God and Guns: The Bible's Perspective on Personal Ownership and Use of Weapons, and Related Matters
(c) 1996, 1997 David C. Treibs, email@example.com
This page contains verse by verse commentary for Psalm 45 - Song of Solomon, detailing what the Bible says about owning and using guns.
3 Gird thy sword upon [thy] thigh, O [most] mighty, with
thy glory and thy majesty.
God is not morally put out to identify himself with a personal weapon, and it
is placed alongside his glory and majesty. It is almost an attribute; he is
mighty, glorious, majestic, and armed.
3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations
under our feet.
4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency
of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.
5. God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of
God will subdue them, perhaps using us, or perhaps he will do it first,
and then put them under us. "gone up with a shout" "sound of a trumpet"
are terms for engaging in battle.
God works through us in matters including weapons use
and ownership and training and violence.
7 Let them melt away as waters [which] run continually:
[when] he bendeth [his bow to shoot] his arrows, let them be
as cut in pieces.
9 Who will bring me [into] the strong city? who will lead
me into Edom?
10 [Wilt] not thou, O God, [which] hadst cast us off? and
[thou], O God, [which] didst not go out with our armies?
11 Give us help from trouble: for vain [is] the help of
12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that]
shall tread down our enemies.
David will go into the city and will do valiantly because God will tread
down the enemies. Perhaps by using David's feet.
It follows that God works through us in matters including weapons use
and ownership and violence. What we do using weapons--if we do God's
will and we do it in a manner pleasing to him--is actually God working
9 Going into the city; I think is the city of the enemy which they wish
to breach and overthrow, he answers the question in v. 10--God will do
it and v.12 God will do it using people to accomplish his work. It does
not violate his character that he people be armed and that they use
their weapons in a righteous cause.
30 Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the
bulls, with the calves of the people, [till every one]
submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the
people [that] delight in war.
Psalms 68:30 DEFINES EVIL
It couldn't be that use of arms or fighting or warfare is the same as
loving war, because David was a great warrior, and God is a man of war.
Defines the evil.
Also couldn't be that delighting in war is the same as fighting in
war--he refers to the wicked, because they must pay tribute, "pieces of
silver," and only the heathen have to pay tribute. But remember, they
all had to pay taxes, as noted in Saul's promise to make any house
"free," ie, tax free, who killed Goliath.
3 There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and
the sword, and the battle. Selah.
4 Thou [art] more glorious [and] excellent than the
mountains of prey.
5 The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their
sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.
6 At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and
horse are cast into a dead sleep.
7. Thou, [even] thou, [art] to be feared: and who may stand
in thy sight when once thou art angry?
God wins wars and cannot be resisted when he wills to win.
But often he waits to intervene--sin destroys the innocent and
defenseless--sometimes unless we act.
Weapons are no good if God is against you. That's why any warfare and
fighting must be accompanied by a heart that is right with God. To be
God's warriors we must be right with him. If we are to successfully
resist gov't, crime, etc we must first clean up ourselves with God and
repent--"if my people...."
7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget
the works of God, but keep his commandments:
8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and
rebellious generation; a generation [that] set not their
heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
9. The children of Ephraim, [being] armed, [and] carrying
bows, turned back in the day of battle.
10 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk
in his law;
11 And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had
What can happen if you don't have God on your side. You might still win,
unless God is on the other side, or they have stronger demons, unless
you then heed those verses that talk about making yourself strong and
preparing, because God isn't with you and you will need all the help and
strength you can muster.
God disdains those who fail to fight when that's what's necessary. Perhaps in
this case he even judged them for it. (Look it up!) Maybe that's what it
means, and maybe it means they were defeated in battle.
Maybe just the king's soldiers, and then again maybe all those who were armed
and trained on their own.
9-11 Being armed without God is a good formula for failure.
1. A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the heathen are come into thine
inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have
laid Jerusalem on heaps.
2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given [to be]
meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints
unto the beasts of the earth.
3 Their blood have they shed like water round about
Jerusalem; and [there was] none to bury [them].
5 How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy
jealousy burn like fire?
6. Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known
thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy
The innocent are destroyed by the sins of others (the sinful Israelites
who brought God's wrath upon the nation--resulting in the destruction of
the innocent and the sinful heathen who did the destroying).
1 "thy holy temple have they defiled"
God's works destroyed.
2 "bodies...of thy servants" "flesh of thy saints"
God's people destroyed.
3 "Their blood have they shed like water"
A whole bunch of God's people at that.
11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee;
according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those
that are appointed to die;
The innocent are imprisoned. At this point the innocent are going to die
and he is pleading that God will change the course of what is about to
happen--the innocent being killed.
13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, [and] Israel
had walked in my ways!
14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my
hand against their adversaries.
15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves
unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.
If a nation loves and serves God, the enemies, including violent
criminals, will be subdued (perhaps by God alone, more likely by God
working through his people (which he loves to do) to respond properly to
crime and to foster conditions that deter crime and encourage proper
behavior, like the American colonists at Jamestown (?) loved God but had
a bad economic system (socialist) and half of them starved to death,
until the switched to free enterprise, private property economy, and
perhaps by a combination of both).
15 "their time" his people's time
11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel
would none of me.
12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: [and]
they walked in their own counsels.
One way God punishes a nation for turning from him, and really it's just
the natural harvest reaped from the sins they have sown--the lusts he
gives them up to includes the works of the flesh (NT) (you can see how
each sin leads to social problems that cause people to hurt others,
damage the economy, and generally in every way bring about
and destruction of society, when carried out on a large
enough scale) lust, envy, stealing, jealousy, murder, rape, child
molesters, unfaithful (broken hearts and families), covenant breakers,
despisers of authority, evil rulers, then these evil people who hate God
decide to do everything opposite to him--opposite the 10 commandments
(Marx's 10 points)--free enterprise, individualism, private property,
capitalism--band together to foist their evil on others and take over
gov't--then the enemy rules over us ("yet 7 times more") and organize so
they can enact wickedness on a large and sustained scale--which brings
2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons
of the wicked? Selah.
