Psalm 58:10
The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Wash his feet.—So in Psalm 68:23. “Wading deep in blood” is the picture suggested.

Psalm 58:10. The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance — The vengeance of God upon the enemies of his church. That is, he shall rejoice when he sees the blessed effects of it; the vindication of God’s honour, and the deliverance of himself, and all good men. The pomp and power, the prosperity and success of the wicked, are often a discouragement to the righteous. It weakens their hands, and is sometimes a strong temptation to them to call in question the wisdom and equity of the dispensations of divine providence; but when they see the judgments of God taking away the wicked, and just vengeance taken on them, although but in part, for the mischief they have done to the people and cause of God, they rejoice in the satisfaction thereby given to their faith in God’s providence, and in his justice and righteousness in governing the world. He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked — There shall be so great a slaughter of his enemies, that he might, if he pleased, wash his feet in their blood. It is an allusion to a great conqueror, who, upon “returning with a complete victory from the slaughter of his enemies, dips his feet in their blood as he passes over their carcasses.” — Bishop Patrick.58:6-11 David prayed that the enemies of God's church and people might be disabled to do further mischief. We may, in faith, pray against the designs of the enemies of the church. He foretells their ruin. And who knows the power of God's anger? The victories of the Just One, in his own person and that of his servants, over the enemies of man's salvation, produce a joy which springs not from revenge, but from a view of the Divine mercy, justice, and truth, shown in the redemption of the elect, the punishment of the ungodly, and the fulfilment of the promises. Whoever duly considers these things, will diligently seek the reward of righteousness, and adore the Providence which orders all thing aright in heaven and in earth.The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance - When he sees the just punishment inflicted on the wicked. He will approve of it; he will see that it is right; he will be glad that law is maintained, and that wickedness does not triumph; he will rejoice in the safety of those who do right, and in their deliverance from the assaults and the designs of the wicked. People everywhere approve of the just administration of law, even though it consigns the transgressors to prison or to death; and it is a matter of gratification to all who love law and order when a righteous government is maintained; when wickedness is checked; when justice is administered in a community. This is the end of government and of law; this is what all magistrates are appointed to secure; this is what all good citizens are aiming to accomplish. There is no evidence that the psalmist had any vindictive or revengeful feeling when he uttered the sentiment in this verse. See the notes at Psalm 52:6. Compare Psalm 37:34; Psalm 40:3.

He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked - Compare Psalm 68:23. The image here is taken from a battlefield, where the victor treads in the blood of the slain. It is strong language denoting the entire overthrow of the wicked. There can be no doubt, however, that the allusion is to the "feelings" of satisfaction and triumph with which a victor walks over such a field; the exultation which he has that his foes are subdued, and that he has triumphed. The "idea" is that the righteous will have emotions, when the wicked are subdued and punished, which in some respects "resemble" the feelings of the victor who walks over a field covered with the blood of the slain. Still it is not "necessary" to suppose that these are, in either case, vindictive feelings; or that either the victor or the righteous have pleasure in the shedding of blood, or in the sufferings of others; or that they would not have preferred that the discomfited and slain should "not" have been wicked, and should "not" have been made to suffer in this manner. All that is "essentially" implied in this is, that there is a feeling of satisfaction and approval when law is vindicated, and when the triumph of wickedness is prevented. It would be difficult to show that the feelings expressed by the psalmist are "less" proper than those which an officer of justice "may" have, and "ought" to have, and "does" have, when he has faithfully discharged his duty, and has secured the arrest and punishment of the violators of law; or that the psalmist has expressed anything more than every man must feel who sees "just" punishment inflicted on the guilty. Assuredly it is a matter of rejoicing that wickedness does "not" triumph; it is a thing to exult in when it "is" arrested.

10, 11. wash … wicked—denoting great slaughter. The joy of triumph over the destruction of the wicked is because they are God's enemies, and their overthrow shows that He reigneth (compare Ps 52:5-7; 54:7). In this assurance let heaven and earth rejoice (Ps 96:10; 97:1, &c.). The vengeance, i.e. the vengeance of God upon his implacable enemies; not simply for himself, but for the blessed effects of it, the vindication of God’s honour, and the deliverance of himself and of all good men.

He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked, i.e. there shall be so great a slaughter of his enemies, that he might, if he so pleased, wash his feet in their blood. See the same or like expressions, Psalm 68:23 Isaiah 63:3 Revelation 14:20. The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance,.... Before imprecated and foretold; the punishment inflicted by the Lord, to whom vengeance belongs, in a way of vindictive wrath; for what befalls the wicked in an afflictive way is in wrath, and as a vengeance upon them: and as the judgments of God are sometimes manifest, are to be seen, they are observed by the righteous, who rejoice at them; not as evils and miseries simply considered, nor from a private affection; but as the glory of divine justice is displayed therein, and the goodness of God is shown to them, by delivering them out of their hands; see Revelation 18:20;

he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked; which denotes the great destruction of the wicked, and the abundance of blood that shall be shed; see Revelation 14:20; and the entire victory the saints shall have over them, and their security from them, Psalm 68:21; as well as the satisfaction, and pleasure and refreshment, as it were, they shall have in their destruction; signified by their feet being washed in their blood, instead of being washed in water, usual in the eastern countries; because of the glory of the divine perfections appearing therein. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, read, "his hands".

