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Psalms 14:1-3

Context
Psalm 14 1 

For the music director; by David.

14:1 Fools say to themselves, 2  “There is no God.” 3 

They sin and commit evil deeds; 4 

none of them does what is right. 5 

14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven 6  at the human race, 7 

to see if there is anyone who is wise 8  and seeks God. 9 

14:3 Everyone rejects God; 10 

they are all morally corrupt. 11 

None of them does what is right, 12 

not even one!

1 sn Psalm 14. The psalmist observes that the human race is morally corrupt. Evildoers oppress God’s people, but the psalmist is confident of God’s protection and anticipates a day when God will vindicate Israel.

2 tn Heb “a fool says in his heart.” The singular is used here in a collective or representative sense; the typical fool is envisioned.

3 sn “There is no God.” The statement is probably not a philosophical assertion that God does not exist, but rather a confident affirmation that God is unconcerned about how men live morally and ethically (see Ps 10:4, 11).

4 tn Heb “they act corruptly, they make a deed evil.” The verbs describe the typical behavior of the wicked. The subject of the plural verbs is “sons of man” (v. 2). The entire human race is characterized by sinful behavior. This practical atheism – living as if there is no God who will hold them accountable for their actions – makes them fools, for one of the earmarks of folly is to fail to anticipate the long range consequences of one’s behavior.

5 tn Heb “there is none that does good.”

6 sn The picture of the Lord looking down from heaven draws attention to his sovereignty over the world.

7 tn Heb “upon the sons of man.”

8 tn Or “acts wisely.” The Hiphil is exhibitive.

9 sn Anyone who is wise and seeks God refers to the person who seeks to have a relationship with God by obeying and worshiping him.

10 tn Heb “everyone turns aside.”

11 tn Heb “together they are corrupt.”

12 tn Heb “there is none that does good.”



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