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Psalms 14:1

    Psalms 14:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; There is none that doeth good.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    <To the chief music-maker. Of David.> The foolish man has said in his heart, God will not do anything. They are unclean, they have done evil works; there is not one who does good.

    Webster's Revision

    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; There is none that doeth good.

    World English Bible

    The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works; there is none that doeth good.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 14:1

    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God - נבל nabal, which we render fool, signifies an empty fellow, a contemptible person, a villain. One who has a muddy head and an unclean heart; and, in his darkness and folly, says in his heart, "There is no God." "And none," says one, "but a fool would say so." The word is not to be taken in the strict sense in which we use the term atheist, that is, one who denies the being of a God, or confounds him with matter. 1. There have been some, not many, who have denied the existence of God. 2. There are others who, without absolutely denying the Divine existence, deny his providence; that is, they acknowledge a Being of infinite power, etc., but give him nothing to do, and no world to govern. 3. There are others, and they are very numerous, who, while they profess to acknowledge both, deny them in their heart, and live as if they were persuaded there was no God either to punish or reward.

    They are corrupt - They are in a state of putrescence and they have done abominable works - the corruption of their hearts extends itself through all the actions of their lives. They are a plague of the most deadly kind; propagate nothing but destruction; and, like their father the devil, spread far and wide the contagion of sin and death. Not one of them does good. He cannot, for he has no Divine influence, and he denies that such can be received.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 14:1

    The fool - The word "fool" is often used in the Scriptures to denote a wicked man - as sin is the essence of folly. Compare Job 2:10; Psalm 74:18; Genesis 34:7; Deuteronomy 22:21. The Hebrew word is rendered "vile person" in Isaiah 32:5-6. Elsewhere it is rendered "fool, foolish," and "foolish man." It is designed to convey the idea that wickedness or impiety is essential folly, or to use a term in describing the wicked which will, perhaps, more than any other, make the mind averse to the sin - for there is many a man who would see more in the word "fool" to be hated than in the word "wicked;" who would rather be called a "sinner" than a "fool."

    Hath said - That is, has "thought," for the reference is to what is passing in his mind.

    In his heart - See the note at Psalm 10:11. He may not have said this to others; he may not have taken the position openly before the world that there is no God, but such a thought has passed through his mind, and he has cherished it; and such a thought, either as a matter of belief or of desire, is at the foundation of his conduct. He "acts" as if such were his belief or his wish.

    There is no God - The words "there is" are not in the original. The literal rendering would be either "no God," "nothing of God," or "God is not." The idea is that, in his apprehension, there is no such thing as God, or no such being as God. The more correct idea in the passage is, that this was the belief of him who is here called a "fool;" and it is doubtful whether the language would convey the idea of desire - or of a wish that this might be so; but still there can be no doubt that such is the wish or desire of the wicked, and that they listen eagerly to any suggestions or arguments which, in their apprehension, would go to demonstrate that there is no such being as God. The exact state of mind, however, indicated by the languaqe here, undoubtedly is that such was the opinion or the belief of him who is here called a fool. If this is the true interpretation, then the passage would prove that there have been people who were atheists. The passage would prove, also, in its connection, that such a belief was closely linked, either as a cause or a consequent, with a corrupt life, for this statement immediately follows in regard to the character of those who are represented as saying that there is no God. As a matter of fact, the belief that there is no God is commonly founded on the desire to lead a wicked life; or, the opinion that there is no God is embraced by those who in fact lead such a life, with a desire to sustain themselves in their depravity, and to avoid the fear of future retribution. A man who wishes to lead an upright life, desires to find evidence that there is a God, and to such a man nothing would be more dark and distressing than anything which would compel him to doubt the fact of God's existence. It is only a wicked man who finds pleasure in an argument to prove that there is no God, and the wish that there were no God springs up only in a bad heart.

    They are corrupt - That is, they have done corruptly; or, their conduct is corrupt. "They have done abominable works." They have done that which is to be abominated or abhorred; that which is to be detested, and which is fitted to fill the mind with horror.

    There is none that doeth good - Depravity is universal. All have fallen into sin; all fail to do good. None are found who are disposed to worship their Maker, and to keep his laws. This was originally spoken, undoubtedly, with reference to the age in which the psalmist lived; but it is applied by the apostle Paul, Romans 3:10 (see the note at that passage), as an argument for the universal depravity of mankind.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 14:1

    14:1 The fool - The wicked man. Good - That is, actions really good or pleasing to God.