Psalm 94:1
(1) The original is far more striking in its conciseness. God of retributions, Jehovah, God of retributions shine forth. The emphatic repetition of a phrase is a feature of this psalm. (See Psalm 94:3; Psalm 94:23.)

Verses 1-7. - The cry for vengeance. Israel is suffering oppression - not, however, from foreign enemies, but from domestic tyrants (vers. 4-6). Innocent blood is shed; the widow and the orphan are trodden down. God, it is supposed, will not see or will not regard (ver. 7). The psalmist, therefore, cries out to God to manifest himself by taking signal vengeance on the evil doers (vers. 1, 2). Verse 1. - O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth (comp. Deuteronomy 32:35, "To me belongeth vengeance and recompence;" and Jeremiah 51:56, where God is called "the Lord God of reeompences," as he is here - literally - "the Lord God of vengeances"). O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, show thyself; or, "shine forth" - make thy justice to appear; show thyself in thy character of a God who will by no means clear the guilty (Exodus 34:7).

94:1-11 We may with boldness appeal to God; for he is the almighty Judge by whom every man is judged. Let this encourage those who suffer wrong, to bear it with silence, committing themselves to Him who judges righteously. These prayers are prophecies, which speak terror to the sons of violence. There will come a day of reckoning for all the hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against God, his truths, and ways, and people. It would hardly be believed, if we did not witness it, that millions of rational creatures should live, move, speak, hear, understand, and do what they purpose, yet act as if they believed that God would not punish the abuse of his gifts. As all knowledge is from God, no doubt he knows all the thoughts of the children of men, and knows that the imaginations of the thoughts of men's hearts are only evil, and that continually. Even in good thoughts there is a want of being fixed, which may be called vanity. It concerns us to keep a strict watch over our thoughts, because God takes particular notice of them. Thoughts are words to God.O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth,.... As it does to God, and to him only; not to Heathen deities, one of which has the name of Vengeance given it, Acts 28:4, nor to Satan, the enemy and avenger, and his spiteful principalities and powers; nor to men, who are not to exercise private revenge on their fellow creatures; only to civil magistrates, to whom public revenge belongs, they being God's viceregents, and representing him; otherwise to God only it belongs, against whom sin is committed; and he will, in his own time and way, execute it; he is "the God of revenges" (e), as the words may be rendered; and this is applicable to Christ, who is the true Jehovah, and God over all: it was he that took vengeance on Sodom and Gomorrah, and rained from the Lord fire and brimstone on them; and who took vengeance on the inventions of the Israelites in the wilderness; and when he came in the flesh, he came with vengeance to destroy Satan and his works, as it was promised and prophesied he should, Isaiah 35:4, forty years after his death, resurrection, and ascension, he came in his power and kingdom, and took vengeance on the Jewish nation, for their unbelief and rejection of him, Luke 21:22, and at the opening of the sixth seal his wrath came upon Rome Pagan in a manner intolerable to them, for their cruel persecutions of his church and people; and the cry of the souls under the altar was much like what is uttered in this psalm; see Revelation 6:9, and at the time of his spiritual coming and reign he will avenge the blood of his saints on Rome Papal, or antichrist, whom he will destroy with the breath of his mouth, and the saints will be called upon to rejoice, and will rejoice, when they see the vengeance, Revelation 18:20 and his personal coming will be in flaming fire, to take vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not his Gospel, and when all the wicked will suffer the vengeance of eternal fire, 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

O God, to whom vengeance belongeth; which is repeated to observe the certainty of it, and to express the vehement and importunate desire of the psalmist, and those he represents, that he would show himself to be so, follows:

show thyself; or "shine forth" (f), as in Psalm 80:1 either at his incarnation, when he appeared as the dayspring from on high; yea, as the sun of righteousness; or, in the ministry of the Gospel, the great light which shone first on the inhabitants of Judea and Galilee, and then on the Gentile world; or in his gracious presence with his people, which is expressed by causing his face to shine upon them, Psalm 80:7, or in the protection of them, and destruction of their enemies; which is a showing himself strong on their behalf, an appearing to the joy of the one, and the confusion of the other; and in this manner will Christ show himself in the latter day.

(e) "Deus ultionum", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c. (f) "irradia", Montanus; "illucesce", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "effulsit", Cocceius; "adfulge", Michaelis.

Psalm 93:5
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