Psalms 53

For the director of music. According to mahalath. A maskil of David.

1 [a][b][c]The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
3 Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
4 Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on God.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread. God scattered the bones of those who attacked you; you put them to shame, for God despised them.
6 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!

Psalms 53 Commentary

Chapter 53

The corruption of man by nature.

- This psalm is almost the same as the 14th. The scope of it is to convince us of our sins. God, by the psalmist, here shows us how bad we are, and proves this by his own certain knowledge. He speaks terror to persecutors, the worst of sinners. He speaks encouragement to God's persecuted people. How comes it that men are so bad? Because there is no fear of God before their eyes. Men's bad practices flow from their bad principles; if they profess to know God, yet in works, because in thoughts, they deny him. See the folly of sin; he is a fool, in the account of God, whose judgment we are sure is right, that harbours such corrupt thoughts. And see the fruit of sin; to what it brings men, when their hearts are hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. See also the faith of the saints, and their hope and power as to the cure of this great evil. There will come a Saviour, a great salvation, a salvation from sin. God will save his church from its enemies. He will save all believers from their own sins, that they may not be led captive by them, which will be everlasting joy to them. From this work the Redeemer had his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins, Mt. 1:21 .

Cross References 11

  • 1. Psalms 74:22; Psalms 107:17; Proverbs 10:23; Psalms 14:1-7; Romans 3:10
  • 2. Psalms 10:4
  • 3. S Psalms 33:13
  • 4. Psalms 82:5; Jeremiah 4:22; Jeremiah 8:8
  • 5. 2 Chronicles 15:2
  • 6. Romans 3:10-12*
  • 7. S Leviticus 26:17
  • 8. 2 Kings 23:14; Psalms 141:7; Jeremiah 8:1; Ezekiel 6:5
  • 9. 2 Kings 17:20
  • 10. S Job 8:22
  • 11. Jeremiah 6:30; Jeremiah 14:19; Lamentations 5:22

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 53:1-6 is numbered 53:2-7.
  • [b]. Title: Probably a musical term
  • [c]. Title: Probably a literary or musical term

Chapter Summary

Psalms 53 Commentaries