Verse 14. He suffered no man to do them wrong. Men cannot wrong us unless he suffers them to do so; the greatest of them must wait his permission before they can place a finger upon us. The wicked would devour us if they could, but they cannot even cheat us of a farthing without divine sufferance.
Yea, he reproved kings for their sakes. Pharaoh and Abimelech must both be made to respect the singular strangers who had come to sojourn in their land; the greatest kings are very second rate persons with God in comparison with his chosen servants.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 14. -- He suffered no man to do them, wrong. As many rose up, one after another, in troops against them, the Psalmist says indefinitely, that men were withheld from hurting them; for mda, Adam, is the word here used, which is the one most generally employed to signify man. --John Calvin.
Verse 14. -- I resolve the words into these three parts.
- Here is the nearness and the dearness of the saints unto God. They are dearer to him than kings and states, simply considered; that is, otherwise than as they in their persons are also saints; for you see that for their sakes he reproved kings, and so sheweth that he prefers them to kings.
- Here is the great danger to kings and states, to deal with his saints otherwise than well. Which appeareth many ways; for he doth not only in words give a charge not to touch them, but he carries it in a high way (for so God will do when he pleads their cause). Touch them not; as if he had said, Let me see if you dare so much as touch them; and it is with an intimation of the highest threatening if they should; upon your peril if you do so; for that is the scope of such a speech. And accordingly in deeds he made this good; for the text saith he suffered no man to do them wrong; not that he did altogether prevent all wrong and injuries, for they received many as they went through those lands; but at no time did lie let it go unpunished. In that sense he suffered them not. You know how he plagued Pharaoh, king of Egypt, with great plagues, and all his household, for Abraham's wife's sake, Gen. 7. And so Abimelech, king of Gerar, the Lord cometh upon him with a greatness, and his first word is in Genesis 2:3 , "Behold, thou art but a dead man," afore he had first told him why or wherefore, though then he adds the reason; he brings him upon his knees, verse 4, bids him look to it, that he give satisfaction to Abraham, and restore his wife to him again, verse 7; and well he escaped so; and tells him also that he must be beholden to Abraham's prayers for his life. "He is a prophet," saith he, "and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live."
- The third is the care and protection which God had over them, set and amplified, 1, by the number and condition of the persons whom he defended; though "few men in number," that is, soon reckoned, for their power and strength a few, or very small, eijs mikron, so the Septuagint in the parallel place, 1Ch 16:19; as also, 2, by what he did for them: He suffered no man, how great soever, to do them any wrong, how small soever; not without recompense and satisfaction; not to do it, though they had a mind to it. Though the people had an ill eye at them, Genesis 26:11 , God causeth Abimelech to make a law on purpose; Abimelech charged all his people in Isaac's behalf, and spake in the very words of the text, "He that toucheth this man or his wife shall be put to death." --Thomas Goodwin.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 14. -- Dr. T. Goodwin has an excellent sermon on these verses, entitled "The Interest of England," in which he condenses the history of the world, to show, that those nations which have persecuted and afflicted the people of God have invariably been broken in pieces. --(Goodwin's Works, volume 12 pg 34-60, Nichol's edition).