Psalm 64:6
They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.
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(6) They search out iniquitiesi.e., they plan wicked schemes.

They accomplish a diligent search.—See margin, which indicates the difficulty in this clause. The versions and some MSS. also suggest a corruption of the tent. Read “They have completed their subtle measures” (literally, the planned plan).

64:1-6 The psalmist earnestly begs of God to preserve him from disquieting fear. The tongue is a little member, but it boasts great things. The upright man is the mark at which the wicked aim, they cannot speak peaceably either of him or to him. There is no guard against a false tongue. It is bad to do wrong, but worse to encourage ourselves and one another in it. It is a sign that the heart is hardened to the greatest degree, when it is thus fully set to do evil. A practical disbelief of God's knowledge of all things, is at the bottom of every wickedness. The benefit of a good cause and a good conscience, appears most when nothing can help a man against his enemies, save God alone, who is always a present help.They search out iniquities - They search deep; they examine plans; they rack their invention to accomplish it. The original word - חפשׂ châphaś - is a word which is used to denote the act of exploring - as when one searches for treasure, or for anything that is hidden or lost - implying a deep and close attention of the mind to the subject. So here they examined every plan, or every way which was suggested to them, by which they could hope to accomplish their purpose.

They accomplish - This would be better translated by rendering it, "We have perfected it!" That is, We have found it out; it is complete; meaning that they had found a plan to their liking. It is the language of self-congratulatlon.

A diligent search - Or rather, "The search is a deep search." In other words, "The plan is a consummate plan; it is just to our mind; it is exactly what we have sought to find." This, too, is language of self-congratulation and satisfaction at the plan which they had thought of, and which was so exactly to their mind.

Both the inward thought - literally, the inside; that is, the hidden design.

And the heart - The plan formed in the heart; the secret purpose.

Is deep - A deep-laid scheme; a plan that indicates profound thought; a purpose that is the result of consummate sagacity. This is the language of the author of the psalm. He admitted that there had been great talent and skill in the formation of the plan. Hence, it was that he cried so earnestly to God.

6. This is further evinced by their diligent efforts and deeply laid schemes. They search out iniquities; they study diligently and constantly to find out either matter, which they may lay to my charge, or new ways and means of doing me mischief.

They accomplish a diligent search; they have long and accurately searched, till at last they have ripened and perfected their thoughts, and found out a very cunning and deep plot. Or, they say, We have accomplished our accurate search. By long searching we have at last found what we desired. The heart is deep; mine enemies are not only cruel and malicious, but also very cunning, both to contrive and conceal, and to execute their plots.

They search out iniquities,.... The Targum adds,

"to destroy the just.''

Either occasions against them, by charging them with sin and hiring false witnesses against them, as did the enemies both of David and Christ; they sought for proper time and opportunity of committing the iniquities they were bent upon, and even searched for new sins, being inventors of evil things, Romans 1:30;

they accomplish a diligent search; diligently searched out the perfect man, and found him; and also false witnesses against him, and carried their point; which was especially true with respect to Christ;

both the inward thought of everyone of them, and the heart, is deep; being full of cunning, craftiness and wickedness, so as not to be searched out and fully known; see Psalm 5:9.

They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one {g} of them, and the heart, is deep.

(g) There is no way so secret and subtle to do hurt, which they did not invent for his destruction.

6. They plan deeds of iniquity; We have perfected (say they) a consummate plan;

And each man’s innermost thought and heart is deep.

The form of the verb is anomalous, and it is uncertain whether it is meant for the first person, or, as A.V. takes it, the third person, ‘they accomplish.’ The first person is however more graphic and forcible. For a similar abrupt introduction of the persons spoken of as speakers, see Psalm 59:7. The various reading they have hidden is improbable. They conceal their thoughts deep in their own hearts, but in vain! God explores the lowest depths and most tortuous labyrinths of the human heart (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Cp. with this and the preceding verse Isaiah 29:15, “Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from Jehovah, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?” and the sarcastic words of Micah 7:3, “Both hands are set to that which is evil to do it well.”

Verse 6. - They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search; rather, they devise iniquities. We have accomplished (they say) a well devised device. So modern critics generally (Hengstenberg, Kay, Cheyne, Canon Cook, Revised Version). Both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep. Therefore the righteous man is in great danger from them, unless God interpose. Psalm 64:6The evil speech is one with the bitter speech in Psalm 64:4, the arrow which they are anxious to let fly. This evil speech, here agreement or convention, they make firm to themselves (sibi), by securing, in every possible way, its effective execution. ספּר (frequently used of the cutting language of the ungodly, Psalm 59:13; Psalm 69:27; cf. Talmudic ספּר לשׁון שׁלישׁי, to speak as with three tongues, i.e., slanderously) is here construed with ל of that at which their haughty and insolent utterances aim. In connection therewith they take no heed of God, the all-seeing One: they say (ask), quis conspiciat ipsis. There is no need to take למו as being for לו (Hitzig); nor is it the dative of the object instead of the accusative, but it is an ethical dative: who will see or look to them, i.e., exerting any sort of influence upon them? The form of the question is not the direct (Psalm 59:8), but the indirect, in which מי, seq. fut., is used in a simply future (Jeremiah 44:28) or potential sense (Job 22:17; 1 Kings 1:20). Concerning עולת, vid., Psalm 58:3. It is doubtful whether תּמּנוּ

(Note: תּמּנוּ in Baer's Psalterium is an error that has been carried over from Heidenheim's.)

is the first person ( equals תּמּונוּ) as in Numbers 17:13, Jeremiah 44:18, or the third person as in Lamentations 3:22 ( equals תּמּוּ, which first of all resolved is תּנמוּ, and then transposed תּמּנוּ, like מעזניה equals מענזיה equals מעזּיה, Isaiah 23:11). The reading טמנוּ, from which Rashi proceeds, and which Luther follows in his translation, is opposed by the lxx and Targum; it does not suit the governing subject, and is nothing but an involuntary lightening of the difficulty. If we take into consideration, that תּמם signifies not to make ready, but to be ready, and that consequently חפשׂ מחפּשׂ is to be taken by itself, then it must be rendered either: they excogitate knavish tricks or villainies, "we are ready, a clever stroke is concocted, and the inward part of man and the heart is deep!" or, which we prefer, since there is nothing to indicate the introduction of any soliloquy: they excogitate knavish tricks, they are ready - a delicately devised, clever stroke (nominative of the result), and (as the poet ironically adds) the inward part of man and the heart is (verily) deep. There is nothing very surprising in the form תּמּנוּ for תּמּוּ, since the Psalms, whenever they depict the sinful designs and doings of the ungodly, delight in singularities of language. On ולב (not ולב) equals (אישׁ) ולב equals ולבּו, cf. Psalm 118:14.

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