Psalm 14:3
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that does good, no, not one.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Filthy.—Better, corrupt or putrid. Comp. the Roman satirist’s description of his age:—

“Nothing is left, nothing for future times

To add to the full catalogue of crimes.

The baffled sons must feel the same desires

And act the same mad follies as their sires.

Vice has attained its zenith.”—JUVENAL: Sat. i.

Between Psalm 14:3-4 the Alexandrian MS. of the LXX., followed by the Vulg. and the English Prayer-book version, and the Arabic, insert from Romans 3:13-18, the passage beginning, “Their throat is an open sepulchre.” The fact of these verses, which are really a cento from various psalms and Isaiah, following immediately on the quotation of Psalm 14:2-3, led the copyist to this insertion. (See Note in New Testament Commentary to Romans 3:13.)

Psalm 14:3. They are all gone aside — From God and the rule he hath given them to walk by, from truth into error, and from duty into sin; from the paths of wisdom and righteousness. They are altogether become filthy, loathsome, and abominable before God.14:1-7 A description of the depravity of human nature, and the deplorable corruption of a great part of mankind. - The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. The sinner here described is an atheist, one that saith there is no Judge or Governor of the world, no Providence ruling over the affairs of men. He says this in his heart. He cannot satisfy himself that there is none, but wishes there were none, and pleases himself that it is possible there may be none; he is willing to think there is none. This sinner is a fool; he is simple and unwise, and this is evidence of it: he is wicked and profane, and this is the cause. The word of God is a discerner of these thoughts. No man will say, There is no God, till he is so hardened in sin, that it is become his interest that there should be none to call him to an account. The disease of sin has infected the whole race of mankind. They are all gone aside, there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Whatever good is in any of the children of men, or is done by them, it is not of themselves, it is God's work in them. They are gone aside from the right way of their duty, the way that leads to happiness, and are turned into the paths of the destroyer. Let us lament the corruption of our nature, and see what need we have of the grace of God: let us not marvel that we are told we must be born again. And we must not rest in any thing short of union with Christ, and a new creation to holiness by his Spirit. The psalmist endeavours to convince sinners of the evil and danger of their way, while they think themselves very wise, and good, and safe. Their wickedness is described. Those that care not for God's people, for God's poor, care not for God himself. People run into all manner of wickedness, because they do not call upon God for his grace. What good can be expected from those that live without prayer? But those that will not fear God, may be made to fear at the shaking of a leaf. All our knowledge of the depravity of human nature should endear to us salvation out of Zion. But in heaven alone shall the whole company of the redeemed rejoice fully, and for evermore. The world is bad; oh that the Messiah would come and change its character! There is universal corruption; oh for the times of reformation! The triumphs of Zion's King will be the joys of Zion's children. The second coming of Christ, finally to do away the dominion of sin and Satan, will be the completing of this salvation, which is the hope, and will be the joy of every Israelite indeed. With this assurance we should comfort ourselves and one another, under the sins of sinners and sufferings of saints.They are all gone aside - This verse states the result of the divine investigation referred to in the previous verse. The result, as seen by God himself, was, that "all" were seen to have gone aside, and to have become filthy. The word rendered "gone aside" means properly to go off, to turn aside or away, to depart; as, for example, to turn out of the right way or path, Exodus 32:8. Then it means to turn away from God; to fall away from his worship; to apostatize, 1 Samuel 12:20; 2 Kings 18:6; 2 Chronicles 25:27. This is the idea here - that they had all apostatized from the living God. The word "all" in the circumstances makes the statement as universal as it can be made; and no term could be used more clearly affirming the doctrine of universal depravity.

They are all together become filthy - The word "all" here is supplied by the translators. It was not necessary, however, to introduce it in order that the idea of universal depravity might be expressed, for that is implied in the word rendered "together," יחדו yachedâv. That word properly conveys the idea that the same character or conduct pervaded all, or that the same thing might be expressed of all those referred to. They were united in this thing - that they bad become defiled or filthy. The word is used with reference to "persons," as meaning that they are all "in one place," Genesis 13:6; Genesis 22:6; or to "events," as meaning that they occurred at one time, Psalm 4:8. They were all as one. Compare 1 Chronicles 10:6. The idea is that, in respect to the statement made, they were alike. What would describe one would describe all. The word rendered "become filthy" is, in the margin, rendered "stinking." In Arabic the word means to become "sharp," or "sour" as milk; and hence, the idea of becoming corrupt in a moral sense. Gesenius, Lexicon. The word is found only here, and in the parallel Psalm 53:3, and in Job 15:16, in each of which places it is rendered "filthy." It relates here to character, and means that their character was morally corrupt or defiled. The term is often used in that sense now.

There is none that doeth good, no, not one - Nothing could more clearly express the idea of universal depravity than this expression. It is not merely that no one could be found who did good, but the expression is repeated to give emphasis to the statement. This entire passage is quoted in Romans 3:10-12, in proof of the doctrine of universal depravity. See the note at that passage.

3. filthy—literally, "spoiled," or, "soured," "corrupted" (Job 15:16; Ro 3:12). Gone aside, to wit, from God, whom they should have sought, Psalm 14:2, and from the rule which he hath given them, and by which they sometimes professed and seemed to govern themselves. Or, are grown sour, as this word signifies, Hosea 4:18. And so this is a metaphor from corrupted drinks, as the next is taken from rotten meat.

