Verse 5. Mine enemies speak evil of me. It was their nature to do and speak evil; it was not possible that the child of God could escape them. The viper fastened on Paul's hand: the better the man the more likely, and the more venomous the slander. Evil tongues are busy tongues, and never deal in truth. Jesus was traduced to the utmost, although no offence was in him. When shall he die, and his name perish? They could not be content till he was away. The world is not wide enough for evil men to live in while the righteous remain, yea, the bodily presence of the saints may be gone, but their memory is an offence to their foes. It was never merry England, say they, since men took to Psalm singing. In the Master's case, they cried, "Away with such a fellow from the earth, it is not fit that he should live." If persecutors could have their way, the church should have but one neck, and that should be on the block. Thieves would fain blow out all candles. The lights of the world are not the delights of the world. Poor blind bats, they fly at the lamp, and try to dash it down; but the Lord liveth, and preserveth both the saints and their names.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 1,5. He that considereth. Mine enemies. Strigelius has observed, there is a perpetual antithesis in this Psalm between the few who have a due regard to the poor in spirit, and the many who afflict or desert them. W. Wilson, D.D.
Verse 5. Mine enemies speak evil of me. To speak is here used in the sense of to imprecate. John Calvin.
Verse 5. His name. It is the name, the character, and privileges of a true servant of God, that calls out the hatred of ungodly men, and they would gladly extirpate him from their sight. W. Wilson, D.D.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 5. What we may expect. What our enemies desire. What we may therefore prize, i.e., the power of Christian life and name. What we should do -- tell the Lord all in prayer. What good will then come of the evil.