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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 34:21

Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.


Adam Clarke Commentary

Evil shall slay the wicked - The very thing in which they delight shall become their bane and their ruin.

They that hate the righteous - All persecutors of God's people shall be followed by the chilling blast of God's displeasure in this world; and if they repent not, shall perish everlastingly.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-34.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Evil shall slay the wicked - That is, his own wicked conduct will be the cause of his destruction. His ruin is not arbitrary, or the mere result of a divine appointment; it is caused by sin, and is the regular and natural consequence of guilt. In the destruction of the sinner, there will not be any one thing which cannot be explained by the supposition that it is the regular effect of sin, or what sin is, in its own nature, suited to produce. The one will measure the other; guilt will be the measure of all that there is in the punishment.

And they that hate the righteous - Another term for the wicked, or a term designating the character of the wicked in one aspect or view. It is true of all the wicked that they must hate the righteous in their hearts, or that they are so opposed to the character of the righteous that it is proper to designate this feeling as “hatred.”

Shall be desolate - Margin, “shall be guilty.” Prof. Alexander and Hengstenberg render this, as in the margin, “shall be guilty.” DeWette, “shall repent.” Rosenmuller, “shall be condemned.” The original word - אשׁם 'âsham - means properly to fail in duty, to transgress, to be guilty. The primary idea, says Gesenius (Lexicon), is that of “negligence,” especially in going, or in gait, as of a camel that is slow or faltering. Then the word means to be held or treated as faulty or guilty; and then, to bear the consequences of guilt, or to be punished. This seems to be the idea here. The word is sometimes synonymous with another Hebrew word - ישׁם yâsham - meaning to be desolate; to be destroyed; to be laid waste: Ezekiel 6:6; Joel 1:18; Psalm 5:10. But the usual meaning of the word is undoubtedly retained here, as signifying that, in the dealings of Providence, or in the administering of divine government, such men will be held to be guilty, and will be treated accordingly; that is, that they will be punished.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-34.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 34:21

Evil shall slay the wicked.

Sin the slayer

“Evil shall slay the wicked.” When? Now. The judgment is in process of execution to-day. Evil slays men to-day. Righteousness delivers men to-day.

I. evil shall slay the wicked. Have you ever known that to happen? Have you ever known evil to slay a man--I don’t mean the man’s body, but the man? It is a daily commonplace. When we see a man who is the victim of some sin, we do not speak of him as dying or as being slain. We speak of him as one “taking the bad way,” “going down the hill,” “going to ruin,” as one who is “becoming a wreck.” The victims of evil are dying, dying from the effects of evil, and eventually they are slain. Now, there is no form of evil which does not make for destruction, for moral and spiritual death. “The soul that sinneth shall die.” The soul begins to die at once. The poison begins to act immediately. My text does not specialize any particular evil--drunkenness, or sensualism, or gambling, or falsehood, or deceit. It speaks of them all as one, generalizes them, heaps them together and says, “Evil shall slay the wicked!” Anything that is destroying a woman’s womanhood is slaying the woman. Anything that is destroying a man’s manhood is slaying the man.

1. What makes a man? What are the supreme and characteristic glories of a true man? A good conscience, a sound heart; and a vigorous will. A healthy man has a conscience by which he knows the right. He has a heart by which he loves the right. He has a will by which he does the right. Take away any of those three from a man and the man is maimed. You do not use the title “man” of one who has no conscience. You do not use it to describe one who has no heart. You do not use it of manhood which is destitute of will. Instinctively you feel that manhood which lacks these attributes is not; worthy of the name. When these three are destroyed, the man is slain. Now, how does evil affect these primary glories of manhood?

2. Well, now, here is what evil can do. It weakens my power to do the right. It destroys my love of right. It obscures my knowledge of right. It paralyzes my will. It clouds my conscience. It perverts my heart. If evil can do all these things, does it not slay? Does it not destroy the strength and beauty of human life? It takes our manhood and womanhood and by cutting down all their glories reduces them to be a mere collection of attributes of the flesh.

II. But there is another side to all this: if evil slays the wicked, righteousness delivers from death. If evil degrades our life by taking away the crown of manhood, and the beauty of womanhood, righteousness enlarges the life by nourishing it from glory to glory. Evil throws about us an atmosphere which induces death. Righteousness throws about it an atmosphere which ministers to life. What is the fruit of righteousness? Not only some heaven that is to be. Not only some great reward awaiting us in remote futurity. The fruit of righteousness is to be “a tree of life.” The righteous man, here and now, is to be like a grand, roomy, living tree, full of healthy sap, and exulting in the fulness of its strength. Every part of him is to be alive. That is the tendency of righteousness, of right living, of right doing and being; it makes for life, abundant life. (J. H. Jowett, M. A.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 34:21". The Biblical Illustrator. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-34.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Evil shall slay the wicked,.... Meaning either the evil they designed against the righteous shall return and fall upon their heads, to their own ruin; or the evil of affliction, which to them is the evil of punishment, both here and hereafter, from which they will have no deliverance in the end; though the righteous have from their afflictions, being not properly punishments, but chastisements for sin, and are but for a time; or else the evil of sin, which is the cause of death corporeal and eternal;

and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate; or "shall be guilty"F14יאשמו "rei fiunt", Cocceius; "reatum habebunt", Schmidt; "damnabuntur", Gejerus; "shall be condemned as guilty", Ainsworth. ; be found so; or "shall be condemned", or "damned", as the Targum renders it. All wicked men hate the righteous, both Jesus Christ the righteous, and his people; and that because they are righteous, and do not run into the same excess of wickedness with them, these will be arraigned at the day of judgment, and will be convicted of all their hard speeches which they have spoken against Christ and his members; and will be pronounced guilty, and will be punished with everlasting destruction.


