Psalm 73:8
They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
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(8) They are corrupt . . .—This, which is the Rabbinical rendering, is now universally abandoned in favour of another derivation of the verb. The Masoretic arrangement of the clauses may be also improved on:

They scoff and speak of wickedness,

Of violence from their eminence they speak,”

where the first clause means, they speak mockingly of wickedness, or make a jest of sin.

73:1-14 The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the graces of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. Good thoughts of God will fortify against Satan's temptations. The faith even of strong believers may be sorely shaken, and ready to fail. There are storms that will try the firmest anchors. Foolish and wicked people have sometimes a great share of outward prosperity. They seem to have the least share of the troubles of this life; and they seem to have the greatest share of its comforts. They live without the fear of God, yet they prosper, and get on in the world. Wicked men often spend their lives without much sickness, and end them without great pain; while many godly persons scarcely know what health is, and die with great sufferings. Often the wicked are not frightened, either by the remembrance of their sins, or the prospect of their misery, but they die without terror. We cannot judge men's state beyond death, by what passes at their death. He looked abroad, and saw many of God's people greatly at a loss. Because the wicked are so very daring, therefore his people return hither; they know not what to say to it, and the rather, because they drink deep of the bitter cup of affliction. He spoke feelingly when he spoke of his own troubles; there is no disputing against sense, except by faith. From all this arose a strong temptation to cast off religion. But let us learn that the true course of sanctification consists in cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body. The heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ laid hold upon by faith; and by the begun works of the Lord's Spirit, manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose, and study of holiness, and a blameless course of life and actions, the hands are cleansed. It is not in vain to serve God and keep his ordinances.They are corrupt - literally, "they mock." The word rendered "they are corrupt" never has this signification. It is the very word - מוק mûq - from which our word mock is derived, and means the same thing. The idea is that they deride religion, or mock at all that pertains to God, and to the retributions of the future world.

And speak wickedly concerning oppression ... - literally, "they speak in wickedness; oppression they speak from on high." That is, they use arrogant language; they speak in a proud manner, as if they were above others; they use harsh and violent language, not regarding the feelings or the rights of others.

8. They are corrupt—or, literally, "they deride," they speak maliciously and arrogantly and invade even heaven with blasphemy (Re 13:6), and cover earth with slanders (Job 21:7-14). They are corrupt; or, dissolved in pleasure. Or, they corrupt themselves.

Speak wickedly concerning oppression; wickedly boasting of their oppressions; either of what they have done, or of what they intend to do, in that kind.

They speak loftily; arrogantly presuming upon their own strength, and despising both God and men. They are corrupt,.... In themselves, in their principles, and in their practices, being shapen and conceived in sin, and born of the flesh; and are corrupters, or "corrupt" themselves, and their ways, and also others by their corrupt speech, evil communications, and bad examples: or "they consume away"; like smoke, or into it, as Psalm 37:20 or as wax melteth at the fire, Psalm 68:2, where the same word is used as here: or "they cause to consume away" (o); "they melt or dissolve others"; they consume them, and waste their estates by their oppression and violence; they make their hearts to melt with their threatening and terrifying words; or they make them dissolute in their lives by keeping them company:

and speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak oppression and revolt, threaten with it, Isaiah 59:13, and speak in vindication of it, and in a boasting glorying manner; so Arama; which is speaking wickedly concerning it:

they speak loftily: proudly, arrogantly, in a haughty and imperious manner: or "from on high" (p); as if they were in heaven, and above all creatures, and even God himself; and as if what they said were oracles, and to be received as such, without any scruple and hesitation. Thus Pharaoh, Sennacherib, and Nebuchadnezzar spake, Exodus 5:2 and the little horn, or antichrist, Daniel 7:20.

(o) "dissolutos reddunt", Vatablus; "reddent se dissolutos", Montanus; "faciunt tabescere", Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis. (p) "a sublimi", Musculus, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "ex alto", Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.

They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
8. The rhythm seems to require a different division of the verse from that given by the Massoretic accentuation, thus;

They scoff, and talk of evil:

Of oppression do they talk from on high.

Not the commandments of God (Deuteronomy 6:7; Deuteronomy 11:19) but their own nefarious designs are the subject of their conversation: they talk “as if they were gods and their words oracles.” Cp. Isaiah 14:13. P.B.V. “their talking is against the most High” (Great Bible from Münster) is untenable.Verse 8. - They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily; rather, they scoff, and speak wickedly; of oppression do they speak from heaven's height; i.e. "they scoff at the righteous, and speak wickedly concerning them; they talk of the oppressive acts which they meditate, as though they were Divine beings, speaking from the heavenly height" (Cheyne). אך, belonging to the favourite words of the faith that bids defiance to assault, signifies originally "thus equals not otherwise," and therefore combines an affirmative and restrictive, or, according to circumstances, even an adversative signification (vid., on Psalm 39:6). It may therefore be rendered: yea good, assuredly good, or: only good, nothing but good; both renderings are an assertion of a sure, infallible relation of things. God appears to be angry with the godly, but in reality He is kindly disposed towards them, though He send affliction after affliction upon them (Lamentations 3:25). The words ישראל אלהים are not to be taken together, after Galatians 6:16 (τὸν Ἰσραήλ τοῦ Θεοῦ); not, "only good is it with the Israel of Elohim," but "only good to Israel is Elohim," is the right apprehension of the truth or reality that is opposed to what seems to be the case. The Israel which in every relationship has a good and loving God is limited in Psalm 73:1 to the pure in heart (Psalm 24:4; Matthew 5:8). Israel in truth are not all those who are descended from Jacob, but those who have put away all impurity of disposition and all uncleanness of sin out of their heart, i.e., out of their innermost life, and by a constant striving after sanctification (Psalm 73:13) maintain themselves in such purity. In relation to this, which is the real church of God, God is pure love, nothing but love. This it is that has been confirmed to the poet as he passed through the conflict of temptation, but it was through conflict, for he almost fell by reason of the semblance of the opposite. The Chethξb נטוּי רגלי (cf. Numbers 24:4) or נטוּי (cf. 2 Samuel 15:32) is erroneous. The narration of that which is past cannot begin with a participial clause like this, and כּמעט, in such a sense (non multum abfuit quin, like כּאין, nihil abfuit quin), always has the perfect after it, e.g., Psalm 94:17; Psalm 119:87. It is therefore to be read נטיוּ (according to the fuller form for נטוּ, which is used not merely with great distinctives, as in Psalm 36:8; Psalm 122:6; Numbers 24:6, but also with conjunctives out of pause, e.g., Psalm 57:2, cf. Psalm 36:9, Deuteronomy 32:37; Job 12:6): my feet had almost inclined towards, had almost slipped backwards and towards the side. On the other hand the Chethb שׁפּכה is unassailable; the feminine singular is frequently found as predicate both of a plural subject that has preceded (Psalm 18:35, cf. Deuteronomy 21:7; Job 16:16) and also more especially of one that is placed after it, e.g., Psalm 37:31; Job 14:19. The footsteps are said to be poured out when one "flies out or slips" and falls to the ground.
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