Psalms 52

For the director of music. A maskil of David. When Doeg the Edomite had gone to Saul and told him: “David has gone to the house of Ahimelek.”

1 [a][b]Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
2 You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor.
3 You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth.[c]
4 You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue!
5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living.
6 The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at you, saying,
7 “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!”
8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
9 For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people. And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.

Psalms 52 Commentary

Chapter 52

The enemies of the truth and the church described, Their destruction. (1-5) The righteous rejoice. (6-9)

Verses 1-5 Those that glory in sin, glory in their shame. The patience and forbearance of God are abused by sinners, to the hardening of their hearts in their wicked ways. But the enemies in vain boast in their mischief, while we have God's mercy to trust in. It will not save us from the guilt of lying, to be able to say, there was some truth in what we said, if we make it appear otherwise than it was. The more there is of craft and contrivance in any wickedness, the more there is of Satan in it. When good men die, they are transplanted from the land of the living on earth, to heaven, the garden of the Lord, where they shall take root for ever; but when wicked men die, they are rooted out, to perish for ever. The believer sees that God will destroy those who make not him their strength.

Verses 6-9 Those wretchedly deceive themselves, who think to support themselves in power and wealth without God. The wicked man trusted in the abundance of his riches; he thought his wickedness would help him to keep his wealth. Right or wrong, he would get what he could, and keep what he had, and ruin any one that stood in his way; this he thought would strengthen him; but see what it comes to! Those who by faith and love dwell in the house of God, shall be like green olive-trees there. And that we may be as green olive-trees, we must live a life of faith and holy confidence in God and his grace. It adds much to the beauty of our profession, and to fruitfulness in every grace, to be much in praising God; and we never can want matter for praise. His name alone can be our refuge and strong tower. It is very good for us to wait on that saving name; there is nothing better to calm and quiet our spirits, when disturbed, and to keep us in the way of duty, when tempted to use any crooked courses for our relief, than to hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. None ever followed his guidance but it ended well.

Cross References 20

  • 1. Psalms 10:3; Psalms 94:4
  • 2. Psalms 44:8
  • 3. Psalms 5:9
  • 4. S Numbers 6:5; Psalms 57:4
  • 5. S Psalms 50:19
  • 6. Exodus 10:10; 1 Samuel 12:25; Amos 5:14-15; John 3:20
  • 7. Psalms 58:3; Jeremiah 9:5; Revelation 21:8
  • 8. Psalms 5:9; Psalms 10:7; Psalms 109:2; Psalms 120:2,3; Proverbs 10:31; Proverbs 12:19
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 29:28; S Job 40:12; Isaiah 22:19; Ezekiel 17:24
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 28:63; Proverbs 2:22
  • 11. S Job 28:13; Psalms 27:13
  • 12. S Job 22:19; Psalms 37:34; Psalms 40:3
  • 13. S 2 Samuel 22:3
  • 14. S Psalms 49:6; S Proverbs 11:28; Mark 10:23
  • 15. S Psalms 1:3; S Revelation 11:4; Jeremiah 11:16
  • 16. Psalms 6:4; Psalms 13:5
  • 17. S Psalms 30:12
  • 18. S Job 7:6; Psalms 25:3
  • 19. Psalms 54:6
  • 20. S Deuteronomy 7:6; Psalms 16:3

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 52:1-9 is numbered 52:3-11.
  • [b]. Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  • [c]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 5.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 52 Commentaries

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