I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Evil doers.—With idea of violence; from a root meaning to break in pieces.
The congregation of evil-doers - All such assemblages as were gathered together for wicked purposes, for sin and revelry; to plot wickedness; to injure men; to oppose God.
And will not sit with the wicked - That is, I will not be associated with them. This was the fixed purpose of his soul; and this was then, as it is now, an evidence of true piety. This, moreover, is an "indispensable" evidence of piety. He who does thus sit with the wicked; who makes them his companions and friends; who unites with them in their plans and purposes; who partakes with them in their special amusements and pursuits, cannot possibly be a pious man. If he mingles with such people at all, it must be only as demanded by the necessities of social or civil life; or in the transactions of business; or for the purpose of doing them good. If it is for other purposes, if he makes them his chosen companions and friends, he gives the clearest evidence that his heart is with them, and that it is not with God.The congregation of evil-doers; either,
1. Their whole rank or society. I have an antipathy against all such persons, without any exception. Or,
2. To meet and join with them in their assemblies and consultations, or sit with them, as it follows. Jeremiah 15:17;
and will not sit with the wicked; ungodly and unrighteous men, sons of Belial; for with such what fellowship and concord can there be? 2 Corinthians 6:14; the word (x) signifies restless and uneasy persons, who cannot rest unless they do mischief; are like the troubled sea, continually casting up mire and dirt, Isaiah 57:20; now, by all this the psalmist means not that good men should have no manner of conversation with the men of the world: for then, as the apostle says, we must needs go out of the world, 1 Corinthians 5:9. Conversation in civil things, in matters of trade and business, is lawful; though all unnecessary conversation in things of civil life is to be shunned; no more should be had than what natural relation and the business of life require; but all conversation in things criminal is to be avoided; company is not to be kept with them, so as to join them in anything sinful; this is to harden them in their evil ways, and it brings into danger and into disgrace: a man is known and is judged of by the company that he keeps; and evil communications corrupt good manners.
(x) "significat inquietum esse, ceu patet ex", Isaiah 48.22. Gejerus.I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. I have hated] R.V., I hate.
the congregation of evil doers] Cp. Psalm 22:16. Is there not a tacit contrast between the congregation which meets for its own evil purposes, and that which assembles for the worship of Jehovah (Psalm 26:12)?Verse 5. - I have hated the congregation of evil-doers. Fifthly, he has hated, and hates, with a holy and strong abhorrence (comp. Psalm 139:22), the congregation of evil-deers - the gatherings and assemblies of those who meet only for wicked purposes - to sin themselves, and to draw others into like evil courses. This is a positive trait of a very marked character, and goes far beyond the explanation which has been given of it: "I take no part in assemblies for the ruin of others" (Hengstenberg). Sixthly and lastly, he will not sit with the wicked. This only goes beyond the declarations in ver. 4 by extending to all wicked persons of every kind the avoidance there limited to "vain persons," and "dissemblers." The spirit is that indicated by Jacob in Genesis 49:6; by St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 and Ephesians 5:7, 11; and by St. John, on the celebrated occasion when he avoided contact with Cerinthus (Iren., 3:3, § 4). Job 1:1) he desires to have as his guardians on his way which is perilous not only by reason of outward foes, but also on account of his own sinfulness. These custodians are not to let him pass out of their sight, lest he should be taken away from them (cf. Psalm 40:12; Proverbs 20:28). He can claim this for himself, for the cynosure of his hope is God, from whom proceed תם and ישׁר like good angels.
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