on Psalms 4 :2
O ye sons of men - בני איש beney ish, ye powerful men - ye who are now at the head of affairs, or who are leaders of the multitude.
Love vanity - The poor, empty, shallow-brained, pretty-faced Absalom; whose prospects are all vain, and whose promises are all empty!
Seek after leasing? - This is a Saxon word, from falsehood, from to lie. Cardmarden has adopted this word in his translation, Rouen, 1566. It is in none of the Bibles previously to that time, nor in any after, as far as my own collection affords me evidence; and appears to have been borrowed by King James's translators from the above.
Selah - Mark this! See what the end will be!
on Psalms 4 :2
O ye sons of men - Turning from God to men; from Him in whom he hoped for protection to those who were engaged in persecuting him. We are not, of course, to suppose that they were present with him, but this is an earnest, poetic remonstrance, "as if" they were with him. The reference is doubtless to Absalom and his followers; and he calls them "sons of men," as having human feelings, passions, and purposes, in strong distinction from that righteous God to whom he had just made his solemn appeal. God was holy, true, and just, and he might appeal to Him; they were ambitious and wicked, and from them he had nothing to hope. He looked upon God as righteous altogether; he looked upon them as altogether depraved and wicked. God he regarded as his just Protector; them he regarded as seeking only to wrong and crush him.
How long - The phrase used here might refer either to "time" or to "extent." How long in regard to "time," - or to what "degree" or "extent" will you thus persecute me? The former, however, seems to be the true signification.
Will ye turn my glory into shame - My honor, or what becomes my rank and station. If this refers to the rebellion in the time of Absalom, the allusion is to the fact that his enemies were endeavoring to rob him of his scepter and his crown, and to reduce him to the lowest condition of beggary and want; and he asks with earnestness how long they intended to do him so great injustice and wrong.
Will ye love vanity - Compare the notes at Psalm 2:1. That is, how long will you act as if you were in love with a vain and impracticable thing; a thing which "must" be hopeless in the end. The idea is, that God had chosen him, and anointed him, and had determined that he should be king Psalm 4:3, and therefore, that their efforts "must be" ultimately unsuccessful. The object at which they were aiming could not be accomplished, and he asks how long they would thus engage in what must, from the nature of the case, be fruitless.
And seek after leasing - The word "leasing" is the Old English word for "lie." The idea here is, that they were pursuing a course which would yet prove to be a delusion - the hope of overturning his throne. The same question, in other respects, may be asked now. Men are seeking that which cannot be accomplished, and are acting under the influence of a lie. What else are the promises of permanent happiness in the pursuits of pleasure and ambition? What else are their attempts to overthrow religion and virtue in the world?
Selah - See the notes at Psalm 3:2.
on Psalms 4 :2
4:2 My glory - By his glory probably he means that honour which God had conferred upon him. Vanity - Wickedness. Lying - Those calumnies which they raised against him, to make him odious to all the people.