New American Standard Bible
There they were in great fear where no fear had been; For God scattered the bones of him who encamped against you; You put them to shame, because God had rejected them.
King James Bible
There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.
Darby Bible Translation
There were they in great fear, where no fear was; for God scattereth the bones of him that encampeth against thee. Thou hast put them to shame, for God hath despised them.
World English Bible
There they were in great fear, where no fear was, for God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you. You have put them to shame, because God has rejected them.
Young's Literal Translation
There they feared a fear -- there was no fear, For God hath scattered the bones of him Who is encamping against thee, Thou hast put to shame, For God hath despised them.
Psalm 53:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
There were they in great fear ... - Margin, as in Hebrew, "they feared a fear." For the general meaning of the verse, see the notes at Psalm 14:5. There is, however, an important change introduced here - the most important in the psalm. The general sentiment of two verses Psalm 14:5-6 in Psalm 14:1-7 is here compressed into one, and yet with such an important change as to show that it was by design, and apparently to adapt it to some new circumstance. The solution of this would seem to be that the original form Psalm 14:1-7 was suited to some occasion then present to the mind of the writer, and that some new event occurred to which the general sentiment in the psalm might be easily applied (or which would express that as well as could be done by an entirely new composition), but that, in order to adapt it to this new purpose, it would be proper to insert some expression more particularly referring to the event.
The principal of these additions is found in the verse before us. In Psalm 14:5-6, the language is, "There were they in great fear, for God is in the generation of the righteous; ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge." In the psalm before us, the language is, "There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them." "Where no fear was." The reference here, as in Psalm 14:5, is to the fear or consternation of the people of God on account of the designs and efforts of the wicked. They were apprehensive of being overthrown by the wicked. The design of the psalmist in both cases is to show that there was no occasion for that fear. In Psalm 14:5, he shows it by saying that "God is in the congregation of the righteous." In the psalm before us fie says expressly that there was no ground for that fear - "where no fear was," - and he adds, as a reason, that God had "scattered the bones" of them "that encamped against" them. That is, though there seemed to be occasion for fear - though those enemies were formidable in numbers and in power - yet God was their friend, and he had now showed them that they had no real occasion for alarm by dispersing those foes.
For God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee - Of the besieger. This, as already intimated, would seem to have been introduced in order to adapt the psalm to the particular circumstances of the occasion when it was revised. From this clause, as well as others, it appears probable that the particular occasion contemplated in the revision of the psalm was an attack on Jerusalem, or a siege of the city - an attack which had been repelled, or a siege which the enemy had been compelled to raise. That is, they had been overthrown, and their bones had been scattered, unburied, on the ground. The whole language of Psalm 14:1-7, thus modified, would be well suited to such an occurrence. The general description of atheism and wickedness in Psalm 14:1-7 would be appropriate in reference to such an attempt on the city - for those who made the attack might well be represented as practically saying that there was no God; as being corrupt and abominable; as bent on iniquity; as polluted and defiled; and as attempting to eat up the people of God as they eat bread; and as those who did not call upon God. The verse before us would describe them as discomfited, and as being scattered in slaughtered heaps upon the earth.
Thou hast put them to shame - That is, they had been put to shame by being overthrown; by being unsuccessful in their attempt. The word "thou" here must be understood as referring to God.
Because God hath despised them - He has wholly disapproved their character, and he has "despised "their attempts; that is, he has shown that they were not formidable or to be feared. They were efforts which might be looked on with contempt, and he had evinced this by showing how easily they could be overthrown.
The piety of the Old Testament Church is reflected with more clearness and variety in the Psalter than in any other book of the Old Testament. It constitutes the response of the Church to the divine demands of prophecy, and, in a less degree, of law; or, rather, it expresses those emotions and aspirations of the universal heart which lie deeper than any formal demand. It is the speech of the soul face to face with God. Its words are as simple and unaffected as human words can be, for it is the genius …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
'I will set My face against you so that you will be struck down before your enemies; and those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when no one is pursuing you.
'As for those of you who may be left, I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall.
2 Kings 17:20
The LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight.
But You have saved us from our adversaries, And You have put to shame those who hate us.
As when one plows and breaks open the earth, Our bones have been scattered at the mouth of Sheol.
The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.
They call them rejected silver, Because the LORD has rejected them.
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