There were they in great fear
This, shows that they had some knowledge of God, and consciousness of guilt, which they endeavoured to banish out of their minds by their fears of punishment; and these fears men of the most atheistic principles cannot get rid of. In ( Psalms 53:5 ) it is added, "where no fear was": that is, any cause or reason for it: such men are often frightened at their own shadows, afraid to be in the dark alone, as Hobbes the atheist was. The wicked flee when no man pursues, and are chased by the sound of a shaken leaf; see ( Proverbs 28:1 ) ( Leviticus 26:36 ) ; or where there was no fear of God before their eyes, nor on their hearts, as well as no regard to men; or where before there were perfect peace and security, and no apprehension or dread of any calamity, ruin, and destruction;
for God [is] in the generation of the righteous,
or "of the righteous One" F2; which some understood of Jesus Christ the righteous: and though the age or generation in which he lived was a very wicked one, yet God was with him; as was seen by the doctrines he taught, and the miracles he wrought; and which filled the Jews with panic fears, lest the Romans should come and take away their place and nation: but rather this is to be understood of the generation of the saints, who are righteous through the righteousness of Christ, and have the new man in them, which is created in righteousness and true holiness, and live soberly and righteously; these are sometimes called the generation of the upright, and of the children of God, and of them that seek him, ( Psalms 112:2 ) ( 73:15 ) ( 24:6 ) ; in the midst of these God is, among them he affords his gracious presence, and is with them, for their help and assistance against their enemies: and as this makes them fearless of them, it fills their enemies with dread and terror; see ( Joshua 2:9-11 ) . The Targum renders it,
``the Word of the Lord is in the generation of the righteous.''