Psalm 109:10
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
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(10) Be continually vagabonds.—“Wander and wander about” would better reproduce the original.

Desolate places.—Rather, ruins. They are imagined creeping out of the ruins of their homes to beg. But there was a different reading, followed by the LXX. and Vulg., “let them be driven out of their homes.” This reading involves but a slight literal change. Comp.,

“Worse evil yet I pray for on my spouse;

Let him still live, through strange towns roam in want,

Exiled, suspected, cowering, with no home.”

SENECA: Med., i. 19.

109:6-20 The Lord Jesus may speak here as a Judge, denouncing sentence on some of his enemies, to warn others. When men reject the salvation of Christ, even their prayers are numbered among their sins. See what hurries some to shameful deaths, and brings the families and estates of others to ruin; makes them and theirs despicable and hateful, and brings poverty, shame, and misery upon their posterity: it is sin, that mischievous, destructive thing. And what will be the effect of the sentence, Go, ye cursed, upon the bodies and souls of the wicked! How it will affect the senses of the body, and the powers of the soul, with pain, anguish, horror, and despair! Think on these things, sinners, tremble and repent.Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg - Let them continually wander about with no home - no fixed habitation. Let them be compelled to ask their daily food at the hand of charity. Here we enter on a part of the psalm which is more difficult to be reconciled with a proper feeling than the portions which have been considered. It is, indeed, a frequent consequence of crime that the children of those who are punished "are" vagabonds and beggars, but this is not a necessary consequence; and there "seems" here, therefore, to be a mixture of personal feeling, or a feeling of revenge. This runs through the remaining portion of the imprecatory part of the psalm. I confess that it is difficult to explain this without admitting that the expressions are a record only of what actually occurred in the mind of a man, truly pious, but not perfect - a man who thus, to illustrate the workings of the mind even when the general character was holy, was allowed to record his own feelings, though wrong, just as he would record the conduct of another, or his own conduct, though wrong, as a simple matter of fact - a record of what actually was felt. The "record" may be exactly correct; the sentiment recorded may have been wholly incapable of vindication. See the General Introduction, Section 6 (6).

Let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places - In places uninhabited by man; in barren regions; in deserts: let them be compelled to live on the scanty food which they may pick up there - the roots, or the wild fruits, which will simply keep them alive. See the notes at Job 30:4.

9, 10. Let his family share the punishment, his children be as wandering beggars to prowl in their desolate homes, a greedy and relentless creditor grasp his substance, his labor, or the fruit of it, enure to strangers and not his heirs, and his unprotected, fatherless children fall in want, so that his posterity shall utterly fail. Vagabonds; having no certain place of abode; which is a grievous curse in itself, Genesis 4:12,14 Isa 16:2.

And beg: this increaseth their misery.

Desolate places; into which they are fled for fear and shame, as not daring to show their faces amongst men. Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg,.... Wander from place to place, begging their bread: this is denied of the children of good men in David's time, Psalm 37:25 yet was threatened to the children of Eli, 1 Samuel 2:36 and was very likely literally true of the children of Judas; and was certainly the case of multitudes of the children of the Jews, the posterity of them that crucified Christ, at the time of their destruction by the Romans; when great numbers were dispersed, and wandered about in various countries, as vagabonds, begging their bread from door to door; which is reckoned (a) by them a great affliction, and very distressing.

Let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places; either describing, as Kimchi thinks, the miserable cottages, forlorn and desolate houses, in which they lived, and from whence they went out to everyone that passed by, to ask relief of them; or it may be rendered,

because of their desolate places (b); or, "after them"; so the Targum, "after their desolation was made"; when their grand house was left desolate, their temple, as our Lord said it should, and was, Matthew 23:38, and all their other houses in Jerusalem and in Judea; then were they obliged to seek their bread of others elsewhere, and by begging. The Syriac version wants this verse.

(a) Mifchar Hapeninim apud Buxtorf. Florileg. Heb. p. 262, 263. (b) So De Dieu, Gejerus, and some in Michaelis.

Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
10. let them seek &c.] And seek (their bread) far from their ruined home. Let the wicked man’s home become a ruin, and his children have to get their living away from it. The LXX however points to the reading, and let them be driven out of their ruined home.Verse 10. - Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg. If it be just that the sins of the fathers be visited upon the children, the psalmist may be regarded as justified in this wish. Still, it is not one that a Christian will readily echo. Let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. Professor Cheyne corrects דָרְשׁוּ into לֺגּדְשׁוּ, and translates, "Let them be driven from their desolate houses." A sign for help and complaints of ungrateful persecutors form the beginning of the Psalm. "God of my praise" is equivalent to God, who art my praise, Jeremiah 17:14, cf. Deuteronomy 10:21. The God whom the Psalmist has hitherto had reason to praise will also now show Himself to him as worthy to be praised. Upon this faith he bases the prayer: be not silent (Psalm 28:1; Psalm 35:22)! A mouth such as belongs to the "wicked," a mouth out of which comes "deceit," have they opened against him; they have spoken with him a tongue (accusative, vid., on Psalm 64:6), i.e., a language, of falsehood. דּברי of things and utterances as in Psalm 35:20. It would be capricious to take the suffix of אהבתי in Psalm 109:4 as genit. object. (love which they owe me), and in Psalm 109:5 as genit. subject.; from Psalm 38:21 it may be seen that the love which he has shown to them is also meant in Psalm 109:4. The assertion that he is "prayer" is intended to say that he, repudiating all revenges of himself, takes refuge in God in prayer and commits his cause into His hands. They have loaded him with evil for good, and hatred for the love he has shown to them. Twice he lays emphasis on the fact that it is love which they have requited to him with its opposite. Perfects alternate with aorists: it is no enmity of yesterday; the imprecations that follow presuppose an inflexible obduracy on the side of the enemies.
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