Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge?
&c.] Of the being of God, of the nature of sin, and of the punishment due unto it? This question is put either by way of admiration, as Kimchi and Aben Ezra observe; the psalmist, or rather God speaking after the manner of men, wondering that there should be such ignorance and stupidity among men, as before expressed; or rather, as denying this to be the case, and affirming that they have knowledge, notwithstanding they think, and say, and do, as before related, as in ( Romans 9:21 ) . Do not they know that there is a God? and that they are accountable to him for their actions? Verily they do: for this is said, not of sinners of the Gentiles; though even they, by the light of nature, know there is a God, and show the work of the law written in their hearts; and have a consciousness in them of good and evil; but of sinners in Zion, of the profligate part of mankind among the Jews, who had a divine revelation, by which they knew the one God of Israel; and a law, by which was the knowledge of sin, and whose sanctions were rewards and punishments. And it seems to design the chief among them, who had power over others, to eat them up and devour them; even their political and ecclesiastical governors see ( Micah 3:1-3 ) ( Ezekiel 34:2 ) , who, though they had no spiritual understanding, nor experimental knowledge of things, yet had a theoretical and speculative one; so that their sins were attended with this aggravation, that they were against light and knowledge, particularly what follows:
who eat up my people [as] they eat bread:
not David's people, but the Lord's people: see ( Psalms 14:2 ) ; whom he chose for his people, who were his covenant people, and who professed his name, and were called by it; these the workers of iniquity ate up, devoured, and consumed; see ( Jeremiah 10:25 ) ; by reproaching and persecuting them, doing injury to their persons, property, and character: they devoured their persons, by using them cruelly and putting them to death; they devoured their substance, by spoiling them of it, and converting it to their own use, as the Pharisees are said to devour widows' houses and they destroyed their good names and characters with their devouring words: and this they did with as much ease, delight, and pleasure, and without any remorse of conscience, and as constantly, as a man eats his bread. Or the words may be rendered, "they eat up my people, they eat bread"; that is, though they act such a wicked and cruel part, yet they have bread to eat, and fulness of it; they are not in straits, nor afflicted and punished; and because they are not, they are hardened in their impiety and iniquity: or "they eat bread", after they have persecuted and devoured the Lord's people, with peace of mind, without remorse of conscience, as if they had done no iniquity, like the adulterous woman in ( Proverbs 30:20 ) ;
and call not upon the Lord;
or pray to him, or serve and worship him; for invocation includes the whole worship of God; and this they do not, though they know him, and are daily supplied by him, and eat his bread. Some read this clause with the former, "they eat bread, and call not on the Lord"; as if their sin was, that when they eat bread, they did not ask a blessing upon it, nor return thanks to God for it, which ought to be done; but the accent "athnach" under (mxl) , "bread", will not admit of this sense, though it seems to be countenanced by the Targum.