no change, And who do not fear God.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Because they have no changes - At first Absalom, Ahithophel, and their party, carried all before them. There seemed to be a very general defection of the people; and as in their first attempts they suffered no reverses, therefore they feared not God. Most of those who have few or no afflictions and trials in life, have but little religion. They become sufficient to themselves, and call not upon God.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-55.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

God shall hear and afflict them - That is, God will hear my prayer, and will afflict them, or bring upon them deserved judgments. As this looks to the future, it would seem to show that when in the previous verse he uses the past tense, and says that God “had” redeemed him, the language there, as suggested above, is that of strong confidence, implying that he had such certain assurance that the thing would be, that he speaks of it as if it were already done. Here he expresses the same confidence in another form - his firm belief that God “would” hear his prayer, and would bring upon his enemies deserved punishment.

Even he that abideth of old - The eternal God; he who is from everlasting. Literally, “He inhabits antiquity;” that is, he sits enthroned in the most distant past; he is eternal and unchanging. The same God who has heard prayer, will hear it now; he who has always shown himself a just God and an avenger, will show himself the same now. The fact that God is from everlasting, and is unchanging, is the only foundation for our security at any time, and the only ground of success in our plans. To a Being who is always the same we may confidently appeal, for we know what he will do. But who could have confidence in a changeable God? Who would know what to expect? Who can make any “calculation” on mere chance?

Because they have no changes … - Margin, “With whom there be no changes, yet they fear not God.” Literally, “To whom there are no changes, and they fear not God.” Prof. Alexander supposes this to mean that God will “hear” the reproaches and blasphemies of those who have no changes, and who, therefore, have no fear of God. The meaning of the original is not exactly expressed in our common version. According to that version, the idea would seem to be that the fact that they meet with no changes or reverses in life, or that they are favored with uniform prosperity, is a “reason” why they do not fear or worship God. This may be true in fact (compare the notes at Job 21:9-14), but it is not the idea here. The meaning is, that the God who is unchanging - who is always true and just - will “afflict,” that is, will bring punishisment on those who heretofore have had no changes; who have experienced no adversities; who are confident of success because they have always been prosperous, and who have no fear of God. Their continual success and prosperity “may” be a reason - as it often is - why they do “not” feel their need of religion, and do “not” seek and serve God; but the precise truth taught here is, that the fact of continued prosperity is no argument for impunity and safety in a course of wrong doing. God is unchangeable in fact, as they seem to be; and an unchangeable God will not suffer the wicked always to prosper. To constitute safety there must be a better ground of assurance than the mere fact that we have been uniformly prospered, and have experienced no reverses hitherto.

They fear not God - They do not regard him. They do not dread his interposition as a just God. How many such there are upon the earth, who argue secretly that because they have always been favored with success, therefore they are safe; who, in the midst of abundant prosperity - of unchanging “good fortune,” as they would term it - worship no God, feel no need of religion, and are regardless of the changes of life which may soon occur, and even of that one great change which death must soon produce!


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-55.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 55:19

Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

No changes

Who can they be--where can they live, of whom it can be said that they have not changes! Can they be inhabitants of this world of which, if one thing can be said of it with greater certainty than another, it is that it is a scene of perpetual change! “Change and decay in all around I see.” No changes! We must not take the expression in a hard and narrow literal sense, or it would be true of no man. Many changes Come alike to all, and one at the end of life of which Job speaks when he says, “All the days of my appointed time will I wait until my change come.” The changes of which the psalmist speaks must mean changes that disturb, changes that unhinge all plans end arrangements, changes which frustrate hopes. These are the changes which some men have not, and because they have them not they fear not God. Our subject, therefore, is--the perils of an undisturbed life.

