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Psalms 53:5

    Psalms 53:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God has scattered the bones of him that encamps against you: you have put them to shame, because God has despised them.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    There were they in great fear, where no fear was; For God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: Thou hast put them to shame, because of God hath rejected them.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    They were in great fear, where there was no cause for fear: for the bones of those who make war on you have been broken by God; you have put them to shame, because God has no desire for them.

    Webster's Revision

    There were they in great fear, where no fear was; For God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: Thou hast put them to shame, because of God hath rejected them.

    World English Bible

    There they were in great fear, where no fear was, for God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you. You have put them to shame, because God has rejected them.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee; thou hast put them to shame, because God hath rejected them.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 53:5

    For God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them - The reader will see, on comparing this with the fifth and sixth verses of Psalm 14:1-7, that the words above are mostly added here to what is said there; and appear to be levelled against the Babylonians, who sacked and ruined Jerusalem, and who were now sacked and ruined in their turn. The sixth verse of Psalm 14:1-7, "Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge," is added here by more than twenty of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 53:5

    There were they in great fear ... - Margin, as in Hebrew, "they feared a fear." For the general meaning of the verse, see the notes at Psalm 14:5. There is, however, an important change introduced here - the most important in the psalm. The general sentiment of two verses Psalm 14:5-6 in Psalm 14:1-7 is here compressed into one, and yet with such an important change as to show that it was by design, and apparently to adapt it to some new circumstance. The solution of this would seem to be that the original form Psalm 14:1-7 was suited to some occasion then present to the mind of the writer, and that some new event occurred to which the general sentiment in the psalm might be easily applied (or which would express that as well as could be done by an entirely new composition), but that, in order to adapt it to this new purpose, it would be proper to insert some expression more particularly referring to the event.

    The principal of these additions is found in the verse before us. In Psalm 14:5-6, the language is, "There were they in great fear, for God is in the generation of the righteous; ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge." In the psalm before us, the language is, "There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them." "Where no fear was." The reference here, as in Psalm 14:5, is to the fear or consternation of the people of God on account of the designs and efforts of the wicked. They were apprehensive of being overthrown by the wicked. The design of the psalmist in both cases is to show that there was no occasion for that fear. In Psalm 14:5, he shows it by saying that "God is in the congregation of the righteous." In the psalm before us fie says expressly that there was no ground for that fear - "where no fear was," - and he adds, as a reason, that God had "scattered the bones" of them "that encamped against" them. That is, though there seemed to be occasion for fear - though those enemies were formidable in numbers and in power - yet God was their friend, and he had now showed them that they had no real occasion for alarm by dispersing those foes.

    For God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee - Of the besieger. This, as already intimated, would seem to have been introduced in order to adapt the psalm to the particular circumstances of the occasion when it was revised. From this clause, as well as others, it appears probable that the particular occasion contemplated in the revision of the psalm was an attack on Jerusalem, or a siege of the city - an attack which had been repelled, or a siege which the enemy had been compelled to raise. That is, they had been overthrown, and their bones had been scattered, unburied, on the ground. The whole language of Psalm 14:1-7, thus modified, would be well suited to such an occurrence. The general description of atheism and wickedness in Psalm 14:1-7 would be appropriate in reference to such an attempt on the city - for those who made the attack might well be represented as practically saying that there was no God; as being corrupt and abominable; as bent on iniquity; as polluted and defiled; and as attempting to eat up the people of God as they eat bread; and as those who did not call upon God. The verse before us would describe them as discomfited, and as being scattered in slaughtered heaps upon the earth.

    Thou hast put them to shame - That is, they had been put to shame by being overthrown; by being unsuccessful in their attempt. The word "thou" here must be understood as referring to God.

    Because God hath despised them - He has wholly disapproved their character, and he has "despised "their attempts; that is, he has shown that they were not formidable or to be feared. They were efforts which might be looked on with contempt, and he had evinced this by showing how easily they could be overthrown.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 53:5

    53:5 Scattered - Hath not only broken their bones, their strength, and force, but also dispersed them hither and thither, so as there is no hope of a restoration. Thee - Against my people. Thou - Thou oh Jerusalem, which they besiege.