3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the
afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid [them] out of the hand
of the wicked.
Rescue the innocent from the evil! In the context of "judgment," but
many things are part of that.
4 "[R]id them out of the hand of the wicked" as God does--strengthens
the spoiled against the strong (arm them, etc)! It is a gracious and
beautiful attribute which we can emulate--we can strengthen the weak
2 Do not accept the person of the wicked, (3) defend--those not fully
taken, but under attack, keep the wicked from harming them--includes by
enabling them to defend themselves; (4) deliver--(rescue Pvb 24:11, etc)
those already taken--undo the damage.
38. But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been
wroth with thine anointed.
39 Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou
hast profaned his crown [by casting it] to the ground.
40 Thou hast broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought
his strong holds to ruin.
41 All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to
42 Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries;
thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice.
43 Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast
not made him to stand in the battle.
44 Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne
down to the ground.
45 The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast
covered him with shame. Selah.
46 How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall
thy wrath burn like fire?
The defenses, the strongholds are destroyed, they are helpless before
the spoilers, beaten by the enemy, defeated in his purposes and his
battles (turned his sword), made him lose battles--all because of God's
wrath, brought on by their sins.
40 "hedges" are defenses.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his
wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and
Truth, just like Ephesians 6, but (v.4) isn't all--all the real weapons he
will also use for his glory and the protection of his people--and so he
does the same in the NT.
You can't use this verse to imply that real weapons aren't
necessary--these verses don't negate the rest of the OT--any more than
you can use Eph 6 to negate the OT and NT both.
This is like an OT Eph 6, telling us of God's provision and protection,
but it doesn't negate everything else.
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young
lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
His truth protects even from the loin and adder, but that's not
necessarily where it stops, just like Ephesians 6 is not all there is about
God's protection and weapons.
Whatever the verse means, it's more than just passively sitting around
waiting for God to work--these things that are a threat to us or to
someone (what you need shielding from, or the lions and adders), we will
deal with them by our own means--use our feet to stomp them (v.13)--no
mulberry trees here--just like the verses dealing with force--we do the
work using our means and God blesses our actions--here in this verse God
is the one who blesses so 91:13 can happen.
3 LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the
4 [How long] shall they utter [and] speak hard things?
[and] all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?
5 They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict
6 They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the
7 Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the
God of Jacob regard [it].
21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the
righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
The wicked destroy the innocent and the helpless--this psalm is the
writer asking asking God to do something to stop the wicked and rescue
the innocent--perhaps he is doing this because Israel is being clobbered
by the wicked because they have sinned and God is "turning their sword"
so that their defenses fail.
16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? [or] who
will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17 Unless the LORD [had been] my help, my soul had almost
dwelt in silence.
22 But the LORD is my defence; and my God [is] the rock of
23 And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and
shall cut them off in their own wickedness; [yea], the LORD
our God shall cut them off.
God is the one who will rescue him (16-17), and God will destroy the
That doesn't mean he won't use us to some extent--it does mean we can
rest in him and trust him--we don't have to fret ourselves because of
evildoers, at the same time we can't just sit around and do nothing when
it is in our power (Christ through us) to do something (who knows to do
good and doesn't do it, it's sin)--and even if we will fail by all
evidences, we are commanded to stand up for the innocent and against
20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength,
that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his
God's angels excel in strength--no weak-kneed pacifists here.
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth
thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good [things; so that] thy
youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6. The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all
that are oppressed.
These do not mean the other verses about us doing things or God using us
to do these things are voided. These same verses types are in the
NT--they don't mention the ways God can save us or rescue the
oppressed--but they can still include us. You would have to show that
there's been a change in God's way of doing things.
11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the
lot of your inheritance:
Said he would give them Canaan--but they had to fight and work for it,
and in the end they didn't take it, same with some other things God
gives us (the diligent shall be made fat), we don't just sit in an easy
chair while God hands it to us like a glass of ice tea--we have to
search it out diligently and seek it, like we have to seek God, wisdom,
Even though he said he would give it to them, they didn't do their part
(they had to use weapons and violence and strategy and planning and
logistics and CCC and intelligence to secure what God "gave" them, no
less) and they never fully possessed the entire land of Caanaan.
Even what God gives you, you may have to work for it, and God may even
have to arm you and help you carry out acts of violence to enjoy what he
Just because God gives you something doesn't mean it requires no effort
to recieve it. "Give" doesn't always mean recieve with no
44 And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they
inherited the labour of the people;
"gave" and "inherited", but they did have to work to receive this gift.
Sometimes you don't have to do anything to receive the gift, but you do
have to do something--the first 9 plagues Israel did nothing, (for
several of them they suffered--hay, by hand, etc) the last plague they
had to do nothing to receive it, but they did have to do the sacrifice
29 Thus they provoked [him] to anger with their
inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.
30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and [so]
the plague was stayed.
31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto
all generations for evermore.
Phinehas killed someone who was sinning--they didn't have a trial and
the congregation didn't stone them (was this after or before the law was
given?), because their sin was destroying innocent (and some guilty)
Notworthy: it was abundantly clear to Phinehas and to everyone else
(?was it?) that the plague was caused by the two sinful people, and the
innocent people of Israel were being destroyed because of their sin, and
Phinehas concluded that to protect the innocent he had to quickly put
away the evil from among them, and since he was an eye-witness to the
destruction that the two were causing, he was justified in what he did.
The two were clearly wiping out the innocent, and to protect those
remaining, Phinehas killed them, just like if you witness an old lady
being attacked, you are justified in using deadly force to defend her.
In this case, Phinehas was defending lots of people.
Phinehas executed judgment (without having a trial or an OK from anyone
but himself and the knowledge of God's law)--find all the references to
e.j. and see what they say--he did it and God was pleased.
Their sins caused the nation to suffer--Phinehas stood against the sin
that was causing God's wrath, and was able to stop it.
