Psalms 36:2 MEANING

Psalm 36:2
(2) For he flattereth . . .--Literally, For he (or, it) makes smooth to him in his eyes to find out his evil to hate. (See margin.) A sentence of great difficulty. We must seek for the key to the interpretation of these words in the balance of the two phrases, "before his eyes," "in his own eyes," and must take the two verses together. They form, in fact, an example of introverted parallelism. (See Gen. Introduction.)

Sin is the wicked man's oracle in his heart;

No fear of God is before his eyes;

He makes all smooth to himself in his eyes.

As to the discovery of his guilt that is his hate;


The discovery of his guilt is the only thing he hates.

This reading takes the two infinitives as subject and complement with the copula understood. It would be strange if Hebrew, which, above all languages, makes the infinitive do duty in various ways, offered no instance of such a use. (For matsa aven in the sense of the discovery of guilt, comp. Genesis 44:16; Hosea 12:8, etc.)

Verse 2. - For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. Another very obscure verse, explained in various ways. The rendering of Professor Alexander is to be preferred, "For he fiattereth himself in his own eyes, as to God's finding his sin and hating it;" i.e. he flatters himself that he will conceal his sin from God, so that God will not discover it to hate it (see also the comment of Dr. Kay, and the Revised Version)

36:1-4 From this psalm our hearts should be duly affected with hatred of sin, and seek satisfaction in God's loving-kindness. Here is the root of bitterness, from which all the wickedness of wicked men comes. It takes rise from contempt of God, and the want of due regard to him. Also from the deceit they put upon their own souls. Let us daily beg of God to preserve us from self-flattery. Sin is very hurtful to the sinner himself, and therefore ought to be hateful; but it is not so. It is no marvel, if those that deceive themselves, seek to deceive all mankind; to whom will they be true, who are false to their own souls? It is bad to do mischief, but worse to devise it, to do it with plot and management. If we willingly banish holy meditations in our solitary hours, Satan will soon occupy our minds with sinful imaginations. Hardened sinners stand to what they have done, as though they could justify it before God himself.For he flattereth himself in his own eyes,.... There are many self-flatterers; some on account of their worldly estate, that they are out of the reach of God and men, and regard neither; and that as they have much goods laid up, they shall enjoy them many years, and so never think of dying, nor of another world: others on account of their eternal state, pleasing themselves with their own purity, goodness, and righteousness: some flatter themselves either that their sins are not sins, or they are small ones; or they are no other than what multitudes commit; or they are not seen and known, and that God himself sees them not, or takes no notice of them; and that they shall go on with impunity, sentence against them being not speedily executed; and others that there is no God, will be no judgment, nor future state;

until his iniquity be found to be hateful, or, "to find his iniquity and to hate" (c) that which is good, as the word may be rendered; that is, he flatters himself, or speaks smooth things to himself, and endeavours to work himself up into the belief of the above things; that he may find, embrace, and indulge his lusts with a quiet conscience, and hate God, good men, and everything that is good; the Targum is,

"that he may find sins and hate doctrine''

or instruction. Jarchi and Aben Ezra interpret the words another way,

"that the holy and blessed God may find out his iniquity to hate him;''

see Genesis 44:16, which God may be said to do, when he charges the guilt of sin upon the conscience, and punishes for it; and exposes both the sinner and his sins to the world; thereby testifying his hatred of him and his sins; and which should have been hateful to him, as they are to all good men.

(c) So. Pagninus.

Courtesy of Open Bible