Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Psalms 50:16

    Psalms 50:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But to the wicked God said, What have you to do to declare my statutes, or that you should take my covenant in your mouth?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, And that thou hast taken my covenant in thy mouth,

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But to the sinner, God says, What are you doing, talking of my laws, or taking the words of my agreement in your mouth?

    Webster's Revision

    But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, And that thou hast taken my covenant in thy mouth,

    World English Bible

    But to the wicked God says, "What right do you have to declare my statutes, that you have taken my covenant on your lips,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes; and that thou hast taken my covenant in thy mouth?

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 50:16

    But unto the wicked - The bloodthirsty priests, proud Pharisees, and ignorant scribes of the Jewish people.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 50:16

    But unto the wicked God saith - This commences a second part of the subject. See the introduction. Thus far the psalm had reference to those who were merely external worshippers, or mere formalists, as showing that such could not be approved and accepted in the day of judgment; that spiritual religion - the offering of the "heart" - was necessary in order to acceptance with God. In this part of the psalm the same principles are applied to those who actually "violate" the law which they profess to receive as prescribing the rules of true religion, and which they profess to teach to others. The design of the psalm is not merely to reprove the mass of the people as mere formalists in religion, but especially to reprove the leaders and teachers of the people, who, under the form of religion, gave themselves up to a course of life wholly inconsistent with the true service of God. The address here, therefore, is to those who, while they professed to be teachers of religion, and to lead the devotions of others, gave themselves up to abandoned lives.

    What hast thou to do - What right hast thou to do this? How can people, who lead such lives, consistently and properly do this? The idea is, that they who profess to declare the law of a holy God should be themselves holy; that they who profess to teach the principles and doctrines of true religion should themselves be examples of purity and holiness.

    To declare my statutes - My laws. This evidently refers rather to the teaching of others than to the profession of their own faith. The language would be applicable to the priests under the Jewish system, who were expected not only to conduct the outward services of religion, but also to instruct the people; to explain the principles of religion; to be the guides and teachers of others. Compare Malachi 2:7. There is a striking resemblance between the language used in this part of the psalm Psa 50:16-20 and the language of the apostle Paul in Romans 2:17-23; and it would seem probable that the apostle in that passage had this portion of the psalm in his eye. See the notes at that passage.

    Or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth - Either as professing faith in it, and a purpose to be governed by it - or, more probably, as explaining it to others. The ""covenant"" here is equivalent to the "law" of God, or the principles of his religion; and the idea is, that he who undertakes to explain that to others, should himself be a holy man. He can have no "right" to attempt to explain it, if he is otherwise; he cannot hope to be "able" to explain it, unless he himself sees and appreciates its truth and beauty. This is as true now of the Gospel as it was of the law. A wicked man can have no right to undertake the work of the Christian ministry, nor can he be able to explain to others what he himself does not understand.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 50:16

    50:16 But - With what confidence darest thou make mention of my grace and favour, in giving thee such a covenant and statutes.