38 And shed innocent blood, [even] the blood of their sons
and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols
of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
A few "shedding innocent blood" will fill the whole land with blood and
will bring God's wrath and the destruction that comes from sin when it
is allowed free course.
38 And shed innocent blood, [even] the blood of their sons
and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols
of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a
whoring with their own inventions.
40 Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his
people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.
41 And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they
that hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were
brought into subjection under their hand.
The destruction from the enemy came because of their sin.
When you are a wicked nation, the enemies (Clinton's, etc) will rule
over you. That doesn't mean you are no longer obligated to stand up for
the innocent (just means it will be much harder, less likely to succeed,
and you are more likely to suffer more loss in doing it)--just like
Phinehas did--all Israel was guilty to some extent for allowing the
evil, but then again, they were innocent of it.
When you are oppressed by and in subjection to the wicked, you can bet
it is because of sin somewhere. That doesn't mean you have to let it go,
unchecked, but it does mean repentence should be part of the formula for
freeing the nation.
43 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked [him]
with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he
heard their cry:
45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented
according to the multitude of his mercies.
46 He made them also to be pitied of all those that
carried them captives.
God listened when they cried to him for help.
Many times he sent them saviors--who broke the yoke of the enemy--when
it was of God, (from their perspective, God was judging the nation, but
they had the opportunity to throw it off. They couldn't necessarily see
God helping them, what they could see was their success, and they could
thank God for it.), they succeeded at least in lessening the yoke--or
they failed without God's help.
That's why we must do like George Washington and do lots of praying,
repenting, and standing in the gap for our nation if we engage in
fighting on behalf of our nation--if it's self-defense, that might be a
little different--God might give us the victory, the nation's sinfulness
notwithstanding, or we may end up being hurt as one of the innocents who
is damaged or destroyed by the sin of the nation, unless God has mercy
38 He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied
greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.
39 Again, they are minished and brought low through
oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
40 He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to
wander in the wilderness, [where there is] no way.
41 Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and
maketh [him] families like a flock.
42 The righteous shall see [it], and rejoice: and all
iniquity shall stop her mouth.
43 Whoso [is] wise, and will observe these [things], even
they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
Here's a perfect example of where God punishes a nation for sin but
helps some of the people in that nation--besides--God wouldn't condemn
the just and the innocent with the wicked, although they will often
suffer because of the sins of others.
11 [Wilt] not [thou], O God, [who] hast cast us off? and
wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?
12 Give us help from trouble: for vain [is] the help of
13 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he [it is that]
shall tread down our enemies.
He's asking God to go to war with his nation's armies--not in place of
them v.13 says _through_ God, not letting him do it, we shall tread down
our enemies--and God treads the enemies, but they do valiantly--both at
the same time, because God's treading enables then to wipe out the
2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where [is] now their
3 But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever
he hath pleased.
4 Their idols [are] silver and gold, the work of men's
5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they,
but they see not:
6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but
they smell not:
7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they,
but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.
8 They that make them are like unto them; [so is] every
one that trusteth in them.
9. O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he [is] their help and
The heathen trust their idols--we have no idols of anything made with
hands or otherwise--we trust God. This could be 1 way to discern between
heathenism and Godliness--one trusts the work of his hands, the other
We have to be careful to not be like the heathen, to trust the works of
our hands, including our weapons, we must trust God, but we already know
that trusting God doesn't mean do nothing.
7 The LORD taketh my part with them that help me:
therefore shall I see [my desire] upon them that hate me.
God will help those who help his people--at least in the things they do
that help his people.
And with God's divine help, he will mercilously clobber (Ps 18) his
enemies. God directly working through ad blessing the use of weapons and
8 [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put
confidence in man.
9 [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put
confidence in princes.
10 All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the
LORD will I destroy them.
11 They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about:
but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.
12 They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as
the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will
13 Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the
LORD helped me.
14 The LORD [is] my strength and song, and is become my
I will destroy them with God's help (v.13) and with God's power (10-12),
I think "salvation" (14) means being rescued from those who would
(10) God is directly involved in helping people carry out violence and
use of weapons.
14 "Salvation" any time you see that word in Psalms, remember these
The Lord is his salvation--at least partly because God gives him the
strength to destroy his enemies. Remember that. God's salvation and
rescuing can include using us to rescue ourselves, giving us the
strength to do it.
81. CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: [but] I hope
in thy word.
Seems to also indicate that "salvation" is rescuing as in
6 My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.
7 I [am for] peace: but when I speak, they [are] for war.
Assuming David wrote this, God said David was a man of war, but this
psalm says he wants peace. Seems you can engage in a good bit of war and
still be a person of peace, and perhaps a peace maker that Jesus spoke
All these verses are personal--David wants peace, David fights, it's not
that you can say, well, he was the king and so it was his job to make
war--no, these are all personal, not national problems.
1. A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the
hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven and
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth
thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor
5 The LORD [is] thy keeper: the LORD [is] thy shade upon
thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by
7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall
preserve thy soul.
8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Help is (1-2) from God, but David fought. (3-5) He keeps and helps.
(7-8) The Lord preserves.
This Psalm sits amidst all the other Psalms of fighting and weapons and
violence--neither negates the other--rather, they compliment each other.
You cannot say you can't trust and rest in God to keep and protect you
and still use force and weapons. It's what every soldier does. He
fights, and sometimes he feels strong and successful, and at those times
he thanks God for his strength. At other times he feels weak and
helpless and perhaps the enemy is beating him back, then he trusts in
God's protection and feels like running to a high tower.
1. A Song of degrees of David. If [it had not been] the
LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;
2 If [it had not been] the LORD who was on our side, when
men rose up against us:
3 Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath
was kindled against us:
4 Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone
over our soul:
5 Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
6. Blessed [be] the LORD, who hath not given us [as] a prey
to their teeth.
7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the
fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
8 Our help [is] in the name of the LORD, who made heaven
(1-5) God was Israel's help, not people, but God used David to rescue
(4) If God had not helped them, but that doesn't mean they did
nothing--God works through us.
(6) God defended Israel.
