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Psalm 125

The Security of God’s People

A Song of Ascents.


Those who trust in the L ord are like Mount Zion,

which cannot be moved, but abides forever.


As the mountains surround Jerusalem,

so the L ord surrounds his people,

from this time on and forevermore.


For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest

on the land allotted to the righteous,

so that the righteous might not stretch out

their hands to do wrong.


Do good, O L ord, to those who are good,

and to those who are upright in their hearts.


But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways

the L ord will lead away with evildoers.

Peace be upon Israel!

5. But those who turn aside into their crooked paths, etc. As the participle המטים, hammattim, is in the conjugation Hiphil, it should, according to the rules of grammar, be rather translated in an active sense — those who cause to turn aside; but it being no uncommon thing for verbs in that conjugation to be taken in a neuter sense, the, version which I have followed is probably the correct one. Still, as the active signification is not less appropriate, I would leave the reader freely to exercise his own judgment. The meaning is, that God does not always connive at the wickedness of those who, while boasting of a hollow and counterfeit profession, wander hither and thither according to their own lust, or even corrupt the simple, and draw them into the same excess of sinning with themselves. I have no doubt that the Psalmist here speaks of hypocrites, who are so hardened by temporary impunity, as to claim to themselves a place among the holiest of men, because God exercises forbearance towards them. Not only do we see the good mingled with the bad in the world, but we also behold on the barn-floor of the Lord the wheat lying hidden under the chaff and refuse. In this dubious and confused state of matters, the bad are elated with pride, as if they were among the best of God’s servants. We ought therefore to pray that God would drag them into the light, and, with the workers of iniquity, thrust them down into the punishment which they have deserved. The consequence is that peace, which the Prophet desires may be the privilege of Israel. He does not speak generally of all the race of Abraham, according to the flesh; he rather wishes that the Church of God may be purged of hypocrites, who occupy a place in her, until God lift up his hand to judgment. On this account I have said, that the peace of the Church springs from this — that; God, while executing his just vengeance upon reigned and counterfeit Israelites, who rend and tear in pieces her bowels, gathers together the upright in heart, and openly shows by his blessing the fatherly love which he bears towards them.

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