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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 34:14

Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.


Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Depart from evil - From all evil; from vice and crime in every form.

And do good - Do good to all people, and in all the relations of life.

Seek peace - Strive to live in peace with all the world. Compare the notes at Romans 12:18.

And pursue it - Follow after it. Make it an object of desire, and put forth constant efforts to live in peace with all human beings. There can be no doubt that this is appropriate advice to one who wishes to lengthen out his days. We have only to remember how many are cut down by indulging in a quarrelsome, litigious, and contentious spirit - by seeking revenge - by quarrels, duels, wars, and strife - to see the wisdom of this counsel.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-34.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Depart from evil,.... This denotes that evil is near to men; it keeps close to them, and should be declined and shunned: and it regards all sorts of evil; evil men, and their evil company; evil things, evil words and works, and all appearance of evil; and the fear of the Lord shows itself in an hatred of it, and a departure from it, Proverbs 8:13;

and do good; not only acts of beneficence to all in necessitous circumstances, but every good work; whatever the word of God directs, or suggests should be done; and which should be done from right principles of faith and love, and to right ends, the glory of God, and the good of his interest; and Christ should be looked and applied unto for grace and strength to perform; all which are evidences of the true fear of God;

seek peace, and pursue it; in the world, and with all men, as much as possibly can be; in neighbourhoods, cities, and states, and in the churches of Christ, and with the saints, as well as with God through Christ; and which in every sense is to be pursued after with eagerness, and to be endeavoured for with diligence; see Romans 12:18.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-34.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Depart — From all sin.

Do good — Be ready to perform all good offices to all men.

Seek — Study by all means possible to live peaceable with all men.

Pursue it — Do not only embrace it gladly when it is offered, but follow hard after it, when it seems to flee away from thee.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-34.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

14.Turn away from evil, and do good. Here the Psalmist commands the children of God to abstain from all evil, and to devote themselves to the work of doing good to their neighbors. This verse is generally quoted as if David here treated of the two parts of repentance. The first step in the work of repentance is, that the sinner forsake the vices to which he is addicted, and renounce his former manner of life; and the second, that he frame his behavior according to righteousness. But in this place we are more especially taught how we ought to deal with our neighbors. As it often happens, that the man who is not only liberal, but also prodigal towards some, or, at least, helps many by acts of kindness, wrongs others by defrauding and injuring them, David, with much propriety, begins by saying, that those who desire to have their life approved before God, ought to abstain from doing evil. On the other hand, since many think, that provided they have neither defrauded, nor wronged, nor injured any man, they have discharged the duty which God requires from them, he has added, with equal propriety, the other precept concerning doing good to our neighbors. It is not the will of God that his servants should be idle, but rather that they should aid one another, desiring each other’s welfare and prosperity, and promoting it as far as in them lies. David next inculcates the duty of maintaining peace: Seek peace, and pursue it. Now we know that this is maintained by gentleness and forbearance. But as we have often to do with men of a fretful, or factious, or stubborn spirit, or with such as are always ready to stir up strife upon the slightest occasion; and as also many wicked persons irritate us; and as others by their own wickedness alienate, as much as in them lies, the minds of good men from them, and others industriously strive to find grounds of contention; he teaches us not merely that we ought to seek peace, but if at any time it shall seem to flee from us, he bids us use our every effort without ceasing in pursuing it. This, however, must be understood with some limitation. It will often happen, that when good and humble men have done every thing in their power to secure peace, so far from softening the hearts of the wicked, or inclining them to uprightness, they rather excite their malice. Their impiety, also, often constrains us to separate from them, and to avoid them; nay, when they defy God, by proclaiming, as it were, open war against him, it would be disloyalty and treason on our part not to oppose and resist them. But here David means only that in our own personal affairs we should be meek and condescending, and endeavor, as far as in us lies, to maintain peace, though its maintenance should prove to us a source of much trouble and inconvenience.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-34.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 34:14 Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Ver. 14. Depart from evil, and do good] For negative goodness helpeth not. A man must so abstain from evil as that he do good, or he doth nothing. It is said of Ithacius, that the hatred of the Priscillian heresy was the best that could be said of him; this was but a slender commendation.

