The wicked have drawn out the sword
That is, out of the scabbard; they drew upon the righteous, in order to sheath it in them; or they sharpened the sword, as Aben Ezra observes some interpret the word; it may be literally rendered, "opened the sword" F17, which before lay hid in the scabbard:
and have bent their bow;
having put the arrow in it, in order to shoot. The former expression may design the more open, and this the more secret way of acting against the righteous; and their view in both is
to cast down the poor and needy,
who are so, both in a temporal and spiritual sense; to cause such to fall either into sin, or into some calamity or another:
[and] to slay such as be of upright conversation;
who walk according to the rule of the word of God, and as becomes the Gospel of Christ: nothing less than the blood and life of these men will satisfy the wicked; and it is an aggravation of their wickedness that they should attempt to hurt men of such character who are poor and needy, holy, harmless, inoffensive, and upright; and this points at the reason why they hate them, and seek their ruin, because of the holiness and uprightness of their lives; see ( John 15:19 John 15:20 ) ( 1 Peter 4:3 1 Peter 4:4 ) .