Psalms 107:17

17 Some were 1fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;

Psalms 107:17 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 107:17

Fools, because of their transgression
Or, "because of the way" F8 "of it"; their sinful course of life; for it is not for a single transgression they are afflicted, but for a continued series of sinning, which is a transgression of the law of God. By "fools" are meant not idiots, men devoid of common sense and natural understanding, but immoral persons; such who have no understanding of divine and spiritual things; are destitute of the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom; without the true knowledge of God himself; place their happiness in sensual enjoyments; seek only the gratification of their lust; scoff at religion, make a mock at sin, and have no concern about a future state, and the welfare of their immortal souls.

And because of their iniquities, are afflicted;
or "afflict themselves", or "find themselves afflicted" F9; rather "bring affliction on themselves" F11. Not that these are the only persons that are afflicted; for many truly wise, good, and gracious persons, have a large share of afflictions; though not in a way of punishment for sin, or in wrath and hot displeasure, but in a way of fatherly chastisement, and in love: nor are fools for the most part afflicted, nor so much as others; they are not in trouble and plagued as other men; which has been a stumbling to good men: however, sometimes they are afflicted in this life, and in a way of punishment for sin; and very often are but the more hardened by it; though to some it is an ordinance for good; they are awakened by it to a sense of sin, and acknowledgment of it, and to seek for pardoning grace and mercy. This is the "third" instance of persons in distress calling on the Lord, and finding relief F12, and being under obligation to praise him.


F8 (Krdm) "propter viam", Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator.
F9 (wnety) "sese adflictos sentiebant", Michaelis.
F11 So Tigurine version.
F12 "Flectitur iratus voce rogante Deus", Ovid. de Arte Amandi, l. 1.

Psalms 107:17 In-Context

15 Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
16 For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron.
17 Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
18 they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 14:9
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.