The righteous shall {h} rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the {i} blood of the wicked.

(h) With a pure affection.

(i) Their punishment and slaughter will be so great.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. The righteous shall rejoice &c.] On the moral aspects of the triumph of the godly at the just punishment of the wicked see note on Psalm 5:11, and generally, Introd. pp. lxxxviii ff. It is important to observe that the rejoicing of the righteous is at the vengeance which God has taken upon the wicked, and that that vengeance is only taken upon those who have wilfully and obstinately resisted every effort for their reformation (Psalm 58:4-5). God has proclaimed, “Vengeance is mine” (Deuteronomy 32:35; cp. Nahum 1:2); in other words the time must come when evil can no longer be tolerated but must be extirpated (2 Thessalonians 1:8); and the righteous cannot but rejoice at the triumph of good over evil and the proof that God is true to His revealed character as a just Judge and sovereign Ruler. It is not for them to usurp God’s function and avenge themselves, but they must rejoice when right is vindicated. In the O.T. that joy took a concrete form which is repugnant to us, who have learned to distinguish between the sinner and his sin: it is not the spirit of the Gospel: but we may well beware lest the right feeling of moral indignation, not only against wrong in the abstract but against the wrongdoer, should be weakened.

he shall wash his feet &c.] The metaphorical and hyperbolical language of a warlike age. Cp. Psalm 68:23; and for a similar metaphor see Job 29:6.

10, 11. The issues of the judgement: the righteous rejoice in the discomfiture of their oppressors: men in general recognise the reality of God’s moral government of the world.Verses 10, 11. - In conclusion, the psalmist expresses the satisfaction of the righteous at the punishment of the unjust judges. Verse 10. - The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance. As the good man is pained when he sees the ungodly prosper, so he cannot but feel a certain satisfaction and pleasure when punishment overtakes him. Dante says -

"O Signor mio, quando saro io lieto
A veder la vendetta, che nascosa
Fa dolce l'ira tua nel suo segreto?"


(Purg.,' 20:94-96.) He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked (comp. Psalm 68:24; Isaiah 63:3). It is observable that David, personally, was too indulgent, rather than too severe, towards offenders. After this bold beginning the boldest figures follow one another rapidly; and the first of these is that of the serpent, which is kept up longer than any of the others. The verb זוּר (cogn. סוּר) is intentionally written זור in this instance in a neuter, not an active sense, plural זרוּ lar, like בּשׁוּ, טבוּ. Bakius recognises a retrospective reference to this passage in Isaiah 48:8. In such passages Scripture bears witness to the fact, which is borne out by experience, that there are men in whom evil from childhood onwards has a truly diabolical character, i.e., a selfish character altogether incapable of love. For although hereditary sinfulness and hereditary sin (guilt) are common to all men, yet the former takes the most manifold combinations and forms; and, in fact, the inheriting of sin and the complex influence of the power of evil and of the power of grace on the propagation of the human race require that it should be so. The Gospel of John more particularly teaches such a dualism of the natures of men. חמת־למו (with Rebia, as in John 18:18) is not the subject: the poison belonging to them, etc., but a clause by itself: poison is to them, they have poison; the construct state here, as in Lamentations 2:18; Ezekiel 1:27, does not express a relation of actual union, but only a close connection. יאטּם (with the orthophonic Dagesh which gives prominence to the Teth as the commencement of a syllable) is an optative future form, which is also employed as an indicative in the poetic style, e.g., Psalm 18:11. The subject of this attributive clause, continuing the adjective, is the deaf adder, such an one, viz., as makes itself deaf; and in this respect (as in their evil serpent nature) it is a figure of the self-hardening evil-doer. Then with אשׁר begins the more minute description of this adder. There is a difference even among serpents. They belong to the worst among them that are inaccessible to any kind of human influence. All the arts of sorcery are lost upon them. מלחשׁים are the whisperers of magic formulae (cf. Arabic naffathât, adjurations), and חובר חברים is one who works binding by spells, exorcism, and tying fast by magic knots (cf. חבר, to bind equals to bewitch, cf. Arab. ‛qqd, ‛nn, Persic bend equals κατάδεσμος, vid., Isaiah, i. 118, ii. 242). The most inventive affection and the most untiring patience cannot change their mind. Nothing therefore remains to David but to hope for their removal, and to pray for it.
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