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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 14

Verses 1-7

This Ps., like Psalms 12, gives a picture of a corrupt state of society in which God is ignored, and His people are oppressed. David’s authorship is not absolutely disproved by Psalms 14:7, which some have regarded as a later addition, and where, in any case, ’bring back the captivity’ may only mean ’restore the fortunes.’ Though God is denied (Psalms 14:1), He really sees (Psalms 14:2), speaks (Psalms 14:3), and acts (Psalms 14:4). The Ps. reappears with some variations as Psalms 53. Psalms 14:1-3 are quoted in Romans 3:10-12.

1. The fool is a character who in Scripture is marked by wickedness as well as by what we call folly. His defect is moral as well as mental. In his heart] His denial is a practical one, and he really acts upon it, whatever he may say or think that he believes. There is no God] cp. Psalms 12:4; Psalms 11; Psalms 13.

2. The lord looked down] cp. Genesis 6:5; Genesis 11:5; Genesis 18:21, where similar figures describe God’s perception of the wickedness of men in the primitive world.

3. Gone aside] from the true path.

4. God speaks in surprise at the folly of the wicked. Eat up my people as they eat bread] conduct at once rapacious and unconcerned.

Call not upon the lord] Such wickedness is naturally prayerless.

The Septuagint (LXX), Vulgate, and Syriac versions insert between Psalms 14:4 and Psalms 14:5 four verses which are retained in the PBV q.v. They were probably inserted first as a marginal note in some codices, being quoted from Romans 3:10-18 as an illustration of this passage, and so ultimately found their way into the text of some MSS.

5. There were they in great fear] a sudden mention of God’s interference. Some historical event, like the destruction of Pharaoh’s host, seems to be in the writer’s mind.

6. RM ’Ye put to shame the counsel (i.e. the righteous thoughts) of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.’ ’The poor’ are the afflicted righteous: see Psalms 9:12.

7. Out of Zion] Zion is regarded as God’s dwelling-place, from which He sends forth His help: see Psalms 3:4; Bringeth back the captivity] The phrase may have the general sense of ’restoring prosperity to,’ and need not refer to the Babylonian exile: see Job 42:10. Jacob, like ’Israel,’ is a name for the nation

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 14". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.