Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 14:1-7. The practical atheism and total and universal depravity of the wicked, with their hatred to the good, are set forth. Yet, as they dread God's judgments when He vindicates His people, the Psalmist prays for His delivering power.
1. Sinners are termed "fools," because they think and act contrary to right reason (Ge 34:7; Jos 7:15; Ps 39:8; 74:18, 22).
in his heart—to himself (Ge 6:12).
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
2. looked—in earnest enquiry.
understand—as opposed to "fool" [Ps 14:1].
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
3. filthy—literally, "spoiled," or, "soured," "corrupted" (Job 15:16; Ro 3:12).
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
4-6. Their conduct evinces indifference rather than ignorance of God; for when He appears in judgment, they are stricken with great fear.
who eat up my people—to express their beastly fury (Pr 30:14; Hab 3:14). To "call on the Lord" is to worship Him.
There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
7. captivity—denotes any great evil.
Zion—God's abode, from which He revealed His purposes of mercy, as He now does by the Church (compare Ps 3:4; 20:2), and which He rules and in which He does all other things for the good of His people (Eph 1:22).