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Bible Commentaries

Matthew Poole's English Annotations
on the Holy Bible
Psalms 52

 

 

Verse 1

PSALM 52

Doeg the Edomite; so called, either,

1. Because he was born or bred in Edom. Or,

2. From his treacherous and bloody disposition; for which the Edomites are infamous in Scripture; as the Israelites are called Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaiah 1:10.

David reproveth the insolency of Doeg, Psalms 52:1-4; prophesieth his destruction, Psalms 52:5. The righteous rejoice at it, Psalms 52:6. He showeth the Strength and hope of this wicked man, Psalms 52:7; but placeth his own confidence and trust in God, and praiseth him, Psalms 52:8,9.

Why boastest thou thyself, as if thou hadst done a great exploit, which none else durst undertake; and thereby established the crown upon Saul’s head, and thyself in his favour; and broken all David’s designs, by striking a terror into all his favourers by this sad example?

O mighty man! he speak ironically. O valiant captain! O glorious action! to kill a few weak and unarmed persons in the king’s presence, and under the protection of his guards! Surely thy name will be famous to all ages for such heroical courage.

The goodness of God endureth continually; God’s love and favour to his people, and in particular to me, is not fading and inconstant, but everlasting and unchangeable, and therefore not to be hindered or defeated by any wicked designs or practices. And therefore though he hath permitted thee, and may do others, to rage for a season, yet he will defend, and in due time deliver, his people.


Verse 2

Deviseth i.e. expresseth what thy wicked mind had devised. Thus skilfulness is ascribed to those hands which are governed by a skilful or prudent man, Psalms 78:72. This word implies that Doeg’s words were not uttered rashly and unadvisedly, but with premeditated malice, and a mischievous design, which he waited for an opportunity to execute; and therefore he readily took the first occasion which offered itself.

Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully; wherewith a man pretending only to shave off the hair, doth suddenly and unexpectedly cut the throat. So Doeg pretended only to vindicate himself from the imputation of disloyalty, 1 Samuel 22:8, but really intended to expose the priests, who were friends to David, to the king’s fury and cruelty.


Verse 3

Evil and

good may be here taken, either,

1. Morally; Thou lovest wickedness and not goodness; for so comparative passages are oft meant, as Psalms 118:8, It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man, i.e. It is good to trust God, but it is not good to trust man; for this is absolutely forbidden, Psalms 146:3 Jeremiah 17:5. Or,

2. Physically. Thou lovest to speak or act to the hurt and ruin of others, rather than to their benefit. Thou mightest, without any danger to thyself, have been silent concerning Ahimelech’s fact, or have put a favourable construction upon it; but thou hast chosen rather to misrepresent and aggravate it. He saith,

thou lovest, to imply that he did this not by any constraint or necessity, but by choice, and with complacency, and out of a love to mischief.

Lying, whereof Doeg was guilty, partly in reporting that he (i.e. Ahimelech) inquired of the Lord for him, (David,) 1 Samuel 22:10, which he did not, 1Sa 21$, where all that history is recorded; and partly in putting a false interpretation upon what he did, in giving him victuals and a sword, as if he had done it knowingly, and in conspiracy with David, and against Saul, as appears by comparing Doeg’s answer with Saul’s inquiry, 1 Samuel 22:7,8.

Righteousness, i.e. the whole and naked truth, without any such lying or malicious comment upon it, which was but an act of justice due from thee to any man, and much more on the behalf of so innocent and sacred a person.


Verse 4

Devouring words, such as might swallow up and destroy a whole family at once.


Verse 5

Likewise, i.e. totally and unavoidably, as thou didst destroy the priests.

Pluck thee, i.e. violently, and irresistibly, and suddenly remove thee, as the Hebrew word signifies.

Out of thy dwelling-place; from thy house and lands, and all the wages of thy unrighteousness. Or, out of his (i.e. the Lord’s) tabernacle; in which thou didst seek and take the matter of thy slanders, and from which thou didst cut off the Lord’s priests. Therefore God shall excommunicate thee from his presence, and from the society of the faithful.

Root thee out; though thou seemest to have taken very deep rooting, and to be the more firmly settled for this barbarous cruelty, yet God shall pluck thee up by the very roots, and destroy thee both root and branch.

Out of the land of the living; out of this world, as the phrase is taken, Isaiah 53:8 Ezekiel 32:32, and elsewhere; which was very terrible to him, who had all his portion in this world.


Verse 6

The righteous shall see, to wit, thy remarkable downfall, and consequently shall survive thee in spite of all thy power and malice against them.

Fear; both reverence God’s just judgment upon thee, and be afraid of provoking God to send like judgment upon them.

Shall laugh at him; not taking pleasure in his ruin as such, but only in the glory of God’s justice vindicated thereby, Revelation 18:20, and deriding their vain and carnal confidence in their wicked courses.


Verse 7

The man: these are the triumphant words of the righteous. This is the great and famous man, take special notice of him, and of his doleful end.

That made not God his strength that trusted and feared Saul more than God, and was willing to purchase Saul’s favour with God’s displeasure.

Trusted in the abundance of his riches; thought himself secure in his great and growing wealth, without God’s protection or blessing.


Verse 8

I am like a green olive tree; when Doeg and his brethren shall wither and perish, I, who have made God my refuge, I, whom he despised and persecuted, and thought to be in a desperate condition, shall be established and flourish.

In the house of God; either,

1. In God’s church, or among his people. Or,

2. In God’s tabernacle, from which Doeg shall be plucked away, Psalms 52:5, and from which I am now banished by the tyranny and malice of this man, and his confederates; but, I doubt not, I shall be restored to it, and dwell in it all the days of my life, which is the one thing that I desire, Psalms 27:4.


Verse 9

Because thou hast done it, i.e. destroyed Doeg, and all mine and thine implacable enemies, and established me in the throne, and in thy house; of which I am no less assured than if it were already done.

I will wait on thy name; I will continue in thy way, placing my whole trust and confidence in thy power, and goodness, and faithfulness, all which are called God’s name, and not turn aside to any crooked paths for my deliverance, as others do, Psalms 125:5.

Before thy saints, i.e. in the eyes of thy saints. They, whose judgments only are to be valued, approve of this practice, of trusting God and keeping his way, as the wisest and safest course, and have ever found it so to be by their own experience, however Doeg and his accomplices account it mere folly, and the ready way to ruin. But the last words of this clause may very conveniently be joined with the former clause, thus,

I will wait upon thy name before thy saints; which seems best to suit with the first clause, I will praise thee; which surely was meant of praising God publicly, or before the saints; and then it follows conveniently. And in the mean time

I will wait on thy name, in the presence of thy saints, who shall plainly see that I do so by the whole course of my life. And those words,

for it is good, may be enclosed within a parenthesis, as is very usual in Scripture, and may be referred, either to God’s name, for thy name is good; or to wait on it, for it is good to wait upon it.

 


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Bibliography Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 52:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-52.html. 1685.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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