(7-8) The help is in the name of the Lord--again, not always but many
times God used people (he sent deliverers and saviors to rescue Israel
from oppressors: David, etc) to do his work.
1. A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the
house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD
keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.
Yet if the watchman doesn't warn the city, they will be destroyed and it
will be his fault, because he has a real (not just a token) part, ie, he
lifes a finger and then God jumps in and does the rest, to play, and if
he doesn't do it, the city will be destroyed, the innocent and helpless
will suffer and die, God will hold it against him, unless God is
merciful as he might have been in Esther's case if she hadn't spoken up
(God put her there just for that reason--he used her to do his work) as
Mordecai said, deliverance would come from somewhere else, but not for
her. Sure, God could have still rescued Israel if Esther hadn't used the
power God gave her to rescue Israel, nevertheless, that didn't relieve
her of the responsibility to do the risky work. God have _her_ the
talent, so _she_ could turn a profit (save Israel), and yes, if she
failed God would have taken the talent and given it to someone else, but
why be a useless servant? Why have dead faith?
"they labor in vain that build it"
But they still have to build it and do the work.
3 Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the
fruit of the womb [is his] reward.
4 As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man; so [are]
children of the youth.
5 Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the
enemies in the gate.
Children are the heritage of the Lord, ie a wonderful blessing from God,
and God compares them to personal weapons of warfare, also putting them
in a good light, and says those good gifts from God will engage the
enemy, and be successful at it.
(5) Quiver (weapon).
He also speaks positively of engaging the enemy--this could be offensive
warfare, ie, go to the gates of the city of the enemy.
A man is happy when his weapons are fully loaded and his high capacity
magazinesare all full and he has lots of ammo--this is a good blessing
from God just like children are.
And it is a comparison of innocence at that. You wouldn't compare child
molesters to babies, you'd be more likely to compare flowers and lambs
to children, and so we can conclude that, here too, like has been
compared to like, and personal weapons and children are equally precious
speaking of something good in terms of weaponry, as if the personal weaponry
is a good thing to have, and so are kids, and the more you have, the better.
Who was is written to? Soldiers, or regular folks?
God speaking well of one of his greatest gifts to us: children, by comparing
them to weaponry, and personal weaponry at that. He is indirectly saying that
a person who has a full quiver is blessed, ie who is armed to the
6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, [that] did he in heaven,
and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
7 He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the
earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the
wind out of his treasuries.
8 Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.
9 [Who] sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O
Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants.
10 Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings;
11 Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and
all the kingdoms of Canaan:
12 And gave their land [for] an heritage, an heritage unto
Israel his people.
God did the plagues all by himself with no help from man (actually he
used Moses), but he used people a lot to "smite great nations" and to
give the land to Israel for their heritage, and what the people didn't
take, God didn't deliver that land, until perhaps later, and the
Canaanites they left, God didn't kill.
This is another case of a "gift" that was available but wasn't taken or
recieved. Look at some other things God gives--they aren't all ours
either unless we actively and sometimes aggressively seek out and take
1. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O
LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
2 Which imagine mischiefs in [their] heart; continually
are they gathered together [for] war.
4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve
me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my
11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth:
evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow [him].
The evil and violent who want war.
1 Defines who they are--they imagine mischiefs, continually gather for
war, not just for defense or to eliminate evil, they purpose to
overthrow his goings, ie seek to harm the just.
11 His own sins will catch up with him. This also sounds like he who
takes the sword will perish with the sword--but in this case we can see
it's not just the use of a sword, it's that the user is evil.
1. [A Psalm] of David. Blessed [be] the LORD my strength,
which teacheth my hands to war, [and] my fingers to fight:
2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my
deliverer; my shield, and [he] in whom I trust; who subdueth
my people under me.
God teaches his hands to war and fingers to fight, and God subdues the
people under him--couldn't be that bad if God does it using David--for
the purpose of defending himself and his people and the innocent and the
2 Goodness is in the same sentence as warring and fighting and
fortresses. These are all God's attitudes and there is no contradictions
among these, because they are all good and wholesome and holy and just
This is also an example of God working through and approving of people
and their weapons and those people engaging in violence to accomplish
his will. His blessing is on them for doing this, because they are doing
what is right and good, because ownership and use of weapons is good if
used properly, according to God's word.
5. Happy [is he] that [hath] the God of Jacob for his help,
whose hope [is] in the LORD his God:
7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth
food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:
8 The LORD openeth [the eyes of] the blind: the LORD
raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the
9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the
fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth
The things God does--search for "poor" "widow(s)" etc and see who--God
does it, and note that we are God's body to do his work, and remember
the fast we are supposed to do--loose the bands, etc.
Many times God does these things through us or using us to accomplish
his will, including executing judgment for the oppressed, loosening the
prisoners, and turning the way of the wicked upside down.
10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he
taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in
those that hope in his mercy.
But sometimes he uses these to accomplish his will.
1. Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, [and]
his praise in the congregation of saints.
4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will
beautify the meek with salvation.
5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud
upon their beds.
6. [Let] the high [praises] of God [be] in their mouth, and
a twoedged sword in their hand;
7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, [and] punishments
upon the people;
8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with
fetters of iron;
9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour
have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD.
Wonder if the meek are the same as the saints? ALL the saints have this
(1) "in the congregation" means arming the people of God, which could
mean in church, or in the place of the congregation in the temple (that
was a specific part of the tabernacle, one of the outer courts, I
think). Somewhere I concluded that this ment v. 6 and v.1 were at the
same place, ie they were carrying swords while in church, but
re-examining it, it could be that the location shifted from the
congregation to everywhere in general, because just before v. 6 it talks
about singing in bed, which is everywhere in each person's home, not
just in church. So if it means in the congretation, that is fine,
because that tells us weapons aren't unholy, else God wouldn't allow
them into the place of the congregation, but if it doesn't mean in
church, then each saint in his home, etc can carry around his sword with
It is not a contradiction to praise God while at the same time have a weapon
in your hand (8,9 and killing and capturing people). God's holiness is
not at odds with weapons.
