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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Psalms 94

Verse 1

Psa 94:1 O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.

Ver. 1. O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth ] Heb. Jehovah, God of revenges; so Jeremiah 51:56 , "The Lord God of recompences." "Vengeance is mine," saith he, "I will repay," Deuteronomy 32:35 . And it is best he should, for he returneth "a just recompense of reward," Hebrews 2:2 ; whereas men seek oft an unequal revenge, Hebrews 10:30 , as a stab for the lie given; and, besides, in seeking the lives of others, they sometimes lose their own.

Show thyself ] Heb. shine forth, appear for thy poor wronged servant. David knew the law, and submitted to it; he turneth over his enemies to God to be ordered by him, neither did he himself herein any disservice. "I seek not mine own glory" (so mine own revenge), saith Christ, but there is one that seeketh it. God never faileth to do it, to be their champion, who strive not for themselves; only they must wait his leisure, and not usurp his executions.

Verse 2

Psa 94:2 Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.

Ver. 2. Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth ] Judges, as they ascend the tribunal, so when to pass sentence they usually stand up. See Isaiah 33:10 . And hereunto the psalmist alludeth.

Verse 3

Psa 94:3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

Ver. 3. Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long? ] Bis, quia de die in diem gloriantur, saith Aben Ezra. Twice he saith it, because the wicked boast day after day, with such insolence and outrage, as if they were above control.

Verse 4

Psalms 94:4 [How long] shall they utter [and] speak hard things? [and] all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

Ver. 4. How long shall they utter ] Heb. They will bluster (or well-out, as a fountain), they will speak hard things (speak millstones, throw daggers), they will boast themselves (talk largely of their good parts and practices); all this is expressed by an elegant asyndeton, a to show that they did all this ordinarily and incessantly.

Aκολαστον εχοντες γλωσσαν, αισχιστην νοσον


a A rhetorical figure which omits the conjunction.

Verse 5

Psa 94:5 They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.

Ver. 5. They break in pieces thy people ] They make potsherds of them. And this is the best use they make of thy patience; break it off, therefore.

Verse 6

Psa 94:6 They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.

Ver. 6. They slay the widow and the stranger ] Those sacred persons, thy proper clients; to such a height of hard heartedness are they grown, that they pity not them whom nature and courtesy would show compassion to.

Nulla fides, pietasque viris qui castra sequuntur.

Let us bless ourselves out of the bloody fingers of barbarous and brutish men, skilful to destroy.

Verse 7

Psa 94:7 Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard [it].

Ver. 7. Yet they say, The Lord shall not see ] To all other their enormities they added this, that they denied a Divine providence, and professed profaneness. Irridendum vero, curam agere rerum humanarum illud quicquid est summum, saith Pliny, lib. 2, c. 7, delivering the sense of all other atheists.

Verse 8

Psa 94:8 Understand, ye brutish among the people: and [ye] fools, when will ye be wise?

Ver. 8. Understand, ye brutish ] Ye that are ringleaders to the rest, but no wiser than the reasonless creatures; yea, therefore worse, because ye ought to be better. Polybius complaineth of man’s folly, above that of other creatures, in those words, Caeterae animantes ubi semel offenderint, cavent; non vulpes ad laqueum, lupus ad foveam, cants ad fustem temere redibunt; Solus homo ab aeve ad aevum peccat fere in iisdem.

Verse 9

Psa 94:9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?

Ver. 9. He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? ] Shall the author of these senses be senseless? Our God is not as that Jupiter of Crete, who was pictured without ears, and could not be at leisure to attend upon small matters. He is ους et νους ; he is also ολοφθαλμος , all eye, all ear. We read of a people called Panotii God only is so, to speak properly.

He that Formed the eye, shall he not see? ] He saith formeth, because there are many forms or species in the eye continually; and as the optic virtue in the eye seeth all, and is seen of none, so doth God much more. All David’s ways were in God’s sight, all God’s laws in David’s sight, Psalms 119:168 .

Verse 10

Psa 94:10 He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, [shall not he know]?

Ver. 10. He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? ] Qui totis gentibus non parcit, vos non redarguet? He that punisheth profane nations that know him not, shall he spare you? Amos 3:2 . Shall not tribulation and anguish be upon the Jew first? Romans 2:9 . The Chaldee thus paraphraseth, He that gave a law to his people, shall he not punish them when they transgress it?

He that teacheth man knowledge ] Shall not he know? is to be supplied to make sense. The psalmist seemeth so displeased at men’s doubting or denying of this, that he could not perfect his sentence, through passion of mind. Some causes, indeed, do give that which themselves have not; as the lifeless heaven enliveneth, the dull whetstone sharpeneth. But here it is far otherwise, and woe be to such as act not accordingly, Isaiah 29:15 .

Verse 11

Psa 94:11 The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they [are] vanity.

Ver. 11. The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity ] Or worse; that they are ever weaving spiders’ webs, or else hatching cockatrices’ eggs, Isaiah 59:5 . This sentence St Paul allegeth against the world’s wizards, 1 Corinthians 3:20 , who, the wiser they were the vainer they were, Romans 1:21 . As Austin, writing to a man of great parts, saith, Ornari abs te Diabolus quaerit, The devil would fain be tricked up by thee.

