I have seen the wicked in great power
Meaning some particular person invested with great power, in great authority among men, one of the spiritual wickednesses in high places; such a man as Haman in Ahasuerus's court; and though the psalmist does not choose to mention his name, he doubtless had him in his mind; as either Saul, or Doeg the Edomite, or Ahithophel, or some such man, who was in an exalted station of life; and it may be when he himself was in low and distressed circumstances: the word used F3 signifies one formidable and terrible, striking terror to all around; of whom others are afraid, as Aben Ezra interprets it, ( Isaiah 29:20 ) ( 49:25 ) ;
and spreading himself like a green bay tree:
or like one that grows up out of the earth of itself, and is in its native soil, and very flourishing: and the metaphor denotes an increase of riches and honour, and a seemingly settled state in the enjoyment of such outward felicity; so Jarchi interprets it (vyrvm) , "taking root"; as well as such a man's glorying in and boasting of his affluence and fulness; see ( Psalms 73:12 ) ( Jeremiah 12:1 Jeremiah 12:2 ) ( Psalms 49:6 ) . Aben Ezra explains it of a wicked man's openly committing iniquity, declaring his sin as Sodom, and glorying in his shame; but rather it denotes a man in great authority and esteem, as a man crowned with laurels, and in a very exalted and triumphant state.
F3 (Uyde) "terrificam", Montanus, Vatablus; "terribilem ant formidabilem", Gejerus, Michaelis; "daunting, terrible", Ainsworth.