4 Remember the "salvation" somewhere in Psalms that isn't just the
passive recieving of God's help, but is the active participation with
God against the problem--this could mean help them to successfully (Ps 18)
stomp the enemy to powder.
6 Sword and Psalter. Another comparison, or in this case,
juxtaposition--praising God while at the same time brandishing a weapon.
God doesn't want unholy praise, and if a weapon were unclean or sinful,
God wouldn't commend having both at the same time.
Christ was meek, he told his apostles to carry swords. Moses was meek he
presided over and was instrumental in the slaughter of many enemies, and
told Israel to slaughter the 7 nations, and told the death penalty laws,
etc, meekness does not preclude being armed or violent.
It is also not in the slightest way opposing to God's nature to use praises
and swords to overthrow wicked rulers.
The honor of praising God and using a sword to overthrow the wicked is a
blessing bestowed on all saints.
It is a blessing just like having a personal weapon (bow and arrows) is
a blessing comparable to children.
10. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood,
let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:
12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole,
as those that go down into the pit:
13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our
houses with spoil:
14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:
15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy
foot from their path:
16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed
17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any
18 And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk
privily for their [own] lives.
19 So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain;
[which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
The example of wrong killing and violence--to harm the innocent and to
rob, to do it for selfish reasons--ie personal gain, instead of to
defend the helpless, also, they make haste, as though they enjoy
it--defending the innocent is never an enjoyable proposition, at least
because it may require killing or harming people.
Defines the wicked--sinners--not as having weapons, but as committing
sins and doing evil.
27. Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it
is in the power of thine hand to do [it].
28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to
morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.
Do what's right when it's in your power to do it; don't leave it up to
God and say--God bless you and I'll pray for you, when you can do it
yourself--this is the principle in deciding how or when to trust God (do
nothing) and when to do it yourself (trusting he will help you)--if you
are able (and often even when you can't (God is our strength)) you
should do it. Also, you should do it if it is a commanded action--even
if you can't.
"Be warmed and filled"--is also in the NT.
Withhold not good to whom it is due--including protecting the innocent
and allowing them the good of protecting themselves.
This is one of the central points. If you are able to do something to
help someone, you better do it or God will hold it against you. With
power comes responsibility. If you have the ability and opportunity to
rescue someone, as in the other proverbs quote, you better do it
when they are drawn to death. If part of your ability includes to enable
or empower others to help themselves, like voting, etc, you better do
it. Or if it is like Amos (?) "strengthen the spoiled", empower them to
fight their appressors--including arming them--have to have weapons to
fight against a fortress.
31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his
Do what you have to do, but don't go about it in the wrong way.
If you are in a position of power, don't abuse it; don't take advantage
of those under you, in your power.
14. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in
the way of evil [men].
15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and
their sleep is taken away, unless they cause [some] to fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the
wine of violence.
Those who eat the bread of violence--their results are the opposite
(save the righteous, innocent, helpless), they do mischief and hurt
people, not help them.
Defines the wicked--it includes violence, but look at the context, ie,
the type of violence--it is evil violence, harming innocent people,
sinning, etc. You could almost turn it around and say the wicked are the
ones who harm the poor by disabling them from protecting themselves,
although it's not quite so clear in this passage.
16 These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are]
an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed
Shedding innocent blood is about the worst thing you can do, it caused
Manasseh and Israel to be slaughtered and overtaken without forgiveness.
Note it qualifies blood, not just shed blood as in self-defense, but
innocent blood. And it doesn't mention weapons or how the blood is
6. The words of the wicked [are] to lie in wait for blood:
but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.
The wicked seek blood (innocent blood, that is), and when they speak,
that comes out, but when the upright (1) first, shall speak up in the
face of it to stop the blood shed (2) they will meet the words of blood
with words of deliverance (of the innocent from the wicked), (if the
wicked do deeds, the upright will match with deeds of deliverance, and
will meet whatever the wicked do with whatever is necessary.)
This is also another differentiation between the wicked and the
upright--both use the same means, "words" in this case, but they seek
different things--the wicked to seek blood, the upright to stop the
wicked from succeeding.
Defines both the wicked and the just. If we don't rescue the innocent,
then we don't fit the definition of the just, and we do fit the
definition of those who stand by and watch while the innocent are
29. A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him
into the way [that is] not good.
30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving
his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
This tells what the violent do, it's not just that they use violence,
but they harm the poor, the helpless, the righteous, the gullible, the
entice-able, the simple--and he does evil things.
"Violent"--a word to look up in other places--add to weapon list.
Defines a violent man--the wicked--not just that he uses violence, but
that he practices evil.
6. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear
of the LORD [men] depart from evil.
This is how you eliminate crime, or this is how our nation will have to
be before crime is less, not when there are fewer guns, etc, we could
lock up all the criminals, but when no one fears God, everyone is a
potential criminal waiting for an opportunity to do wrong, and you can't
lock up everyone.
13. Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart
from his house.
The good harm no one, but they are treated like criminals--registration,
taxes, restrictions, etc, and made to suffer; this is not good. See Pvb
26. Also to punish the just [is] not good, [nor] to strike
princes for equity.
Gun control, registration, taxes, etc on honest people for what the
criminals do is wrong--it is also forcing the innocent to pay for the
deeds of evil people and making them suffer to try to stop the wicked.
See Pvb 17:13.
18. [Every] purpose is established by counsel: and with
good advice make war.
Be smart about it. Also, it is woth good advise, not bad advise--it
wouldn't be good if war were wrong, but assuming you are a just person
and you are committing no harm to the inncoent, which this book of Pvbs
assumes--it is speaking to the good guys--then make sure you have proper
22. Say not thou, I will recompense evil; [but] wait on the
LORD, and he shall save thee.
Is talking about vengeance, not defense.
