Psalm 50:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But to the wicked God says, "What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth?

King James Bible
But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

Darby Bible Translation
But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant into thy mouth,

World English Bible
But to the wicked God says, "What right do you have to declare my statutes, that you have taken my covenant on your lips,

Young's Literal Translation
And to the wicked hath God said: What to thee -- to recount My statutes? That thou liftest up My covenant on thy mouth?

Psalm 50:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But unto the wicked God saith - This commences a second part of the subject. See the introduction. Thus far the psalm had reference to those who were merely external worshippers, or mere formalists, as showing that such could not be approved and accepted in the day of judgment; that spiritual religion - the offering of the "heart" - was necessary in order to acceptance with God. In this part of the psalm the same principles are applied to those who actually "violate" the law which they profess to receive as prescribing the rules of true religion, and which they profess to teach to others. The design of the psalm is not merely to reprove the mass of the people as mere formalists in religion, but especially to reprove the leaders and teachers of the people, who, under the form of religion, gave themselves up to a course of life wholly inconsistent with the true service of God. The address here, therefore, is to those who, while they professed to be teachers of religion, and to lead the devotions of others, gave themselves up to abandoned lives.

What hast thou to do - What right hast thou to do this? How can people, who lead such lives, consistently and properly do this? The idea is, that they who profess to declare the law of a holy God should be themselves holy; that they who profess to teach the principles and doctrines of true religion should themselves be examples of purity and holiness.

To declare my statutes - My laws. This evidently refers rather to the teaching of others than to the profession of their own faith. The language would be applicable to the priests under the Jewish system, who were expected not only to conduct the outward services of religion, but also to instruct the people; to explain the principles of religion; to be the guides and teachers of others. Compare Malachi 2:7. There is a striking resemblance between the language used in this part of the psalm Psa 50:16-20 and the language of the apostle Paul in Romans 2:17-23; and it would seem probable that the apostle in that passage had this portion of the psalm in his eye. See the notes at that passage.

Or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth - Either as professing faith in it, and a purpose to be governed by it - or, more probably, as explaining it to others. The ""covenant"" here is equivalent to the "law" of God, or the principles of his religion; and the idea is, that he who undertakes to explain that to others, should himself be a holy man. He can have no "right" to attempt to explain it, if he is otherwise; he cannot hope to be "able" to explain it, unless he himself sees and appreciates its truth and beauty. This is as true now of the Gospel as it was of the law. A wicked man can have no right to undertake the work of the Christian ministry, nor can he be able to explain to others what he himself does not understand.

Psalm 50:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Holy Souls
THE HOLY SOULS Officium Defunctorum Lent and Holy Week, etc. Miserere mei Deus Psalm 50 Vatican Antiphonale First Mode (First portion is sung before the Psalm) (The entire antiphon is sung at the end of Psalm) Exsultabunt Domino ossa humiliata. First Psalm Tone 1. Miserere mei Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam. 2. Et secundum multitudinem miserationem tuarum, dele iniquitatem mea. 3. Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me. 4. Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et
Various—The St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book

The Opinion of St. Augustin
Concerning His Confessions, as Embodied in His Retractations, II. 6 1. "The Thirteen Books of my Confessions whether they refer to my evil or good, praise the just and good God, and stimulate the heart and mind of man to approach unto Him. And, as far as pertaineth unto me, they wrought this in me when they were written, and this they work when they are read. What some think of them they may have seen, but that they have given much pleasure, and do give pleasure, to many brethren I know. From the
St. Augustine—The Confessions and Letters of St

How those are to be Admonished who Abstain not from the Sins which they Bewail, and those Who, Abstaining from Them, Bewail them Not.
(Admonition 31.) Differently to be admonished are those who lament their transgressions, and yet forsake them not, and those who forsake them, and yet lament them not. For those who lament their transgressions and yet forsake them not are to be admonished to learn to consider anxiously that they cleanse themselves in vain by their weeping, if they wickedly defile themselves in their living, seeing that the end for which they wash themselves in tears is that, when clean, they may return to filth.
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Nature of Covenanting.
A covenant is a mutual voluntary compact between two parties on given terms or conditions. It may be made between superiors and inferiors, or between equals. The sentiment that a covenant can be made only between parties respectively independent of one another is inconsistent with the testimony of Scripture. Parties to covenants in a great variety of relative circumstances, are there introduced. There, covenant relations among men are represented as obtaining not merely between nation and nation,
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Cross References
Psalm 94:20
Can a throne of destruction be allied with You, One which devises mischief by decree?

Isaiah 29:13
Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,

Jeremiah 44:26
"Nevertheless hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who are living in the land of Egypt, 'Behold, I have sworn by My great name,' says the LORD, 'never shall My name be invoked again by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, "As the Lord GOD lives."

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