I. How is this? Freedom from change was never intended to work such sad result, but quite the reverse. It is due not to absence of change, but to the man’s own perverse and perverting heart. He turns the sweet into the bitter, the healthy into the poisonous. It is man’s eye which is evil, because God is good. The fact that a man’s life has not been wrecked by storms or rent by great upheaving sorrows should appeal to the man’s gratitude. He should say, “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits towards me? I will take the cup of salvation, and will call upon the name of the Lord.” But it is melancholy to see what a strange power the heart has to turn good into evil. It is like some plants which can elaborate and secrete out of bright sunshine and pure air and water the very elements of death. Such are the men who have no changes, and therefore--mark the word--“therefore they fear not God.” They have no changes. They devise their plans, and they all succeed. Whatever they touch turns into gold, All the vessels they launch on the great sea of life have prosperous voyages, and return heavily laden with a rich cargo. Their neighbours have losses and misfortunes, but they, never. Now, this wonderful exemption from sudden and sharp vicissitudes tends to engender self-confidence. They are prone to imagine that their better fortune is due to better management. And no doubt not a little may be said in favour of their view of the case. For business, like every other thing, has its own laws, the observance of which will for the most part conduce to prosperity. But such prosperity has a melancholy tendency to produce forgetfulness of God. And when it has gone on for years in an unbroken stream, and a stream swelling and deepening with the years, then is this tendency seen, and this sore temptation felt in their most horrible forms. Because they have no change, therefore, etc. And the like may be said of unbroken, uninterrupted health. But others besides have frequently no changes. The circle of their social life seems wonderfully free from infraction, and that for a long period. It seems as if the ordinary calamities of life could not reach them. There has been no darkening of the windows, there has been no grave to purchase, there has been no hearse at the door. The deepest fountains of sorrow have been unopened, there has been no yearning, unavailing as it is keen, “for the touch of a vanished hand, and the sound of a voice that is still.” And what is the result, what at least is too often the result? Therefore they fear not God. His blessings have been so constant and so great that they do not fear Him. They think that to-morrow will be as to-day, and still more abundant. The absence of change produces hardness of nature. As one of the greatest blessings is tenderness of heart, so one of the greatest perils in life is that the heart should become hardened. A healthy heart is one which is open to all Divine influences and to all just human appeals. A man becomes practically useless as his heart loses power of sympathy. Hence is change so needful for us would we succour the sorrow of others. But a man cannot do this if he has never known sorrow of his own, if he be one who has “no changes.” Ah! if the world were made up of no other class of men than these, life would be a fearful thing. It is well that there are some hearts that cannot be thus steeled, hearts that can feel for others, and that can feel for others because frequently they have themselves known sorrow and trouble. No heart has had a thorough education which has not passed through the school of grief. Until it has sat in this class it is crude and narrow and hard. The tendency of continued prosperity, or exemption from calamity, is to create in the mind a sense of claim upon God, and a sense of wrong when the interruption comes. When the usual blessing does not make its appearance at the usual time, the man looks up under a sense of wrong, and upbraids the Providence which seems to have forgotten him. Why has it forgotten him? Why should he be deprived of his usual mercies? And instead of reckoning up all the years during which his table has been spread and his cup has run over, and bursting forth in a song of thanksgiving for all he has received, he complains of God for the removal, or even the diminution, of his comforts. The absence of change produces neglect of eternity. Nothing is more certain than this, and nothing is more natural. When men are settled in any condition which yields them satisfaction they long to remain in it. To live for the present life is as natural as to live in it; and it is the main temptation we have all to overcome to set our affection on things which are on the earth. It is wonderful how men get reconciled by habit even to a state which is by no means the happiest; but when it is one of comfort they have no desire to see it altered or disturbed. “Soul, take thine ease,” is a very common feeling among those whose circumstances are on the whole fairly pleasant. They get settled in their lives. They have their portion in this life; and they do not think of another life, nor care to think of it. How many will have to thank God for ever for the blow which swept away in a night the wealth in which they trusted. It was then that for the first time they understood the meaning of the words, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.” How many, too, who have forgotten God in the days of their vigour, have found Him on their beds when the strength has gone from them like water from the summer brook. And some have needed a still greater change. But even these changes may fail. Some have borne them all, and still fear not God. Happy the man that has learnt to place his hope in God. (Enoch Mellor, D. D.)