This verse does not nullify all the other verses. "Save thee" doesn't
necessarily mean save from harm, as in, you can't do anything to save,
ie defend, yourself because you have to "wait on God". It is in the
context of vengeance, not self-defense. Also note, if it did mean as in
self defense, it would contradict many other scriptures, and we know
scripture doesn't contradict. We compare scripture with scripture to
learn what scriptures mean. If this refers to defense at all, it
wouldn't mean necessarily do nothing, but it would mean that whatever
happens or however you respond, trust (ie wait upon) God to be the one
who will rescue you from evil, that is, who will help you to
successfully defend yourself.
26. A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the
wheel over them.
He scatters the wicked, not the righteous--it's a matter of...is he
wise--he will focus on stopping evil by dealing with the wicked.
Not by harming the just and hoping somehow that will stop the wicked
(Pvb 17:26). His focus is on the evil, not on the good with the
expectation of a trickle down effect. It is _good_ to sock it to the
wicked, to make life hard for them, and to preoccupy them with "the
wheel," else they will be preying on the good and innocent, and then the
just king will be guilty of allowing evil to occur when it's in his
power to stop it.
From this verse it's also clear that a wise king doesn't bring the wheel
over the righteous, he doesn't put them to the grind, and put them under
servitude with taxation, registration, licensing, regulations, etc,
including of them and their weapons. That would be like treating the
good guys like criminals, or adversaries to be carefully monitored and
controlled, or servants who aren't fit or aren't of the status to be
trusted and allowed full freedom of a free man.
13. Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also
shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, when they came for me, no
one was left--do not refuse to help those needing help (the means to
defend themselves, someone to rescue them from harm, etc), because your
calamity is next (you won't have the means to defend yourself, no one
will be able to help you, etc).
22. A wise [man] scaleth the city of the mighty, and
casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.
Wisdom is good and from God, so this couldn't be bad, if done for a just
cause, and a wise man would only do it for a Godly reason, so this is a
Godly thing to do.
Also, sheer might and numbers or the lack of them can be compensated for
by wisdom (and again, this isn't in the "do nothing" category, the man
is wise, but he executes his wisdom by...telling a good story? no, by
climbing the walls...by showing love and compassion? no, by demolishing
the strength they were trusting in.)
31 The horse [is] prepared against the day of battle: but
safety [is] of the LORD.
Weapons are for war, but the outcome depends on God.
Notice is doesn't say trust God and let the horses roam and graze, it
says the horse is _prepared_ for battle, like the wise man sees evil and
prepares. If trusting God isn't part of your strategy, you're in
3. A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself:
but the simple pass on, and are punished.
Understand what is happening and what will happen, prepare for it, and
act upon what you see and know will happen. It is not trusting God to be
blind to what is happening and what will happen, and (or to do nothing
to prepare for it. God says if you do this, he calls you simple (kinda
like stupid?) and says you will suffer the consequences (as a man
soweth...), unless God is merciful to you, and of course he will be able
to bring something good out of it: you can have your mansion in glory
earlier than God had planned to give it to you, since you died
prematurely because you did not live wisely, etc.
Your wife can learn to accept God's grace while she is raped because you
didn't give her a gun to carry and train her to use it. Your children
can learn to stand alone for God because they were taken away by the
gov't which became evil because you didn't forsee that the wicked were
taking over and you didn't stop them. Yes, God can always bring
something good out of it, but why not use the wisdom God gave you and
that he made available in his word to carry forward God's kingdom the
way he intended, and to give us a successful life?
22. Rob not the poor, because he [is] poor: neither oppress
the afflicted in the gate:
The poor and afflicted are harmed and destroyed.
It doesn't say anything about denying them Saturday night specials to
lower the crime rate.
5 A wise man [is] strong; yea, a man of knowledge
A wise man makes himself strong, he sees his weaknesses and fortifies
them--he prepares for the coming evil, and for what could possibly
Strength is not ungodly. Contrarywise, it is godly. Intentionally
remaining weak is not necessarily godly. Remaining vulnerble is not
6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in
multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.
War is not bad, and can be successfully engaged with wise counsel
(again, wisdom is of God and therefore it couldn't be bad or it wouldn't
be called wise).
Also note this is advise to individuals--who are told to make war. It is
not just to kings or to professional soldiers.
10. [If] thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength
You need lots of strength for the day of adversity.
Again, weakness is not necessarily godly. It certainly can be in certain
regards--God can be strong through our weaknesses, but it's not that we
intentionally remain weak, or that we remain weak so God can be strong,
that's almost like saying let us sin so good/grace may come.
We also are not intentionally weak in the flesh--because that weakness
is our propensity to sin and to drift from God. That is not good--and we
are supposed to try to overcome it with God's help and crucify that
weakness (flesh) daily.
11. If thou forbear to deliver [them that are] drawn unto
death, and [those that are] ready to be slain;
You need lots of strength to deliver those being destroyed.
Also, more evidence that the helpless are destroyed unless we act.
You shouldn't "forbear," I think that means not at all (don't even try
to rescue to them), or maybe also even to hesitate or wait (don't
hesitate to rescue them).
This is where it comes in handy to be strong, to have had the foresight
to prepare, to have been strengthened by God to come against the
fortress, etc, so we can be effective and wise to rescue.
12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he
that pondereth the heart consider [it]? and he that keepeth
thy soul, doth [not] he know [it]? and shall [not] he render
to [every] man according to his works?
If you don't foresee the evil that will happen to them (prefer to not
see?) and help them? And if you don't help them, not only will they be
destroyed because of your inaction, but God will reward you for your
lack of action, perhaps by letting the same thing happen to you, as it
might have happened if Esther had done nothing to stop the killing of
the Jews, deliverance would have come from a different quarter, but not
for her, because she did not fight against the evil to save God's
You are required by God to rescue those who are drawn to death and who
are about to be destroyed.
21. If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if
he be thirsty, give him water to drink:
22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and
the LORD shall reward thee.
It says if he's hungry, it doesn't say if he's raping your wife or
murdering someone or robbing your house.
17. He that passeth by, [and] meddleth with strife
[belonging] not to him, [is like] one that taketh a dog by
Strife is bickering and fighting that does not involve protecting the
innocent from being harmed or stopping sin (evil)--we are to stay out of
Child abuse is not a good reason to interfere, unless there is extreme
harm being done, because children are given to their parents by God, and
taking them does greater harm than abusive parents.
