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Psalms 12:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[For the Chief Musician; set to the Sheminith. A Psalm of David.]] Help, Jehovah; for the godly man ceaseth; For the faithful fail from among the children of men.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David.]] Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[For the choir director; upon an eight-stringed lyre. A Psalm of David.]] Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases to be, For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[To the chief Musician upon Sheminith. A Psalm of David.]] Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[To the chief Musician. Upon Sheminith. A Psalm of David.]] Save, Jehovah, for the godly man is gone; for the faithful have failed from among the children of men.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[To the Chief Musician. On the Octave. A Melody of David.]] O save Yahweh, for the man of lovingkindness, is no more, for the faithful, have vanished, from among the sons of men.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— To the Overseer, on the octave.—A Psalm of David. Save, Jehovah, for the saintly hath failed, For the stedfast have ceased From the sons of men:
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Unto the end: for the octave, a psalm for David. Save me, O Lord, for there is now no saint: truths are decayed from among the children of men.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[To the chiefe Musician vpon Sheminith. A Psalme of Dauid.]] Helpe LORD, for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithfull faile from among the children of men.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[For the end, A Psalm of David, upon the eighth.]] Save me, O Lord; for the godly man has failed; for truth is diminished from among the children of men.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of Dawid.]] Help, Yahweh; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[To the chief Musician 5329
{5329} Prime
A primitive root; properly to glitter from afar, that is, to be eminent (as a superintendent, especially of the Temple services and its music); also (as denominative from H5331), to be permanent.
<8764> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 685
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
mn שְׁמִינִית, 8067
{8067} Prime
Feminine of H8066; probably an eight stringed lyre.
A Psalm 4210
{4210} Prime
From H2167; properly instrumental music; by implication a poem set to notes.
of Dwi דָּוִד.]] 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
Help, 3467
{3467} Prime
A primitive root; properly to be open, wide or free, that is, (by implication) to be safe; causatively to free or succor.
<8685> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 731
Yhw יָהוֶה; 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
for x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
the godly man 2623
{2623} Prime
From H2616; properly kind, that is, (religiously) pious (a saint).
ceaseth; 1584
{1584} Prime
A primitive root; to end (in the sense of completion or failure).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
for x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
the faithful 539
{0539} Prime
A primitive root; properly to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally to be true or certain; once (in Isaiah 30:21; by interchange for H0541) to go to the right hand.
<8803> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Passive (See H8815)
Count - 1415
fail 6461
{6461} Prime
A primitive root; probably to disperse, that is, (intransitively) disappear.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
from among the children 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
of men. 120
{0120} Prime
From H0119; ruddy, that is, a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 12:1

_ _ Psalms 12:1-8. On title, see on Introduction and see on Psalms 6:1. The Psalmist laments the decrease of good men. The pride and deceit of the wicked provokes God’s wrath, whose promise to avenge the cause of pious sufferers will be verified even amidst prevailing iniquity.

_ _ the faithful — or literally, “faithfulness” (Psalms 31:23).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 12:1-8

_ _ This psalm furnishes us with good thoughts for bad times, in which, though the prudent will keep silent (Amos 5:13) because a man may then be made an offender for a word, yet we may comfort ourselves with such suitable meditations and prayers as are here got ready to our hand.

_ _ I. Let us see here what it is that makes the times bad, and when they may be said to be so. Ask the children of this world what it is in their account that makes the times bad, and they will tell you, Scarcity of money, decay of trade, and the desolations of war, make the times bad. But the scripture lays the badness of the times upon causes of another nature. 2 Timothy 3:1, Perilous times shall come, for iniquity shall abound; and that is the thing David here complains of.

_ _ 1. When there is a general decay of piety and honesty among men the times are then truly bad (Psalms 12:1): When the godly man ceases and the faithful fail. Observe how these two characters are here put together, the godly and the faithful. As there is no true policy, so there is no true piety, without honesty. Godly men are faithful men, fast men, so they have sometimes been called; their word is as confirming as their oath, as binding as their bond; they make conscience of being true both to God and man. They are here said to cease and fail, either by death or by desertion, or by both. Those that were godly and faithful were taken away, and those that were left had sadly degenerated and were not what they had been; so that there were few or no good people that were Israelites indeed to be met with. Perhaps he meant that there were no godly faithful men among Saul's courtiers; if he meant there were few or none in Israel, we hope he was under the same mistake that Elijah was, who thought he only was left alone, when God had 7000 who kept their integrity (Romans 11:3); or he meant that there were few in comparison; there was a general decay of religion and virtue (and the times are bad, very bad, when it is so), not a man to be found that executes judgment, Jeremiah 5:1.

