Psalm 139:21
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate you? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against you?
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(21) Do not I . . .—Better—

“Must I not hate thy haters, Jehovah,

And feel loathing for thy assailants?”

Psalm 139:21-22. Do not I hate them that hate thee? — I appeal to thee, the omnipresent and omniscient God, whether I do not perfectly hate them, (that is, hate their ways,) so far as they are enemies to thee and goodness. Am I not grieved — With the folly and sin of those that rise up against thee? — That act in open hostility against thy authority. I am grieved to see their wickedness, and to foresee the ruin in which it will certainly end. I count them mine enemies — I am no less grieved with their enmity against thee than if they directed it against myself. “A faithful servant hath the same interests, the same friends, the same enemies, with his Master, whose cause and honour he is, upon all occasions, in duty bound to support and maintain. A good man hates, as God himself doth; he hates not the persons of men, but their sins; not what God made them, but what they have made themselves. We are neither to hate the men on account of the vices they practise, nor love the vices for the sake of the men who practise them. He who observes invariably this distinction, fulfils the perfect law of charity, and hath the love of God and of his neighbour abiding in him.” — Horne.139:17-24 God's counsels concerning us and our welfare are deep, such as cannot be known. We cannot think how many mercies we have received from him. It would help to keep us in the fear of the Lord all the day long, if, when we wake in the morning, our first thoughts were of him: and how shall we admire and bless our God for his precious salvation, when we awake in the world of glory! Surely we ought not to use our members and senses, which are so curiously fashioned, as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. But our immortal and rational souls are a still more noble work and gift of God. Yet if it were not for his precious thoughts of love to us, our reason and our living for ever would, through our sins, prove the occasion of our eternal misery. How should we then delight to meditate on God's love to sinners in Jesus Christ, the sum of which exceeds all reckoning! Sin is hated, and sinners lamented, by all who fear the Lord. Yet while we shun them we should pray for them; with God their conversion and salvation are possible. As the Lord knows us thoroughly, and we are strangers to ourselves, we should earnestly desire and pray to be searched and proved by his word and Spirit. if there be any wicked way in me, let me see it; and do thou root it out of me. The way of godliness is pleasing to God, and profitable to us; and will end in everlasting life. It is the good old way. All the saints desire to be kept and led in this way, that they may not miss it, turn out of it, or tire in it.Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? - This is in the consciousness of the psalmist a proof of his own real piety, as derived from his feelings toward those who were the enemies of God. The word hate here, as applied to them, must be understood in the sense that he disapproved of their conduct; that he did not desire to be associated with them; that he wished to avoid their society, and to find his friends among men of a different character. See the notes at Psalm 1:1. Compare Isaiah 5:5.

And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? - The expression here - "grieved" - explains the meaning of the word "hate" in the former member of the verse. It is not that hatred which is followed by malignity or ill-will; it is that which is accompanied with grief - pain of heart - pity - sorrow. So the Saviour looked on people: Mark 3:5 : "And when he had looked round about on them with "anger," being "grieved" for the hardness of their hearts." The Hebrew word used here, however, contains "also" the idea of being disgusted with; of loathing; of nauseating. See the notes at Psalm 119:158. The feeling referred to is anger - conscious disgust - at such conduct; and grief, pain, sorrow, that people should evince such feelings toward their Maker.


Ps 139:1-24. After presenting the sublime doctrines of God's omnipresence and omniscience, the Psalmist appeals to Him, avowing his innocence, his abhorrence of the wicked, and his ready submission to the closest scrutiny. Admonition to the wicked and comfort to the pious are alike implied inferences from these doctrines.

I appeal to thee, the omnipresent and omniscient God, whether I do not perfectly hate them so far as they are enemies to God and goodness.

