Psalm 140:10
Let burning coals fall on them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) In this verse too there is a grammatical difficulty, which the margin, “Let there fall on them,” instead of “Let them bring upon them,” does not remove, since the subject of the next verb is third person singular. The first verb is usually taken impersonally, as by the LXX., which version is actually to be followed in rendering coals of fire (literally, coals accompanied with fire, or, coals as fire), and we get the somewhat awkward, but intelligible—

“Let them bring upon them coals of fire;

Let him cast them into pits that they rise not again.’

But a very slight change gives a plain grammatical sentence with the subject carried on from the last verse:

“Let it (mischief) bring even upon themselves coals of fire;

Let it cast them into pits, so that they rise no more.”

(Burgess.)

The word “pits” is peculiar to the passage. Gesenius, deriving from a root meaning “to boil up,” renders, “whirlpools,” which, as in Psalm 66:12, combines “water” with “fire,” as joint emblems of perils that cannot be escaped. But Symmachus, Theodotion, and Jerome render “ditches,” which is supported by a Rabbinical quotation, given by Delitzsch: “first of all they burned them in pits; when the flesh was consumed they collected the bones, and burned them in coffins.”

140:8-13 Believers may pray that God would not grant the desires of the wicked, nor further their evil devices. False accusers will bring mischief upon themselves, even the burning coals of Divine vengeance. And surely the righteous shall dwell in God's presence, and give him thanks for evermore. This is true thanksgiving, even thanks-living: this use we should make of all our deliverances, we should serve God the more closely and cheerfully. Those who, though evil spoken of and ill-used by men, are righteous in the sight of God, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to them, and received by faith, as the effect of which, they live soberly and righteously; these give thanks to the Lord, for the righteousness whereby they are made righteous, and for every blessing of grace, and mercy of life.Let burning coals fall upon them - Let them be punished, "as if" burning coals were poured upon them. See Psalm 11:6, note; Psalm 18:12-13, notes; Psalm 120:4, note.

Let them be cast into the fire - Punished as if they were cast into the fire and consumed.

Into deep pits, that they rise not up again - That they may utterly perish. This was one mode of punishing, by casting a man into a deep pit from which he could not escape, and leaving him to die, Genesis 37:20, Genesis 37:24; Psalm 9:15; Psalm 35:7; Jeremiah 41:7.

10. (Compare Ps 11:6; 120:4).

cast into the fire; into deep pits—figures for utter destruction.

Burning coals; Divine vengeance, which is compared to coals of fire, as Psalm 18:12, and elsewhere.

Rise not up again; either to my danger, or their own comfort. Let burning coals fall upon them,.... From heaven, as the Targum, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, by way of explanation; alluding to the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire from thence: and may design both the terrible judgments of God in this life, and everlasting burnings in hell; so Jarchi interprets it of the coals of hell; see Psalm 11:6;

let them be cast into the fire; into the fire of divine wrath, and have severe punishment inflicted on them in this world; and into the fire of hell hereafter, as the Targum, which is unquenchable and everlasting; and into which all wicked men, carnal professors, the followers of antichrist, the devil and his angels, will be cast: of the phrase of casting into hell, see Matthew 5:29;

into deep pits, that they rise not up again; meaning either the grave, the pit of corruption; from whence the wicked will not rise to eternal life, as the Targum adds, for though they will rise again, it will be to everlasting shame and damnation, Daniel 12:2; or else the pit of hell, the bottomless pit, from whence there will be no deliverance; where they must lie till the uttermost farthing is paid, and that will be for ever. Arama refers this to Korah, who was burnt and swallowed up, and rose not again in Israel.

Let burning coals fall upon them: {h} let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

(h) That is by God, for David saw that they were reprobate and that there was no hope of repentance in them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Let the fate of Sodom overtake these defiant offenders! Possibly we should read, comparing Psalm 11:6, May he rain hot coals upon them! may he cast them into the fire!

deep pits] A word of uncertain meaning, found here only. Some render whirlpools: cp. R.V. marg. floods. If they try to escape the fiery storm, may they be swept away by torrents!

that they rise not up again] Let their fall be final and irremediable (Psalm 36:12), in contrast to that of the righteous, who falls to rise again (Proverbs 24:16).Verse 10. - Let burning coals fall upon them, or, "burning coals shall be thrown upon them." Let them be cast (or, "they shall be cast") into the fire, into deep pits, that they rise not up again. The clauses are declaratory rather than optative. The psalmist sees the wrath of God poured out upon his enemies, who are at the same time God's enemies - they are cast into the fire prepared to receive the wicked - and plunged into deep pits whence they find it impossible to extricate themselves. The course of this second strophe is exactly parallel with the first. The perfects describe their conduct hitherto, as a comparison of Psalm 140:3 with Psalm 140:3 shows. פּעמים is poetically equivalent to רגלים, and signifies both the foot that steps (Psalm 57:5; Psalm 58:11) and the step that is made by the foot (Psalm 85:14; Psalm 119:133), and here the two senses are undistinguishable. They are called גּאים on account of the inordinate ambition that infatuates them. The metaphors taken from the life of the hunter (Psalm 141:9; Psalm 142:4) are here brought together as it were into a body of synonyms. The meaning of ליד־מעגּל becomes explicable from Psalm 142:4; ליד, at hand, is equivalent to "immediately beside" (1 Chronicles 18:17; Nehemiah 11:24). Close by the path along which he has to pass, lie gins ready to spring together and ensnare him when he appears.
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