New American Standard Bible
Do all the workers of wickedness not know, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call upon the Lord?
King James Bible
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
Darby Bible Translation
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, eating up my people as they eat bread? They call not upon Jehovah.
World English Bible
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and don't call on Yahweh?
Young's Literal Translation
Have all working iniquity not known? Those consuming my people have eaten bread, Jehovah they have not called.
Psalm 14:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? - literally, "Do they not know, all the workers of iniquity, eating my people, they eat bread; Jehovah they call not." The several statements in this verse in confirmation of the fact of their depravity are:
(a) that they have no knowledge of God;
(b) that they find pleasure in the errors and imperfections of the people of God - sustaining themselves in their own wickedness by the fact that the professed friends of God are inconsistent in their lives; and
(c) that they do not call on the name of the Lord, or that they offer no worship to him.
The whole verse might have been, and should have been put in the form of a question. The first statement implied in the question is, that they have "no knowledge." This can be regarded as a proof of guilt only
(1) as they have opportunities of obtaining knowledge;
(2) as they neglect to improve those opportunities, and remain in voluntary ignorance; and
(3) as they do this from a design to practice wickedness.
See this argument stated at length by the apostle Paul in Romans 1:19-28. Compare the note at that passage. This proof of human depravity is everywhere manifested still in the world - in the fact that men have the opportunities of gaining the knowledge of God if they chose to do it; in the fact that they voluntarily neglect those opportunities; and in the fact that the reason of this is that they love iniquity.
Who eat up my people as they eat bread - They sustain themselves in their own course of life by the imperfections of the people of God. That is, they make use of their inconsistencies to confirm themselves in the belief that there is no God. They argue that a religion which produces no better fruits than what is seen in the lives of its professed friends can be of no value, or cannot be genuine; that if a professed belief in God produces no happier results than are found in their lives, it could be of no advantage to worship God; that they are themselves as good as those are who profess to be religious, and that, therefore, there can be no evidence from the lives of the professed friends of God that religion is either true or of any value. No inconsiderable part of the evidence in favor of religion, it is intended, shall be derived from the lives of its friends; and when that evidence is not furnished, of course no small part of the proof of its reality and value is lost. Hence, so much importance is attached everywhere in the Bible to the necessity of a consistent life on the part of the professed friends of religion. Compare Isaiah 43:10. The words "my people" here are properly to be regarded as the words of the psalmist, identifying himself with the people of God, and speaking of them thus as "his own people." Thus one speaks of his own family or his own friends. Compare Ruth 1:16. Or this may be spoken by David, considered as the head or ruler of the nation, and he may thus speak of the people of God as his people. The connection does not allow of the construction which would refer the words to God.
And call not upon the Lord - They do not worship Yahweh. They give this evidence of wickedness that they do not pray; that they do not invoke the blessing of their Maker; that they do not publicly acknowledge him as God. It is remarkable that this is placed as the last or the crowning thing in the evidence of their depravity; and if rightly considered, it is so. To one who should look at things as they are; to one who sees all the claims and obligations which rest upon mankind; to one who appreciates his own guilt, his dependance, and his exposure to death and woe; to one who understands aright why man was made - there can be no more striking proof of human depravity than in the fact that a man in no way acknowledges his Maker - that he renders him no homage - that he never supplicates his favor - never deprecates his wrath - that, amidst the trials, the temptations, the perils of life, he endeavors to make his way through the world "as if there were no God." The highest crime that Gabriel could commit would be to renounce all allegiance to his Maker, and henceforward to live as if there were no God. All other iniquities that he might commit would spring out of that, and would be secondary to that. The great sin of man consists in renouncing God, and attempting to live as if there were no Supreme Being to whom he owes allegiance. All other sins spring out of that, and are subordinate to it.
LibraryThe Knowledge of God Stifled or Corrupted, Ignorantly or Maliciously.
1. The knowledge of God suppressed by ignorance, many falling away into superstition. Such persons, however, inexcusable, because their error is accompanied with pride and stubbornness. 2. Stubbornness the companion of impiety. 3. No pretext can justify superstition. This proved, first, from reason; and, secondly, from Scripture. 4. The wicked never willingly come into the presence of God. Hence their hypocrisy. Hence, too, their sense of Deity leads to no good result. 1. But though experience testifies …
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion
Introduction. Chapter i. --The Life and Writings of St. Hilary of Poitiers.
The Manifestation of Holy Love.
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, And upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name.
They do not know nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords And his jaw teeth like knives, To devour the afflicted from the earth And the needy from among men.
The LORD enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people, "It is you who have devoured the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses.
There is no one who calls on Your name, Who arouses himself to take hold of You; For You have hidden Your face from us And have delivered us into the power of our iniquities.
Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You And on the families that do not call Your name; For they have devoured Jacob; They have devoured him and consumed him And have laid waste his habitation.
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