The discipline of change

The natural heart of man longs for peace, and looks to repose as fit and proper. We feel ourselves in the midst of ceaseless change and decay, and are always seeking a centre of rest. We would hasten our escape from the windy storm and tempest. Yet, with all our longing for peace, we are played on by forces that make for change and unrest, swirled by the ceaseless flux and flow of the tide. Life is like the swift ships, says Job, like ships driven out in the darkness, tossed on the storm, battling on to a quiet harbour. It is like vapour of the hills, says St. James, like the fragile mist that can be withered by sun or torn by wind. There is no real rest in the world for body, or mind, or heart, of soul. This condition of unstable equilibrium is, of course, most evident in connection with outward things in our life, the trappings and the circumstances. But the same transiency is seen in inward things also. Even love suffers loss, as the objects of love pass off at the dread call of night. Even faith cannot remain fixed, but has new problems which demand new efforts at adjustment. We must admit also, if we are honest with ourselves, that we need the stimulus of constant change if life is to attain its best results. We settle down in slothful ease and sluggish indifference, with eyes blinded and hearts made fat by the prosperity that knows no fear. Changelessness would only lull the senses and the faculties to sleep. We are only kept alert by the unstable tenure with which we hold life and all it contains. If we knew we would only meet the expected and always at the expected turn or road, there could be no expectation at all, no wonder, no apprehension, no fear, no hope, no faith. Experience could bring no education, and all our powers would be atrophied. Most of all is this true in the moral sphere. It is in no lotus isle that men are bred. In the stress and strain of life character is formed. Through doubt and uncertainty and sore trial of faith is faith alone made perfect. As a matter of fact, degeneracy has always set in with both nations and men when prosperity has been unchecked and the sunshine of favour has been unalloyed. It is through the conquest of nature, and through the conquest of enemies, and through self-conquest that the conquering peoples have been built. The lesson is painted on a large canvas in universal history; and it is repeated to us in miniature in individual experience. Men live only by custom and convention when they are withdrawn from this discipline of change; and to live only by custom is to be drugged by an opiate. Everything that makes men great partakes of the discipline. There is no music in a monotone; there is no are in one universal drab colour. Thought is born of mystery. Science is the daughter of wonder, and wonder is the fruit of all the changes and movements of the world. Religion even has her secure empire in the hearts of men through the needs of men’s hearts, the need for which they crave of a changeless centre in the midst of change. Every deep crisis of life, with its thrill of joy or its spasm of sorrow, with its message, of loss or of gain, is part of God’s higher education. The discipline of change is meant to drive us out beyond the changing hour to the thought of eternity, out from the restless things of sense to find rest in God. He is the same yesterday, to-day, and to-morrow, the same in nature, in character, in love, even as Jesus revealed Him, the eternal Father who yearns over His children in deathless love. “Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.” If that is failure, even though it means continual peace and prosperity, what shall we say of the failure of those who know the desolation and terror of change and yet have not learned; who still cling to the things of sense that have failed them before; who have suffered all the strokes of fortune, all the pangs Of heart, all the shocks that paralyze the soul, and yet have never submitted, never trusted, never feared, never loved God? What failure is like that of those who have been chastened and yet never softened, who have gone through the fire without learning the lesson, who have tasted the sorrow without the sympathy, who have borne the cross without the love? (Hugh Black, M. A.)

Afflictions

There are some who have no changes of fortune from prosperity to adversity. “Therefore,” says the psalmist, “they fear not God.”

I. Different kinds.

1. Disappointments.

2. Financial ruin.

3. Sickness.

II. Uses.

1. Corrective. “Before I was afflicted I went astray.”

2. Instructive. Prosperity is apt to intoxicate the imagination; affliction teaches humility and dependence upon God.

3. Sanctifying. They purify the heart, bring God nearer to the soul, and make the promises more precious.

III. Improvement.

1. Continued prosperity is not always best for man. If prosperity hardens the heart and keeps God out, then is affliction a blessing.

