Psalms 36:1

For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD.

1 [a]I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:[b]There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Psalms 36:1 in Other Translations

1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
1 Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.
1 Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all.
1 The God-rebel tunes in to sedition - all ears, eager to sin. He has no regard for God, he stands insolent before him.
1 An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no dread of God before his eyes,

Psalms 36:1 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 36:1

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart
Which is represented as a person speaking within him; not that the transgression of the wicked was really in him; sin was in him, and sin of the same kind and nature with the wicked man's; but he taking notice of and considering the wicked man's sinful course of life, and his daring impieties, conceived in his own mind, and concluded from hence,

[that there is] no fear of God before his eyes;
no reverential affection for him, but enmity to him; no godly filial fear, but at most only a slavish fear, a fear of punishment; no holy and humble fear of him, but pride and wickedness; no fiducial and obediential fear, but all the reverse; true worship of him, either internally or externally: there can be no fear of God in any unregenerate man's, heart, because it is not of nature, but of grace, and is, what is implanted at first conversion; there is in some an appearance of it, where it is not really, whose fear is taught by the precept of men; and in others there may be some awe of the divine Being, and trembling at the thought of a future judgment, arising from the dictates of nature, the light of revelation, and the enjoyment of a religious education; but in some there is no fear of God at all, and they are bold and daring enough to assert it themselves, as the unjust judge did, ( Luke 18:4 ) . Such as the atheist, the common swearer, the debauchee and epicure, who give up themselves to all manner of wickedness, contemn revelation, despise the word of God, and regard no day nor manner of worship; and this notwithstanding the majesty of God, at whose presence they tremble not, and notwithstanding the goodness of God, which should induce them to fear him, and notwithstanding the judgment of God on others, and even on themselves; see ( Jeremiah 3:8 ) ( Luke 23:40 ) ; and notwithstanding the future awful judgment, which they put far away or disbelieve. The Targum is, "transgression saith to the wicked within my heart"; and Jarchi's note upon the text is this,

``this text is to be transposed thus, it is in my heart, that transgression, which is the evil imagination, says to the wicked man, that there should be no fear of God before his eyes; and the phrase, "in the midst of my heart", is as if a man should say, so it seems to me.''

The Septuagint version, and those that follow it, render the words thus, "the transgressor said, that he might sin in himself, there is no fear of God before his eyes". Gussetius F2 interprets "before his eyes", before the eyes of God himself, who is so good a Being, that the sinner fears no punishment from him, but will pardon all his sins.


F2 Ebr. Comment. p. 488.

Psalms 36:1 In-Context

1 I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:There is no fear of God before their eyes.
2 In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.
3 The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful; they fail to act wisely or do good.
4 Even on their beds they plot evil; they commit themselves to a sinful course and do not reject what is wrong.
5 Your love, LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Job 21:16
  • 2. Jeremiah 2:19; Jeremiah 36:16,24
  • 3. S Job 23:15; Romans 3:18*

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 36:1-12 is numbered 36:2-13.
  • [b]. Or "A message from God: The transgression of the wicked" / "resides in their hearts."
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