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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 5



Verse 1

1. Meditation—Literally, my deep sighing or moaning, such as one in profound thought and trouble would makehence meditation. But it is here the meditation of a soul in distress and perplexity talking to itself in sighs, and is in contrast to words in the previous hemistich. To his words David asks God to “give ear;” to his meditations, a discriminating attention, in order to know his thoughts. See Romans 8:27

Verse 2

2. Voice of my cry—My loud cry, or my outcry. There is a rising in the descriptionwords, meditation, outcry. The last is the loud and earnest call for help of one who is ready to perish.

Verse 3

3. In the morning—Showing that this is an early morning prayer, and that prayer is now his first business and sole reliance.

Will I direct my prayer—The word prayer is not in the original. The word translated, “I will direct,” means to arrange, to set in order, and, in its ritualistic sense, to prepare or arrange in order for sacrifice, as Genesis 22:9; Leviticus 1:7-8; Leviticus 1:12. David had prepared himself unto the Lord by prayer and watchfulness, laying open his whole heart and life, and the pending cause of his kingdom.

Will look up—Literally, will watch, wait. Having set every thing in order before God, he now waits watchfully. See Genesis 15:9-12; Ephesians 6:18

Verse 4

4. For—Because. He now states the ground or cause of his trusting in prayer, which he gives in Psalms 5:4-6, namely, the fact that God cannot approve or allow wickedness, and that he is “my God and my King,” (Psalms 5:2.)

Neither shall evil dwell with theeShall not inhabit or abide with thee. Evil men shall not live with God in the same house, (Psalms 15:1,) nor in any relations of favour or friendliness. In Psalms 5:4-6 seven designations are given to the wicked, all abhorrent to God. In the wicked God does not delight. There is no agreeableness in them. The evil man shall not dwell with him.

Verse 5

5. The foolish—A term for proud, vain boasters, godless. These shall not stand in his sight, or before his eyes, as the Hebrew has it. They shall not be honoured to come into his presence.

Iniquity—A general term for emptiness, vanity, and hence sorrow, sinfulness, evil of any sort. Such workers God hateth.

Verse 6

6. Leasing—Lying, falsehood. Here applying to speech.

Bloody and deceitful—Deceit here specially applies to treachery, bad faith, treason, as 2 Kings 9:23; Psalms 55:11; Jeremiah 9:6. Whether the lying and deceit consist in words or acts, such as practice them God will destroy.

Verse 7

7. But as for me—A sudden transition from the vile and abhorrent character of his enemies to the beautiful unfoldings of a true piety.

Thy house—The habit of devout and sincere worship is here placed foremost, as the representative virtue of his life, comprehending all others. True piety is the source of human righteousness.

In the multitude of thy mercy— Not in the spirit of vainglory does he contrast himself with his enemies, as did the Pharisee mentioned Luke 18:11; but humbly, and in conscious rectitude, he ascribes all his goodness to God’s mercy.

Temple—Same as house, preceding. Not necessarily the temple of Solomon, if it were already standing, but tabernacle, or consecrated place of worship. See 1 Samuel 1:9; 2 Samuel 22:7; Psalms 18:6; and notes on Psalms 19:9; Psalms 84:10; Psalms 116:19

Verse 8

8. In thy righteousness—It was not in human counsels and cognitions of right, but in Jehovah’s, that he was safe and might securely walk.

Mine enemies—Strictly, my observers, those who watch for mewaylayers. No human wisdom could cope with these trained and wily politicians, these ambushed “sharp shooters;” and hence it was not in cunning, but righteousness,the righteousness of Godthat he trusted. See Proverbs 10:9; 1 Peter 3:13-16.

Thy way straight—The clearly revealed will of God is always a blessing, as it enables men to walk safely if they be obedient.

Verse 9

9. For there is no faithfulness—The particle “for” gives the reason for the prayer in Psalms 5:8, namely, the character of his enemies. They have, first, no faithfulness, no fixedness or stability, in their mouth. There is no reliance upon their words, because they seek not truth, and have no settled principles.

In their mouth—Literally, in his mouth; that is, in the month of any one of them.

Their inward part—The word קרב, (kereb,) inward part, when used psychologically, as here, is one of the strongest words in Hebrew to denote inwardness, internality. The word לב, (lebh,) heart, is more local, but not more intensely inward in signification. In the text “inward part” denotes the seat of thought, volition, and desire, which is “wickedness:” Hebrew, wickednesses, the plural used for intensity; hence our Version, “very wickedness.” Here, then, the fountain head, the inmost origin of moral action, is called thorough wickedness, or corruption.

Throat is an open sepulchre—As if ready to receive its victim. Also within is the seat of corruption from which the fumes of death proceed. Matthew 23:27. One more touch of the pencil finishes the picture.

They flatter with their tongue—This is the lure to draw unwary souls through the open doorway of the sepulchre into the pit of death.

Verse 10

10. Destroy thou them—Literally, charge them with guilt; that is, visit upon them the consequences of their sin. And so the next line: “Let them fall by [or through] their own counsels.”

Against thee—The enemies of David were the enemies of God, and it was against his purposes that the rebellion was aimed.

Verse 11

11. But let all… rejoice—In this and the following verse the opposite character and treatment of the righteous are set forth, so that both the protection of the righteous and the punishment of the wickedwhich latter, under the moral government of God, is equally necessary for the vindication of the divine character and the salvation of those who trust in himshall be cause of eternal joy to all holy beings.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 5:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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