"God is angry with the wicked every day."— Psalms 7:11.
A misapprehension of the original meaning of these words, in connection with a false religious education, has led many to give to them an interpretation directly the reverse from what was intended by the writer. Our English version of the Scriptures represents God as being angry with the wicked every day, when the writer originally intended to teach the very reverse of this — that God was not angry.
No allusion was originally made to the wicked, in contradistinction from the righteous. The expression, "with the wicked," is printed in italics, indicating that these words were supplied by the translators, and not found in the original text. Allusion was made to the righteous, and though God judges the righteous daily, yet He is not angry with them.
Dr. Adam Clarke, the learned Methodist divine and commentator, has taken great pains to give us the different translations of this passage, some of which we here present, to show the different renderings:
The Vulgate.— "God is a judge, righteous, strong and patient. Will He be angry every day?"
The Septuagint. —" God is a righteous judge, strong and long-suffering; not bringing forth his anger every day."
The Arabic is the same as the Septuagint.
The Genevan version, printed by Barker, the king's printer, 1615, translates thus: "God judgeth the righteous, and him that condemneth God every day." On which there is this marginal note: "He doth continually call the wicked to repentance by some signs of his judgments."
Dr. Clarke then presents us his own views in the following language:
"I have judged it of consequence to trace this verse through all the ancient versions, in order to be able to ascertain what is the true reading where the evidence on one side amounts to a positive affirmation, 'God is angry every day,' and on the other side, to as positive a negation, 'He is not angry every day. The mass of evidence supports the latter reading. The Chaldee first corrupted the text by making the addition, with the wicked, which our translators have followed, though they have put the words into italics, as not being in the Hebrew text.
Several of the versions have read it in this way, 'God judgeth the righteous, and is not angry every day.'"'
In the original text no reference is made to the wicked, and it is a gross perversion of the passage to interpret it so as to make it teach that anger exists in the bosom of our heavenly Father, towards any portion of his children. The meaning of the passage is, that God judgeth the righteous justly and continually, though He is not angry with them. Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne; still his punishments are disciplinary, and his administration benevolent. His government is equitable, but He is not angry day by day with his children. According to the Septuagint version, God is a righteous judge, not bringing forth his anger every day. If He were an angry, passionate being, then He would not judge in righteousness. The meaning is, that, day by day, He is a righteous judge, and, therefore, not an angry God. The text originally taught an entirely different sentiment from what the translators make it teach. It taught that God was not angry every day, as were heathen deities, but was a just, good and righteous God.