A denunciation of godless fools who oppress God's people.
st. 1 = v. 1
st. 2 = v. 2
st. 3 = vv. 3-4
st. 4 = v. 5
st. 5 = v. 6
A slightly revised version of Psalm 14, this psalm is a denunciation of fools who devote themselves to evil and "devour" God's people as if there were no God to call them to account (v. 4). Although its original occasion is unknown, Psalm 53 appears to reflect a situation in which fools are crushed by the God they have disregarded. The psalmist describes their godlessness (st. 1) and how God examines the human race (st. 2) and finds "no one who does good," only "evildoers" who oppress God's people (w. 3-4; st. 3). He proclaims that God will judge such fools (st. 4) and prays longingly for Zion's deliverance from them (st. 5). Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified this psalm in 1982 for the Psalter Hymnal.
Occasions in which the church suffers from or laments the folly of unbelievers who act toward God's people as if there is no God.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
John Playford (b. Norwich, England, 1623; d. London, England, 1686) composed BRISTOL for his musical edition of The Whole Book of Psalms (1677). BRISTOL, named after the British city, was the only newly composed tune for that psalter. (Several other tunes use the same name.) BRISTOL was originally i…