2. Under severe affliction grace is needed to keep the soul from despair.

3. If we are without affliction, are we sure that we do not spirtually need their discipline? (L. O. Thompson.)

Life’s vicissitudes

You pick up two stones lying near the seashore and only a few yards apart. They not only belong to the same geological formation, but have been splintered from the same rock. One is rugged, made up of sharp, uneven angles, and irregular, broken surfaces. The other is smooth, rounded into an almost perfect sphere, has every delicate vein showing, and is polished as on a lapidary’s wheel. What is the secret of this contrast? The one had fallen from the cliff and had been stranded above high-water mark. It had lain for centuries just where it dropped. It had undergone no changes and upheavals. The other had fallen within reach of the waves, and every ebbing and flowing tide had lashed it to and fro for year upon year. It had never been left still for long, but had been tossed, jostled, ground, and polished against the pebbly beach till it took that form of comeliness and beauty. So it is with many lives. The lives of some seem to have fallen to them in pleasant places. Life has brought few changes. And the Holy Book says of such, “Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.” Other lives areStill from one sorrow to another thrown.” They sometimes say, “All Thy waves and Thy billows are gone over me.” But what spiritual beauty they have won from their tribulations!


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 55:19". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-55.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

God shall hear and afflict them,.... That is, either he shall hear the prayers of his servant, imprecating evils upon his enemies, Psalm 55:9; and shall bring them down upon them, in answer to his requests; or it may be, rendered, "God shall hear and answer them"F3ויענם "et respondeat illis", Cocceius. ; he shall hear their blasphemies, and take notice of their wickedness, and answer them by terrible things in righteousness;

even he that abideth of old; or "is the inhabitant of eternity"F4וישב קדם "et incola antiquitatis, vel aeternitatis", Gejerus. Isaiah 57:15; the eternal God, from everlasting to everlasting, who was before all creatures and before all time, and will ever remain the same, out of whose hands there is no escaping. The Targum is,

"and he inhabiteth the heavens from of old to everlasting.'

Selah; of this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.

Because they have no changes; Kimchi renders it, who hath no changes; taking למו to be the same with לו, and interprets it of God; connecting it with the former clause, that he that abideth of old hath no changes. There is no variableness nor shadow of turning with him; he never changes his mind, nor alters his counsel, whether it be for good or evil; and yet wicked men fear him not. But rather this is to be understood of sinners, as the Targum paraphrases it,

"who are not of old, and who do not change their evil way;'

who have no changes in their hearts, nor in their lives, but continue in their natural and sinful estate, without any impression of the power and grace of God upon them. Or they have no changes in their worldly circumstances, from good to bad, as Aben Ezra explains it; things go well with them, and they are not in trouble as other men; they are at ease and quiet, and are settled on their lees; see Job 10:17. Or they have no regard to their last change by death; and are not afraid of that, as Jarchi interprets it; they put away this evil day far from them; think nothing about it, as if it would never be, and as if they had made an agreement with it that this change should never come upon them, Job 14:14;

therefore they fear not God; do not serve and worship him now, and are not afraid of his judgments here or hereafter; no change being made in their hearts, nor any alteration in their secular affairs for the worse; but having much goods laid up for many years, and sentence against their evil works not being speedily executed, their hearts are hardened, and they live secure in sin.


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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 55:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-55.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they o have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

(o) But their prosperous estate still continues.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-55.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

God hears the wicked in wrath.

abideth — or, “sitteth.”

of old — enthroned as a sovereign.

Because … no changes — Prosperity hardens them (Psalm 73:5).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-55.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. /*Selah*/. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

Hear — My prayers.

Eternity — Who is eternal, and therefore unchangeable, and almighty.

Because — They meet with no crosses nor disappointments.

Therefore — Their success makes them go on securely, without any regard to God, or dread of his judgments.


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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 55:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-55.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

