Psalm 14:1

For the director of music. Of David.

1 The foola says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

Read Psalm 14:1 Using Other Translations

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good.
Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!

What does Psalm 14:1 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 14:1

The fool hath said in his heart
This is to be understood not of a single individual person, as Nabal, which is the word here used; nor of some Gentile king, as Sennacherib, or Rabshakeh his general, as Theodoret; nor of Nebuchadnezzar, nor of Titus, as some Jewish writers F25 interpret it, making one to be here intended, and the other in the fifty third psalm: the same with this; but of a body, a set of men, who justly bear this character; and design not such who are idiots, persons void of common sense and understanding; but such who are fools in their morals, without understanding in spiritual things; wicked profligate wretches, apostates from God, alienated from the life of God; and whose hearts are full of blindness and ignorance, and whose conversations are vile and impure, and they enemies of righteousness, though full of all wicked subtlety and mischief: these say in their hearts, which are desperately wicked, and out of which evil thoughts proceed, pregnant with atheism and impiety; these endeavour to work themselves into such a belief, and inwardly to conclude, at least to wish,

[there is] no God;
though they do not express it with their mouths, yet they would fain persuade their hearts to deny the being of God; that so having no superior to whom they are accountable, they may go on in sin with impunity; however, to consider him as altogether such an one as themselves, and to remove such perfections from him, as may render him unworthy to be regarded by them; such as omniscience, omnipresence and to conceive of him as entirely negligent of and unconcerned about affairs of this lower world, having nothing to do with the government of it: and thus to deny his perfections and providence, is all one as to deny his existence, or that there is a God: accordingly the Targum paraphrases it,

``there is no (anjlwv) , "government" of God in the earth;''

so Kimchi interprets it,

``there is no governor, nor judge in the world, to render to man according to his works;''

they are corrupt;
that is, everyone of these fools; and it is owing to the corruption of their hearts they say such things: they are corrupt in themselves; they have corrupt natures, they are born in sin, and of the flesh, and must be carnal and corrupt: or "they do corrupt", or "have corrupted" F26: they corrupt themselves by their atheistic thoughts and wicked practices, ( Jude 1:10 ) ; or their works, as the Chaldee paraphrase adds; or their ways, their manner and course of life, ( Genesis 6:12 ) ; and they corrupt others with their evil communications, their bad principles and practices, their ill examples and wicked lives;

they have done abominable works:
every sinful action is abominable in the sight of God; but there are some sins more abominable than others; there are abominable idolatries, and abominable lusts, such as were committed in Sodom; and it may be these are pointed at here, and which are usually committed by such who like not to retain God in their knowledge; see ( Romans 1:24 Romans 1:28 ) ;

[there is] none that doeth good;
anyone good work in a spiritual manner; not in faith, from love, in the name and strength of Christ, and with a view to the glory of God: nor can any man do a good work without the grace of God, and strength from Christ, and the assistance of the Spirit of God: hence, whatsoever a wicked man does, whether in a civil or in a religious way, is sin; see ( Proverbs 21:4 Proverbs 21:27 ) . Arama takes these to be the words of the fool, or atheist, saying, there is no God that does good, like those in ( Zephaniah 1:12 ) .


FOOTNOTES:

F25 Vid. Jarchi, Kimchi & Ben Melech in loc.
F26 (wtyxvh) "corruperunt", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Gejerus; "corrumpunt", Junius & Tremellius; "corrumpunt se", Piscator.
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