_ _ 2. When dissimulation and flattery have corrupted and debauched all conversation, then the times are very bad (Psalms 12:2), when men are generally so profligate that they make no conscience of a lie, are so spiteful as to design against their neighbours the worst of mischiefs, and yet so base as to cover the design with the most specious and plausible pretences and professions of friendship. Thus they speak vanity (that is, falsehood and a lie) every one to his neighbour, with flattering lips and a double heart. They will kiss and kill (as Joab did Abner and Amasa in David's own time), will smile in your face and cut your throat. This is the devil's image complete, a complication of malice and falsehood. The times are bad indeed when there is no such thing as sincerity to be met with, when an honest man knows not whom to believe nor whom to trust, nor dares put confidence in a friend, in a guide, Micah 7:5, Micah 7:6; Jeremiah 9:4, Jeremiah 9:5. Woe to those who help to make the times thus perilous.

_ _ 3. When the enemies of God, and religion, and religious people, are impudent and daring, and threaten to run down all that is just and sacred, then the times are very bad, when proud sinners have arrived at such a pitch of impiety as to say, “With our tongue will we prevail against the cause of virtue; our lips are our own and we may say what we will; who is lord over us, either to restrain us or to call us to an account?” Psalms 12:4. This bespeaks, (1.) A proud conceit of themselves and confidence in themselves, as if the point were indeed gained by eating forbidden fruit, and they were as gods, independent and self-sufficient, infallible in their knowledge of good and evil and therefore fit to be oracles, irresistible in their power and therefore fit to be lawgivers, that could prevail with their tongues, and, like God himself, speak and it is done. (2.) An insolent contempt of God's dominion as if he had no propriety in them — Our lips are our own (an unjust pretension, for who made man's mouth, in whose hand is his breath, and whose is the air he breathes in?) and as if he had no authority either to command them or to judge them: Who is Lord over us? Like Pharaoh, Exodus 5:1. This is as absurd and unreasonable as the former; for he in whom we live, and move, and have our being, must needs be, by an indisputable title, Lord over us.

_ _ 4. When the poor and needy are oppressed, and abused, and puffed at, then the times are very bad. This is implied (Psalms 12:5) where God himself takes notice of the oppression of the poor and the sighing of the needy; they are oppressed because they are poor, have all manner of wrong done them merely because they are not in a capacity to right themselves. Being thus oppressed, they dare not speak for themselves, lest their defence should be made their offence; but they sigh, secretly bemoaning their calamities, and pouring out their souls in sighs before God. If their oppressors be spoken to on their behalf, they puff at them, make light of their own sin and the misery of the poor, and lay neither to heart; see Psalms 10:5.

_ _ 5. When wickedness abounds, and goes barefaced, under the protection and countenance of those in authority, then the times are very bad, Psalms 12:8. When the vilest men are exalted to places of trust and power (who, instead of putting the laws in execution against vice and injustice and punishing the wicked according to their merits, patronise and protect them, give them countenance, and support their reputation by their own example), then the wicked walk on every side; they swarm in all places, and go up and down seeking to deceive, debauch, and destroy others; they are neither afraid nor ashamed to discover themselves; they declare their sin as Sodom and there is none to check or control them. Bad men are base men, the vilest of men, and they are so though they are ever so highly exalted in this world. Antiochus the illustrious the scripture calls a vile person, Daniel 11:21. But it is bad with a kingdom when such are preferred; no marvel if wickedness then grows impudent and insolent. When the wicked bear rule the people mourn.

_ _ II. Let us now see what good thoughts we are here furnished with for such bad times; and what times we may yet be reserved for we cannot tell. When times are thus bad it is comfortable to think,

_ _ 1. That we have a God to go to, from whom we may ask and expect the redress of all our grievances. This he begins with (Psalms 12:1): “Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth. All other helps and helpers fail; even the godly and faithful, who should lend a helping hand to support the dying cause of religion, are gone, and therefore whither shall we seek but to thee?” Note, When godly faithful people cease and fail it is time to cry, Help, Lord! The abounding of iniquity threatens a deluge. “Help, Lord, help the virtuous; few seek to hold fast their integrity, and to stand in the gap; help to save thy own interest in the world from sinking. It is time for thee, Lord, to work.

_ _ 2. That God will certainly reckon with false and proud men, and will punish and restrain their insolence. They are above the control of men and set them at defiance. Men cannot discover the falsehood of flatterers, nor humble the haughtiness of those that speak proud things; but the righteous God will cut off all flattering lips, that give the traitor's kiss and speak words softer then oil when war is in the heart; he will pluck out the tongue that speaks proud things against God and religion, Psalms 12:3. Some translate it as a prayer, “May God cut off those false and spiteful lips.” Let lying lips be put to silence.

