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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 64:5

 

 

They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose; They talk of laying snares secretly; They say, "Who can see them?"

Adam Clarke Commentary

They commune of laying snares - They lay snares to entrap those whom they cannot slay by open attack or private ambush.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-64.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

They encourage themselves - literally, they strengthen themselves, or make themselves strong. That is, they take counsel; they encourage each other; they urge one another forward; they suggest to each other methods by which what they purpose may be done, and by which difficulties may be overcome. This was a part of their “secret counsel” or their consultation, Psalm 64:2.

In an evil matter - Margin, as in Hebrew, speech. The reference is to their purpose or plan. They strengthen themselves for doing what they know to be a wrong or wicked thing.

They commune - literally, they tell or speak. That is, they tell each other how it may be done, or suggest different methods by which it may be successfully accomplishled. They compare views, that they may select that which will be most likely to be successful. All this indicates plan, consultation, design.

Of laying snares privily - Margin, as in Hebrew, to hide snares. This is a figure derived from the method of taking wild beasts. See Psalm 7:15, note; Psalm 38:12, note. The reference here is to some secret plan by which they intended that the author of the psalm should be entrapped and ruined. It was not a plan of open and manly warfare, but a purpose to destroy him when he would have no opportunity of defense.

They say, Who shall see them? - That is, who will see the snares or pit-falls? Who will be aware of their existence? They sought to make the plan so secret that no one could discover it, or even suspect it; to keep it so concealed that he for whom it was intended could not be put on his guard. Compare Psalm 10:8-9.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-64.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 64:5

They say, Who shall see them?

Omniscience ignored

I. It is a fact that this notion has great influence upon the conduct of man. They like to cherish such notion, finding it convenient. Because they sometimes escape the eye of man, they think it possible to escape the eye of God. The sinner persuades himself that he has gained his end, escaped observation and avoided the punishment.

II. It is a fact that this notion is utterly untruthful and delusive. If God exist, this must be so. The spirituality of His nature makers possible His onmipresence and omniscience.

III. God has often exposed this delusion, and the time is fixed for the complete demonstration.

1. Character is often seen through by man.

2. Retribution often follows men’s deeds here and now.

3. The future state will show that God saw all. (Homiletic Magazine.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 64:5". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-64.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"They encourage themselves in an evil purpose;

They commune of laying snares privily;

They say, Who will see them?

They search out iniquities;

We have accomplished, say they, a diligent search:

And the inward thought and the heart of every one is deep."

The theme of these verses is the traps which the enemies have set to destroy the perfect man and the snares and pitfalls they have secretly deployed in the hope of overcoming him. Their conversation with each other continually turns upon the discussion of such things.

"We have accomplished, say they, a diligent search" (Psalms 64:6). Dummelow rendered this, "We have perfected, say they, a careful device."[8] The plans made by Absalom and his advisers were very brilliant. Rawlinson thought that it might have been due to some carefully laid trap that David was induced to leave the city of Jerusalem during that revolt.

"They say, Who will see them?" (Psalms 64:6). These wicked men did not believe in God and were foolish enough to think that their wickedness and devilish plans were not only hidden from men but from God also.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-64.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

They encourage themselves in an evil matter,.... Or "strengthen him"F3יהזקו למו "firmant illi", Muis. ; that is, Saul, by making use of arguments and reasonings to induce him to go on in his wicked persecution of David; or they strengthened and hardened themselves in their wickedness, as Saul's courtiers and the enemies of Christ did, and as all wicked men do, when they observe the sentence against them is not speedily executed, Ecclesiastes 8:11;

they commune of laying snares privily; that is, they conversed together, and consulted how to lay snares for the perfect man in the most private manner, that they might entrap him and destroy him;

they say, who shall see them? either the snares laid, or the persons that laid them? None; no, not even God himself; see Psalm 10:11.


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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 64:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-64.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

They f encourage themselves [in] an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?

(f) The more the wicked set God's children in misery, the more bold and impudent are they in oppressing them.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-64.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

A sentiment here more fully presented, by depicting their deliberate malice.