18. As a mad [man] who casteth firebrands, arrows, and
19 So [is] the man [that] deceiveth his neighbour, and
saith, am not I in sport?
The crazy person who is armed--nothing is said about registration or
disarmament, always the emphasis is to destroy or stop the evil
(person?) and protect the good ones.
An example of an emotionally disturbed person misusing weapons, but nobody
crys that everyone should be disarmed to ensure that a few manmen don't go
around killing people. Instead, they take care of the madman.
23. Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, [and]
look well to thy herds.
24 For riches [are] not for ever: and doth the crown
[endure] to every generation?
To succeed in certain things you must be very wise, intelligent,
resourceful, strategic, a good planner, etc, or you will not succeed in
the endeavor you are seeking to succeed in--this is the way it is with
most things--the diligent are rewarded with the fruit of their work
(sowed good things), but the slothful have nothing and receive no reward
nor benefits, but rather hunger and lack and want and suffering. The
fool is the same but suffers worse. God has designed life this way, and
that includes matters such as trusting God but being diligent, in
matters including self-defense, in using weapons effectively (diligent
in practice, not slothful, etc).
24 He brings up 2 areas where diligence pays--wealth and power.
God is telling us we live in a cause/effect reap/sow world. If we do
certain things or don't do certain things, we can expect particular
results. If we are not wise, hard working, and forsightful, we will
suffer evil. It's not that if we are saved, we'll be OK, no, although
God does give us extra help when we are, but we still must function in
this world according to the c/e r/s rules--which are God's rules. He set
up the universe this way, and there's nothing wrong with living
according to these rules. Just like the laws of physics, gravity, etc
are made by God, are good, and we must live within them. God is telling
us especially in Pvbs that that's how things are. This is one reason why
ownership and use of weapons is just one more area we must be prepared
in, because this is a sinful world full of harmful people and animals
(some places have more than others, almost everywhere at least has
snakes or rabid animals, etc). If we are not prepared, we will not be
properly (being unprepared is no different from not sowing because of
the cold, and so we will beg in the harvest; God calls that person a
sloth or some such word, he doesn't admire him for his "faith." The
sluggard doesn't sow in preparation for winter and for the lack of food
he will have if he doesn't.) able to deal with evil people (Pvb
24:10-12). Naturally, there are many ways to respond to threats, but
sometimes force is the only effective response. It is not godly to
intentionally remain vulnerable or to remain unable to help someone
else. That is like not sowing seeds of protection.
25 The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself,
and herbs of the mountains are gathered.
26 The lambs [are] for thy clothing, and the goats [are]
the price of the field.
27 And [thou shalt have] goats' milk enough for thy food,
for the food of thy household, and [for] the maintenance for
The hay is in the field. First the ground must be prepared, cleared,
plowed, fertilized, planted, watered, and guarded, then harvested at
just the right time. The herbs, same. The cattle must be shepherded,
fed, watered, guarded, shorn, the wool must be cleaned, pulled, made
into threads,then made into cloth, then sewn into clothes, then sold or
butchered or bread by someone with smarts at the market ("it is
nothing..."). None of this falls into your lap. Neither does anything
else, including being safe from harm. You have to pick a safe place to
life, live in a strong house, have locks, lock the locks, look for
trouble when you go somewhere, avoid it, carry a gun you are
well-practiced with, have laws on the books to allow you to do so, elect
people who will pass those good laws, have a constitution that allows
laws like that in the first place.....etc etc.
17. A man that doeth violence to the blood of [any] person
shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.
Violent deeds to the blood of anyone--any innocent one, or any deed that
is a sin (even if that person is not innocent, it may still be wrong if
the deed is a sin, which might be the only justification for not killing
abortionists, but you would have to prove that killing them is a sin,
which might not be so easy.) he'll go to the pit, ie, die, but don't
rescue him, unlike the innocent and the helpless. (Perhaps, if someone
is going to kill an abortionist, you are not supposed to stay (stop)
27. He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he
that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
Don't hide your eyes from the suffering of the poor or you will
suffer--the rescue verses say God will reward you.
This includes the suffering of the poor from crime and those who harm
them, rob them, etc.
7. The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: [but]
the wicked regardeth not to know [it].
You are wicked if you don't care to find out the state of the poor, or
what causes them to be poor. The cause is as the needs or the problems,
and perhaps somewhat what causes them to be poor, but cause means mostly
needs (??? does it ???).
The wicked sit in their ivory towers far away from the poor who are
being victimized by criminals. They don't work to help individual
people. They delude themselves thinking their welfare and gun control
will help, when the poor need the opposite. The wicked don't consider
that they are taking away the (Sat Nit Spec) only protection the poor
16. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression
increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.
It has nothing to do with weapons--it is very simply there there are the
wicked. The more wicked, the more wickedness, the fewer wicked, the less
wickedness. The really sticky situation is like now when people aren't
necessarily wicked, just not righteous, and might sin given the
opportunity. If society is full of wickedness and violence, it is
because society is full of wicked people.
The more wicked there are, the more transgressions there will be. It
therefore follows that: if there are many transgressions, it is because
there are many wicked, not because there are many weapons.
27. An unjust man [is] an abomination to the just: and [he
that is] upright in the way [is] abomination to the wicked.
Good and evil are irreconcilable, and as the previous (29:16) verse
says, wickedness will be more prevalent with more wicked, the conclusion
is to rid the nation of the wicked (prison, death, caning, etc). Those
who are in between need to be saved and turned on to righteousness.
These judges who turn loose these wicked criminals and (or excuse their
behavior apparently do not despise these wicked folk. According to this
verse, the wicked hate the good, and if they don't, maybe they are both
the same type and therefore like each other, wicked criminals who like
and are liked, or at least preferred over good people, by wicked judges
These same judges (and every other type of person, politician, etc) are
generally also the wicked ones who want to disarm us. So we can conclude
that the wicked disarm us, and those who disarm us are wicked. This
verse defines the wicked in an indirect way.
