How long will ye imagine mischief against a man?
&c.] Against a good man, as the Targum; or against any Israelite, as Kimchi; or rather he means himself, a single man, a weak man, and an innocent one; which aggravated their sin, in devising his hurt, and contriving ways to take away his life, as did Saul and his courtiers; and, Absalom, and those that were with him. R. Jonah, from the Arabic language, interprets the word here used of putting or drawing out the tongue to a great length; that is, multiplying words, as lies and calumnies, in agreement with ( Psalms 62:4 ) ; but Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi, explain it as we do, of devising mischief. The Targum is,
``how long do ye rage against a good man?''Ye shall be slain all of you;
this is a further aggravation of their folly, since it would issue in their own ruin; the mischief they devised for him would fall upon themselves. Some understand this (hlpt Krd) , "by way of prayer"; as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech,
``may ye be slain all of you:''there is a double reading of these words; Ben Napthali, who is followed by the eastern Jews, reads them actively, "ye shall slay"; with which agree the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions; and so the Targum,
``ye shall become murderers all of you.''Ben Asher, who is followed by the western Jews, reads passively as we do, "ye shall be slain"; and which is approved by Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and others;
as a bowing wall [shall ye be, and as] a tottering fence;
which are easily and suddenly pushed down; and so these similes denote the easy, sudden, and certain destruction of those men; see ( Isaiah 36:13 ) ; though some connect the words with the men against whom mischief was imagined by his enemies, who was like a bowing wall and a tottering fence; and so are expressive of his weakness, and of the easy destruction of him; and read the words, "ye shall be slain all of you", in a parenthesis; but the former sense seems best.