_ _ 3. That God will, in due time, work deliverance for his oppressed people, and shelter them from the malicious designs of their persecutors (Psalms 12:5): Now, will I arise, saith the Lord. This promise of God, which David here delivered by the spirit of prophecy, is an answer to that petition which he put up to God by the spirit of prayer. “Help, Lord,” says he; “I will,” says God; “here I am, with seasonable and effectual help.” (1.) It is seasonable, in the fittest time. [1.] When the oppressors are in the height of their pride and insolence — when they say, Who is lord over us? — then is God's time to let them know, to their cost, that he is above them. [2.] When the oppressed are in the depth of their distress and despondency, when they are sighing like Israel in Egypt by reason of the cruel bondage, then is God's time to appear for them, as for Israel when they were most dejected and Pharaoh was most elevated. Now will I arise. Note, There is a time fixed for the rescue of oppressed innocency; that time will come, and we may be sure it is the fittest time, Psalms 102:13. (2.) It is effectual: I will set him in safety, or in salvation, not only protect him, but restore him to his former prosperity, will bring him out into a wealthy place (Psalms 66:12), so that, upon the whole, he shall lose nothing by his sufferings.

_ _ 4. That, though men are false, God is faithful; though they are not to be trusted, God is. They speak vanity and flattery, but the words of the Lord are pure words (Psalms 12:6), not only all true, but all pure, like silver tried in a furnace of earth or a crucible. It denotes, (1.) The sincerity of God's word, every thing is really as it is there represented and not otherwise; it does not jest with us, not impose upon us, nor has it any other design towards us than our own good. (2.) The preciousness of God's word; it is of great and intrinsic value, like silver refined to the highest degree; it has nothing in it to depreciate it. (3.) The many proofs that have been given of its power and truth; it has been often tried, all the saints in all ages have trusted it and so tried it, and it never deceived them nor frustrated their expectation, but they have all set to their seal that God's word is true, with an Experto credeTrust one that has made trial; they have found it so. Probably this refers especially to these promises of succouring and relieving the poor and oppressed. Their friends put them in hopes that they will do something for them, and yet prove a broken reed; but the words of God are what we may rely upon; and the less confidence is to be put in men's words let us with the more assurance trust in God's word.

_ _ 5. That God will secure his chosen remnant to himself, how bad soever the times are (Psalms 12:7): Thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. This intimates that, as long as the world stands, there will be a generation of proud and wicked men in it, more or less, who will threaten by their wretched arts to ruin religion, by wearing out the saints of the Most High, Daniel 7:25. But let God alone to maintain his own interest and to preserve his own people. He will keep them from this generation, (1.) From being debauched by them and drawn away from God, from mingling with them and learning their works. In times of general apostasy the Lord knows those that are his, and they shall be enabled to keep their integrity. (2.) From being destroyed and rooted out by them. The church is built upon a rock, and so well fortified that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. In the worst of times God has his remnant, and in every age will reserve to himself a holy seed and preserve that to his heavenly kingdom.

_ _ In singing this psalm, and praying it over, we must bewail the general corruption of manners, thank God that things are not worse than they are, but pray and hope that they will be better in God's due time.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 12:1

"To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David." Help, LORD; for the (a) godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.

(a) Who dare defend the truth and show mercy to the oppressed.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
or, Save,
Psalms 3:7 Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies [upon] the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
Psalms 6:4 Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies' sake.
Psalms 54:1 [[To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?]] Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.
Matthew 8:25 And his disciples came to [him], and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
Matthew 14:30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.


Genesis 6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
Isaiah 1:9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, [and] we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Isaiah 1:21-22 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. ... Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:
Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth [it] to heart: and merciful men [are] taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil [to come].
Isaiah 63:5 And I looked, and [there was] none to help; and I wondered that [there was] none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
Jeremiah 5:1 Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be [any] that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.
Micah 7:1-2 Woe is me! for I am as when they have gathered the summer fruits, as the grapegleanings of the vintage: [there is] no cluster to eat: my soul desired the firstripe fruit. ... The good [man] is perished out of the earth: and [there is] none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.
Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.


Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
Isaiah 59:4 None calleth for justice, nor [any] pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
Isaiah 59:13-15 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. ... Yea, truth faileth; and he [that] departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw [it], and it displeased him that [there was] no judgment.
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Gn 6:12. Ps 3:7; 6:4; 54:1. Pv 20:6. Is 1:9, 21; 57:1; 59:4, 13; 63:5. Jr 5:1. Mi 7:1. Mt 8:25; 14:30; 24:12.

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