ABC:Psalms 58

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Verses 10-11

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

Psalms 58:10-11 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

Revenge is celebrated.

Proverbs 24:17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
18 Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

Do not rejoice over the calamity of your enemy.

The critic's error lies in a failure to tell time, quite simply, and to discern the context of what's being referred to in both passages. The Bible is speaking of how we should not gloat over the stumbling of our enemies so that in the future Judgment God will not turn away his wrath from them. The New Testament reiterates this as well, it is stated throughout the Bible:

Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Revelation 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Deuteronomy 32:43 Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

In context, the entire reason for not rejoicing over one's enemy in this life is so that God won't turn away wrath from them before the Judgment. However, once this life is over, God promises that those who have been wronged will rejoice at seeing that judgment.

In other words, Psalms 58 is referring to the rejoicing that will occur at the end, the Final Judgment of the wicked. This is the same thing referred to by Revelation 6:9, Luke 18:7, Deuteronomy 32:43, and the heaping of coals in Romans 12:20. Proverbs 24 warns us not to gloat over the downfall of enemies in this life but to do good to them so that at the Final Judgment they will be punished for their evil deeds by God, whose wrath will be far more severe than ours. In Romans 12 one can see the whole thing in context, we are to do good to enemies in this life that they may be punished in the next.

The critic simply ignored all of this context and jumped at the opportunity to declare a contradiction where none in fact exists. Simple as that.

Sources

  1. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.