Psalm 26:5
I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
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(5) Evil doers.—With idea of violence; from a root meaning to break in pieces.

26:9 David, in this psalm, appeals to God touching his integrity. - David here, by the Spirit of prophecy, speaks of himself as a type of Christ, of whom what he here says of his spotless innocence was fully and eminently true, and of Christ only, and to Him we may apply it. We are complete in him. The man that walks in his integrity, yet trusting wholly in the grace of God, is in a state of acceptance, according to the covenant of which Jesus was the Mediator, in virtue of his spotless obedience even unto death. This man desires to have his inmost soul searched and proved by the Lord. He is aware of the deceitfulness of his own heart; he desires to detect and mortify every sin; and he longs to be satisfied of his being a true believer, and to practise the holy commands of God. Great care to avoid bad company, is both a good evidence of our integrity, and a good means to keep us in it. Hypocrites and dissemblers may be found attending on God's ordinances; but it is a good sign of sincerity, if we attend upon them, as the psalmist here tells us he did, in the exercise of repentance and conscientious obedience. He feels his ground firm under him; and, as he delights in blessing the Lord with his congregations on earth, he trusts that shortly he shall join the great assembly in heaven, in singing praises to God and to the Lamb for evermore.I have hated - We have here the same evidence of his piety repeated in another and a stronger form. In the previous verse he had merely stated that he had not been found among that class of persons, or that he had not made them his companions. He here says positively that he disapproved of their principles; that he hated the purpose for which they gathered themselves together; that he had no sympathy whatever with them.

The congregation of evil-doers - All such assemblages as were gathered together for wicked purposes, for sin and revelry; to plot wickedness; to injure men; to oppose God.

And will not sit with the wicked - That is, I will not be associated with them. This was the fixed purpose of his soul; and this was then, as it is now, an evidence of true piety. This, moreover, is an "indispensable" evidence of piety. He who does thus sit with the wicked; who makes them his companions and friends; who unites with them in their plans and purposes; who partakes with them in their special amusements and pursuits, cannot possibly be a pious man. If he mingles with such people at all, it must be only as demanded by the necessities of social or civil life; or in the transactions of business; or for the purpose of doing them good. If it is for other purposes, if he makes them his chosen companions and friends, he gives the clearest evidence that his heart is with them, and that it is not with God.

4-8. As exemplified by the fruits of divine grace, presented in his life, especially in his avoiding the wicked and his purposes of cleaving to God's worship. The congregation of evil-doers; either,

1. Their whole rank or society. I have an antipathy against all such persons, without any exception. Or,

2. To meet and join with them in their assemblies and consultations, or sit with them, as it follows.

I have hated the congregation of evildoers,.... That do harm to the persons, characters, or properties of men; and who meet together in bodies, to consult and form schemes to do mischief, and have their assemblies to encourage each other in it; these, their works and actions, the psalmist hated, though not their persons; and showed his displicency at them, and dislike and disapprobation of them, by absenting from them; see Jeremiah 15:17;

and will not sit with the wicked; ungodly and unrighteous men, sons of Belial; for with such what fellowship and concord can there be? 2 Corinthians 6:14; the word (x) signifies restless and uneasy persons, who cannot rest unless they do mischief; are like the troubled sea, continually casting up mire and dirt, Isaiah 57:20; now, by all this the psalmist means not that good men should have no manner of conversation with the men of the world: for then, as the apostle says, we must needs go out of the world, 1 Corinthians 5:9. Conversation in civil things, in matters of trade and business, is lawful; though all unnecessary conversation in things of civil life is to be shunned; no more should be had than what natural relation and the business of life require; but all conversation in things criminal is to be avoided; company is not to be kept with them, so as to join them in anything sinful; this is to harden them in their evil ways, and it brings into danger and into disgrace: a man is known and is judged of by the company that he keeps; and evil communications corrupt good manners.

(x) "significat inquietum esse, ceu patet ex", Isaiah 48.22. Gejerus.

I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
5. I have hated] R.V., I hate.

the congregation of evil doers] Cp. Psalm 22:16. Is there not a tacit contrast between the congregation which meets for its own evil purposes, and that which assembles for the worship of Jehovah (Psalm 26:12)?

Verse 5. - I have hated the congregation of evil-doers. Fifthly, he has hated, and hates, with a holy and strong abhorrence (comp. Psalm 139:22), the congregation of evil-deers - the gatherings and assemblies of those who meet only for wicked purposes - to sin themselves, and to draw others into like evil courses. This is a positive trait of a very marked character, and goes far beyond the explanation which has been given of it: "I take no part in assemblies for the ruin of others" (Hengstenberg). Sixthly and lastly, he will not sit with the wicked. This only goes beyond the declarations in ver. 4 by extending to all wicked persons of every kind the avoidance there limited to "vain persons," and "dissemblers." The spirit is that indicated by Jacob in Genesis 49:6; by St. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 and Ephesians 5:7, 11; and by St. John, on the celebrated occasion when he avoided contact with Cerinthus (Iren., 3:3, § 4). Psalm 26:5He still further bases his petition upon his comportment towards the men of this world; how he has always observed a certain line of conduct and continues still to keep to it. With Psalm 26:4 compare Jeremiah 15:17. מתי שׁוא (Job 11:11, cf. Psalm 31:5, where the parallel word is מרמה) are "not-real," unreal men, but in a deeper stronger sense than we are accustomed to use this word. שׁוא ( equals שׁוא, from שׁוא) is aridity, hollowness, worthlessness, and therefore badness (Arab. su') of disposition; the chaotic void of alienation from God; untruth white-washed over with the lie of dissimulation (Psalm 12:3), and therefore nothingness: it is the very opposite of being filled with the fulness of God and with that which is good, which is the morally real (its synonym is און, e.g., Job 22:15). נעלמים, the veiled, are those who know how to keep their worthlessness and their mischievous designs secret and to mask them by hypocrisy; post-biblical צבוּעים, dyed (cf. ἀνυπόκριτος, Luther "ungefδrbt," undyed). (את) בּוא עם, to go in with any one, is a short expression for: to go in and out with, i.e., to have intercourse with him, as in Proverbs 22:24, cf. Genesis 23:10. מרע (from רעע) is the name for one who plots that which is evil and puts it into execution. On רשׁע see Psalm 1:1.
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