Filthy, Heb. stinking i.e. loathsome and abominable to God, and to all wise and sober men. They are all gone aside,.... As bankrupts, having run out their whole stock, and into debt, and have nothing to pay, nor make composition with, and are obliged to abscond, as Adam, Genesis 3:8. The words in Psalm 53:3 are, "everyone of them is gone back"; from God; have revolted from him, and turned their backs upon him, and have gone back from his commandment, despised his law, and cast away his word. The Apostle Paul interprets it, "they are all gone out of the way"; out of God's way, into their own way; out of the path of truth, righteousness, and holiness, into the way of sin, error, darkness, and death; and with this agrees the interpretation of Aben Ezra, who adds, "out of the right way"; and of Kimchi and Ben Melech, whose gloss is, "out of the good way"; which is God's way, or the way of his commandments;

they are all together become filthy, or "stinking" (a), like putrid and corrupt flesh; see Psalm 38:5; and so "unprofitable", useless, and good for nothing, as the apostle renders it, Romans 3:12. Mankind are universally filthy and unclean; they are all of them defiled with sin, both in soul and body, in all the faculties of their souls and members of their bodies; and they are originally and naturally so; nor can anything cleanse them from their pollution but the blood of Christ;

there is none that doeth good, no, not one: this is repeated partly to asseverate more strongly the depravity of mankind, and partly to express the universality of it; that there is no exception to it in any that descend from Adam by ordinary generation. Here follows in the Septuagint version, according to the Vatican copy, all those passages quoted by the apostle, Romans 3:13; which have been generally supposed to have been taken from different parts of Scripture; so the Syriac scholiast says, in some ancient Greek copies are found eight more verses, and these are they, "Their throat", &c.

(a) "faetnerunt, putruerunt", Pagninus; "aut putruerunt", Vatabulus; "putidi vel foetidi", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis.

They are {c} all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

(c) David here makes comparisons between the faithful and the reprobate, but Paul speaks the same of all men naturally, Ro 3:10.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. The result of the investigation. All were turned aside from the path of right (Exodus 32:8; Jdg 2:17): together had they become tainted, a word which in Arabic means to go bad or turn sour, but in Hebr. is used only in a moral sense, here and in Job 15:16.

Three verses follow here in the P.B.V. which are not in the Hebrew text, and are rightly omitted in the A.V. The first three verses of the Psalm are quoted by St Paul in Romans 3:10-12, in proof of the universal depravity of mankind. He supplements them by further quotations from Psalm 5:9; Psalm 140:3; Psalm 10:7; Isaiah 59:7-8; Psalm 36:1 : and this cento of passages was at an early date interpolated in the LXX, from which it passed to the Vulgate, and thence to the P.B.V. The addition is found in the Vatican and Sinaitic MSS. (B and א), and other MSS. which represent the older unrevised text; but was rightly obelized by Origen, and has disappeared from the Alexandrian MS. (A) and the mass of later MSS.Verse 3. - They are all gone aside. Haccol (הַכֹּל), "the totality" - one and all of them had turned aside, like the Israelites at Sinai (Exodus 32:8); they had quitted the way of righteousness, and turned to wicked courses. The expression "denotes a general - all but universal-corruption" ('Speaker's Commentary'). They are all together become filthy; literally, sour, rancid - like milk that has turned, or butter that has become bad. There is none that doeth good, no, not one. St. Paul's application of this passage (Romans 3:10-12), to prove that "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (ver. 23), goes beyond the intention of the psalmist. (Heb.: 13:4-5) In contrast to God's seeming to have forgotten him and to wish neither to see nor know anything of his need, he prays: הבּיטה (cf. Isaiah 63:15). In contrast to his being in perplexity what course to take and unable to help himself, he prays: ענני, answer me, who cry for help, viz., by the fulfilment of my prayer as a real, actual answer. In contrast to the triumphing of his foe: האירה עיני, in order that the triumph of his enemy may not be made complete by his dying. To lighten the eyes that are dimmed with sorrow and ready to break, is equivalent to, to impart new life (Ezra 9:8), which is reflected in the fresh clear brightness of the eye (1 Samuel 14:27, 1 Samuel 14:29). The lightening light, to which האיר points, is the light of love beaming from the divine countenance, Psalm 31:17. Light, love, and life are closely allied notions in the Scriptures. He, upon whom God looks down in love, continues in life, new powers of life are imparted to him, it is not his lot to sleep the death, i.e., the sleep of death, Jeremiah 51:39, Jeremiah 51:57, cf. Psalm 76:6. המּות is the accusative of effect or sequence: to sleep so that the sleep becomes death (lxx εἰς θάνατον), Ew. 281, e. Such is the light of life for which he prays, in order that his foe may not be able at last to say יכלתּיו (with accusative object, as in Jeremiah 38:5) equals יכלתּי לו, Psalm 129:2, Genesis 32:26, I am able for him, a match for him, I am superior to him, have gained the mastery over him. כּי, on account of the future which follows, had better be taken as temporal (quum) than as expressing the reason (quod), cf. בּמוט רגלי, Psalm 38:17.
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