on Psalms 5 :10
Destroy thou them, O God - All these apparently imprecatory declarations should be translated in the future tense, to which they belong; and which shows them to be prophetic. Thou Wilt destroy them; thou Wilt cast them out, etc.
on Psalms 5 :10
Destroy thou them, O God - The word here rendered "destroy" is translated by Prof. Alexander "condemn" - "condemn them; literally, make them guilty; that is, recognize and treat them as such." The Hebrew word אשׁם 'âsham, means to fail in duty, to transgress, to be guilty; in the Hiphil, the form used here, according to Gesenius, to "punish; and hence, to destroy," (Lexicon) The idea in the mind of the psalmist seems to have been that he desired, since they were undoubtedly guilty, that God would regard and treat them "as such." It is not that he wished that God would make them guilty; or that, in itself considered, he desired that they should be found to be so, or that, in itself considered, he wished them to be punished or cut off; but it is that, as they were guilty, and as they were pursuing a course which tended to overthrow the government of the land, and as they were at war with God and with the best interests of the people, God would interpose and stay their progress - that he would show himself to be a righteous and just God. There is no evidence of any private malignity in this prayer, or of any spirit of private revenge. It is a prayer which corresponds with all the efforts, and consequently with all the wishes of every good person, that the violators of law may be arrested and punished. In this, assuredly, there is no wrong.
Let them fall by their own counsels - So as to show that they brought this judgment upon themselves. The wish is, that their plans, which were evil, might come to nought, and tend to their own overthrow. That is, the psalmist did not wish to imbrue his hands in their blood, or to be made the agent in their destruction; but he desired that God would himself interpose, so that their own plans might be made the means of quelling the rebellion. If men are so wicked that they must perish it is desirable that it should be "seen" that they perish by their own guilt and folly.
Cast them out - Expel them; drive them away; let them not be successful in taking possession of the throne, and in overturning the government.
In the multitude of their transgressions - In the abundance of their sins, or as a consequence of the number and the aggravation of their offences. The design of the psalmist is to fix the attention on the "great number" of their sins as a reason why they should not be successful. Such a prayer is not wrong, for it would not be right to pray that sinners "in" the abundance of their sins, or in consequence of the multitude of their sins, should be successful and prosperous. The fact that they are such sinners is, under a righteous administration, a reason why they should "not" be successful, not why they "should be."
For they have rebelled against thee - This is given as a reason why the psalmist prayed that they should be cut off. It was not that they had wronged him; it was because they had rebelled against God; and it was right, therefore, to hope and to pray that he would interpose and vindicate his government and law. There is no spirit of private revenge manifested here, and nothing said that would encourage or foster such a spirit. All that is said here is but carrying out what every magistrate must feel who executes the laws, and is what he endeavors himself to do; for it is desirable that the wicked - the violators of the law - the enemies of their country - should be arrested and prosecuted. See the general introduction, 6.
on Psalms 5 :10
5:10 Destroy - Condemn and punish them. Cast - Out of thy land, and from among thy people.