19God shall hear, and afflict them As the verb ענה, anah, which I have rendered afflict, signifies, occasionally, to testify, some understand David to say that God would rise up as a witness against them. The syntax of the language will scarcely, however, admit of this, as, in Hebrew, the letter ב, beth, is generally subjoined in such a case. There seems no doubt that the word signifies here to addict or punish, although this is rather its signification implicitly and by a species of irony; for, most commonly, ענה,anah, means to answer. Having said that God would hear him, he adds that he would answer him, in the way of avenging his cause, in the punishment of his enemies. The epithet, or descriptive title, which he applies to God, is one calculated to comfort the pious mind in times of trouble and confusion. Much of that impatience into which we are hurried arises from not elevating our thoughts to the eternity of God. Can anything be more unreasonable than that poor mortals, who pass away like a shadow, should measure God by their feeble apprehensions, which is to cast him down from his eternal throne, and subject him to the fluctuations of a changing world? As חלף , chalaph, may signify to cut off as well as to change, some have supposed that David here complains of the destruction of the wicked having been too long deferred; but this is not a probable interpretation. The term has been more properly rendered changes But even those who have adopted this rendering have varied in the sense of the passage. (315) Some understand it to mean that no change to the better was to be expected in their character; that they were so bent upon evil as to be inflexible to repentance; so entirely under the influence of a cruel disposition, as never once to incline to humanity or mercy. Others, with more reason, consider that he refers, in the language of complaint, to the uninterrupted flow of their prosperity, which was such that they seemed exempt from the common vicissitudes of life. He represents them as being corrupted by this indulgence, and casting off from their minds every principle of fear, as if they were privileged with immunity from mortal ills. The copulative particle will thus carry the force of a consequence — they have no changes, and therefore they fear not God (316) It is an undeniable truth, that the longer the wicked are left in the enjoyment of their pleasures, they are only hardened the more in their evil courses; and that where pride has the ascendancy in the heart, the effect of the Divine indulgence is to make us forget that we are men. In the connection between the two parts of the verse there is an implied censure of the infatuation of those who are led by their exemption from adversity to conclude that. they are a species of demigods; for, how insignificant is the course of human life when compared with the eternity of God? We have need to be upon our guard when under prosperity, lest we fall into the secure spirit which the Psalmist here alludes to, and even carry our exultation to the extent of a defiance of the Almighty.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-55.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 55:19 God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.

Ver. 19. God shall hear] sc. My prayers which are on the file before him, and as solicitors with him. Mittamus preces et lachrymas, cordis legatos, saith Cyprian. Up go prayers, down come deliverances.

And afflict them] Ludit ambiguitate verbi. The same word signifieth to afflict and to answer, q.d. he shall answer me, but afflict them; answer them with blows, with bitter answers.

Even he that abideth of old] And is therefore no changeling; the Eternity of Israel cannot lie, nor repent; "for he is not a man, that he should repent," 1 Samuel 15:29; neither can mine enemies hide themselves from him in any starting holes. Sedet Deus ad iudicandum, et surgit ad puniendure (Aug.).

Selah] Id est, modo honorabili, saith R. Gaon. Or, So be it, O Lord. It is set in the middle of the verse, as respecting both parts of it.

Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God] Changed they are not by repentance (which is such a change of the heart, as bringeth forth a reformed life), but continue obstinate and obdurate; neither have they any alterations in their outward estate; they are not poured from vessel to vessel, have a constant prosperity (such as Demetrius called mare mortuum, a dead sea), and do therefore settle upon their lees, cast away all care of God and his service.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-55.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 55:19

No changes! We must not take the expression in a hard and narrow literal sense, or it would be true of no man. The changes of which the Psalmist speaks mean changes that disturb, changes that unhinge all plans and arrangements, changes that frustrate hopes, changes that, like earthquakes, upheave, when least expected, fair fields and smiling villages. These are the changes which some men have not, and because they have them not they fear not God.

I. It is a melancholy fact that the general tendency of prosperity is to produce self-confidence and forgetfulness of God. When the hand is full, and the purse is full, and the heart has all it can wish, what danger there is lest men should forget God!

II. Even health can be a peril. It can be a source of temptation. It can stimulate men to sin. The best work and the most work is not done by the strongest men and women in the world, especially the work which is of a moral and spiritual kind.

III. The absence of change produces hardness of nature. No man can understand the sorrows, and therefore no man can truly succour the sorrows, of others who is perpetually preserved from having sorrows of his own.

IV. The absence of change produces neglect of eternity. "Soul, take thine ease," is a very common feeling among those whose circumstances are on the whole fairly pleasant. They have no desire to see God, no desire to be with God. Let them be without changes, and they do not feel that God is essential to them at all, and they do not fear Him.

V. All the changes of this life which unsettle us, derange our schemes, and destroy our pleasures are meant to appeal to us and to remind us that "here we have no continuing city," that this is not our rest. That is a glorious moment when the soul can say, and feel as well as say, "Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come."

