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Psalms 16:4  (King James Version)
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<< Psalms 16:3   Psalms 16:5 >>


Psalms 16:4

Their sorrows shall be multiplied - The word here rendered "sorrows - ּ ‛atstse bôth - may mean either idols or sorrows. Compare Isaiah 48:5; Psalms 139:24; Job 9:28; Psalms 147:3. Some propose to render it, "Their idols are multiplied;" that is, many are the gods which others worship, while I worship one God only. So Gesenius understands it. So also the Aramaic Paraphrase renders it. But the common construction is probably the correct one, meaning that sorrow, pain, anguish, must always attend the worship of any other gods than the true God; and that therefore the psalmist would not he found among their number, or be united with them in their devotions.

That hasten after another god - Prof. Alexander renders this, "Another they have purchased." Dr. Horsley, "Who betroth themselves to another." The Septuagint, "After these things they are in haste." The Latin Vulgate, "Afterward they make haste." The Hebrew word - mâhar - properly means to hasten; to be quick, prompt, apt. It is twice used Exodus 22:16 in the sense of "buying or endowing;" that is, procuring a wife by a price paid to her parents; but the common meaning of the word is to hasten, and this is clearly the sense here. The idea is that the persons referred to show a readiness or willingness to forsake the true God, and to render service to other gods. Their conduct shows that they do not hesitate to do this when it is proposed to them; that they embrace the first opportunity to do it. Men hesitate and delay when it is proposed to them to serve the true God; they readily embrace an opposite course - following the world and sin.

Their drink-offerings of blood - It was usual to pour out a drink-offering of wine or water in the worship of idol gods, and even of the true God. Thus Jacob Genesis 35:14 is said to have set up a pillar in Padan-aram, and to have "poured a drink-offering thereon." Compare Exodus 29:40-41; Exodus 30:9; Lev, Leviticus 23:13; Numbers 15:5. The phrase "drink-offerings of blood" would seem to imply that the blood of the animals slain in sacrifice was often mingled with the wine or water that was thus poured out in the services of the pagan gods. So Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Michaelis suppose. It would seem, also, that the worshippers themselves drank this mingled cup. They did this when they bound themselves by a solemn oath to perform any dangerous service. DeWette. The eating, and consequently the drinking of blood, was solemnly forbidden to the Israelites (compare Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 3:17; Leviticus 7:26; Leviticus 17:10); and the idea here is, that the psalmist had solemnly resolved that he would not partake of the abominations of the pagan, or be united with them in any way in their worship.

Nor take up their names into my lips - As objects of worship. That is, I will not in any way acknowledge them as gods, or render to them the homage which is due to God. The very mention of the name of any other god than the true God was solemnly forbidden by the law of Moses Exodus 23:13, "And make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of your mouth." So the apostle Paul says Ephesians 5:3, "But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not once be named among you, as becometh saints." The idea in these places seems to be, that the mere mention of these things would tend to produce dangerous familiarity with them, and by such familiarity take off something of the repugnance and horror with which they should be regarded, They were, in other words, to be utterly avoided; they were never to be thought of or named; they were to be treated as though they were not. No one can safely so familiarize himself with vice as to render it a frequent subject of conversation. Pollution will flow into the heart from words which describe pollution, even when there is no intention that the use of such words should produce contamination. No one can be familiar with stories or songs of a polluted nature, and still retain a heart of purity. "The very passage of a polluted thought through the mind leaves pollution behind it." How much more is the mind polluted when the thought is dwelt upon, and when utterance is given to it in language!


 
<< Psalms 16:3   Psalms 16:5 >>

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