Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 52:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Why boastest thou thyself - It is thought that Doeg boasted of his loyalty to Saul in making the above discovery; but the information was aggravated by circumstances of falsehood that tended greatly to inflame and irritate the mind of Saul. Exaggeration and lying are common to all informers.

O mighty man? - This character scarcely comports with Doeg, who was only chief of the herdsmen of Saul, 1 Samuel 21:7; but I grant this is not decisive evidence that the Psalm may not have Doeg in view, for the chief herdsman may have been a man of credit and authority.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Why boastest thou thyself in Mischief? - Why dost thou “exult” in that which is wrong? Why dost thou find pleasure in evil rather than in good? Why dost thou seek to triumph in the injury done to others? The reference is to one who prided himself on schemes and projects which tended to injure others; or who congratulated himself on the success which attended his efforts to wrong other people.

O mighty man - DeWette and Luther render this, “tyrant.” The original word would be properly applied to one of rank or distinction; a man of “power” - power derived either from office, from talent, or from wealth. It is a word which is often applied to a hero or warrior: Isaiah 3:2; Ezekiel 39:20; 2 Samuel 17:10; Psalm 33:16; Psalm 120:4; Psalm 127:4; Daniel 11:3; Genesis 6:4; Jeremiah 51:30. So far as the “word” is concerned, it might be applied either to Saul or to any other warrior or man of rank; and Professor Alexander supposes that it refers to Saul himself. The connection, however, seems to require us to understand it of Doeg, and not of Saul, This appears to be clear

(a) from the general character here given to the person referred to, a character not particularly applicable to Saul, but applicable to an informer like Doeg Psalm 52:2-4; and

(b) from the fact that he derived his power, not from his rank and office, as Saul did, but mainly from his wealth Psalm 52:7. This would seem to imply that some other was referred to than Saul.

The goodness of God endureth continually - literally, “all the day.” That is, the wicked man could not hope to prevent the exercise of the divine goodness toward him whom he persecuted, and whom he sought to injure. David means to say that the goodness of God was so great and so constant, that he would protect his true friends from such machinations; or that it, was so unceasing and watchful, that the informer and accuser could not hope to find an interval of time when God would intermit his care, and when, therefore, he might hope for success. Against the goodness of God, the devices of a wicked man to injure the righteous could not ultimately prevail.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.
Ellen G. White
Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, 513.1

Let your mind dwell upon the goodness of God, upon the great love wherewith He has loved us, as evidenced in the work of redemption. If He did not love us and consider us of value, then this great sacrifice would not have been made. He is beneficent in mercy and in grace. Let your heart and mind be at rest like a tired child in the arms of its mother. His everlasting arms are beneath you. In all your afflictions Jesus is afflicted.... 2MCP 513.1

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