Psalm 50:17
Seeing you hate instruction, and casts my words behind you.
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Psalm 50:17. Seeing thou hatest instruction — Seeing thy practice contradicts thy profession, and makes thee a notorious and impudent liar. For though with thy mouth thou showest much love to my statutes and counsels, yet, in truth, thou hatest them, as they oppose and hinder the gratification of thy beloved lusts, and are the instruments of thy just condemnation, and a manifest reproach to thy conduct. Or, seeing thou hatest reproof as מוסר, musar, is often rendered. And this, above all other parts of God’s word, is most hateful to ungodly men; and, therefore, this is fitly alleged as an evidence of their wickedness. And castest my words behind thee — As men do things which they abhor and despise.50:16-23 Hypocrisy is wickedness, which God will judge. And it is too common, for those who declare the Lord's statutes to others, to live in disobedience to them themselves. This delusion arises from the abuse of God's long-suffering, and a wilful mistake of his character and the intention of his gospel. The sins of sinners will be fully proved on them in the judgment of the great day. The day is coming when God will set their sins in order, sins of childhood and youth, of riper age and old age, to their everlasting shame and terror. Let those hitherto forgetful of God, given up to wickedness, or in any way negligent of salvation, consider their urgent danger. The patience of the Lord is very great. It is the more wonderful, because sinners make such ill use of it; but if they turn not, they shall be made to see their error when it is too late. Those that forget God, forget themselves; and it will never be right with them till they consider. Man's chief end is to glorify God: whoso offers praise, glorifies him, and his spiritual sacrifices shall be accepted. We must praise God, sacrifice praise, put it into the hands of the Priest, our Lord Jesus, who is also the altar: we must be fervent in spirit, praising the Lord. Let us thankfully accept God's mercy, and endeavour to glorify him in word and deed.Seeing thou hatest instruction - That is, He is unwilling himself to be taught. He will not learn the true nature of religion, and yet he presumes to instruct others. Compare the notes at Romans 2:21.

And castest my words behind thee - He treated them with contempt, or as unworthy of attention. He did not regard them as worthy of being "retained," but threw them contemptuously away.

16-20. the wicked—that is, the formalists, as now exposed, and who lead vicious lives (compare Ro 2:21, 23). They are unworthy to use even the words of God's law. Their hypocrisy and vice are exposed by illustrations from sins against the seventh, eighth, and ninth commandments. Seeing thy practice contradicts thy profession, and makes thee a notorious and impudent liar. Though with thy mouth thou showest much love (as is said of them, Ezekiel 33:31) to my statutes and counsels, yet in truth thou hatest them, as they are curbs to thy beloved lusts, and instruments of thy just condemnation, and a manifest reproach to thy conversation. Or,

seeing thou hatest reproof, as this word is oft rendered. And this, above all other parts of God’s word, is most hateful to ungodly men, Proverbs 9:8 Proverbs 12:1 15:10,12 Am 5:10. And therefore this is fitly alleged as an evidence of their wickedness.

Castest my words behind thee; as men do things which they abhor or despise. Seeing thou hatest instruction,.... Or "correction" (z); to be reproved or reformed by the statutes and covenant they declared to others; they taught others, but not themselves, Romans 2:21; or evangelical instruction, the doctrines of grace, and of Christ; for, as concerning the Gospel, they were enemies, Romans 11:28; and since they were haters of that, they ought not to have been teachers of others;

and castest my words behind thee; the doctrines of the Gospel, which they despised and rejected with the utmost abhorrence, as loathsome, and not fit to be looked upon and into; and also the ordinances of it, the counsel of God, which they rejected against themselves, Acts 13:45.

(z) "correctionem", Vatablus; "correptionem", Gejerus.

Seeing thou hatest {n} instruction, and castest my words behind thee.

(n) To live according to my word.

