Destroy thou them, O God
Or "make them guilty" F17; that is, make them appear to be guilty, either to themselves, that they may acknowledge their offences, confess their guilt, and ask for pardon; or to others, pronounce them guilty, pass the sentence of condemnation on them: and the Chaldee paraphrase and the Syriac version render it by (byx) , "condemn them", or hold them guilty; and the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, "judge" them; treat them as guilty persons, punish them, destroy them, soul and body, with an everlasting destruction;
let them fall by their own counsels;
into the pit they have dug for others; as Haman fell by his counsels, and was hanged on the gallows he prepared for Mordecai. And so sometimes a man's own counsel casts him down, and is the cause of his ruin, ( Job 18:7 ) . Or, "because of their own counsels" F18; which they have taken against the Lord and his Anointed, against his cause and interest, and against his righteous ones, particularly David; meaning their wicked counsels, in which they walked; see ( Hosea 11:6 ) . Or "from their counsels" F19; as the Targum and most versions render it: that is, let their counsels be turned into foolishness, become brutish, be carried headlong, and come to nought. Which had its accomplishment in Ahithophel;
cast them out;
either out of their own country, and carry them into captivity; or from the presence of the Lord, from his tabernacle and worship; which David's enemies now enjoyed, and gloried in: or into outer darkness, into a furnace of fire, where there is weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth;
in the multitude of their transgressions:
when God deals with men in a way of grace, he turns away ungodliness from them, or them from their ungodliness; but when in a way of judgment he suffers them to die in their sins, and so perish: or "for the multitude of their transgressions" F20. The sins of transgressors are many and because of them they are cast out of the sight o God, and will be bid to depart from him hereafter;
for they have rebelled against thee:
all sin is a rebellion against God; hence sinners are called rebellious ones. The rebellion of David's subjects against him was a rebellion against God; because it was an attempt to dethrone him, whom God had made king of Israel. The word F21 signifies to embitter, exasperate, and provoke: and such is the nature of sin, it is a bitter thing in itself, and it provokes the eyes of God's glory. Now each of these expressions are to be considered, not so much petitions, as prophecies; and not as imprecations, but as predictions of what would be the portion of wicked men.
F17 (Mmyvah) "reos fac istos", Junius & Tremellius; so Piscator, Cocceius, Schmidt, Michaelis, Kimchi, and Ainsworth.
F18 (Mhytwuewmm) "propter consilia sua", Piscater; so Tigurine version and Michaelis.
F19 (Mhytwuewmm) "propter consilia sua", Piscater; so Tigurine version and Michaelis.
F20 (brb) "propter multitudinem", Musculus, Pagninus, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth.
F21 (wrm) "irritaverunt", V. L. see Ainsworth.