When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In the springing of the wicked like grass, flourish all the workers of iniquity to be destroyed for ever, i.e., the prosperity of an evil class or community gives an impulse to evil, and apparently for a time iniquity seems to have the upper hand, but it is only that the inevitable destruction may be more signal. For the emblematic use of vegetable life in the psalter see Note, Psalm 1:3-4.Psalm 92:7-8. When the wicked spring, &c. — Many interpreters connect this with the preceding verse, thus: A brutish man knoweth not, &c., that when the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: “they are only nourishing themselves, like senseless cattle, in plentiful pastures, for the approaching day of slaughter.” Their present worldly prosperity is a presage and occasion of their utter ruin. But thou, O Lord, art most high for evermore — That is, they shall perish, but thou shalt endure, as is said in a like comparison, Psalm 102:26. They flourish for a season, but thou rulest for ever, to judge and punish them. So this verse is added by way of opposition to the former.Psalm 90:5-6; Psalm 37:2, Psalm 37:35, Psalm 37:38. The word "grass" here refers to the vegetable creation generally, embracing plants and flowers of all kinds.
And when all the workers of iniquity do flourish - As plants and flowers do. They are like vigorous plants; not like the stunted and dry shrubs of the desert.
It is that they shall be destroyed for ever - The meaning here is, not that the design of their being thus made to flourish is that they should be destroyed, or that they are made to flourish for that purpose, but that such "will be" the result. They will not be made happy in another world by their prosperous and prospered wickedness here, as if God approved of their course; but the end will be that they will be destroyed forever. The design of the psalmist seems to be to turn the mind from the idea that mere external prosperity is necessarily connected with happiness; or that one who is prospered in this life is on that account safe. There is another world, and "there" ample justice will be done to all. See Psalm 73:16-20.
8 But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore.
9 For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
"When the wicked spring as the grass," in abundance, and apparent strength, hastening on their progress like verdant plants, which come to perfection in a day, "and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish;" flowering in their prime and pride, their pomp and their prosperity; "it is that they shall be destroyed for ever." They grow to die, they blossom to be blasted. They flower for a short space to wither without end. Greatness and glory are to them but the prelude of their overthrow. Little does their opposition matter, the Lord reigns on as if they had never blasphemed him; as a mountain abides the same though the meadows at its feet bloom or wither, even so the Most High is unaffected by the fleeting mortals who dare oppose him; they shall soon vanish for ever from among the living. But as for the wicked - how can our minds endure the contemplation of their doom "for ever." Destruction "for ever" is a portion far too terrible for the mind to realise. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, the full terror of the wrath to come!
"But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore." This is the middle verse of the Psalm, and the great fact which this Sabbath song is meant to illustrate. God is at once the highest and most enduring of all beings. Others rise to fall, but he is the Most High to eternity. Glory be to his name! How great a God we worship! Who would not fear thee, O thou High Eternal One! The ungodly are destroyed for ever, and God is most high for ever; evil is cast down, and the Holy One reigns supreme eternally.
"For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord." It is a wonder full of instruction and warning, observe it, O ye sons of men; "for, lo, thine enemies shall perish;" they shall cease from among men, they shall be known no more. In that the thing is spoken twice it is confirmed by the Lord, it shall surely be, and that speedily. "All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered;" their forces shall be dispersed, their hopes broken, and themselves driven hither and thither like chaff before the tempest. They shall scatter like timid sheep pursued by the lion, they will not have the courage to remain in arms, nor the unity to abide in confederacy. The grass cannot resist the scythe, but falls in withering ranks, even so are the ungodly cut down and swept away in process of time, while the Lord whom they despised sits unmoved upon the throne of his infinite dominion. Terrible as this fact is, no true-hearted man would wish to have it otherwise. Treason against the great Monarch of the universe ought not to go unpunished; such wanton wickedness richly merits the severest doom.
and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; in the health of their bodies; not being afflicted as other men, and their eyes standing out with fatness; while a Job, an upright man, is smitten with boils from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot: in wealth and riches, in which they increase often to such a degree, as to think of pulling down their barns, and building greater, to put their substance in; in their progeny and offspring, having a numerous issue; as well as in their cattle, and the standing of them, and in other stores; likewise in their power and authority, grandeur and glory, being set in high places of honour and profit, though slippery ones: these are the godly, who are "wicked" at heart, and show it by their wicked works; who are continually committing sin, it is the course of their conversation, and yet prosper in the world; which is sometimes a stumblingblock to God's people, and a hardening of sinners, who consider not that
it is that they shall be destroyed for ever they are like brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, and as lambs and other creatures are nourished and fattened for the day of slaughter, 2 Peter 2:12, and as land is manured and cultivated, and grass springs up and flourishes, that it may be, when grown, cut down, and become the fodder of beasts, or the fuel of fire; so the prosperity of the wicked issues in their ruin, and is an aggravation of their damnation; their destruction is of soul and body in hell, and is an everlasting one; the Targum is,When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7, 8. The tenses in Psalm 92:7 (cp. Psalm 92:10-11) do not merely express a general truth, but point to some particular event.
When the wicked did flourish as the herbage,
And all the workers of iniquity did blossom,
It was that they might be destroyed for ever:
But thou art on high for evermore, Jehovah.
The simile suggests the rapid growth and equally rapid ruin of the wicked. See note on Psalm 90:5. Their triumph is the preparation for their fall. Cp. Psalm 37:35 ff.; Psalm 73:18 ff.
The simple stately rhythm of Psalm 92:8—a single line—well expresses the contrast of the unchanging supremacy of Jehovah to the upstart pretentiousness of the wicked. They deify themselves, claiming all power in earth and heaven (Psalm 73:8-9), only to vanish and leave Jehovah’s sovereignty more openly manifested (Psalm 83:17-18).
There is an obvious reminiscence of this verse in 1Ma 9:23, “And it came to pass after the death of Judas that the lawless flourished and all the workers of iniquity sprang up.”Verse 7. - When the wicked spring as the grass; i.e. "spring up" - "flourish" (see ver. 12). The difficulty is that which disturbed Job (Job 21:7-21) and Asaph (Psalm 73:2-15), viz. the prosperity of the wicked. The present writer, however, is not disturbed - he sees in their prosperous condition nothing but a prelude to their overthrow. And when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; or, "do blossom." It is that they shall be destroyed forever; literally, it is for their destruction forever (comp. Psalm 73:18-20). Isaiah 58:13.) and applying ourselves to the praise and adoration of God, which is the most proper, blessed Sabbath employment. It is good, i.e., not merely good in the eyes of God, but also good for man, beneficial to the heart, pleasant and blessed. Loving-kindness is designedly connected with the dawn of the morning, for it is morning light itself, which breaks through the night (Psalm 30:6; Psalm 59:17), and faithfulness with the nights, for in the perils of the loneliness of the night it is the best companion, and nights of affliction are the "foil of its verification." עשׂור beside נבל (נבל) is equivalent to נבל עשׂור in Psalm 33:2; Psalm 144:9 : the ten-stringed harp or lyre. הגּיון is the music of stringed instruments (vid., on Psalm 9:17), and that, since הגה in itself is not a suitable word for the rustling (strepitus) of the strings, the impromptu or phantasia playing (in Amos 6:5, scornfully, פּרט), which suits both Psalm 9:17 (where it is appended to the forte of the interlude) and the construction with Beth instrumenti.
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