Psalm 112:10
The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.
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(10) Gnash.—See Psalm 35:16.

Melt away.—As we say, “Consume with vexation.”

Psalm 112:10. The wicked shall be grieved — At the felicity of the righteous, partly from envy at the happiness of others, and partly from their peculiar hatred of godly men. It will vex them to see the innocence of such cleared, and their low state regarded; to behold those, whom they hated and despised, and whose ruin they sought and hoped to witness, now made the favourites of heaven, and advanced to have dominion over them. This will make them gnash with their teeth, and melt away — “The sight of Christ in glory with his saints,” says Dr. Horne, “will, in an inexpressible manner, torment the crucifiers of the one, and the persecutors of the others; as it will show them the hopes and wishes of their adversaries all granted to the full, and all their own desires and designs for ever at an end; it will excite an envy which must prey upon itself, produce a grief which can admit of no comfort, give birth to a worm which can never die, and blow up those fires which nothing can quench. 112:1-10 The blessedness of the righteous. - We have to praise the Lord that there are a people in the world, who fear him and serve him, and that they are a happy people; which is owing entirely to his grace. Their fear is not that which love casts out, but that which love brings in. It follows and flows from love. It is a fear to offend. This is both fear and trust. The heart touched by the Spirit of God, as the needle touched with the loadstone, turns direct and speedily to God, yet still with trembling, being filled with this holy fear. Blessings are laid up for the faithful and their children's children; and true riches are bestowed on them, with as much of this world's possessions as is profitable for them. In the darkest hours of affliction and trial, the light of hope and peace will spring up within them, and seasonable relief shall turn mourning into joy. From their Lord's example they learn to be kind and full of compassion, as well as just in all their dealings; they use discretion, that they may be liberal in that manner which appears most likely to do good. Envy and slander may for a time hide their true characters here, but they shall be had in everlasting remembrance. They need not fear evil tidings. A good man shall have a settled spirit. And it is the endeavour of true believers to keep their minds stayed upon God, and so to keep them calm and undisturbed; and God has promised them both cause to do so, and grace to do so. Trusting in the Lord is the best and surest way of establishing the heart. The heart of man cannot fix any where with satisfaction, but in the truth of God, and there it finds firm footing. And those whose hearts are established by faith, will patiently wait till they gain their point. Compare all this with the vexation of sinners. The happiness of the saints is the envy of the wicked. The desire of the wicked shall perish; their desire was wholly to the world and the flesh, therefore when these perish, their joy is gone. But the blessings of the gospel are spiritual and eternal, and are conferred upon the members of the Christian church, through Christ their Head, who is the Pattern of all righteousness, and the Giver of all grace.The wicked shall see it, and be grieved - They shall see his prosperity; shall see the evidence that God approves his character and his conduct. The word rendered "grieved" means rather to be angry or enraged. Perhaps the word "fret" would best express the sense.

He shall gnash with his teeth - As indicative of hatred and wrath. See the notes at Psalm 37:12.

And melt away - Disappear - as snow does that melts; or as a snail (see the notes at Psalm 58:8); or as waters that run away (see the notes at Psalm 58:7); or as wax (see the notes at Psalm 68:2). Their wrath shall be of no avail, for they themselves shall soon disappear.

The desire of the wicked shall perish - He shall not be able to accomplish his desire, or to carry out his purposes. He shall be disappointed, and all his cherished plans will come to nought. This is in strong contrast with what is said in the psalm would occur to the righteous. They would be prospered and happy; they would be able to carry out their plans; they would be respected while living, and remembered when dead; they would find God interposing in their behalf in the darkest hours; they would be firm and calm in the day of danger and of trouble; they would put their trust in the Lord, and all would be well. Surely there is an advantage in our world in being a friend of God.