E. Mellor, The Hem of Christ's Garment, p. 311.


References: Psalms 55:19.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. xiii., p. 327; Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 249; J. Martineau, Hours of Thought, vol. i., p. 127.


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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/psalms-55.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 55:19. Even he that abideth of old Even he who reigns from everlasting. Chandler, after Cocceius. The introducing God as reigning of old, and holding the government of the world from before all ages, has great propriety, and was one of the principal considerations which established David's hope in God, that he would deliver him from this unnatural rebellion. Because they have no changes, is rendered by Chandler, They think of no succeeding changes; that is, "They are prosperous, and have no reverse of fortune, think of none, and fear none; and so fear not God." David's enemies had succeeded, driven him from his capital and throne; thought themselves secure, and had no apprehension or fear from the power or providence of God. Schultens gives the words this sense; "They expect no succession, either of a better life or economy; i.e. a "better state of things here or hereafter." Some render it: They are not changed, and they fear no God. And Mudge reads the whole verse, God shall hear, and he that abideth of old, with whom are no changes, shall humble them, since they fear not God: as much as to say, "That immutable Being (with a glance at the infidelity of men) who was always faithful to his promises and friends, would support him, and humble them."


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-55.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

God shall hear; either,

1. My prayers against them, mentioned Psalms 55:15. Or,

2. Their reproaches, Psalms 55:12; their deceitful and treacherous speeches, Psalms 55:21. He said God would hear his voice, Psalms 55:17; now he adds that God will hear his enemies’ voice also, of which he spake Psalms 55:3.

Afflict them; or, testify against them, or give an answer to them; not in words, but really, and by dreadful punishments, as this word signifies, Ezekiel 14:4; which seems best to agree with the next foregoing word, God will hear and answer them. He that abideth of old, Heb. he that inhabiteth antiquity or eternity; who is eternal, and therefore unchangeable and almighty; and consequently, as he ever was, so he still is and will be, ready to defend his people, and to destroy their enemies; and none can prevent nor hinder-him in either of those designs.

No changes; either,

1. For the better; because they do not repent nor turn from their sins. But then the next clause must be rendered, as it is in the Hebrew, and not fear God. Or rather,

2. For the worse; for of such destructive changes this word, when applied to persons. is generally used in Scripture, as Job 10:17 Job 14:14, &c., because they meet with no crosses nor disappointments, and hitherto all their counsels succeed well, and the people flow in to them unanimously; as it was in the beginning and progress of Absalom’s rebellion.

They fear not God; their prosperous success makes them go on securely and obstinately in their wicked courses, without any regard to God, or dread of his judgments; there being nothing which more hardens men’s hearts, and makes them presumptuous and incorrigible, than uninterrupted prosperity. See Psalms 30:6 Proverbs 1:32 Jeremiah 22:21.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-55.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19. God shall hear, and afflict them—He “shall hear” me and afflict them. Or, as Hengstenberg: “God will hear the tumult of the enemies and answer them judicially.”

He that abideth of old—Or, is enthroned from eternity, taking קדם, (kedem,) to denote time. But the word often denotes east, and Furst renders “even he who is enthroned, or rideth along, upon the east wind,” (the Simoon,) and this accords with the warning tone of the psalm, for when God goeth forth to judgment he is represented as sitting enthroned upon the cherubim, or riding upon the tempest. See on Psalms 46:8; Psalms 80:1; Psalms 18:10; Psalms 104:3.

Because they have no changes— Because they, the wicked, are not forcibly arrested and turned aside from their wicked course by the divine judgments, therefore they fear not God. Compare Ecclesiastes 8:11