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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 34:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-34.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Evil shall slay the n wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

(n) Their wicked enterprises will turn to their own destruction.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-34.html. 1599-1645.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

21.But malice shall slay the wicked. The Hebrew word רעה,raäh, which I have translated malice, some would rather render misery, so that the meaning would be, that the ungodly shall perish miserably, because in the end they shall be overwhelmed with calamities. The other translation, however, is more expressive, namely, that their wickedness, with which they think themselves fortified, shall fall upon their own heads. As David therefore taught before, that there was no defense better than a just and blameless life, so now he declares, that all the wicked enterprises of the wicked, even though no one should in any thing oppose them, shall turn to their own destruction. In the second clause of the verse he states, that it is for the sake of the righteous that it is ordered, that the ungodly are themselves the cause and instruments of their own destruction. Those, says he, who hate the righteous shall be destroyed Let this, therefore, be to us as a wall of brass and sure defense; that however numerous the enemies which beset us may be, we should not be afraid, because they are already devoted to destruction. The same thing David confirms in the last verse, in which he says, that Jehovah redeems the soul of his servants How could they be preserved in safety, even for a moment, among so many dangers, unless God interposed his power for their defense? But by the word redeem there is expressed a kind of preservation which is repugnant to the flesh. For it is necessary that we should first be adjudged or doomed to death, before God should appear as our redeemer. From this it follows, that those who hurry forward too precipitately, and are unable to realize God’s power unless he appear speedily, working deliverance for them, intercept the communication of his grace. Moreover, that none might form their judgment of the servants of God by moral or philosophic virtue only, as it is called, David specifies this as a principal mark by which they may be known, that they trust in God, on whom also their salvation depends.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-34.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 34:21 Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

Ver. 21. Evil shall slay the wicked] For lack of such deliverance, as Psalms 34:19, malum iugular authorem mali Their malice shall prove their mischief. The Arabic hath it (but not right), mors impii pessima. Aben Ezra better senseth it thus, One affliction killeth the wicked; when out of many God delivereth the righteous.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-34.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 34:21. Evil shall slay the wicked The consequences of men's crimes are often fatal to them; they shall destroy the wicked; but the righteous, though he has many sufferings, yet shall he be delivered out of them, Psalms 34:19 and not like the wicked come to utter destruction.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-34.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Evil; either,

1. The evil of sin. His own wickedness, though designed against others, shall destroy himself. Or,

2. The evil of misery. When the afflictions of good men shall have a happy issue, theirs shall end in their total and final destruction.

That hate the righteous; that persecute them, and plot their ruin; which is an evidence that they hate them, whatsoever they may pretend to the contrary.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-34.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 34:21. Evil shall slay the wicked — Either, 1st, The evil of sin: his own wickedness, though designed against others, shall destroy himself. Or, 2d, The evil of misery. While the afflictions of good men shall have a happy issue, theirs shall end in their total and final destruction. They that hate the righteous shall be desolate — That persecute them and plot their ruin, which is an evidence they hate them, whatsoever they may pretend to the contrary. Dr. Kennicott translates this latter clause, The haters of the Just One, Jehovah shall make desolate; a prediction awfully fulfilled in the punishment of the persecutors of the Messiah, one of whose proper titles this was, Acts 3:14.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-34.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Done, euge. Hebrew heach. (Haydock) --- This term occurs ten times in Scripture, and here denotes the joy felt in the destruction of an enemy. Thus the Jews insulted over Christ expiring on the cross. (Berthier) --- Seen. No farther reserve is necessary: he is fallen, or we have accused him of nothing but what we have seen. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-34.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the wicked = a lawless one. Hebrew. rasha". App-44.

desolate = held guilty.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-34.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.

Evil shall slay the wicked. Since the Hebrew [ raa`aah (Hebrew #7451)] is the same as in Psalms 34:19, to which this verse refers, translate, as there, 'affliction shall slay the wicked,' whereas 'the Lord delivereth the righteous out of all their afflictions.'

They ... desolate - or 'shall be (made to appear by the treatment which they shall receive) guilty:' cf. margin; also margin and text, Psalms 5:10; Hosea 13:1.

Conclusion and summary:


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". "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

(21) Desolate.—Better (as in margin), shall be found guilty, or condemned.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-34.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
Evil
37:30-40; 94:23; Isaiah 3:11
they
37:12-15; 40:15; 89:23; 1 Samuel 19:4,5; 31:4; 1 Kings 22:8,37; Luke 19:14,27; Luke 19:41-44; John 7:7; 15:18-23; 1 Thessalonians 2:15,16; 2 Thessalonians 1:6,9
desolate
or, guilty.
Exodus 20:7

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-34.html.

Ver. 21. Misfortune slays the wicked, and the haters of the righteous become guilty. The relation in which this verse stands to the (Psalms 34:19) 19th, does not permit us to render רעה by "wickedness," the term for which, in the Psalms, is always רע. There, the godly man is delivered out of all misfortune; here, misfortune is fatal to the wicked. To "become guilty," is to be represented, or to appear guilty.


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Bibliography
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Psalms 34:21". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/psalms-34.html.

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Thursday, October 29th, 2020
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