10. Disappointed in their malevolent wishes by the prosperity of the pious, the wicked are punished by the working of their evil passions, and come to naught. 10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

Psalm 112:10 sets forth very forcibly the contrast between the righteous and the ungodly, thus making the blessedness of the godly appear all the more remarkable. Usually we see Ebal and Gerizim, the blessing and the curse, set the one over against the other, to invest both with the greater solemnity. "The wicked shall see it, and be grieved." The ungodly shall first see the example of the saints to their own condemnation, and shall at last behold the happiness of the godly and to the increase of their eternal misery. The child of wrath shall be obliged to witness the blessedness of the righteous, though the sight shall make him gnaw his own heart. He shall fret and fume, lament and wax angry, but he shall not be able to prevent it, for God's blessing is sure and effectual. "He shall gnash with his teeth." Being very wrathful, and exceedingly envious, he would fain grind the righteous between his teeth; but as he cannot do that, he grinds his teeth against each other. "And melt away." The heat of his passion shall melt him like wax, and the sun of God's providence shah dissolve him like snow, and at the last the fire of divine vengeance shall consume him as the fat of rams. How horrible must that life be which like the snail melts as it proceeds, leaving a slimy trail behind. Those who are grieved at goodness deserve to be worn away by such an abominable sorrow. "The desire of the wicked shall perish." He shall not achieve his purpose, he shall die a disappointed man. By wickedness he hoped to accomplish his purpose-that very wickedness shall be his defeat. While the righteous shall endure for ever, and their memory shall be always green; the ungodly man and his name shall rot from off the face of the earth. He desired to be the founder of a family, and to be remembered as some great one: he shall pass away and his name shall die with him. How wide is the gulf which separates the righteous from the wicked, and how different are the portions which the Lord deals out to them. O for grace to be blessed of the Lord! This will make us praise him with our whole heart.

Be grieved at the felicity of good men, partly, from envy at the happiness of others; partly, from his peculiar hatred of all godly men; and partly, because it is a plain testimony of God’s justice and providence, and therefore a certain presage of his own ruin. The desire; his desire either of the misery of good men, or of his own constant prosperity and happiness in the world. The wicked shall see it,.... The glory and happiness of the upright man: so when the witnesses shall ascend to heaven, a phrase expressive of a more glorious state of the church, their enemies shall behold them, Revelation 11:12.

And be grieved; at their happiness, and grudge it: the Targum is,

"and shall be angry at him;''

the upright man.

He shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away; like snow water (r); or as a snail melteth, or as wax before the fire, Psalm 58:7, shall pine away with grief and envy at the happiness and prosperity of the righteous; the wicked will weep and gnash their teeth, when they shall see them in the kingdom of heaven, and they themselves shut out, Luke 13:28. The desire of the wicked shall perish; they shall not have their desire, neither of good things for themselves here and hereafter, nor of evil things for the righteous.

(r) "Mens mea tabida liquescit", &c. "Liquescunt pectora", &c. Ovid. de Ponto, l. 1. Eleg. 1. v. 68. & Eleg. 2. v. 57.

The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and {g} melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

(g) The blessings of God on his children will cause the wicked to die for envy.

10. The wicked looks on in impotent rage and is consumed with vexation. While “the desire of the righteous is granted” (Proverbs 10:24), his desire comes to nought. The end of the Psalm, like the beginning, is an echo of Psalms 1.Verse 10. - The wicked shall see it, and be grieved. The wicked hate the righteous (Psalm 105:25), and are naturally "grieved" to see them prosper. "When shall he die, and his name perish?" is the thought of their heart against the godly man. He shall gnash with his teeth (comp. Job 16:9; Psalm 35:16; Psalm 37:12; Lamentations 2:16: Acts 7:54). Civilization represses these emotional displays, but the feeling remains nevertheless. And melt away; or, "consume away" - "waste away" - through envy and hate. The desire of the wicked shall perish (comp. Psalm 1:6). "The desire of the wicked" - that which they earnestly long for, which is the downfall and destruction of the righteous - does not come to pass, but falls to the ground, "perishes," comes to naught.

