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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 14

Verses 1-7

Psalms 14:1 . The fool, the Nabal, devoid of foresight, says, there is no God; no governor, no providence, no judge. The happiness of man, like that of the brute, consists in the gratification of appetite, passion, and desire.

Psalms 14:2 . The Lord looked down from heaven, as in the days of Noah, when all flesh had corrupted its way. He now saw that all were become unprofitable, a rancid heap, a putrid mass. נאלחו ne-elachu, as in the next verse. Their throat is an open sepulchre; that is, their heart and mouth are full of rottenness. This, as a general description of the wicked, is a just censure on times of irreligion, dissipation, and profligacy of manners.

Psalms 14:3 . After this verse, you may read Romans 3:13-15. These verses are found in the Hebrew text of Montanus, in the Vatican copy of the Septuagint, and they are admitted from the Vulgate into the English version in the common prayer. St. Paul seems to have collected this just portrait of human nature in its unregenerate state, from various parts of the old testament. How essential therefore are the aids of grace for the renovation of the heart. Man in this awful state can never enter heaven, as is farther illustrated in the ensuing psalm.

Psalms 14:7 . Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion. Seeing Saul’s court was bloody and wicked, the prayer is, in a subordinate sense, that God would raise up a reformer. But the true and ultimate spirit of the prayer is, for the speedy advent of Christ. The apostle Paul, citing the words of Isaiah, says, “There shall come out of Zion the deliverer, and he shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Isaiah 59:20. Romans 11:25. Jeremiah 14:8, prayed in the same sense. “Oh the hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof in the time of trouble. Why shouldst thou be as a stranger in the land?” To whom could the prophets appeal in the time of trouble, but to the only Hope of Zion.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 14". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.