Psalm 9:5
Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
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(5) Put out.—Better, blotted out. The family is extinct and its name erased from the civil register. (See Psalm 69:28; Psalm 109:13.) The Daleth stanza is wanting.

9:1-10 If we would praise God acceptably, we must praise him in sincerity, with our whole heart. When we give thanks for some one particular mercy, we should remember former mercies. Our joy must not be in the gift, so much as in the Giver. The triumphs of the Redeemer ought to be the triumphs of the redeemed. The almighty power of God is that which the strongest and stoutest of his enemies are no way able to stand before. We are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth, and that with him there is no unrighteousness. His people may, by faith, flee to him as their Refuge, and may depend on his power and promise for their safety, so that no real hurt shall be done to them. Those who know him to be a God of truth and faithfulness, will rejoice in his word of promise, and rest upon that. Those who know him to be an everlasting Father, will trust him with their souls as their main care, and trust in him at all times, even to the end; and by constant care seek to approve themselves to him in the whole course of their lives. Who is there that would not seek him, who never hath forsaken those that seek Him?Thou hast rebuked the heathen - Not the pagan in general, or the nations at large, but those who are particularly referred to in this psalm - those who are described as the enemies of the writer and of God. On the word rendered "heathen" here - גוים gôyim - see the notes at Psalm 2:1. The word rebuke here does not mean, as it does usually with us, to chide with words, but it means that he had done this by deeds; that is, by overcoming or vanquishing them. The reference is, undoubtedly, to some of those nations with whom the writer had been at war, and who were the enemies of himself and of God, and to some signal act of the divine interposition by which they had been overcome, or in which the author of the psalm had gained a victory. DeWette understands this as referring to "barbarians, foreigners, pagan?" David, in the course of his life, was often in such circumstances as are here supposed, though to what particular event he refers it would not be possible now to decide.

Thou hast destroyed the wicked - The Hebrew here is in the singular number - רשׁע râshâ‛ - though it may be used collectively, and as synonymous with the word "heathen." Compare Isaiah 14:5; Psalm 84:10; Psalm 125:3. The Aramaic Paraphrase renders this, "Thou hast destroyed the impious Goliath." The reference is undoubtedly to the enemies meant by the word pagan, and the writer speaks of them not only as pagan or foreigners, but as characterized by wickedness, which was doubtless a correct description of their general character.

Thou hast put out their name forever and ever - As when a nation is conquered, and subdued; when it is made a province of the conquering nation, and loses its own government, and its distinct existence as a people, and its name is no more recorded among the kingdoms of the earth. This is such language as would denote entire subjugation, and it is probably to some such event that the psalmist refers. Nations have often by conquest thus lost their independence and their distinct existence, by becoming incorporated into others. To some such entire subjugation by conquest the psalmist undoubtedly here refers.

3-5. When … are turned back—It is the result of God's power alone. He, as a righteous Judge (Ps 7:11), vindicates His people. He rebukes by acts as well as words (Ps 6:1; 18:15), and so effectually as to destroy the names of nations as well as persons. Rebuked, i.e. punished, as Psalm 6:1; or destroyed, as it is explained in the next clause.

The heathen, to wit, the Philistines and other heathen nations, who did from time to time molest David, or the people of Israel.

Their name; either that fame and honour which they had gained by their former exploits, but now utterly lost by their shameful defeats; or their very memorial, as it fared with Analek.

Thou hast rebuked the Heathen,.... The people of the Philistines, as the Targum and Kimchi explain it, though some Jewish writers (a) understand it of Amalek the chief of the Heathen nations; but it rather refers to Gospel times, and to the rebukes of the Heathen, by the preaching of the Gospel, for their idolatry and superstition; and especially to the latter day, and to the rebukes of the antichristian states, the Papists who are called Gentiles; which will be with flames of fire, and will issue in their utter extirpation, upon which a profound peace and prosperity will succeed in the Christian churches, according to Isaiah 2:4; which is a prophecy of those times;

thou hast destroyed the wicked; the wicked man; for it is in the singular number, "labben", as Aben Ezra observes, or who is meant by him; Goliath, according to the Targum and Kimchi; or Esau, as other Jewish writers (b), that is, his posterity the Edomites; and each of these were figures of antichrist, the man of sin, the wicked one, whom Christ will slay with the breath of his lips, Isaiah 11:4;

thou hast put out their name for ever and ever; that is, the glory and reputation of their name, a good and honourable one, which they sought to transmit to the latest posterity; for though the names of wicked men may continue, as Pharaoh, Judas, and others; yet they continue with a scandal and reproach upon them that shall never be wiped off, their names rot and stink; see Proverbs 10:7; the whole of this denotes the utter ruin and shameful end of the enemies of Christ and his church, and which is matter of joy to the saints.

(a) Jarchi in loc. & Pesikta in ibid. in v. 1.((b) Ibid.

Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
5. Thou hast rebuked the heathen] Or, as R.V. text, the nations, though here, where the word is parallel to the wicked, and denotes the nations in obstinate and sinful opposition to God’s people, heathen (R.V. marg.) might stand. God’s ‘rebuke’ is the effectual sentence of His wrath which carries its own execution with it (Psalm 76:6).

thou hast put out their name] R.V., Thou hast blotted out their name. Cp. Deuteronomy 9:14.

