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Bible Commentaries

Hamilton Smith's Writings

Psalms 58

Verses 1-11

PSALM 58

The believing remnant of the Jewish nation look to God to establish His government over the earth by the judgment of the wicked.

(vv. 1-5) The first portion of the psalm describes the condition of the world immediately preceding the judgment of the living nations. It will be evident that the government of the earth in man's hands has entirely failed. The sons of men no longer speak nor act righteously (JND).

As in the days that preceded the judgment of the flood, men were corrupt, and filled with violence in their ways ( Gen_6:11 ); so, before the judgment falls upon the present world it will again be manifest that their hearts are utterly corrupt, and their hands filled with violence. It will be seen that not only are men estranged from God by nature, but by their habitual practice - speaking lies, and spreading the poison of error. Moreover they are deaf to every appeal of grace, however attractively and wisely that grace is presented. Thus the sons of men seal their doom and prove themselves ripe for judgment.

(vv. 6-8) The psalmist, using a series of figures, appeals to God to execute judgment. Let the wicked be like young lions with teeth broken, and thus bereft of power; like water that runs to waste; like one that shoots with blunted arrows that can do no harm. Let them be as a snail that leaves only a trail of slime, or like a untimely birth, that has no future; or like burning thorns that have scarcely warmed the pot before they are “whirled away” (JND).

(vv. 10-11) The psalm closes by expressing the joy of the righteous as they behold the judgment of the wicked. The righteous will wash their “footsteps” in the blood of the wicked. They reach their blessing through the judgment of their enemies. It will then become manifest that the righteous have their reward, and that “there is a God that judgeth in the earth.”

The Christian, blessed with all spiritual blessing in the heavenlies, looks for deliverance from suffering and evil, by being taken out of the scene of evil to be with the Lord, therefore, he does not look for the judgment of his enemies. The godly Jew, whose blessing is on earth, is divinely instructed that the time of blessing for the earth can only be reached through the judgment of evil, therefore he rightly looks for the judgment of his enemies.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 58". "Hamilton Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-58.html. 1832.