|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
49:6-14 Here is a description of the spirit and way of worldly people. A man may have wealth, and may have his heart enlarged in love, thankfulness, and obedience, and may do good with it. Therefore it is not men's having riches that proves them to be worldly, but their setting their hearts upon them as the best things. Worldly men have only some floating thoughts of the things of God, while their fixed thoughts, their inward thoughts, are about the world; that lies nearest the heart. But with all their wealth they cannot save the life of the dearest friend they have. This looks further, to the eternal redemption to be wrought out by the Messiah. The redemption of the soul shall cost very dear; but, being once wrought, it shall never need to be repeated. And he, the Redeemer, shall rise again before he sees corruption, and then shall live for evermore, Re 1:18. This likewise shows the folly of worldly people, who sell their souls for that which will never buy them. With all their wealth they cannot secure themselves from the stroke of death. Yet one generation after another applaud their maxims; and the character of a fool, as drawn by heavenly Wisdom itself, Lu 12:16-21, continues to be followed even among professed Christians. Death will ask the proud sinner, Where is thy wealth, thy pomp? And in the morning of the resurrection, when all that sleep in the dust shall awake, the upright shall be advanced to the highest honour, when the wicked shall be filled with everlasting shame and contempt, Da 12:2. Let us now judge of things as they will appear in that day. The beauty of holiness is that alone which the grave cannot touch, or damage.
Verse 13. - This their way is their folly; or, their vain conceit (Kay). By "their way" must be understood the course of conduct described in vers. 7-12. Yet their posterity approve their sayings. Their descendants, or those who come after them, notwithstanding the foolishness of their course, adopt their principles and delight in them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
This their way is their folly,.... This their last end becoming like the beasts that perish, which is the issue and event of all their confidence, ambition, and honour, shows the folly of their lives and conduct: or this their course of life, in trusting to their riches; boasting of their wealth; pleasing themselves with the thoughts of the continuance of their houses and dwelling places to all generations; and calling their lands after their own names; all proclaim their folly. Or, as some render the words, "this their way is their hope" or "confidence" (b); they place all their hope and confidence in their riches and honour, which is but a vain hope and a foolish confidence;
yet their posterity approve their sayings; they are of the same sentiments with their fathers; they say the same things, and do the same actions; tread in their steps, and follow the same track; though there have been such innumerable instances of the vanity and inconstancy of all worldly riches and grandeur.
Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.
(b) "est fiducia ipsorum", Cocceius, Gejerus; "stolida fiducia vel spes", Michaelis.
The Treasury of David
13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.
Their vain confidences are not casual aberrations from the path of wisdom but their way, their usual and regular course; their whole life is regulated by such principles. Their life-path is essential folly. They are fools ingrain. From first to last brutishness is their characteristic, grovelling stupidity the leading trait of their conduct. "Yet their posterity approve their sayings." Those who follow them in descent follow them in folly, quote their worldly maxims, and accept their mad career as the most prudent mode of life. Why do they not see by their fathers' failure their fathers' folly? No, the race transmits its weakness. Grace is not hereditary, but sordid worldliness goes from generation to generation. The race of fools never dies out. No need of missionaries to teach men to be earthworms, they crawl naturally to the dust. "Selah." Well may the minstrel pause, and bid us muse upon the deep-seated madness of the sons of Adam. Take occasion, reader, to reflect upon thine own.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Though their way is folly, others follow the same course of life.
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