Psalm 33:15
He fashions their hearts alike; he considers all their works.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) He fashioneth.—Better,

“Moulding their hearts for all,

Observing all their deeds.”

The Hebrew word rendered “fashion” is that used of a potter moulding clay.

33:12-22 All the motions and operations of the souls of men, which no mortals know but themselves, God knows better than they do. Their hearts, as well as their times, are all in his hand; he formed the spirit of each man within him. All the powers of the creature depend upon him, and are of no account, of no avail at all, without him. If we make God's favour sure towards us, then we need not fear whatever is against us. We are to give to him the glory of his special grace. All human devices for the salvation of our souls are vain; but the Lord's watchful eye is over those whose conscientious fear of his name proceeds from a believing hope in his mercy. In difficulties they shall be helped; in dangers they shall not receive any real damage. Those that fear God and his wrath, must hope in God and his mercy; for there is no flying from him, but by flying to him. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us; let us always have the comfort and benefit, not according to our merits, but according to the promise which thou hast in thy word given to us, and according to the faith thou hast by thy Spirit and grace wrought in us.He fashioneth their hearts alike - That is, one as well as another; or, one as really as another. No one is exempt from his control, or from all that is implied in the word "fashioneth." The meaning is not that their hearts are made to "resemble" each other, or to be "like" each other, whether in goodness or in wickedness - but that all alike "are" made by him. The idea in the word "fashioneth" here is not that of "creating," in the sense that He "makes" the heart by his own power what it is, whether good or bad; but that, as he has "formed" the hearts of all people, he must see what is in the heart, or must behold all the purposes and thoughts of people. The Maker of the human heart must understand what is in it; and, therefore, He must have a clear understanding of the purposes and designs of human beings. This idea is carried out in the latter member of the sentence, "he considereth all their works," and is substantially the same as in the expression Psalm 94:9, "He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see?"

He considereth all their works - He understands all that they do; he marks, or attends to, all that is done by them. The purpose here is to state the universal sovereignty of God. He made all things; He presides over all things; He sees all things; He is the source of safety and protection to all.

15. fashioneth—or, "forms," and hence knows and controls (Pr 21:1).

alike—without exception.

considereth—or, "understands"; God knows men's motives.

Fashioneth, or fashioned, or made, or formeth. For this may relate either,

1. To the work of creation. So he proves what he said Psalm 33:13,14, that God beheld all men, because he made them; yea, even their hearts, the most secret piece of them. Or,

2. To the works of his providence. Having said that God sees and observes all men, he now adds that he rules and governs them; yea, even their hearts, which are most masterless and unmanageable, and yet he frameth and disposeth and inclineth them, this way or that, according to the counsel of his will: see Exodus 34:24 Psalm 105:25.

Alike; or, equally, one as well as another; whether they be Jews or Gentiles, bond or free, princes or peasants; all are alike subject to his jurisdiction.

All their works, both outward and inward; all the workings of their minds and affections, and all their endeavours and actions. He fashioneth their hearts alike,.... The Lord is the former and fashioner of the heart, spirit, or soul of man, even of all hearts and spirits; whence he is called the Father of spirits, Hebrews 12:9; see Zechariah 12:1; and he is the former of them alike; which seems to intimate as if all seals were alike, as they are made by the Lord; and it may be the difference there appears to be between them afterwards, nay be owing to the make and constitution of their bodies, to their education, and different situation, circumstances, and advantages in life, whereby the hearts of some may be more opened and enlarged than others. Some render it "together", or "altogether" (g); which must not be understood of time, as if they were all made at once, but of equality; the one was made by him as well as the other; he is the fashioner of one and all of them, every whit of them; they are wholly fashioned by him, and all that is in them, all the powers and faculties of the soul; and by him only, and not by the instrumentality of another; for souls are created, not generated; they are produced out of nothing, and not out of pre-existent matter, as bodies; parents contribute somewhat to the bodies of their children, but not anything to their souls. God only "is the God of the spirits of all flesh", Numbers 16:22; some translate the word "singly" (h); one by one, one after another in the several ages of time; for he continues to fashion them, and is always doing it; see Zechariah 12:1. And he forms the hearts of his own people anew for himself, for his own glory; he forms Christ in them, and every grace of his Spirit; he forms them into one, and knits and unites them together in love, and makes them like to one another; for as face answers to face in water, so do the hearts and experiences of the saints one to another, Proverbs 27:19; all which he does wholly and alone; and since he fashions the hearts of all men in every sense, he must know them, which is the design of this expression; he knows the hearts of wicked men, and all the wickedness that is in them; he knows the hearts of good men, the worst that is in them, and also the best, which he himself has put there;

he considereth all their works; the works of evil men, not only their more open ones, but their more secret ones, and will bring them into judgment; and the works of good men, even their good works, which he will remember and reward in a way of grace.

(g) "simul", Musculus, Gejerus; so Ainsworth. (h) Sept. "sigillatim", V. L.

He {k} fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works.

(k) Therefore he knows their wicked enterprises.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. Even he who formeth the hearts of them all,

Who considereth all their works.

He Who created man must know man’s heart (Psalm 94:9). As God ‘formed’ man originally (Genesis 2:7-8), so He continues to ‘form the hearts’ of individuals and of races (Zechariah 12:1). All are in some sense subservient to His plan and purpose.Verse 15. - He fashioneth their hearts alike; rather, he mouldeth the hearts of them all. The hearts of all men are in God's keeping, and his gracious influences are exerted to "mould" them aright. Some hearts are too stubborn to yield themselves up to his fashioning, and refuse to take the impress which he desires to impart; but all, or almost all, owe it to him that they are not worse than they are. He considereth all their works; rather, he understandeth all their works - estimates, i.e., all they do at its just value, knowing the true nature of each act, its motive, aim, essence. God's praiseworthiness (b) as the Creator of the world in the kingdom of Nature. Jahve's דּבר is His almighty "Let there be;" and רוח פּיו (inasmuch as the breath is here regarded as the material of which the word is formed and the bearer of the word) is the command, or in general, the operation of His commanding omnipotence (Job 15:30, cf. Job 4:9; Isaiah 34:16, cf. Psalm 11:4). The heavens above and the waters beneath stand side by side as miracles of creation. The display of His power in the waters of the sea consists in His having confined them within fixed bounds and keeping them within these. נד is a pile, i.e., a piled up heap (Arabic nadd), and more especially an inference to harvest: like such a heap do the convex waters of the sea, being firmly held together, rise above the level of the continents. The expression is like that in Joshua 3:13, Joshua 3:15, cf. Exodus 15:8; although there the reference is to a miracle occurring in the course of history, and in this passage to a miracle of creation. כּנס refers to the heap itself, not to the walls of the storehouses as holding together. This latter figure is not introduced until Psalm 33:7: the bed of the sea and those of the rivers are, as it were, אוצרות, treasuries or storehouses, in which God has deposited the deep, foaming waves or surging mass of waters. The inhabitants (ישׁבי, not יושׁבי) of the earth have cause to fear God who is thus omnipotent (מן, in the sense of falling back from in terror); for He need only speak the word and that which He wills comes into being out of nothing, as we see from the hexameron or history of Creation, but which is also confirmed in human history (Lamentations 3:37). He need only command and it stands forth like an obedient servant, that appears in all haste at the call of his lord, Psalm 119:91.
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