Psalm 94:5
They break in pieces your people, O LORD, and afflict your heritage.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Break in pieces.—Or, crush. (See Isaiah 3:15, where the word is in parallelism with “grind the faces of the poor.”)

Psalm 94:5-7. They afflict thy heritage — Those righteous persons whom thou hast chosen for thy portion or inheritance. They slay the widow, &c. — Whom common humanity obliged them to spare, pity, and relieve. Yet they say, The Lord shall not see — Their meeting with impunity and prosperity in their impious and barbarous practices makes them ready to doubt, or to deny, the providence of God in the government of his church and of the world. Neither doth the God of Jacob regard it — Though there are such evident demonstrations of the divine interpositions in favour of Jacob, and of his watchful care over them as his people, yet, for all that, they fancy he does not regard, nor will call them to any account for their doings.94:1-11 We may with boldness appeal to God; for he is the almighty Judge by whom every man is judged. Let this encourage those who suffer wrong, to bear it with silence, committing themselves to Him who judges righteously. These prayers are prophecies, which speak terror to the sons of violence. There will come a day of reckoning for all the hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against God, his truths, and ways, and people. It would hardly be believed, if we did not witness it, that millions of rational creatures should live, move, speak, hear, understand, and do what they purpose, yet act as if they believed that God would not punish the abuse of his gifts. As all knowledge is from God, no doubt he knows all the thoughts of the children of men, and knows that the imaginations of the thoughts of men's hearts are only evil, and that continually. Even in good thoughts there is a want of being fixed, which may be called vanity. It concerns us to keep a strict watch over our thoughts, because God takes particular notice of them. Thoughts are words to God.They break in pieces thy people - They tread down; they grind; they crush. The Hebrew word is often used as meaning to crush under foot; to trample on; and hence, it means to oppress. Lamentations 3:34; Isaiah 3:15.

And afflict - To wit, by oppression and wrong. If this refers to foreigners, it means that they did this by invasion and by the ravages of war.

Thine heritage - Thy people, regarded as an inheritance or possession. See Psalm 28:9, note; Psalm 33:12, note; Psalm 68:9, note; Psalm 74:2, note; Isaiah 19:25, note; Isaiah 47:6, note; 1 Peter 5:3, note.

5, 6. thy people [and] thine heritage—are synonymous, the people being often called God's heritage. As justice to the weak is a sign of the best government, their oppression is a sign of the worst (De 10:18; Isa 10:2). Those righteous persons whom thou hast chosen for thy portion or inheritance. They break in pieces thy people, O Lord,.... Not the Israelites, as Kimchi; but the church of Christ, by their anathemas, cruel edicts, and persecutions; by confiscating their goods, imprisoning their persons, putting them to cruel deaths; and by such means think to "wear out" the saints of the most High, the Lord's covenant and peculiar people; which is mentioned as an aggravation of their sin, and as an argument with the Lord to arise on their behalf:

and afflict thine heritage; the church, styled God's heritage, 1 Peter 5:3, whom the Lord has chosen for his inheritance; and are dear to him, as his portion, his jewels, and even as the apple of his eye; and yet these are afflicted all manner of ways by their persecuting enemies, as Israel was of old in Egypt.

They {d} break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.

