You have rebuked the heathen, you have destroyed the wicked, you have put out their name for ever and ever.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.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.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. 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.Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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. Genesis 1:26, Genesis 1:28, כּל is unlimited, as in Job 13:1; Job 42:2; Isaiah 44:24. But the expansion of the expression in Psalm 8:8, Psalm 8:9 extends only to the earth, and is limited even there to the different classes of creatures in the regions of land, air, and water. The poet is enthusiastic in his survey of this province of man's dominion. And his lofty poetic language corresponds to this enthusiasm. The enumeration begins with the domestic animals and passes on from these to the wild beasts-together the creatures that dwell on terra firma. צנה (צנא Numbers 32:24) from צנה (צנא) Arab. dnâ (dn'), as also Arab. dân, fut. o., proliferum esse is, in poetry, equivalent to צאן, which is otherwise the usual name for small cattle. אלפים (in Aramaic, as the name of the letter shows, a prose word) is in Hebrew poetically equivalent to בּקר; the oxen which willingly accommodate themselves to the service of man, especially of the husbandman, are so called from אלף to yield to. Wild animals, which in prose are called חיּת הארץ, (השּׂדה) here bear the poetical name בּהמות שׂדי, as in Joel 2:22, cf. Joel 1:20, 1 Samuel 17:44. שׂדי (in pause שׂדי) is the primitive form of שׂדה, which is not declined, and has thereby obtained a collective signification. From the land animals the description passes on to the fowls of the air and the fishes of the water. צפּור is the softer word, instead of עוף; and שׁמים is water. צפּור is the softer word, instead of עוף; and שׁמים is used without the art. according to poetical usage, whereas היּם without the art. would have sounded too scanty and not sufficiently measured. In connection with ימּים the article may be again omitted, just as with שׁמים. עבר is a collective participle. If the following were intended: he (or: since he), viz., man, passes through the paths of the sea (Bttcher, Cassel, and even Aben-Ezra and Kimchi), then it would not have been expressed in such a monostich, and in a form so liable to lead one astray. The words may be a comprehensive designation of that portion of the animal kingdom which is found in the sea; and this also intended to include all from the smallest worm to the gigantic leviathan: ὁππόσα ποντοπόρους παρεπιστείβουσι κελεύθους (Apollinaris). If man thus rules over every living thing that is round about him from the nearest to the most remote, even that which is apparently the most untameable: then it is clear that every lifeless created thing in his vicinity must serve him as its king. The poet regards man in the light of the purpose for which he was created.
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