As in the preceding Psalm. Psa 112:1 here also sets forth the theme of that which follows. What is there said in Psalm 112:3 concerning the righteousness of God, Psalm 112:3 here says of the righteousness of him who fears God: this also standeth fast for ever, it is indeed the copy of the divine, it is the work and gift of God (Psalm 24:5), inasmuch as God's salutary action and behaviour, laid hold of in faith, works a like form of action and behaviour to it in man, which, as Psalm 112:9 says, is, according to its nature, love. The promise in Psalm 112:4 sounds like Isaiah 60:2. Hengstenberg renders: "There ariseth in the darkness light to the upright who is gracious and compassionate and just." But this is impossible as a matter of style. The three adjectives (as in Psalm 111:4, pointing back to Exodus 34:6, cf. Psalm 145:8; Psalm 116:5) are a mention of God according to His attributes. חנּוּן and רחוּם never take the article in Biblical Hebrew, and צדּיק follows their examples here (cf. on the contrary, Exodus 9:27). God Himself is the light which arises in darkness for those who are sincere in their dealings with Him; He is the Sun of righteousness with wings of rays dispensing "grace" and "tender mercies," Malachi 4:2. The fact that He arises for those who are compassionate as He is compassionate, is evident from Psalm 112:5. טוב being, as in Isaiah 3:10; Jeremiah 44:17, intended of well-being, prosperity, טּוב אישׁ is here equivalent to אשׁרי אישׁ, which is rendered טוּביהּ דּגברא in Targumic phrase. חונן signifies, as in Psalm 37:26, Psalm 37:21, one who charitably dispenses his gifts around. Psalm 112:5 is not an extension of the picture of virtue, but, as in Psalm 127:5, a promissory prospect: he will uphold in integrity (בּמשׁפּט, Psalm 72:2, Isaiah 9:7, and frequently), or rather ( equals בּמּשׁפּט) in the cause (Psalm 143:2, Proverbs 24:23, and frequently), the things which depend upon him, or with which he has to do; for כּלכּל, sustinere, signifies to sustain, i.e., to nourish, to sustain, i.e., endure, and also to support, maintain, i.e., carry through. This is explanatorily confirmed in Psalm 112:6 : he stands, as a general thing, imperturbably fast. And when he dies he becomes the object of everlasting remembrance, his name is still blessed (Proverbs 10:7). Because he has a cheerful conscience, his heart too is not disconcerted by any evil tidings (Jeremiah 49:23): it remains נכון, erect, straight and firm, without suffering itself to bend or warp; בּטח בּה, full of confidence (passive, "in the sense of a passive state after a completed action of the person himself," like זכוּר, Psalm 103:14); סמוּך, stayed in itself and established. The last two designations are taken from Isaiah 26:3, where it is the church of the last times that is spoken of. Psalm 91:8 gives us information with reference to the meaning of ראה בצריו; עד, as in Psalm 94:13, of the inevitable goal, on this side of which he remains undismayed. 2 Corinthians 9:9, where Paul makes use of Psalm 112:9 of the Psalm before us as an encouragement to Christian beneficence, shows how little the assertion "his righteousness standeth for ever" is opposed to the New Testament consciousness. פּזּר of giving away liberally and in manifold ways, as in Proverbs 11:24. רוּם, Psalm 112:9, stands in opposition to the egoistical הרים in Psalm 75:5 as a vegetative sprouting up (Psalm 132:17). The evil-doer must see this, and confounded, vex himself over it; he gnashes his teeth with the rage of envy and chagrin, and melts away, i.e., loses consistency, becomes unhinged, dies off (נמס, 3d praet. Niph. as in Exodus 16:21, pausal form of נמס equals נמס). How often has he desired the ruin of him whom he must now see in honour! The tables are turned; this and his ungodly desire in general come to nought, inasmuch as the opposite is realized. On יראה, with its self-evident object, cf. Micah 7:10. Concerning the pausal form וכעס, vid., Psalm 93:1. Hupfeld wishes to read תּקות after Psalm 9:19, Proverbs 10:28. In defence of the traditional reading, Hitzig rightly points to Proverbs 10:24 together with Proverbs 10:28.
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