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Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
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PSALM 52

Ps 52:1-9. Compare 1Sa 21:1-10; 22:1-10, for the history of the title. Ps 52:1 gives the theme; the boast of the wicked over the righteous is vain, for God constantly cares for His people. This is expanded by describing the malice and deceit, and then the ruin, of the wicked, and the happy state of the pious.

1. mighty man—literally, "hero." Doeg may be thus addressed, ironically, in respect of his might in slander.

2. tongue—for self.

mischiefs—evil to others (Ps 5:9; 38:12).

working deceitfully—(Ps 10:7), as a keen, smoothly moving razor, cutting quietly, but deeply.

4. all-devouring—literally, "swallowing," which utterly destroy (compare Ps 21:9; 35:25).

5. likewise—or, "so," "also," as you have done to others God will do to you (Ps 18:27). The following terms describe the most entire ruin.

6. shall … fear—regard with religious awe.

laugh at him—for his folly;

7. for trusting in riches and being strong in "wickedness."

wickedness—literally, "mischief" (Ps 52:2), instead of trusting in God.

the man—literally, "the mighty man," or "hero" (Ps 52:1).

8. The figure used is common (Ps 1:3; Jer 11:16).

green—fresh.

house, &c.—in communion with God (compare Ps 27:4, 5).

for ever and ever—qualifies "mercy."

9. hast done—that is, what the context supplies, "preserved me" (compare Ps 22:31).

wait … name—hope in Thy perfections, manifested for my good (Ps 5:11; 20:1).

for it is good—that is, Thy name, and the whole method or result of its manifestation (Ps 54:6; 69:16).

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