That rise up against thee, in open hostility and rebellion against thine authority. Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee?.... Wicked men are haters of God; of his word, both law and Gospel; of his ordinances, ways, and worship; of his people, cause, and interest; and therefore good men hate them: not as men, as the creatures of God, and as their fellow creatures, whom they are taught by the Gospel to love, to do good unto, and pray for; but as haters of God, and because they are so; not their persons, but their works; and for the truth of this the omniscient God is appealed unto;

and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? as wicked men do, in their hearts, in their words, and in their actions. They rebel against God, and contend with him, which is folly and madness; and this is grieving to good men, because of their insolence and impudence, the ruin and destruction they expose themselves to, and the dishonour done to God: and this arises from their great love and strong affection for him, not being able to bear such behaviour to him; as a man is filled with grief and indignation when another rises up against his father or his friend; see Psalm 119:136.

Do not I {o} hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

(o) He teaches us boldly to contemn all the hatred of the wicked and friendship of the world, when they would prevent us from serving God sincerely.

21. am not I grieved with] Do not I loathe, as in Psalm 119:158.Verse 21. - Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? Those who love God must hate God's enemies. The psalmist claims to be of this number. The fact that man is manifest to God even to the very bottom of his nature, and in every place, is now confirmed from the origin of man. The development of the child in the womb was looked upon by the Israelitish Chokma as one of the greatest mysteries, Ecclesiastes 11:5; and here the poet praises this coming into being as a marvellous work of the omniscient and omnipresent omnipotence of God. קנה here signifies condere; and סכך not: to cover, protect, as in Psalm 140:8; Job 40:22, prop. to cover with network, to hedge in, but: to plait, interweave, viz., with bones, sinews, and veins, like שׂכך in Job 10:11. The reins are made specially prominent in order to mark the, the seat of the tenderest, most secret emotions, as the work of Him who trieth the heart and the reins. The προσευχή becomes in Psalm 139:14 the εὐχαριστία: I give thanks unto Thee that I have wonderfully come into being under fearful circumstances, i.e., circumstances exciting a shudder, viz., of astonishment (נוראות as in Psalm 65:6). נפלה ( equals נפלא) is the passive to הפלה, Psalm 4:4; Psalm 17:7. Hitzig regards נפליתה (Thou hast shown Thyself wonderful), after the lxx, Syriac, Vulgate, and Jerome, as the only correct reading; but the thought which is thereby gained comes indeed to be expressed in the following line, Psalm 139:14, which sinks down into tautology in connection with this reading. `otsem (collectively equivalent to עצמים, Ecclesiastes 11:5) is the bones, the skeleton, and, starting from that idea, more generally the state of being as a sum-total of elements of being. אשׁר, without being necessarily a conjunction (Ew. 333, a), attaches itself to the suffix of עצמי. רקּם, "to be worked in different colours, or also embroidered," of the system of veins ramifying the body, and of the variegated colouring of its individual members, more particularly of the inward parts; perhaps, however, more generally with a retrospective conception of the colours of the outline following the undeveloped beginning, and of the forming of the members and of the organism in general.

(Note: In the Talmud the egg of a bird or of a reptile is called מרקּמת, when the outlines of the developed embryo are visible in it; and likewise the mole (mola), when traces of human; organization can be discerned in it.)

The mother's womb is here called not merely סתר (cf. Aeschylus' Eumenides, 665: ἐν σκοτοισι νηδύος τεθραμμένη, and the designation of the place where the foetus is formed as "a threefold darkness' in the Koran, Sur. xxxix. 8), the ē of which is retained here in pause (vid., Bttcher, Lehrbuch, 298), but by a bolder appellation תּחתּיּות ארץ, the lowest parts of the earth, i.e., the interior of the earth (vid., on Psalm 63:10) as being the secret laboratory of the earthly origin, with the same retrospective reference to the first formation of the human body out of the dust of the earth, as when Job says, Job 1:21 : "naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither" - שׁמּה, viz., εἰς τὴν γῆν τὴν μητέρα πάντων, Sir. 40:1. The interior of Hades is also called בּטן שׁאול in Jonah 2:2, Sir. 51:5. According to the view of Scripture the mode of Adam's creation is repeated in the formation of every man, Job 33:6, cf. Job 33:4. The earth was the mother's womb of Adam, and the mother's womb out of which the child of Adam comes forth is the earth out of which it is taken.

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