Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 94:20

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Shall the throne of iniquity - No wicked king, judge, or magistrate shall ever stand in thy presence. No countenance shall such have from thy grace or providence.

Which frameth mischief - Devise, plan, and execute, as if they acted by a positive law, and were strictly enjoined to do what they so much delighted in.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Shall the throne of iniquity - The throne established in iniquity; or, sustaining iniquity. The allusion is probably to what was referred to in the former part of the psalm - the powers that were spreading desolation through the land - wicked princes or rulers, Psalm 94:3-7. Their thrones were established on evil; they defended wickedness and wrong by their authority; they abused their power, and employed it to overthrow the rights of others. The “phrase” would be applicable to any unjust government, or to any laws that are designed to uphold that which is wrong. Such are all the laws which authorize or uphold slavery, gaming, lotteries, the traffic in intoxicating drinks, etc.

Have fellowship with thee - With God. Shall they be united with thee; be sustained by thee; be regarded as a part of thine administration? Wilt thou sanction them? Wilt thou give to them thy patronage, as if they met with thine approbation? The Hebrew word means to be associated with, or allied to, and would be properly applied to a partnership, or anything where there is fellowship or alliance. The interrogative form here strongly implies that this “cannot be.” Such laws - such purposes - “cannot” be in accordance with the laws and authority of God; or, in other words, God does not sit on the same throne with those who authorize and by law sustain slavery, intemperance, and gambling. There can be no partnership here.

Which frameth mischief by a law - The word rendered “mischief” usually means labor, toil; and then, trouble, vexation, sorrow. It may, however, be used to denote evil of any kind - crime, or wrong. The word rendered frameth means to form, to fashion, to make, as a potter does clay; Genesis 2:7-8, Genesis 2:19; or as a workman does statues, Isaiah 44:9-10, Isaiah 44:12; or as one makes weapons, Isaiah 54:17. It is often applied to God as the Creator. See the notes at Psalm 94:9: “he that formed the eye.” The word law here means a rule or statute; and the idea is, that the iniquity referred to was not the result of an irregular and fitful impulse; or of passion; of sudden excitement; or of mere “will” in a particular case; but was reduced to statute, and sustained by law. The expression would apply to all those cases where evil is upheld by the government or by civil authority, or where those who are engaged in it can plead in their defense the sanction of law. The statement here is, that such acts “cannot” have fellowship with God, or receive his approval. It is an insult to God to suppose that he has ever appointed legislators or magistrates for the purpose of making or upholding such enactments. Yet there are many such laws in the world; and a main reason why it is so difficult to remove such evils as have been above referred to is the fact that they are sustained by law, and that they who hold slaves, or open gambling-houses, or sell intoxicating drinks, can plead the authority of the law; or, in other words, that the laws have done all they can to place such things on a level with those which “ought” to be protected by statute. Many a man in his business looks no further than to the laws of the land, and if he has their sanction, in vain is the attempt to induce him to abandon a business that leads to oppression, or that scatters woe and sorrow through a community.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
That man is blessed, who, under the chastening of the Lord, is taught his will and his truths, from his holy word, and by the Holy Spirit. He should see mercy through his sufferings. There is a rest remaining for the people of God after the days of their adversity, which shall not last always. He that sends the trouble, will send the rest. The psalmist found succour and relief only in the Lord, when all earthly friends failed. We are beholden, not only to God's power, but to his pity, for spiritual supports; and if we have been kept from falling into sin, or shrinking from our duty, we should give him the glory, and encourage our brethren. The psalmist had many troubled thoughts concerning the case he was in, concerning the course he should take, and what was likely to be the end of it. The indulgence of such contrivances and fears, adds to care and distrust, and renders our views more gloomy and confused. Good men sometimes have perplexed and distressed thoughts concerning God. But let them look to the great and precious promises of the gospel. The world's comforts give little delight to the soul, when hurried with melancholy thoughts; but God's comforts bring that peace and pleasure which the smiles of the world cannot give, and which the frowns of the world cannot take away. God is his people's Refuge, to whom they may flee, in whom they are safe, and may be secure. And he will reckon with the wicked. A man cannot be more miserable than his own wickedness will make him, if the Lord visit it upon him.
Ellen G. White
Maranatha, 163.1

Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law? They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood. Psalm 94:20, 21. Mar 163.1

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