“O that deliverance for Israel
Would come out of Zion!
When Yahweh restores
The fortunes of his people,
Jacob shall rejoice.
Israel shall be glad.”
We have this happy ending to this short psalm that is exactly the same as Psalm 14. There is a hint here of the captivity, rather than the time of David when Israel was still in one country. Here there is a restoration. There is a need for deliverance that would come from Zion. Jacob or Israel would rejoice again. Israel would be glad. The evildoers would be gone.
“There they shall be in great terror.
In terror such as has not been!
God will scatter the bones of the ungodly.
They will be put to shame,
God has rejected them.”
Here in this verse there is a slight difference to Psalm 14. Although the evildoers are in great terror, here there is more insight on what would happen to these evildoers. There is more terror than anyone has ever seen. Their bones will be scattered. They will be put to shame. God has clearly rejected them. In Psalm 14, there was more emphasis on the righteous than here.
“Have they no knowledge?
Who eat up my people
As they eat bread.
Why do they not call upon Yahweh?”
Once again this is exactly like Psalm 14. The evildoers are stupid. They have no knowledge. They eat up Yahweh’s people. This metaphor seems to indicate what the evildoers were trying to do to Yahweh’s people. Why are they not calling on Yahweh? Here the term used is Yahweh and not merely God.
“They have all fallen away.
They are all alike perverse.
There is none who does good,
Once again, this verse is like Psalm 14. This almost sounds like the perversity at the time of Noah, in Genesis, chapter 6, looking for the one good man. They have all gone astray. They are all perverse. No one does any good. There is not even one person, no, not even one.
“God looks down from heaven
He wants to see
If there are any who are wise,
Those who seek after God.”
Once again this verse is exactly the same as in Psalm 14. Here the name of Yahweh is not used, since this psalm refers to God, not Yahweh, who is perched in heaven, looking down at all the humans. It was common to believe that God was up there somewhere. He wanted to see if there were any wise ones who were seeking God on earth since the wise person was someone who was seeking God.
To the choirmaster leader, according to Mahalath, a Maskil of David
“Fools say in their hearts.
‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt.
They commit abominable acts.
There is no one who does good.”
Psalm 53 is another short psalm, much like Psalm 14. At times, they are almost word for word the same. This title has the choirmaster leader, a maskil or song of David, but there is an additional comment about “according to Mahalath,” which is also mentioned at the beginning of Psalm 88. Although of uncertain meaning, Mahalath was the name of a wife of Esau and Rehoboam, here it probably refers to some kind of stringed instrument like a guitar. This first verse is exactly the same as the first verse of Psalm 14. Once again the question is posed what if there is no God. The answer was simple. Only a fool would say such a thing. There was an ancient common belief in some kind of higher power. Actually they only say this in their hearts that there is no God, since they are practical atheists. They act as if there is no God. They are the corrupt people who do terrible deeds. None of them do good deeds.