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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 64:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-64.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

5They assure themselves in an evil work. He proceeds to complain of the perverse determination with which they pursued their wickedness, and of their combinations amongst themselves; remarking, at the same time, upon the confidence with which they stirred one another up to the most daring acts of iniquity. In this there can be little doubt that they were encouraged by the present state of weakness to which David was reduced in his circumstances, taking occasion, when they found him in poverty and exile, and without means of resistance, to persecute him with the greater freedom. Having adverted to them as being beyond hope of amendment, and incapable of any impressions of humanity, he speaks of their meeting together to plot his destruction; and, in connection with this, of the unbounded confidence which they were led to display, from a belief that their designs were not seen. It is well known that one circumstance which strengthens the false security of the wicked, and encourages them to triumph in their crafty policy towards the simple and upright in heart, is their thinking that they can cover their crimes by such pretexts as they have always at hand. They say, Who shall see them? The word למו , lamo, them, may refer either to the workers of iniquity themselves, or to the snares spoken of in the preceding clause. The first seems the preferable meaning. They run recklessly, and without restraint, in the ways of sin, blinded by their pride, and influenced neither by the fear of God nor a sense of shame.

In the verse which follows, he animadverts severely upon the deceit which they practiced. He speaks of their having exhausted all the arts of mischief, so as to have left nothing in this department to be discovered. The search referred to has relation to the secret methods of doing evil. He adds, that their malice was deep. By the inward part and the heart, which was deep, he means the hidden devices to which the wicked have recourse for concealment. Some, instead of translating the words, the inward part of each, etc., give a more indefinite sense to איש, ish, and read, the inward part, and deep heart, of every one, is found in them; that is, his enemies contrived to comprise in themselves all that men have ever displayed in the shape of craft and subtilty. Either rendering may be adopted; for it is evidently David’s meaning that his enemies practiced secret stratagem as well as open violence, to compass his ruin, and showed themselves to be possessed of the deepest penetration in discovering dark and unimagined methods of doing mischief.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-64.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 64:5 They encourage themselves [in] an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?

Ver. 5. They encourage themselves in an evil matter] Thus he riseth in his complaint, and showeth how, by the neglect of piety and humanity, they were grown obdurate and obstinate, yea, confident, or rather impudent, in their evil practices.

They commune of laying snares privily] viz. To entangle and entrap me. See Nehemiah 4:11, {See Trapp on "Nehemiah 4:11"}

They say, Who shall see them?] God, who is all eye, shall, but they, having hid God from themselves, think they can likewise hide themselves and their snares from God. But

- εχει θεος εκδικον ομμα


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-64.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

They encourage themselves, Heb. they strengthen or fortify themselves, by firm resolutions, by assured confidence of success, by uniting their counsels and forces together, and by mutual encouragements and exhortations.

Who shall see them? their snares are so secretly laid that David cannot discern, and therefore not avoid them.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-64.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5. They encourage themselvesThey strengthen themselves in an evil plot or counsel. This “hand to hand” wickedness, (Proverbs 11:21,) this emboldening each other by mutual vows of support in crime, is the last degree of depravity.

They commune—They reckon. “Each part of their evil plot being, as it were, carefully gone over and enumerated.” Perowne.

They say—They say “in their heart,” within themselves, as Psalms 10:6.

Who shall see them—Literally, Who will look to it; that is, judicially, in order to punish it. See Psalms 10:11; Psalms 10:13; Psalms 73:11; Psalms 94:7


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-64.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

To thee, by predestination. --- House, adorned with exterior graces. (St. Hilary) --- Happy the man, whom thou hast ordained, by faith and good works, to eternal life! David speaks in the name of the elect. (Menochius)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-64.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

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


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-64.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?

They encourage themselves in an evil matter - literally, 'They confirm for themselves an evil matter' or 'word.'

They commune - each one proposing his plan in the secret council.

They say, Who shall see them? - literally, 'Who shall see concerning them?'-namely, concerning the "snares" which they 'lay privily.' They flatter themselves God takes no cognizance of, because He does not immediately punish, their plots (Psalms 10:11-13; Psalms 59:7).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-64.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(5) They encourage themselves.—Literally, they strengthen for themselves an evil thing (or “word,” margin, LXX., and Vulg.,) which evidently means that they take their measures carefully, and are prepared to carry them out resolutely.

They commune . . .—Better, they calculate how they may lay snares privily. The conspirators carefully and in secret go over every detail of their plot.

Who shall see them?—Literally, who shall look to them? which seems at first glance to mean, “who will see the snares?” but this is weak. It may be equivalent to, “who is likely to see us?” the question being put indirectly. But in 1 Samuel 16:7, the expression, “looketh on,” implies “regard for,” which may possibly be the meaning here, “who careth for them?”


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-64.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?
encourage
Exodus 15:9; Numbers 22:6; Proverbs 1:11-14; Isaiah 41:6; Revelation 11:10
matter
or, speech. commune.
1 Samuel 23:19-23; Matthew 23:15; 26:3,4
of laying snares
Heb. to hide snares.
124:7; 140:5
Who
10:11; 59:7; 94:7; Ezekiel 8:12

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 64:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-64.html.

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