(d) Seeing the Church was then so sore oppressed, it ought not to seem strange to us, if we see it so now, and therefore we must call to God, to take our cause in hand.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. They break in pieces] Or, crush (as Isaiah 3:15; Proverbs 22:22), by violence and extortion. Thy people … thine inheritance, as in Psalm 28:9. Cp. Deuteronomy 4:20.Verse 5. - They break in pieces thy people, O Lord; or, "crush," "oppress" (comp. Isaiah 3:15; Proverbs 22:22, where the verb is evidently used, not of foreign foes, but of domestic oppressors). And afflict thine heritage; or, "thine inheritance" - those whom thou hast taken to be thy "peculiar people" (Deuteronomy 14:2), thine own exclusive possession. All the raging of the world, therefore, will not be able to hinder the progress of the kingdom of God and its final breaking through to the glory of victory. The sea with its mighty mass of waters, with the constant unrest of its waves, with its ceaseless pressing against the solid land and foaming against the rocks, is an emblem of the Gentile world alienated from and at enmity with God; and the rivers (floods) are emblems of worldly kingdoms, as the Nile of the Egyptian (Jeremiah 44:7.), the Euphrates of the Assyrian (Isaiah 8:7.), or more exactly, the Tigris, swift as an arrow, of the Assyrian, and the tortuous Euphrates of the Babylonian empire (Isaiah 27:1). These rivers, as the poet says whilst he raises a plaintive but comforted look upwards to Jahve, have lifted up, have lifted up their murmur, the rivers lift up their roaring. The thought is unfolded in a so-called "parallelism with reservation." The perfects affirm what has taken place, the future that which even now as yet is taking place. The ἅπαξ λεγ. דּכי signifies a striking against (collisio), and a noise, a din. One now in Psalm 93:4 looks for the thought that Jahve is exalted above this roaring of the waves. מן will therefore be the min of comparison, not of the cause: "by reason of the roar of great waters are the breakers of the sea glorious" (Starck, Geier), - which, to say nothing more, is a tautological sentence. But if מן is comparative, then it is impossible to get on with the accentuation of אדירים, whether it be with Mercha (Ben-Asher) or Dechמ (Ben-Naphtali). For to render: More than the roar of great waters are the breakers of the sea glorious (Mendelssohn), is impracticable, since מים רבים are nothing less than ים (Isaiah 17:12.), and we are prohibited from taking אדירים משׁברי־ים as a parenthesis (Kצster), by the fact that it is just this clause that is exceeded by אדיר במרום ה. Consequently אדירים has to be looked upon as a second attributive to מים brought in afterwards, and משׁבּרי־ים (the waves of the sea breaking upon the rocks, or even only breaking upon one another) as a more minute designation of these great and magnificent waters (אדירים, according to Exodus 15:10),

(Note: A Talmudic enigmatical utterance of R. Azaria runs: באדירים יבא אדיר ויפרע לאדירים מאדירים, Let the glorious One (Jahve, Psalm 93:4, cf. Isaiah 10:34; Isaiah 33:21) come and maintain the right of the glorious ones (Israel, Psalm 16:3) against the glorious ones (the Egyptians, Exodus 15:10 according to the construction of the Talmud) in the glorious ones (the waves of the sea, Psalm 93:4).)),

and it should have been accented: מים רבים אדירים משברי ים מקלות. Jahve's celestial majesty towers far above all the noisy majesties here below, whose waves, though lashed never so high, can still never reach His throne. He is King of His people, Lord of His church, which preserves His revelation and worships in His temple. This revelation, by virtue of His unapproachable, all-overpowering kingship, is inviolable; His testimonies, which minister to the establishment of His kingdom and promise its future manifestation in glory, are λόγοι πιστοί καὶ ἀληθινοί, Revelation 19:9; Revelation 22:6. And holiness becometh His temple (נאוה־קדשׁ, 3rd praet. Pilel, or according to the better attested reading of Heidenheim and Baer, נאוה;

(Note: The Masora on Psalm 147 reckons four נאוה, one ונאוה, and one נאוה eno d, and therefore our נאוה is one of the יז מלין דמפקין אלף וכל חד לית מפיק (cf. Frensdorf's Ochla we-Ochla, p. 123), i.e., one of the seventeen words whose Aleph is audible, whilst it is otherwise always quiescent; e.g., כּמוצאת, otherwise מוצאת.)

therefore the feminine of the adjective with a more loosened syllable next to the tone, like יחשׁב־לּי in Psalm 40:18), that is to say, it is inviolable (sacrosanct), and when it is profaned, shall ever be vindicated again in its holiness. This clause, formulated after the manner of a prayer, is at the same time a petition that Jahve in all time to come would be pleased to thoroughly secure the place where His honour dwells here below against profanation.

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