Verse 12

Psa 94:12 Blessed [is] the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;

Ver. 12. Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, &c. ] And thereby effectest that his vain thoughts lodge not within him, Jeremiah 4:14 ; but that the wicked forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and return to thee, &c., Isaiah 55:7 . Feri Domine, feri, said Luther, Strike whiles thou pleasest, Lord; only to thy correction add instruction, Ut quod noceat, docent. See my Love Tokens.

And teachest him out of thy law ] Lashing him, but with teaching him, ut resipiscat, et serviat tibi corde perfecto, saith Kimchi here, that he may repent and serve thee with an upright heart; for which purpose affliction sanctified is of singular use. Crux voluntatis Dei schola, morum disciplina, felicitatis meditatorium, gaudii Spiritus Sancti officina, breviter bonorum omnium thesaurus, saith Brentius, on Job 33:16 .

Verse 13

Psa 94:13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.

Ver. 13. That thou mayest give him rest ] Here usually, but hereafter certainly. Mors aerumnarum requies was Cbaucer’s motto; Those that die in the Lord shall rest from their labours. Meanwhile they are chastened of the Lord that they may not be condemned with the world, 1 Corinthians 11:32 .

Until the pit be digged for the wicked ] Until the cold grave hold his body, and hot hell hold his soul.

Verse 14

Psa 94:14 For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.

Ver. 14. For the Lord will not cast off his people ] Though he cast them into the furnace of affliction. The wicked he bringeth into misery, and there leaveth them to come off as they can, Ezekiel 22:20 ; Ezekiel 29:5 . Not so the saints, Zec 13:9 Isaiah 43:2 Hebrews 13:5 .

Nor forsake his inheritance ] Because his. Patriam quivis amat, non quia pulchram, sed quia suam (Seneca). All love their own.

Verse 15

Psa 94:15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.

Ver. 15. But judgment shall return unto righteousness ] All shall be set to rights, and every one have his due, according to Romans 2:6-10 , if not sooner, yet at the day of judgment without fail. Some give this sense, severity shall be changed into mercy, the rigour of the law to the clemency of the gospel. Others thus, judgment shall return to righteousness, that is, to its own place, licet defertur iudicium non aufertur.

And all the upright in heart shall follow it ] viz. In their affections; they are carried out after it, earnestly desiring that dear day when God will unriddle his providences, and clear up his proceedings with the sons of men. Some read, shall follow him, that is, God; being brought home to him by their afflictions, they shall follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Not so every loose ungirt Christian or profligate professor.

Verse 16

Psa 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? [or] who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

Ver. 16. Who will rise up for me ] q.d. But a very few fast friends find I at court, Jonathan excepted. Some there are that will sprinkle me with court holy water, as they say, give glossing speeches; but it is little that they will do, and yet less that they will suffer for me. Faithful friends, saith one, are gone on pilgrimage, and their return is uncertain.

Verse 17

Psa 94:17 Unless the LORD [had been] my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

Ver. 17. Unless the Lord had been my help ] He loveth to help at a pinch; he usually reserveth his hand for a dead lift. See 2 Timothy 4:16-17 .

My soul had almost dwelt in silence ] i.e. In the dark cloisters of death. The Greek and Latin translators render it, In hell.

Verse 18

Psa 94:18 When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.

Ver. 18. When I said, My foot slippeth ] I stand on a precipice, and shall be down, Hypotyposis est.

Thy mercy, O Lord, held me ] I have subsisted merely by a miracle of thy mercy, by a prop of thine extraordinary pity and patience.

Verse 19

Psa 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

Ver. 19. In the multitude of my thoughts within me ] My perplexed, intricated, ensnarled, intertwined (as the branches of a tree) cogitations and ploddings upon my daily sufferings; when I know not what to think, or which way to take to.

Thy comforts delight my soul ] The believer is never without his cordial; he hath comforts that the world knows nothing about. The good Landgrave of Hesse, being held prisoner for a long time together by Charles V, emperor, said that he could never have held it out so, but that he felt the divine consolations of the martyrs. Martyr etiam in catena gaudet, &c., saith Austin. Crux inuncta est, saith Bernard. Godliness hath many crosses, and as many comforts; like as Egypt hath many venomous creatures, but withal many antidotes against them.

Verse 20

Psa 94:20 Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?

Ver. 20. Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee ] Shall tyrants and oppressors (who do exercise regiment without righteousness) entitle thee to their wicked proceedings, and go unpunished? See Isaiah 36:10 ; Isaiah 37:36 ; the throne or tribunal is called, The holy place, Ecclesiastes 8:10 ; woe, then, to those that pollute it!

Which frameth mischief by a law? ] As did the primitive persecutors, with their bloody edicts against Christians; and the Popish bishops, of whose laws that of Politian was verified,

Inventum Actiae dicuntur iura Draconis:

Vera est fama nimis, nil nisi virus habent.

Some render it Procter, vel contra legem, beside or against law.

Verse 21

Psa 94:21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.

Ver. 21. They gather together ] Heb. run by troops, as thieves do.

Against the soul ] Which they would gladly destroy if it lay in their power. This the Popish persecutors oft attempted, but God hath better provided, Matthew 10:28 .

Verse 22

Psa 94:22 But the LORD is my defence; and my God [is] the rock of my refuge.

Ver. 22. But the Lord is my defence ] Heb. my high place, where I am set out of their reach.

Verse 23

Psa 94:23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; [yea], the LORD our God shall cut them off.

Ver. 23. And he shall bring upon them, &c. ] See Psalms 7:15-16 .

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 94". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.