Psalm 140:10

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 10. Let burning coals fall upon them. Then will they know that the scattering of the firebrands is not the sport they thought it to be. When hailstones and coals of fire descend upon them, how will they escape? Even the skies above the wicked are able to deal out vengeance upon them. Let them be cast into the fire. They have kindled the flames of strife, and it is fair that they should be cast therein. They have heated the furnace of slander seven times hotter than it was wont to be heated, and they shall be devoured therein. Who would have pitied Nebuchadnezzar if he had been thrown into his own burning fiery furnace? Into deep pits, that they rise not up again. They made those ditches or fosses for the godly, and it is meet that they should themselves fall into them and never escape. When a righteous man falls he rises again; but when the wicked man goes down "he falls like Lucifer, never to hope again." The Psalmist in this passage graphically depicts the Sodom of the wicked persecutor: fire falls upon him from heaven; the city blazes, and he is cast into the conflagration; the vale of Siddim is full of slime pits, and into these he is hurried. Extraordinary judgment overtakes the extraordinary offender: above, around, beneath, all is destruction. He would have consumed the righteous, and now he is consumed himself. So shall it be: so let it be.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 10. Let burning coals fall upon them, etc. The Psalmist seems here to allude to the destruction of the Sodomites. In these imprecations he considered his enemies as the enemies of God, rather than as his own; and lie thus cursed them, as knowing, in the quality of a prophet, that God himself had cursed them: and therefore these sorts of imprecations do not authorize other persons to curse their enemies. --Thomas Fenton.

Verse 10. Let burning coals full upon them, etc. An imprecation which (with the similar previous one, Psalms 9:6 , etc.) is a prophecy; and one which, while it has had no fulfilment in the case of David's enemies, or any persecutors of the church in times past, brings again vividly before the mind the fiery judgment of the Lord's coming, and the awful sentence already pronounced against "the beast and false prophet", the leaders of the confederation of the kings of the earth and their armies, then "gathered together to make war against him" -- "these were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone": Revelation 19:19-20 . So before, Psalms 55:15 63:9. --William De Burgh.