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Psalms 34:16

    Psalms 34:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    The face of Jehovah is against them that do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to take away the memory of them from the earth.

    Webster's Revision

    The face of Jehovah is against them that do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

    World English Bible

    Yahweh's face is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 34:16

    The face of the Lord - This phrase is synonymous with that in the previous verse: "The eyes of the Lord." The meaning is, that the righteous and the wicked are alike under the eye of God; the one for protection, the other for punishment. Neither of them can escape His notice; but at all times, and in all circumstances, they are equally seen by Him.

    Is against them that do evil - The wicked; all that do wrong. In the former verse the statement is, that the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, that is, for their protection; in this case, by a change of the preposition in the original, the statement is, that His face is "against" them that do evil, that is, He observes them to bring judgment upon them.

    To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth - To cut off themselves, - their families - and all memorials of them, so that they shall utterly be forgotten among people. Compare Psalm 109:13-15. So, in Proverbs 10:7, it is said, "The memory of the just is blessed; but the name of the wicked shall rot." Two things are implied here:

    (1) That it is "desirable" to be remembered after we are dead. There is in us a deep-rooted principle, of great value to the cause of virtue, which prompts us to "desire" that we may be held in grateful recollection by mankind after we have passed away; that is, which prompts us to do something in our lives, the remembrance of which the world will not "willingly let die." - Milton.

    (2) The other idea is, that there is a state of things on earth which has a tendency to cause the remembrance of the wicked to die out, or to make people forget them. There is nothing to make men desire to retain their recollection, or to rear monuments to them. People are indeed remembered who are of bad eminence in crime; but the world will forget a wicked man just as soon as it can. This is stated here as a reason particularly addressed to the young Psalm 34:11 why they should seek God, and pursue the ways of righteousness. The motive is, that men will "gladly" retain the remembrance of those who are good; of those who have done anything worthy to be remembered, but that a life of sin will make men desire to forget as soon as possible all those who practice it. This is not a low and base motive to be addressed to the young. That is a high and honorable principle which makes us wish that our names should be cherished by those who are to live after us, and is one of the original principles by which God keeps up virtue in the world - one of those arrangements, those safeguards of virtue, by which we are prompted to do right, and to abstain from that which is wrong. It is greatly perverted, indeed, to purposes of ambition, but, in itself, the desire not to be forgotten when we are dead contributes much to the industry, the enterprise, and the benevolence of the world, and is one of the most efficacious means for preserving us from sin.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 34:16

    34:16 The face - His anger, which discovers itself in the face.