Psalm 12:8
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
The wicked strut about on every side When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

King James Bible
The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.

Darby Bible Translation
The wicked walk about on every side, when vileness is exalted among the children of men.

World English Bible
The wicked walk on every side, when what is vile is exalted among the sons of men. For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.

Young's Literal Translation
Around the wicked walk continually, According as vileness is exalted by sons of men!

Psalm 12:8 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

The wicked walk on every side - Everywhere. They have full license, or seem to be wholly unrestrained.

When the vilest men are exalted - Margin, "The vilest of the sons of men are exalted." This expression has been very variously translated. Dr. Horsley renders it, "When the scorn of the sons of men is exalted." De Wette, "They exalt themselves; terror to the sons of men." Luther, "Where such wicked people rule among the sons of men." Hengstenberg, "Like exaltation is disgrace to the sons of men." Prof. Alexander seems inclined to favor this last view. According to this interpretation, the meaning is, that "although the wicked are now in the ascendant, and the righteous are treated with contempt, this disgrace is realy an exaltation, because only ... in man's judgment, not in God's, who will abundantly indemnity his people for the dishonor put upon them." The word rendered in our version "the vilest" - זלות zûllûth - means, according to Gesenius, "trembling, terror." It occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures. The verb from which it is derived - זלל zâlal - means to shake, to tremble; then (as one shakes out, or casts away worthless things) to be vile, abject, despised, worthless.

Perhaps, however, the common version expresses the idea more accurately than any of these proposed amendments. I would offer the following as a fair translation of the passage: "The wicked walk on every side; (it is) as the lifting up, or the exaltation of vileness among the sons of men." That is, the state of things is as if the vilest were exalted, or were honored. It seems to be the very exaltation of wickedness or depravity in the world. A state of things exists in which, from the prevalence of iniquity, the wicked seem to go unrestrained; in which no regard is paid to truth; in which falsehood and flattery abound; and it is as if honor were done to the worst forms of sin, and the most abandoned seem to be the most exalted. This appears to be the reason in the mind of the psalmist why the divine interposition is necessary; with this idea the psalm commences, and with this it appropriately closes. There was a state of widespread depravity and successful iniquity, as if all honor were conferred on wicked and abandoned men, while the virtuous were oppressed and degraded. The psalm expresses "confidence" in God - confidence in his faithful word and promises; but the psalmist sees a state of things wherein it was eminently desirable that God should interpose, for the righteous seemed to have failed out of the earth, and the wicked seemed to be wholly in the ascendancy.

Psalm 12:8 Parallel Commentaries

Library
A Discourse Upon the Pharisee and the Publican
WHEREIN SEVERAL GREAT AND WEIGHTY THINGS ARE HANDLED: AS, THE NATURE OF PRAYER, AND OF OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW, WITH HOW FAR IT OBLIGES CHRISTIANS, AND WHEREIN IT CONSISTS. WHEREIN IS ALSO SHEWED, THE EQUALLY DEPLORABLE CONDITION OF THE PHARISEE, OR HYPOCRITICAL AND SELF-RIGHTEOUS MAN; AND OF THE PUBLICAN, OR SINNER THAT LIVES IN SIN, AND IN OPEN VIOLATION OF THE DIVINE LAWS. TOGETHER WITH THE WAY AND METHOD OF GOD'S FREE GRACE IN PARDONING PENITENT SINNERS; PROVING THAT HE JUSTIFIES THEM BY IMPUTING
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Holiness of God
The next attribute is God's holiness. Exod 15:51. Glorious in holiness.' Holiness is the most sparkling jewel of his crown; it is the name by which God is known. Psa 111:1. Holy and reverend is his name.' He is the holy One.' Job 6:60. Seraphims cry, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.' Isa 6:6. His power makes him mighty, his holiness makes him glorious. God's holiness consists in his perfect love of righteousness, and abhorrence of evil. Of purer eyes than
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Cross References
Psalm 55:10
Day and night they go around her upon her walls, And iniquity and mischief are in her midst.

Psalm 55:11
Destruction is in her midst; Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets.

Isaiah 32:5
No longer will the fool be called noble, Or the rogue be spoken of as generous.

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