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Psalms 12:1

    Psalms 12:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Help, LORD; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Help, Jehovah; for the godly man ceaseth; For the faithful fail from among the children of men.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    <For the chief music-maker on the Sheminith. A Psalm. Of David.> Send help, Lord, for mercy has come to an end; there is no more faith among the children of men.

    Webster's Revision

    Help, Jehovah; for the godly man ceaseth; For the faithful fail from among the children of men.

    World English Bible

    Help, Yahweh; for the godly man ceases. For the faithful fail from among the children of men.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For the Chief Musician; set to the Sheminith. A Psalm of David. Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 12:1

    Help, Lord - Save me, O Lord; for merciful men fail, and faithful men have passed away from the sons of Adam. Make safe me, Lord; for haly failed, for lessed es sothfastnes fra sons of men. Old MS.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 12:1

    Help, Lord - Hebrew, "Save, Yahweh." The idea is that there was no human help, and, therefore, the divine help is implored. The psalmist saw that those on whom reliance was usually placed for the promotion of the cause of truth and virtue now failed, and hence, he invites the divine interposition.

    For the godly man - The word used here properly denotes the "merciful" man - חסיד châsı̂yd. It is a term applied to the righteous, because it is a prominent trait in the character of a pious man that he is merciful, kind, benignant. Hence, the general character is often denoted by the special characteristic; in the same way as we speak of a pious man as a good man, a just man, a righteous man. The idea suggested by the use of the term here is, that it is always a characteristic of a pious man that he is merciful or benignant. Compare Psalm 4:3; Psalm 32:6, where the same word is rendered "godly;" Psalm 30:4; Psalm 31:23; Psalm 37:28; Psalm 50:5; Psalm 52:9; Psalm 79:2; Psalm 85:8, where it is rendered saints; and Deuteronomy 33:8; Psalm 16:10; Psalm 86:2; Psalm 89:19, where it is rendered "holy." "Ceaseth." The word used here - גמר gâmar - means properly to bring to an end; to complete; to perfect. Hence, it means to come to an end, to cease, to fail.

    Gesenius. - This might occur either by their being cut off by death; or by their ceasing to exert their influence in favor of religion; that is, by a general prevalence of wickedness among those who professed to be the friends of God. The latter seems to be the meaning here, since, in the following verses, the psalmist proceeds to specify the manner in which they "fail;" not by death, but by speaking vanity, falsehood, and flattery. That is, their conduct was such that their influence failed, or was lost to the community. No reliance could be placed on them, and, therefore, the psalmist so earnestly calls on God for his interposition. The idea is, that when men professing religion become conformed to the world - when they live like other men - when they cease to exert an influence in favor of piety - when they fall into habits of sin, it is a time to call on God with special earnestness for his aid. Often such conduct on the part of the professed friends of religion makes such an appeal to God more proper than even the death of good men does, for, in the latter case, their influence is simply withdrawn; in the former, not only is this influence which they might exert lost to the church, but there is a positive bad influence to be counteracted. The fall of a professor of religion into sin is a greater loss to the church than his death would be.

    For the faithful - Those who profess faith; those who are bound by their vows to be faithful to God and to his cause. The word is equivalent to the believing, and is properly expressive of trust or faith in God.

    Fail from among the children of men - Fail, as above noted, by their misconduct; by being false to the trust committed to them.