|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:7-12 David prayed often alone, yet was very constant in attendance on public worship. The mercy of God should ever be the foundation both of our hope and of our joy, in every thing wherein we have to do with him. Let us learn to pray, not for ourselves only, but for others; grace be with all that love Christ in sincerity. The Divine blessing comes down upon us through Jesus Christ, the righteous or just One, as of old it did upon Israel through David, whom God protected, and placed upon the throne. Thou, O Christ, art the righteous Saviour, thou art the King of Israel, thou art the Fountain of blessing to all believers; thy favour is the defence and protection of thy church.
Verse 10. - Destroy thou them, O God; rather, condemn them, or declare them guilty (Kay); κρῖνον αὐτούς (LXX.). Let them fall by their own counsels. No condemnation naturally follows punishment. David assumes that God will make his enemies fall; he prays that they may fall from the effect of their own counsels. The fate of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23) perhaps fulfilled this imprecation. Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; Thrust them out (Revised Version); "Thrust them down" (Kay). Punish them at once, in the midst of their many transgressions. For they have rebelled against thee. They have sinned, not against me only, but equally - nay, far more - against thee.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Destroy thou them, O God,.... Or "make them guilty" (q); that is, make them appear to be guilty, either to themselves, that they may acknowledge their offences, confess their guilt, and ask for pardon; or to others, pronounce them guilty, pass the sentence of condemnation on them: and the Chaldee paraphrase and the Syriac version render it by "condemn them", or hold them guilty; and the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, "judge" them; treat them as guilty persons, punish them, destroy them, soul and body, with an everlasting destruction;
let them fall by their own counsels; into the pit they have dug for others; as Haman fell by his counsels, and was hanged on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai. And so sometimes a man's own counsel casts him down, and is the cause of his ruin, Job 18:7. Or, "because of their own counsels" (r); which they have taken against the Lord and his Anointed, against his cause and interest, and against his righteous ones, particularly David; meaning their wicked counsels, in which they walked; see Hosea 11:6. Or "from their counsels" (s); as the Targum and most versions render it: that is, let their counsels be turned into foolishness, become brutish, be carried headlong, and come to nought. Which had its accomplishment in Ahithophel;
cast them out; either out of their own country, and carry them into captivity; or from the presence of the Lord, from his tabernacle and worship; which David's enemies now enjoyed, and gloried in: or into outer darkness, into a furnace of fire, where there is weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth;
in the multitude of their transgressions: when God deals with men in a way of grace, he turns away ungodliness from them, or them from their ungodliness; but when in a way of judgment he suffers them to die in their sins, and so perish: or "for the multitude of their transgressions" (t). The sins of transgressors are many and because of them they are cast out of the sight o God, and will be bid to depart from him hereafter;
for they have rebelled against thee: all sin is a rebellion against God; hence sinners are called rebellious ones. The rebellion of David's subjects against him was a rebellion against God; because it was an attempt to dethrone him, whom God had made king of Israel. The word (u) signifies to embitter, exasperate, and provoke: and such is the nature of sin, it is a bitter thing in itself, and it provokes the eyes of God's glory. Now each of these expressions are to be considered, not so much petitions, as prophecies; and not as imprecations, but as predictions of what would be the portion of wicked men.
(q) "reos fac istos", Junius & Tremellius; so Piscator, Cocceius, Schmidt, Michaelis, Kimchi, and Ainsworth. (r) "propter consilia sua", Piscater; so Tigurine version and Michaelis. (s) "propter consilia sua", Piscater; so Tigurine version and Michaelis. (t) "propter multitudinem", Musculus, Pagninus, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth. (u) "irritaverunt", V. L. see Ainsworth.
The Treasury of David
10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against, thee.
"Against thee:" not against me. If they were my enemies I would forgive them, but I cannot forgive thine. We are to forgive our enemies, but God's enemies it is not in our power to forgive. These expressions have often been noticed by men of over refinement as being harsh, and grating on the ear. "Oh!" say they, "they are vindictive and revengeful." Let us remember that they might be translated as prophecies, not as wishes; but we do not care to avail ourselves of this method of escape. We have never heard of a reader of the Bible who, after perusing these passages, was made revengeful by reading them, and it is but fair to test the nature of a writing by its effects. When we hear a judge condemning a murderer, however severe his sentence, we do not feet that we should be lust tried in condemning others for any private injury done to us. The Psalmist here speaks as a judge, ex officio; he speaks as God's mouth, and in condemning the wicked he gives us no excuse whatever for uttering anything in the way of malediction upon those who have caused us personal offence. The most shameful way of cursing another is by pretending to bless him. We were all somewhat amused by noticing the toothless malice of that wretched old priest of home when he foolishly cursed the Emperor of France with his blessing. He was blessing him in form and cursing him in reality. Now, in direct contrast we put this healthy commination of David, which is intended to be a blessing by warning the sinner of the impending curse. O impenitent man, be it known unto thee that all thy godly friends will give their solemn assent to the awful sentence of the Lord, which he shall pronounce upon thee in the day of doom! Our verdict shall applaud the condemning curse which the Judge of all the earth shall thunders against the godless.
In the following verse we once more find the contrast which has marked the preceding Psalms.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. Destroy—or, "condemn" them to destruction as guilty.
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