With their hopes set on dead things,
Are those Who give the name ‘gods’
To the works of men’s hands.
That is gold fashioned with skill.
That is silver fashioned with skill,
In the likenesses of animals.
That is a useless stone,
The work of an ancient hand.”
Now this author is much more opposed to the works of human hands seen as gods (θεοὺς ἔργα χειρῶν ἀνθρώπων) rather than works of nature, which were not as bad. These idol worship people are miserable. They put their hopes in dead things and called them gods. These skillful art works of gold and silver were usually in the form of some kind of animal. These ancient man made stones that were considered useless.
“The righteousness of the blameless keeps their ways straight.
But the wicked fall by their own wickedness.
The righteousness of the upright saves them.
But the treacherous are taken captive by their schemes.
When the wicked die,
Their hope perishes.
The expectation of the godless comes to nothing.
The righteous are delivered from trouble.
The wicked gets into trouble instead.
With their mouths
The godless would destroy their neighbors.
But by knowledge
The righteous are delivered.”
The blameless keep the straight ways because of their righteousness. The wicked fall by their own wickedness. The upright are saved because of their righteousness, while the treacherous fall captive to their own schemes. When the wicked die, all their hopes perish, since the expectations of the godless come to nothing. While the righteous are delivered from trouble, the wicked get into trouble. The godless destroy their neighbors with their mouths, but the righteous are saved by their knowledge.
“I wait for Yahweh.
My soul waits.
I hope in his word.
My soul waits for Yahweh
More than those who watch for the morning,
More than those who watch for the morning.”
This psalmist waits and hopes for Yahweh. His soul waits and hopes in the word of Yahweh. This waiting is greater than those who wait for the morning sunrise, a phrase that is mentioned twice so as not to forget it.
“But the mountain falls.
The mountain crumbles away.
The rock is removed from its place.
The waters wear away the stones.
The torrents wash away the soil of the earth.
Thus you destroy the hope of mortals.
You prevail forever against them.
They pass away.
You change their countenance.
You send them away.
Their children come to honor them.
They do not know it.
They are brought low.
It goes unnoticed.
They feel only the pain of their own bodies.
They mourn only for themselves.”
Job thought that the mountains would fall. That rocks and stones would wear away. Water would uproot the soil. Thus the same is true for mortals. Their hopes are dashed. God prevails against them as they pass away. In the end, although the children honor them, they only mourn for themselves. They know that this death awaits them. The future is bleak.