14 [There is] a generation, whose teeth [are as] swords,
and their jaw teeth [as] knives, to devour the poor from off
the earth, and the needy from [among] men.
The evil devour (even if metaphorically in this case? in any event
they destroy them) the poor and needy--using what is compared to
29. There be three [things] which go well, yea, four are
comely in going:
30 A lion [which is] strongest among beasts, and turneth
not away for any;
31 A greyhound; an he goat also; and a king, against whom
[there is] no rising up.
Military strength is not necessarily ugly or ungodly.
While today there is in people's minds somewhat more of a distinction
between the military and the common folk, it has not always been so, not
even in our country since it's founding. Used to be in our country and
back then more so and less so at different times the strength of the
military was based on the strength of the people, their physical
strength, their skill in fighting, their weapons, their level of
organization, communication, logistics, and so on. Well, kinda. There
have always been strong standing armies, ever since time began, when the
gov't massed to itself military might not based on the people, not owned
by the people, not controlled by the people, not answerable to the
people, etc, unlike the militia concept, and which could be turned
against the people or for some cause the people opposed. This may be why
the founders opposed a standing army: it was not of, by, nor for the
people, but of, by, and for the gov't, and could be used by the gov't
for evil means. Perhaps it was a matter of where the power lay, with the
people, or with the gov't. Perhaps the Second Amendment was to further
ensure the power remained with the people, not with the gov't, and even
if the power edged to the gov't, the people would still retain the means
to deal with it.
Of course, different kings had standing (short-standing (?? nah. Check
out some of the places like Babylon, Solomon, Jericho, the Romans, etc.
They had professional fighting forces. But there were also plenty of
militia based military.)) armies which sometimes was the main fighting
force, but more often (actually I don't know which was more prevalent,
which nations were safer with which system, which was more abusive to
the people in the long run, etc) the military strength of a nation (and
God said the king should not multiply to himself chariots, horses, etc,
so apparently he favored this model for Israel) and therefore the king
was the combined strength of the individuals who had nothing to do with
the king's army, plus the weaponry, communications network, etc of the
king. In this way, the verse can be seen to say that something that goes
well and is beautiful is a nation of well armed and trained individuals,
and the king who can organize them into a fighting force.
8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as
are appointed to destruction.
9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause
of the poor and needy.
Many helpless are being destroyed, we are to take up their cause, even
though they aren't a relative.
1. So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that
are done under the sun: and behold the tears of [such as
were] oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side
of their oppressors [there was] power; but they had no
Many are wrongfully oppressed and suffering, and there is no one to
This world is full of evil and trouble and the destruction and
despoiling (?) of the innocent, helpless, and good.
The wicked always seem to be vastly more powerful than the good or
innocent, but that is no reason to not fight against and stop them, or
to at least try.
12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand
him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
The power of unity--2 can withstand an enemy better than one.
An association of individuals is more powerful (helpful, dangerous, or a
little of both) than an individual.
This is also a lesson in how to defeat your adversaries--if you can't
whip them with what you have, increase your numbers and strength.
8 If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent
perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not
at the matter: for [he that is] higher than the highest
regardeth; and [there be] higher than they.
The poor are oppressed.
God knows, and he doesn't stop it to the extent we wished he would,
although we know he now "letteth."
19 Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty
[men] which are in the city.
You need more than just a weapon to defend yourself--you need plenty of
wisdom and smarts. Just because you have a big gun doesn't mean
anything. If you have the biggest gun in the world but are stupid or
foolish or whatever (like Saddam Hussein), it won't help as much as if
you acted wisely.
If you are wise and have a SNS, that could be better than being stupid
with an Uzi.
This is also an encouragement to us when we seem vastly outnumbered and
11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed
speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully
set in them to do evil.
Maybe we also need to look at some of the reasons why people do evil and
why they harm the poor--for 1 reason, they aren't stopped from doing
13. This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it
[seemed] great unto me:
14 [There was] a little city, and few men within it; and
there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and
built great bulwarks against it:
15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by
his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that
same poor man.
16 Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength:
nevertheless the poor man's wisdom [is] despised, and his
words are not heard.
18 Wisdom [is] better than weapons of war: but one sinner
destroyeth much good.
Wisdom is better than strength--but wisdom with strength is the best. It
doesn't say wisdom is a replacement for weapons of war. That doesn't
mean weapons of war are worthless, it just demonstrates that weapons
without wisdom are not nearly as effective as having very little
weaponry, or even none, and lots of smarts (the town was small, it only
had a few men, but it did have some, and it did have a wall, and they
did have to fight (presumably) to keep the wall from being breached,
although I don't know if it says this explicitly in the text, maybe they
were so good they didn't even have to fight, although once a siege is
layed, it's only after an attempt has been made to breach the defenses,
and only after they have been successfully repelled with no easy chances
of successfully breaching the defenses do they pull back and use a
tactic besides frontal attack.
10 If the iron be blunt, and he do not whet the edge, then
must he put to more strength: but wisdom [is] profitable to
This can be an extension of 7:19 & 9:13-18, ie, a weapon alone is not
nearly as good as a wisely used one, otherwise, it you're not wise, you
have to put in a lot more work to accomplish the same thing, if you can
accomplish it at all.
Best of all, if you have great weapons of war plus great wisdom, plus
God on your side, that is best. The US military is the best example of
this that there is. We as individuals can take a hint from our own
Song of Solomon 3:7-8
7. Behold his bed, which [is] Solomon's; threescore valiant
men [are] about it, of the valiant of Israel.
8 They all hold swords, [being] expert in war: every man
[hath] his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the
Song of Solomon 3:7-8
Nothing wrong with arming yourself for fear in the night and fear of
[Isa-Je20] [Je21-Eze] [Ez16-Jn8] [Jn10-Phlp] [Col3-Rev] [Misc] [New]
(c) November 4, 1995, May 31, 1996 David C. Treibs. All rights reserved./html /body