They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They gather—i.e., possibly, They crowd into the courts of law to take part in the unjust condemnation of the just, or more generally, “They attack the life of the righteous.” LXX., “they hunt.” (Comp. Psalm 35:15.)Psalm 94:21-23. They gather themselves against the soul of the righteous — Against the life, as the word here rendered soul commonly signifies, and as the next clause explains it. They are not satisfied with the spoils of the estates of the righteous, but do also thirst after their lives. And condemn the innocent blood — They shed the blood of those innocent persons whom they have wickedly condemned. Innocent blood is here put for the blood of innocent persons. But the Lord is my defence — Let them decree what they please, and be too hard for all laws; the Lord, who hates unrighteousness, will be my defence; he, who hath long been very gracious to me, will secure me from their violence. He is the rock of my refuge — In the clefts of which I may take shelter, and on the top of which I may set my feet, and be out of the reach of danger. He shall bring upon them their own iniquity — The fruit and punishment of their iniquity. He shall deal with them according to their desert; and that very mischief which they designed against God’s people shall be brought upon themselves. He shall cut them off in their own wickedness — Either in the midst of their sins, or by their own wicked devices, the mischief whereof he will cause to fall upon their own heads. The Lord our God — The God of Jacob, of whom they said, he did not see, nor regard them, shall cut them off — And they shall find themselves mistaken in their false views and expectations of impunity, to their sorrow; he shall cut them off out of the land of the living; shall cut them off from any fellowship with himself, and so shall make them completely miserable; and their pomp and power shall stand them in no stead.
iniquity [and] mischief—both denote evils done to others, as Ps 94:21 explains.Against the soul; against the life, as the soul commonly signifies, and as the next clause explains it. They are not satisfied with the spoil of their estates, but do also thirst after their lives.
Condemn the innocent blood; they shed the blood of those innocent persons whom they have wickedly condemned. Innocent blood is here put for the blood or life of an innocent person, as it is also 1 Samuel 19:5 Matthew 27:4. Revelation 16:17,
against the soul of the righteous; or "the life" of them; in order to take away their lives; to cut them off, root and branch, and destroy at once the whole interest of Christ; for it will be to make war with him, and them his followers, who are the righteous here meant, made so by his righteousness, that they will be gathered together in such great numbers:
and condemn the innocent blood; condemn innocent persons to death, shed their blood, and drink it, and to such a degree as to be drunk with it; for in them will be found the blood of the prophets and saints, and of all that are slain on earth, Revelation 17:6.They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. They gather themselves together] So the Targ. and Jer., possibly reading yâgûrû, as in Psalm 56:6; Psalm 59:3. The Mass. text however seems to mean they make raids upon the life of the righteous.
condemn the innocent blood] I.e. condemn the innocent to death.Verse 21. - They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood (comp. 2 Kings 21:16; 2 Kings 24:4; Psalm 10:8; Proverbs 6:17; Isaiah 1:21; Isaiah 59:3, 7; Jeremiah 7:6; Jeremiah 22:3, 17, etc.). A Messianic allusion is possible, but not necessary. Psalm 34:9; Psalm 40:5, and more especially of Job 5:17, cf. Proverbs 3:11. Here what are meant are sufferings like those bewailed in Psalm 94:5., which are however, after all, the well-meant dispensations of God. Concerning the aim and fruit of purifying and testing afflictions God teaches the sufferer out of His Law (cf. e.g., Deuteronomy 8:5.), in order to procure him rest, viz., inward rest (cf. Jeremiah 49:23 with Isaiah 30:15), i.e., not to suffer him to be disheartened and tempted by days of wickedness, i.e., wicked, calamitous days (Ew. 287, b), until (and it will inevitably come to pass) the pit is finished being dug into which the ungodly falls headlong (cf. Psalm 112:7.). יּהּ has the emphatic Dagesh, which properly does not double, and still less unite, but requires an emphatic pronunciation of the letter, which might easily become inaudible. The initial Jod of the divine name might easily lose it consonantal value here in connection with the preceding toneless û,
(Note: If it is correct that, as Aben-Ezra and Parchon testify, the וּ, as being compounded of o (u) + i, was pronounced like the u in the French word pur by the inhabitants of Palestine, then this Dagesh, in accordance with its orthophonic function, is the more intelligible in cases like תיסרנו יּה and קראתי יּה, cf. Pinsker, Einleitung, S. 153, and Geiger, Urschrift, S. 277. In קומו צּאו, Genesis 19:14; Exodus 12:31, קומו סּעו, Deuteronomy 2:24, Tsade and Samech have this Dagesh for the same reason as the Sin in תשׁביתו שּׁאור, Exodus 12:15 (vid., Heidenheim on that passage), viz., because there is a danger in all these cases of slurring over the sharp sibilant. Even Chajug' (vid., Ewald and Dukes' Beitrge, iii. 23) confuses this Dag. orthophonicum with the Dag. forte conjunctivum.)
and the Dag. guards against this: cf. Psalm 118:5, Psalm 118:18. The certainty of the issue that is set in prospect by עד is then confirmed with כּי. It is impossible that God can desert His church - He cannot do this, because in general right must finally come to His right, or, as it is here expressed, משׁפּט must turn to צדק, i.e., the right that is now subdued must at length be again strictly maintained and justly administered, and "after it then all who are upright in heart," i.e., all such will side with it, joyously greeting that which has been long missed and yearned after. משׁפּט is fundamental right, which is at all times consistent with itself and raised above the casual circumstances of the time, and צדק, like אמת in Isaiah 42:3, is righteousness (justice), which converts this right into a practical truth and reality.
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