Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 73:27

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

They that are far from thee shall perish - The term perish is generally used to signify a coming to nothing, being annihilated; and by some it is thus applied to the finally impenitent, they shall all be annihilated. But where is this to be found in the Scriptures? In no part, properly understood. In the new heavens and the new earth none of the wicked shall be found; for therein dwells righteousness - nothing but God and righteous spirits; but at the same time the wicked shall be in their own place. And to suppose that they shall be annihilated, is as great a heresy, though scarcely so absurd, as to believe that the pains of damnation are emendatory, and that hellfire shall burn out. There is presumptive evidence from Scripture to lead us to the conclusion, that if there be not eternal punishment, glory will not be eternal; as the same terms are used to express the duration of both. No human spirit that is not united to God can be saved. Those who are Far from Thee shall perish - they shall be lost, undone, ruined, and that without remedy. Being separated from God by sin, they shall never be rejoined; the great gulf must be between them and their Maker eternally.

All them that go a whoring from thee - That is, all that worship false gods; all idolaters. This is the only meaning of the word in such a connection. I have explained this elsewhere.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish - All that are estranged from thee; all who are not thy friends. They will certainly be destroyed. For them there can be no hope. This is the fact which solved the difficulty of the psalmist in regard to the divine dealings with people, Psalm 73:3-7. The fact that there will be a righteous judgment, in which God will deal with people according to their deserts, made all plain. Compare Psalm 73:16-20.

Thou hast destroyed - That is, Thou wilt certainly destroy. The psalmist places himself in the future, and speaks of this as if it were already done. It will be so certainly done that he could speak of it as if it were already accomplished.

All them that go a whoring from thee - The relation of God to his people is often compared in the Scriptures with the marriage relation (compare Matthew 12:39; Matthew 16:4; Jeremiah 3:8-9; Jeremiah 5:7; Jeremiah 13:27; Ezekiel 23:37; Revelation 2:22:

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
God would not suffer his people to be tempted, if his grace were not sufficient, not only to save them from harm, but to make them gainers by it. This temptation, the working of envy and discontent, is very painful. In reflecting upon it, the psalmist owns it was his folly and ignorance thus to vex himself. If good men, at any time, through the surprise and strength of temptation, think, or speak, or act amiss, they will reflect upon it with sorrow and shame. We must ascribe our safety in temptation, and our victory, not to our own wisdom, but to the gracious presence of God with us, and Christ's intercession for us. All who commit themselves to God, shall be guided with the counsel both of his word and of his Spirit, the best counsellors here, and shall be received to his glory in another world; the believing hopes and prospects of which will reconcile us to all dark providences. And the psalmist was hereby quickened to cleave the closer to God. Heaven itself could not make us happy without the presence and love of our God. The world and all its glory vanishes. The body will fail by sickness, age, and death; when the flesh fails, the conduct, courage, and comfort fail. But Christ Jesus, our Lord, offers to be all in all to every poor sinner, who renounces all other portions and confidences. By sin we are all far from God. And a profession Christ, if we go on in sin, will increase our condemnation. May we draw near, and keep near, to our God, by faith and prayer, and find it good to do so. Those that with an upright heart put their trust in God, shall never want matter for thanksgiving to him. Blessed Lord, who hast so graciously promised to become our portion in the next world, prevent us from choosing any other in this.