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Psalms 14:4

    Psalms 14:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not on the LORD.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And call not upon Jehovah?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Have all the workers of evil no knowledge? they take my people for food as they would take bread; they make no prayer to the Lord.

    Webster's Revision

    Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And call not upon Jehovah?

    World English Bible

    Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and don't call on Yahweh?

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.

    Definitions for Psalms 14:4

    Iniquity - Sin; wickedness; evil.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 14:4

    Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? - Is there not one of them who takes this dreadful subject into consideration? To their deeply fallen state they add cruelty; they oppress and destroy the poor, without either interest or reason.

    Who eat up my people as they eat bread - Ye make them an easy and unresisting prey. They have no power to oppose you, and therefore you destroy them. That this is the meaning of the expression, is plain from the speech of Joshua and Caleb relative to the Canaanites. Numbers 14:9 : "Neither fear ye the people or the land; for they are bread for us."

    And call not upon the Lord - They have no defense, for they invoke not the Lord. They are all either atheists or idolaters.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 14:4

    Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? - literally, "Do they not know, all the workers of iniquity, eating my people, they eat bread; Jehovah they call not." The several statements in this verse in confirmation of the fact of their depravity are:

    (a) that they have no knowledge of God;

    (b) that they find pleasure in the errors and imperfections of the people of God - sustaining themselves in their own wickedness by the fact that the professed friends of God are inconsistent in their lives; and

    (c) that they do not call on the name of the Lord, or that they offer no worship to him.

    The whole verse might have been, and should have been put in the form of a question. The first statement implied in the question is, that they have "no knowledge." This can be regarded as a proof of guilt only

    (1) as they have opportunities of obtaining knowledge;

    (2) as they neglect to improve those opportunities, and remain in voluntary ignorance; and

    (3) as they do this from a design to practice wickedness.

    See this argument stated at length by the apostle Paul in Romans 1:19-28. Compare the note at that passage. This proof of human depravity is everywhere manifested still in the world - in the fact that men have the opportunities of gaining the knowledge of God if they chose to do it; in the fact that they voluntarily neglect those opportunities; and in the fact that the reason of this is that they love iniquity.

    Who eat up my people as they eat bread - They sustain themselves in their own course of life by the imperfections of the people of God. That is, they make use of their inconsistencies to confirm themselves in the belief that there is no God. They argue that a religion which produces no better fruits than what is seen in the lives of its professed friends can be of no value, or cannot be genuine; that if a professed belief in God produces no happier results than are found in their lives, it could be of no advantage to worship God; that they are themselves as good as those are who profess to be religious, and that, therefore, there can be no evidence from the lives of the professed friends of God that religion is either true or of any value. No inconsiderable part of the evidence in favor of religion, it is intended, shall be derived from the lives of its friends; and when that evidence is not furnished, of course no small part of the proof of its reality and value is lost. Hence, so much importance is attached everywhere in the Bible to the necessity of a consistent life on the part of the professed friends of religion. Compare Isaiah 43:10. The words "my people" here are properly to be regarded as the words of the psalmist, identifying himself with the people of God, and speaking of them thus as "his own people." Thus one speaks of his own family or his own friends. Compare Ruth 1:16. Or this may be spoken by David, considered as the head or ruler of the nation, and he may thus speak of the people of God as his people. The connection does not allow of the construction which would refer the words to God.

    And call not upon the Lord - They do not worship Yahweh. They give this evidence of wickedness that they do not pray; that they do not invoke the blessing of their Maker; that they do not publicly acknowledge him as God. It is remarkable that this is placed as the last or the crowning thing in the evidence of their depravity; and if rightly considered, it is so. To one who should look at things as they are; to one who sees all the claims and obligations which rest upon mankind; to one who appreciates his own guilt, his dependance, and his exposure to death and woe; to one who understands aright why man was made - there can be no more striking proof of human depravity than in the fact that a man in no way acknowledges his Maker - that he renders him no homage - that he never supplicates his favor - never deprecates his wrath - that, amidst the trials, the temptations, the perils of life, he endeavors to make his way through the world "as if there were no God." The highest crime that Gabriel could commit would be to renounce all allegiance to his Maker, and henceforward to live as if there were no God. All other iniquities that he might commit would spring out of that, and would be secondary to that. The great sin of man consists in renouncing God, and attempting to live as if there were no Supreme Being to whom he owes allegiance. All other sins spring out of that, and are subordinate to it.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 14:4

    14:4 Bread - With as little remorse, and with as much greediness. Call not - They are guilty not only of gross injustice towards men, but also of horrid impiety and contempt of God.