Psalm 58:6

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 6. Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth. If they have no capacity for good, at least deprive them of their ability for evil. Treat them as the snake charmers do their serpents, extract their fangs, break their teeth. The Lord can do this, and he will. He will not suffer the malice of the wicked to triumph, he will deal them such a blow as shall disable them from mischief.

Break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord. As if one brute creature had not enough of evil in it to complete the emblem of ungodly nature, another specimen of ferae naturae is fetched in. For fierce cruelty the wicked are likened to young lions, monsters in the prime of their vigour, and the fury of their lustiness; and it is asked that their grinders may be smashed in, broken off, or dashed out, that the creatures may henceforth be harmless. One can well understand how the banished son of Jesse, while poisoned by the venomous slander of his foes, and worried by their cruel power, should appeal to heaven for a speedy and complete riddance from his enemies.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 6. Break their teeth, destroy the fangs of these serpents, in which their poison is contained. This will amount to the same meaning as above. Save me from the adders, the sly and poisonous slanderers: save me also from the lions -- the tyrannical and bloodthirsty men. Adam Clarke.

Verse 6. Great teeth. mw[tlm, according to Michaelis and Gesenius, are the eye teeth, which in lions are sharp and terrible. George Phillips, B.D., in "The Psalms in Hebrew: With a Commentary," 1846.

Verse 6-9. David's enemies were strong and fierce as young lions: he therefore prayed that their teeth might be broken, even their strongest teeth, their grinders, with which they were ready to devour him; that so they might be disabled from doing mischief. They overwhelmed him like an inundation: but he desired it might prove a land flood, which is soon wasted. They were about to shoot at him: but he would have their bows, or their arrows, to be shivered to pieces, and become like straw, and do no execution, and he prayed that they might waste insensibly as the snail, which leaves its substance all along its track; and that they might come to nothing, like an abortion. He also predicted, that their prosperous rage (which resembled the crackling of thorns under a pot), would soon be extinct, and produce no effect; while the Lord in his wrath would hurry them into speedy destruction; as a furious whirlwind drives a living man down a precipice, or into a dreadful pit. Thomas Scott, 1747-1821.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

None.