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-55.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 55:19. God shall hear — My prayer against them, mentioned Psalms 55:15, or their reproaches, Psalms 55:12, their deceitful and treacherous speeches, Psalms 55:21. He had said, God would hear his voice, Psalms 55:17, now he adds that God will hear his enemies’ voice also, of which he spake, Psalms 55:3. And afflict them — Or, testify against them; or, give an answer to them, as יענם, jagnaneem, may be properly rendered; not in words, but in deeds, and by dreadful punishments, as this word signifies Ezekiel 14:4, which seems best to agree with the word next foregoing, God will hear and answer them. Even he that abideth of old — Hebrew, וישׁב קדם, vejosheb kedem, he that inhabiteth antiquity, or eternity: who is eternal, and, therefore, unchangeable and almighty; who sits judge from the beginning of time, and hath always presided in the affairs of the children of men, and consequently, as he ever was, so he still is and ever will be, ready to defend his people, and to destroy their enemies; and none can prevent or hinder him in either of these designs. Chandler, after Cocceius, translates the clause, Even he who reigns from everlasting: and observes, “The introducing God, as reigning of old, and holding the government of the world from before all ages, has great propriety, and was one of the principal considerations which established David’s hope in God, that he would deliver him from this unnatural rebellion.” Mortal men, though ever so high and strong, will easily be crushed by an eternal God, and are a very unequal match for him. Because they have no changes — No afflictions, no crosses, nor disappointments, no interruption to the constant course of their prosperity, no trouble and distress to empty them from vessel to vessel; therefore they fear not God — Their prosperous success makes them go on securely and obstinately in their wicked courses, without any regard to God, or dread of his judgments; there being nothing which more hardens men’s hearts, or makes them more presumptuous and incorrigible, than uninterrupted prosperity. See Psalms 30:6; Proverbs 1:32; Jeremiah 22:21.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-55.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

GOD. Hebrew El. App-4. The mighty Creator. because in conflict with His creatures.

hear = hear me.

afflict them = answer them.

Even, &c. Figure of speech Parenthesis. App-6.

Selah. Connecting the true confidence of David with the false confidence of the ungodly. David"s true confidence was based on the fact that His GOD was the mighty One enduring for ever. "El" here is emphasized by the double accent Pasek, or "note line" each side of it. (App-66.)

Because . . . no changes = With whom are no changes (for the better): i.e. no improvement. See note on "alter" (Leviticus 27:10). Hebrew. halaph. Compare Genesis 35:2.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-55.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-55.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
hear
65:5; 143:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:15,16; Revelation 6:10,11
even
90:1,2; Deuteronomy 33:27; Micah 5:2; Colossians 1:17
Because, etc
or, With whom also there be no changes, yet they fear not God. no changes.
73:5,6; Proverbs 1:32; Ecclesiastes 8:11; Isaiah 36:20; Jeremiah 48:11; Zephaniah 1:12

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-55.html.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God."— Psalm 55:19

Sometimes this is applied to God himself rather than to individuals. In one translation the verse is set forth thus:—


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Bibliography
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/psalms-55.html. 1885-95.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

Psalm 55:19

"Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God." Psalm 55:19

True religion is certainly the most weighty, and yet the most mysterious matter that we ever have had or can have to do with in this world. And I will tell you this, that it will either comfort you, or it will distress you. It will either exercise your mind, trouble your soul, cast down your spirit, and make you truly miserable, or else be the source of your choicest comfort and your greatest happiness. From religion come our deepest sorrows and highest joys, the greatest uneasiness and the sweetest peace.

There is this peculiar feature about true religion, that in the greatest prosperity it may be the cause to us of the chief trouble, or in the greatest adversity be to us the cause of the purest joy. What are wealth or health, rank or titles, and every comfort the world can afford to a wounded spirit? What are poverty, sickness, persecution, contempt, a garret or a prison to a soul basking in the smiles of eternal love?

Religion will surely make itself felt wherever it exists, and will testify by its power to its presence. If, then, you are a partaker of true religion, be you who, where, or what you may, you cannot be at ease in Zion, for there will be ever something working up out of your own heart or arising from some other quarter to make you uneasy.

Job was once at ease, but he was not allowed to die in his soft nest. He therefore says, "I was at ease, but he has broken me asunder—he has also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark." And yet with all this unexpected and apparently cruel treatment, he could still say, "Behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high." And though so exercised and distressed that he had to cry out, "I have been reduced to skin and bones and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth. Have mercy on me, my friends, have mercy, for the hand of God has struck me." Yet he could add, in all the confidence of faith, as desirous that his words might stand forever upon record—"Oh, that my words could be written. Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument, carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead, engraved forever in the rock. But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!" Job 19:23-27


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Bibliography
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Psalms 55:19". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jcp/psalms-55.html.

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