5, 6. Stanza of Gimel. The utter destruction of the nations in their wickedness.

Verse 5. - Thou hast rebuked the heathen; rather, thou didst rebuke; LXX., ἐπετίμησας: i.e. on the recent occasion. When God would rebuke, be punishes; when he punishes, by so doing he rebukes. Thou hast destroyed the wicked; rather, thou didst destroy. Thou hast put out their name for ever and ever. If taken literally, this should mean extermination, and so some explain (Hengstenberg, Kay, 'Speaker's Commentary'); but some allowance must be made for the use of hyperbole by a poet. None of the nations with which David contended suffered extinction or extermination. Psalm 9:5(Heb.: 9:6-7) The strophe with ג, which is perhaps intended to represent ד and ה as well, continues the confirmation of the cause for thanksgiving laid down in Psalm 9:4. He does not celebrate the judicial act of God on his behalf, which he has just experienced, alone, but in connection with, and, as it were, as the sum of many others which have preceded it. If this is the case, then in Psalm 9:6 beside the Ammonites one may at the same time (with Hengstenb.) think of the Amalekites (1 Samuel 8:12), who had been threatened since the time of Moses with a "blotting out of their remembrance" (Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 25:19, cf. Numbers 24:20). The divine threatening is the word of omnipotence which destroys in distinction from the word of omnipotence that creates. רשׁע in close connection with גּוים is individualising, cf. Psalm 9:18 with Psalm 9:16, Psalm 9:17. ועד is a sharpened pausal form for ועד, the Pathach going into a Segol (קטן פתח); perhaps it is in order to avoid the threefold a-sound in לעולם ועד (Ngelsbach 8 extr.). In Psalm 9:7 האויב (with Azla legarme) appears to be a vocative. In that case נתשׁתּ ought also to be addressed to the enemy. But if it be interpreted: "Thou hast destroyed thine own cities, their memorial is perished," destroyed, viz., at the challenge of Israel, then the thought is forced; and if we render it: "the cities, which thou hast destroyed, perished is the remembrance of them," i.e., one no longer thinks of thine acts of conquest, then we have a thought that is in itself awkward and one that finds no support in any of the numerous parallels which speak of a blotting out and leaving no trace behind. But, moreover, in both these interpretations the fact that זכרם is strengthened by המּה is lost sight of, and the twofold masculine זכרם המּה is referred to ערים (which is carelessly done by most expositors), whereas עיר, with but few exceptions, is feminine; consequently זכרם המה, so far as this is not absolutely impossible, must be referred to the enemies themselves (cf. Psalm 34:17; Psalm 109:15). האויב might more readily be nom. absol.: "the enemy - it is at end for ever with his destructions," but חרבּה never has an active but always only a neuter signification; or: "the enemy - ruins are finished for ever," but the signification to be destroyed is more natural for תּמם than to be completed, when it is used of ruinae. Moreover, in connection with both these renderings the retrospective pronoun (חרבותיו) is wanting, and this is also the case with the reading חרבות (lxx, Vulg., Syr.), which leaves it uncertain whose swords are meant. But why may we not rather connect האויב at once with תּמּוּ as subject? In other instances תּמּוּ is also joined to a singular collective subject, e.g., Isaiah 16:4; here it precedes, like הארב in Judges 20:37. חרבות לנצח is a nominative of the product, corresponding to the factitive object with verbs of making: the enemies are destroyed as ruins for ever, i.e., so that they are become ruins; or, more in accordance with the accentuation: the enemy, destroyed as ruins are they for ever. With respect to what follows the accentuation also contains hints worthy of our attention. It does not take נתשׁתּ (with the regular Pathach by Athnach after Olewejored, vid., on Psalm 2:7) as a relative clause, and consequently does not require זכרם המה to be referred back to ערים.

We interpret the passage thus: and cities (viz., such as were hostile) thou hast destroyed (נתשׁ evellere, exstirpare), perished is their (the enemies') memorial. Thus it also now becomes intelligible, why זכרם, according to the rule Ges. 121, 3, is so remarkably strengthened by the addition of המּה (cf. Numbers 14:32; 1 Samuel 20:42; Proverbs 22:19; Proverbs 23:15; Ezekiel 34:11). Hupfeld, whose interpretation is exactly the same as ours, thinks it might perhaps be the enemies themselves and the cities set over against one another. But the contrast follows in Psalm 9:8 : their, even their memorial is perished, while on the contrary Jahve endures for ever and is enthroned as judge. This contrast also retrospectively gives support to the explanation, that זכרם refers not to the cities, but to האויב as a collective. With this interpretation of Psalm 9:7 we have no occasion to read זכרם מהמּה (Targ.), nor זכר מהמּה (Paul., Hitz.). The latter is strongly commended by Job 11:20, cf. Jeremiah 10:2; but still it is not quite admissible, since זכר here is not subjective (their own remembrance) but objective (remembrance of them). But may not ערים perhaps here, as in Psalm 139:20, mean zealots equals adversaries (from עיר fervere, zelare)? We reply in the negative, because the Psalm bears neither an Aramaising nor a North Palestinian impress. Even in connection with this meaning, the harshness of the ערים without any suffix would still remain. But, that the cities that are, as it were, plucked up by the root are cities of the enemy, is evident from the context.

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