Psalm 9:17
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.

King James Bible
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Darby Bible Translation
The wicked shall be turned into Sheol, all the nations that forget God.

World English Bible
The wicked shall be turned back to Sheol, even all the nations that forget God.

Young's Literal Translation
The wicked do turn back to Sheol, All nations forgetting God.

Psalm 9:17 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

The wicked - All the wicked; all who come properly under the denomination of wicked persons. Doubtless the writer had particularly in his eye the enemies with whom he was contending, and in reference to whom the psalm wits composed; and he meant to say that they would be certainly punished. But what was true in regard to them, was true of all others of similar character, and the statement is therefore made in a universal form - all the wicked.

Shall be turned - Shall turn back, or be turned from their present course. The idea is, that they were now pursuing a certain course, but that they would be turned back from that, or would fail and retreat; and instead of going on to victory, would be defeated, and would sink into hell. The idea is essentially the same as that which is expressed in Psalm 9:3 above: "When mine enemies are turned back."

Into hell - - לשׁאולה lishe'ôlâh - to Sheol, Hades, the grave, the world of departed spirits. This is the usual meaning of this word. See Luke 16:23, note; Isaiah 14:9, note; Job 10:21-22, note. Though the word, however, originally denoted the grave, the region of the dead, the world of departed spirits, yet it was also supposed that there was a distinction in the condition of the dead; and the word gradually came to denote the abode of the wicked portion of the dead, and hence, the place of future punishment. So it is undoubtedly used in Luke 16:23. It is clear

(a) that this cannot be understood here as referring to the grave in its ordinary sense, for the righteous will be as certainly consigned to the, grave, or will as certainly die, as the wicked;

(b) that it cannot refer to the invisible world, the abodes of the dead, in the ordinary sense of the term - for it is as true that the righteous will enter that world as that sinners will.

There must be some sense, in which the word is used here, different from that of the grave, or different merely from death as such. This sense can be only one of two - either:

(1) that the author means that they will be cut off by a sudden and violent death, considered as a calamity or as a punishment; or

(2) that he regarded the Sheol mentioned here as a place of punishment.

Calvin thinks it is not improbable that the former of these is intended; but it may be observed in regard to this,

(a) that this is not the language usually employed to denote that idea - the phrase, to be cut off, or cut down, being that which a writer intending to express that idea, would most naturally use - since the phrase, to be sent to Sheol, considered as the grave or the region of the dead, would express nothing special in regard to the wicked; and

(b) the spirit of the passage seems to demand the idea that the wicked referred to here would he consigned to a place of punishment, that they would be cut off as wicked persons, and treated accordingly.

This interpretation is strengthened by the other member of the parallelism, where it is said, "and all the nations that forget God;" since it is no more true that the nations "that forget God" will be "turned into the grave, or the world of departed spirits," than it is that the nations that serve and obey him will. It seems to me, therefore, that this is one of the passages in which it is clear that the word Sheol had connected with it the idea of punishment beyond the grave - of a region where the wicked would be treated according to their deserts, and in a manner different from the treatment of the righteous; that although the general idea of that under-world was that it was a dark and gloomy place, yet that there was also the idea that the abode of the wicked there was far more gloomy than that of the righteous; and that it was regarded as a punishment to be consigned to that region. It is not necessary to suppose that they had the full idea attached to the word hell which we have, anymore than that they had the same full and clear idea of heaven that we have. Light has come into our world on all these subjects gradually, and there is nothing which requires us to suppose that the earlier sacred writers lind the same clear views which the later writers had, or that either of them knew all that is to be known. Compare 1 Peter 1:10-11.

And all the nations that forget God - All who are strangers to him, or who are ignorant of the true God. See the notes at Romans 2:12. From the character and prospective doom of those to whom the psalmist particularly referred in this psalm, he is led to make this general remark about all who sustain the same character which they did. Under the administration of the same God those of the same character would share alike, for "there is no respect of persons with him;" and it is the perfection of an impartial government to treat all of the same character in the same manner. If we can, therefore, ascertain how, under his administration, one sinner will be treated in the future world, we can infer how all of the same character will be treated; if we can learn how God will deal with one people, we can infer how he will deal with all. The statement here is, that all the wicked, of whatever nation, will be consigned to punishment in the future world. The phrase used here, "that forqet God," denotes those who are not disposed or inclined to remember and honor him. The idea seems to be that though they might have known him, they did not choose to retain him in their knowledge, but gave themselves up to a life of idolatry and sin. Compare Romans 1:19-21, notes; Romans 1:28, note.

Psalm 9:17 Parallel Commentaries

Cry we Therefore with the Spirit of Charity...
26. Cry we therefore with the spirit of charity, and until we come to the inheritance in which we are alway to remain, let us be, through love which becometh the free-born, not through fear which becometh bondmen, patient of suffering. Cry we, so long as we are poor, until we be with that inheritance made rich. Seeing how great earnest thereof we have received, in that Christ to make us rich made Himself poor; Who being exalted unto the riches which are above, there was sent One Who should breathe
St. Augustine—On Patience

Jesus, My Rock.
When the storm and the tempest are raging around me, Oh! where shall I flee to be safe from their shock? There are walls which no mortal hands built to surround me, A Refuge Eternal,--'Tis JESUS MY ROCK! When my heart is all sorrow, and trials aggrieve me, To whom can I safely my secrets unlock? No bosom (save one) has the power to relieve me, The bosom which bled for me, JESUS MY ROCK! When Life's gloomy curtain, at last, shall close o'er me, And the chill hand of death unexpectedly knock, I will
John Ross Macduff—The Cities of Refuge: or, The Name of Jesus

The Knowledge of God
'The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.' I Sam 2:2. Glorious things are spoken of God; he transcends our thoughts, and the praises of angels. God's glory lies chiefly in his attributes, which are the several beams by which the divine nature shines forth. Among other of his orient excellencies, this is not the least, The Lord is a God of knowledge; or as the Hebrew word is, A God of knowledges.' Through the bright mirror of his own essence, he has a full idea and cognisance
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Justice of God
The next attribute is God's justice. All God's attributes are identical, and are the same with his essence. Though he has several attributes whereby he is made known to us, yet he has but one essence. A cedar tree may have several branches, yet it is but one cedar. So there are several attributes of God whereby we conceive of him, but only one entire essence. Well, then, concerning God's justice. Deut 32:4. Just and right is he.' Job 37:23. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Cross References
Job 8:13
"So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the godless will perish,

Psalm 49:14
As sheep they are appointed for Sheol; Death shall be their shepherd; And the upright shall rule over them in the morning, And their form shall be for Sheol to consume So that they have no habitation.

Psalm 50:22
"Now consider this, you who forget God, Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be none to deliver.

Jeremiah 13:25
"This is your lot, the portion measured to you From Me," declares the LORD, "Because you have forgotten Me And trusted in falsehood.

Ezekiel 31:17
"They also went down with it to Sheol to those who were slain by the sword; and those who were its strength lived under its shade among the nations.

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