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94. Psalm 94

O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.

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

3 Lord, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

4 How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?

5They break in pieces thy people, O Lord, and afflict thine heritage.

6They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.

7Yet they say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.

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

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

10He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?

11The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.

12Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law;

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

14For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.

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

16Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

17Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

18When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.

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

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

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

22But the Lord is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.

23And 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.

By evil days, or days of evil, the Psalmist might thus mean the everlasting destruction which awaits the ungodly, whom God has spared for a certain interval. Or his words may be expounded as signifying, that the man is blessed who has learned to be composed and tranquil under trials. The rest intended would then be that of an inward kind, enjoyed by the believer even during the storms of adversity; and the scope of the passage would be, that the truly happy man is he who has so far profited, by the word of God, as to sustain the assault of evils from without, with peace and composure. But as it is added, whilst 2828     In our English Bible it is “until the pit be digged:” on which Hammond, who gives the same translation as Calvin, comments as follows: — “The rendering of עד, until, in this place, may much disturb the sense, and make it believed that the rest מימי רע, from the evil days, i e., from persecution, (see Ephesians 5:16,) which God gives to good men, is to continue till the pit be digged for the ungodly, i e., till the measure of their sins be filled up, and so destruction be ready for them: whereas, the contrary of this is evident, that either the destruction of the wicked is first, and the quiet and rest of the good (oppressed by them) a natural effect of that, and so subsequent to it; or that both of them are of the same date, at once ‘tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you who are troubled rest,’ 2 Thessalonians 1:6, 7. And this is evidently the meaning of it here, and so will be discerned, if only the אד be rendered dum, whilst, (as it is elsewhere used, Jonah 4:2, אד היותי, ‘whilst I was,’ Job 1:16, אד זה מדבר, ‘whilst he was speaking,’) for then thus it will run very fitly, ‘That thou mayest give him rest — whilst the pit is digged —’” Horsley reads the verse —
   “To produce ease for him out of the days of adversity, Whilst the pit is digging for the impious.”
the pit is digged for the wicked, it would seem necessary, in order to bring out the opposition contained in the two members of the sentence, to suppose that the Psalmist rather commends the wisdom of those who reckon that God afflicts them with a view to saving them from destruction, and bringing them eventually to a happy issue. It was necessary to state this second ground of comfort, because our hearts cannot fail to be affected with the most intense grief when we see the wicked triumph, and no Divine restraint put upon them. The Psalmist meets the temptation by appropriately reminding us that the wicked are left upon earth, just as a dead body which is stretched out upon a bed, till its grave be dug. Here believers are warned that, if they would preserve their constancy, they must mount their watchtower, as Habakkuk says, (Habakkuk 2:1) and take a view in the distance of God’s judgments. They shall see worldly men rioting in worldly delights, and, if they extend their view no farther, they will give way to impatience. But it would moderate their grief, would they only remember that those houses which are nominally appropriated to the living, are, in fact, only granted to the dead, until their grave be digged; and that, though they remain upon earth, they are already devoted to destruction. 2929     “Que les maisons qui sont destinees aux vivans, pour un peu de temps sont bien concedees aux morts cependant qu’on leur fait leur fosse; et qu’en ceste facon ceux qui neantmoins sont destinez a perdition, demeurent en vie,” etc. — Fr.


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