You love evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
And lying rather than to speak righteousness - He preferred a lie to the truth; and, when he supposed that his own interest would be subserved by it, he preferred a falsehood that would promote that interest, rather than a simple statement of the truth. The "lying" in this case was that which was "implied" in his being desirous of giving up David, or betraying him to Saul - as if David was a bad man, and as if the suspicions of Saul were wellfounded. He preferred to give his countenance to a falsehood in regard to him, rather than to state the exact truth in reference to his character. His conduct in this was strongly in contrast with that of Ahimelech, who, when arraigned before Saul, declared his belief that David was innocent; his firm conviction that David was true and loyal. "For" that fidelity he lost his life, 1 Samuel 22:14. Doeg was willing to lend countenance to the suspicions of Saul, and practically to represent David as a traitor to the king. The word "Selah" here is doubtless a mere musical pause. See the notes at Psalm 3:2. It determines nothing in regard to the sense of the passage.
mischiefs—evil to others (Ps 5:9; 38:12).
working deceitfully—(Ps 10:7), as a keen, smoothly moving razor, cutting quietly, but deeply.Evil and
good may be here taken, either,
1. Morally; Thou lovest wickedness and not goodness; for so comparative passages are oft meant, as Psalm 118:8, It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man, i.e. It is good to trust God, but it is not good to trust man; for this is absolutely forbidden, Psalm 146:3 Jeremiah 17:5. Or,
2. Physically. Thou lovest to speak or act to the hurt and ruin of others, rather than to their benefit. Thou mightest, without any danger to thyself, have been silent concerning Ahimelech’s fact, or have put a favourable construction upon it; but thou hast chosen rather to misrepresent and aggravate it. He saith,
thou lovest, to imply that he did this not by any constraint or necessity, but by choice, and with complacency, and out of a love to mischief.
Lying, whereof Doeg was guilty, partly in reporting that he (i.e. Ahimelech) inquired of the Lord for him, (David,) 1 Samuel 22:10, which he did not, 1 Samuel 21, where all that history is recorded; and partly in putting a false interpretation upon what he did, in giving him victuals and a sword, as if he had done it knowingly, and in conspiracy with David, and against Saul, as appears by comparing Doeg’s answer with Saul’s inquiry, 1 Samuel 22:7,8.
Righteousness, i.e. the whole and naked truth, without any such lying or malicious comment upon it, which was but an act of justice due from thee to any man, and much more on the behalf of so innocent and sacred a person. Psalm 118:8; a wicked man loves evil, and nothing else; his carnal mind being enmity to all that is good
and lying rather than to speak righteousness; as appears by his affirming that Ahimelech inquired of the Lord for David, when he did not, 1 Samuel 22:10; and by suffering some things to pass for truths which were falsehoods, when it lay in his power to have disproved them: and such a lover of lies is antichrist; see 1 Timothy 4:2.Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. evil more than good] Evil rather than good, evil and not good. The meaning is not merely that he has a preference for evil, but that he chooses evil instead of good, like the nobles censured in Micah 3:2, “who hate the good and love the evil.”
righteousness] Not merely truth, but truth regarded as promoting and securing justice. The aim and result of his falsehoods was injustice.Verse 3. - Thou lovest evil more than good. To "love evil" is to have reached the lowest depth of depravity. It is to say, with Milton's Satan, "Evil, be thou my good!" And lying rather than to speak righteousness (see the comment on ver. 2). Doeg's crimes seem to have arisen out of a mere love of evil. Psalm 9:13; Psalm 106:38, and frequently). We have also met with הצּיל construed with מן of the sin in Psalm 39:9. He had given Uriah over to death in order to possess himself of Bathsheba. And the accusation of his conscience spoke not merely of adultery, but also of murder. Nevertheless the consciousness of sin no longer smites him to the earth, Mercy has lifted him up; he prays only that she would complete her work in him, then shall his tongue exultingly praise (רנּן with an accusative of the object, as in Psalm 59:17) God's righteousness, which, in accordance with the promise, takes the sinner under its protection. But in order to perform what he vowed he would do under such circumstances, he likewise needs grace, and prays, therefore, for a joyous opening of his mouth. In sacrifices God delighteth not (Psalm 40:7, cf. Isaiah 1:11), otherwise he would bring some (ואתּנה, darem, sc. si velles, vid., on Psalm 40:6); whole-burnt-offerings God doth not desire: the sacrifices that are well-pleasing to Him and most beloved by Him, in comparison with which the flesh and the dead work of the עולות and the זבחים (שׁלמים) is altogether worthless, are thankfulness (Psalm 50:23) out of the fulness of a penitent and lowly heart. There is here, directly at least, no reference to the spiritual antitype of the sin-offering, which is never called זבה. The inward part of a man is said to be broken and crushed when his sinful nature is broken, his ungodly self slain, his impenetrable hardness softened, his haughty vainglorying brought low, - in fine, when he is in himself become as nothing, and when God is everything to him. Of such a spirit and heart, panting after grace or favour, consist the sacrifices that are truly worthy God's acceptance and well-pleasing to Him (cf. Isaiah 57:15, where such a spirit and such a heart are called God's earthly temple).
(Note: The Talmud finds a significance in the plural זבחי. Joshua ben Levi (B. Sanhedrin 43b) says: At the time when the temple was standing, whoever brought a burnt-offering received the reward of it, and whoever brought a meat-offering, the reward of it; but the lowly was accounted by the Scriptures as one who offered every kind of sacrifice at once (כאילו הקריב כל הקרבנות כולן). In Irenaeaus, iv. 17, 2, and Clemens Alexandrinus, Paedag. iii. 12, is found to θυσία τῷ Θεῷ καρδία συντετριμμένη the addition: ὀσμὴ εὐωδίας τῷ Θεῷ καρδία δοξάζουσα τὸν πεπλακότα αὐτήν.)
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