17. instruction] Or, correction; the whole discipline of moral education; a word occurring here only in the Psalter, but common in Proverbs, where it is the mark of the fool and the scorner to despise instruction. Cp. Deuteronomy 8:5; Deuteronomy 11:2.

and castest &c.] Lit., and hast cast, flung them away out of sight and got rid of them. Contrast David’s behaviour, Psalm 18:22. My words includes all God’s commandments, but points especially to the ‘ten words’ of the Decalogue (Deuteronomy 4:13; cp. Exodus 20:1).Verse 17. - Seeing thou hatest instruction (comp. Proverbs 1:25, 29). God, by his Law, teaches men their duties; but many men "hate" to be instructed. And castest my words behind thee (comp. 1 Kings 14:9; Nehemiah 9:26). They proceed from "inward alienation" to "open rejection" of the moral law. Exposition of the sacrificial Tra for the good of those whose holiness consists in outward works. The forms strengthened by ah, in Psalm 50:7, describe God's earnest desire to have Israel for willing hearers as being quite as strong as His desire to speak and to bear witness. העיד בּ, obtestari aliquem, to come forward as witness, either solemnly assuring, or, as here and in the Psalm of Asaph, Psalm 81:9, earnestly warning and punishing (cf. Arab. šahida with b, to bear witness against any one). On the Dagesh forte conjunctive in בּך, vid., Ges. ֗20, 2, a. He who is speaking has a right thus to stand face to face with Israel, for he is Elohim, the God of Israel - by which designation reference is made to the words אנכי יהוה אלהיך (Exodus 20:2), with which begins the Law as given from Sinai, and which here take the Elohimic form (whereas in Psalm 81:11 they remain unaltered) and are inverted in accordance with the context. As Psalm 50:8 states, it is not the material sacrifices, which Israel continually, without cessation, offers, that are the object of the censuring testimony. ועולתיך, even if it has Mugrash, as in Baer, is not on this account, according to the interpretation given by the accentuation, equivalent to ועל־עולותיך (cf. on the other hand Psalm 38:18); it is a simple assertory substantival clause: thy burnt-offerings are, without intermission, continually before Me. God will not dispute about sacrifices in their outward characteristics; for - so Psalm 50:9 go on to say-He does not need sacrifices for the sake of receiving from Israel what He does not otherwise possess. His is every wild beast (חיתו, as in the Asaph Psalm 79:2) of the forest, His the cattle בּהררי אלף, upon the mountains of a thousand, i.e., upon the thousand (and myriad) mountains (similar to מתי מספּר or מתי מעט), or: where they live by thousands (a similar combination to נבל עשׂור). Both explanations of the genitive are unsupported by any perfectly analogous instance so far as language is concerned; the former, however, is to be preferred on account of the singular, which is better suited to it. He knows every bird that makes its home on the mountains; ידע, as usually, of a knowledge which masters a subject, compasses it and makes it its own. Whatever moves about the fields if with Him, i.e., is within the range of His knowledge (cf. Job 27:11; Psalm 10:13), and therefore of His power; זיז (here and in the Asaph Psalm 80:14) from זאזא equals זעזע, to move to and fro, like טיט from טיטע, to swept out, cf. κινώπετον, κνώδαλον, from κινεῖν. But just as little as God requires sacrifices in order thereby to enrich Himself, is there any need on His part that might be satisfied by sacrifices, Psalm 50:12. If God should hunger, He would not stand in need of man's help in order to satisfy Himself; but He is never hungry, for He is the Being raised above all carnal wants. Just on this account, what God requires is not by any means the outward worship of sacrifice, but a spiritual offering, the worship of the heart, Psalm 50:14. Instead of the שׁלמים, and more particularly זבח תּודה, Leviticus 7:11-15, and שׁלמי נדר, Leviticus 7:16 (under the generic idea of which are also included, strictly speaking, vowed thank-offerings), God desires the thanksgiving of the heart and the performance of that which has been vowed in respect of our moral relationship to Himself and to men; and instead of the עולה in its manifold forms of devotion, the prayer of the heart, which shall not remain unanswered, so that in the round of this λογικὴ λατρεία everything proceeds from and ends in εὐχαριστία. It is not the sacrifices offered in a becoming spirit that are contrasted with those offered without the heart (as, e.g., Sir. 32 [35]:1-9), but the outward sacrifice appears on the whole to be rejected in comparison with the spiritual sacrifice. This entire turning away from the outward form of the legal ceremonial is, in the Old Testament, already a predictive turning towards that worship of God in spirit and in truth which the new covenant makes alone of avail, after the forms of the Law have served as swaddling clothes to the New Testament life which was coming into being in the old covenant. This "becoming" begins even in the Tra itself, especially in Deuteronomy. Our Psalm, like the Chokma (Proverbs 21:3), and prophecy in the succeeding age (cf. Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; Isaiah 1:11-15, and other passages), stands upon the standpoint of this concluding book of the Tra, which traces back all the requirements of the Law to the fundamental command of love.
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