Seek peace and pursue it] As hunters do the prey. If it fly from thee, make after it; it will pay thee for thy pains. It is said of Frederick III, emperor, that he putting up many injuries, he reigned quietly fifty and three years and five months. He had need be patient that would be at peace. Ut habeas quietum tempus, perde aliquid, was a proverb at Carthage; not unlike that of ours, Do anything for a quiet life. Concedamus de iure ut careamus lite (Val. Max. Christian. 304, Augustine). And if, in this pursuit of peace, thou meet with many rubs and remoras {obstructions}, yet be not discouraged, considering what follows in the two next verses.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-34.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Depart from evil, i.e. from all sin, and especially from all wicked and injurious acts and practices against try neighbour.

Do good; be ready to perform all good and friendly offices to all men, as thou hast opportunity.

Seek peace; study by all means possible to live peaceably and quietly with all men, avoiding grudges, debates, dissensions, strifes, and enmities.

Pursue it; do not only embrace it gladly when it is offered, but follow hard after it when it seems to flee away from thee, and use all possible endeavours, by fair words, by condescensions, and by the mediation or assistance of others, to recover it, and to compose all differences which may arise between thee and others. It is here observable, that whereas he said he would teach them the fear of the Lord, Psalms 34:11, the lessons he teacheth them, Psalms 34:13,14, are only such as concern men. Not that he meant to exclude duties of piety towards God, which he every where enjoineth and presseth as most necessary, but only to teach us what is oft inculcated both in the Old and New Testament, that sincere religion towards God is always accompanied with a conscientious discharge of our duties to men; and to convince the hypocritical Israelites, and particularly his adversaries, that so long as it was their daily course and practice to speak and act all manner of evil against him, and other good men, all their pretences to religion were but vain.


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

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-34.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Please, complacebam, "treat lovingly." (Haydock) --- Vulgate follows the regimen of the Septuagint Greek: euerestoun, which may govern an accusative case. Hebrew is plainer, I walked," (Berthier) or "behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother." (Protestants) (Haydock) --- So. Septuagint seem to have explained am, "truly," instead of mother; as the points would determine the Hebrew, "like one who bewails his mother;" (Berthier) or, "like a mother mourning, I bowed down in grief." (St. Jerome) --- An ancient Greek interpreter has, "like one mourning for a brother born of the same mother." I felt the affliction of my enemies and sympathized with them, endeavouring to alleviate their distress as much as possible. (Calmet) --- Such was the conduct of David, the figure of the Messias; so that the expressions which seem too strong, must not be taken for imprecations. (Berthier) --- Christ was the good Samaritan who relieved the wounded man, Luke x. (Worthington) --- St. Paul admonishes us to weep with those who weep, Romans xii. 15. (Menochius)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-34.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Depart ... do. This verse refers to deeds. Seek peace, and pursue it - i:e., inoffensiveness toward thy neighbour, and harmony with him. Not only "seek" it, but if it seem to flee from thee, still press eagerly after it, not giving up the pursuit, through impatience or resentment, because of the continued malice of adversaries. So Israel as to Sihon (Deuteronomy 2:26). Compare Hebrews 12:14; Romans 12:18; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Zechariah 8:19. Duties toward our neighbour are made prominent in "the fear of the Lord;" for they are what the hypocrite can least feign: the sincere discharge of them leads to a considerable amount of happiness even in this life. 1 Peter 3:10-12 quotes Psalms 34:13-15 as holding good in Christian times, as much as under the Old Testament. "The fear of the Lord," not fear of man, must be the animating motive.

[`ayin (')]


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-34.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) And do good.—Negative goodness is not sufficient. Practical good must be added.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-34.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
Depart
37:27; Job 28:28; Proverbs 3:7; 8:13; 13:14; 16:16,17; Isaiah 1:16,17; Romans 12:9; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 Peter 3:11
do
Acts 10:38; Galatians 6:10; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 13:16; 3 John 1:11
seek
120:7; Matthew 5:9; Romans 12:18; 14:17; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; Hebrews 12:14; James 3:17,18

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 34:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-34.html.

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Sunday, November 29th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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