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Diligent 05-19-2008 04:17 PM

Psalm 12:7 - the Promise of Preservation
Regarding Psalms 12:6,7
Psalms 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Originally Posted by freesundayschoollessons (Post 4823)
Actually, that passage is not talking about the preservation of Scripture. It is talking about the preservation of the "poor."

FSSL claims that the words "Thou shalt keep them" refer to the poor in verse five:
Psalms 12:5 For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

FSSL's claim is clearly incorrect simply from the grammar of the passage, but more obvious is that the "poor" of David's time were not preserved for ever.

FSSL later claims the word "from" would have to mean that the words began in David's generation. That is as incorrect as assuming that "the poor" began in that generation to the exclusion of all prior generations.

The book Thou Shalt Keep Them (ISBN 0974381705, chapter 1) offers a thorough examination of the Hebrew text proving that the modern versions that translate this passage so as to remove the promise of preservation are simply wrong. Those who have an interest in such things should read that book.

If we are to accept the incorrect reading of verse seven to make it refer to the poor instead of God's words, we must do the same in Psalm 119:110,111:
Psalms 119:110-111 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts. Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
If we accept FSSL's rules of grammar in this case, we must assume David was rejoicing at the wicked, instead of God's testimonies. (Note that this verse also teaches the preservation of God's word in that they are an heritage "for ever." Just as Psalm 12:7 says they will be preserved "for ever." A little "Scripture with Scripture" by the simplest of KJV believers will yield mountains more understanding than all the scholarly works of unbelieving "original language" scholars.)

The meaning of Psalm 12 is perfectly plain. The chapter is a contrast between David's love of God's words and the vanity of men's words. Incorrectly reading verse 7 to refer to a promise to preserve the poor forever ruins the praise of God's promises David is offering. It also leaves us with the strange, untenable position that God is promising the preservation of the poor in perpetuity -- a tenet not to be found elsewhere in Scripture. (And I looked -- among all of the commentaries I have that agree with FSSL's position, none of them offer a cross-reference teaching a similar tenet.) It also contradicts the very first verse, where David states that "for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men." If we are to accept the reading FSSL offers, we must conclude that the "godly man" and "faithful" can not also be "poor" and that, oddly, the poor are therefore ungodly, faithless, and will be preserved forever.

Diligent 05-19-2008 04:19 PM

Since this topic comes up a lot, I'm making it "sticky" for a while.

freesundayschoollessons 05-19-2008 04:26 PM

Excellent thread. I will "sit back" and lurk for a while. I landed 6 websites last week and need to start some and finish others. I will let you all discuss this without my interference. If you want me to deal with something, I will try, as time (and my wife) permits. :) See Diligent, I don't beat her :)

Biblestudent 05-19-2008 05:47 PM

Thanks, Diligent, for that information!
Modern version advocates do criticize the KJB to be "misleading" and they believe the "them" refers to people rather than to God's "words". But comparing Scripture with Scripture (1 Cor. 2:13), to make "them" refer to God's "words" (Psalm 12:6,7) shows no contradiction whatsoever. In fact, Scripture passages such as Matthew 24:35 and 1 Peter 1:23 back this up.

Steven Avery 05-21-2008 12:23 PM

complementary scriptures to Psalm 12:6-7
Hi Folks,

Psalm 12:6-7
The words of the LORD are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth,
purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

It is helpful to simply show some of the complementary verses.
The Bible is consistent -- the Word of our God stands forever.

Psalm 119:89.
Forever, O LORD,
thy word is settled in heaven.

Psalm 119:140
Thy word is very pure:
therefore thy servant loveth it.

Psalm 138:2
I will worship toward thy holy temple,
and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth:
for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

Psalms 18:31
As for God, his way is perfect:
the word of the LORD is tried:
he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
For who is God save the LORD?
or who is a rock save our God?

Psalm 78 5-7
For he established a testimony in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers,
that they should make them known to their children:
That the generation to come might know them,
even the children which should be born;
who should arise and declare them to their children:
That they might set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments:

Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God is pure:
he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withereth,
the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

Isaiah 59:21
As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD;
My spirit that is upon thee,
and my words which I have put in thy mouth,
shall not depart out of thy mouth,
nor out of the mouth of thy seed,
nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed,
saith the LORD,
from henceforth and for ever.

Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth shall pass away,
but my words shall not pass away. (also Luke 12:33)

John 10:35
If he called them gods,
unto whom the word of God came,
and the scripture cannot be broken;

1Peter 1:23-25
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,
by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass
The word of the Lord endureth for ever


bibleprotector 05-21-2008 10:22 PM


the scripture cannot be broken;

"For what saith the scripture?" (Romans 4:3a).

Will Kinney 05-22-2008 07:08 PM

Psalms 12 - God's words preserved
Hi Brandon. Good stuff. I love your posts.

Here is a bit more on this precious Psalm.

Psalm 12:6-7 - God’s promise to preserve His words

Has God promised to preserve His words here on this earth till heaven and earth pass away? Well, a lot depends on which particular bible version you are using.

The Book which I and thousands of other Christians all over the world believe to be the complete, inerrant, infallible and 100% true words of God tell us that He did promise to preserve His words.

Here is a simple Bible version comparison regarding the promise found in Psalm 12 of the King James Bible.

KJB - “Thou shalt keep THEM, O LORD, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”

Webster’s 1833 translation - “Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”

English Revised Version - 1881 “Thou shalt keep THEM, O LORD, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”

ASV 1901 - “Thou wilt keep THEM, O Jehovah, Thou wilt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”

World English Bible - “You will keep THEM, Yahweh. You will preserve THEM from this generation forever.”

Darby - “Thou, Jehovah, wilt keep THEM, thou wilt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.

Hebrew Names Version = KJB -”You will keep THEM LORD, You will preserve THEM from this generation forever. “

NKJV 1982 - “You shall keep THEM, O LORD, You shall preserve THEM from this generation forever.”
NASB - “You, O LORD, will keep THEM; You will preserve HIM from this generation forever.”

NIV - The NIV is very different, not only from the KJB but also from the NASB. It says: “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. O LORD, you will keep US SAFE AND PROTECT US FROM SUCH PEOPLE forever.”

Douay-Rheims - “Thou, O Lord, wilt preserve US: and keep US from this generation for ever.”

Jewish Pub. Society 1917 - “Thou wilt keep THEM, O LORD; Thou wilt preserve US from this generation for ever.

The 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company version agrees exactly with the King James Bible reading: “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep THEM, O Lord, thou shalt preserve THEM from this generation for ever.”

RSV 1954- “Do thou, O LORD, protect US, guard US ever from this generation.

ESV 2001 - “You, O LORD, will keep THEM; you will guard US from this generation forever.”

Young’s - “Thou, O Jehovah, dost preserve THEM, Thou keepest US from this generation to the age.”

The Spanish La Biblia de las Américas 1997 agrees with the KJB saying : “Tú, SEÑOR, LOS guardarás; de esta generación LOS preservarás para siempre.” So too do the Spanish Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995 and Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569.

The French Louis Segond 1910 also agree with the KJB - “Toi, Eternel! tu LES garderas, Tu LES préserveras de cette race à jamais.”

Dutch Staten Vertaling agrees with the KJB _ “Gij, HEERE, zult HEN bewaren; Gij zult HEN behoeden voor dit geslacht, tot in eeuwigheid.”

The Italian Rivudeta 1927 = KJB “Tu, o Eterno, LI proteggerai, LI preserverai da questa generazione in perpetuo.” So too does the 1991 La Nuova Diodati.

Bible commentators disagree among themselves as well as to what these words mean. John Wesley commented: 12:7 Thou shalt keep them - Thy words or promises: these thou wilt observe and keep, both now, and from this generation for ever.”

Dr. G. Campbell Morgan agreed with the rendering. He writes, "The psalmist breaks out into praise of the purity of His words, and declares that Jehovah will 'keep them' and 'preserve them.' The 'them' here refers to the words. There is no promise made of widespread revival or renewal. It is the salvation of a remnant and the preservation of His own words which Jehovah promises." (Notes on the Psalm, Revell Comp., p.32).

Adam Clarke says: “Instead of the pronoun THEM in these clauses, several MSS., with the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the Arabic, have US.”

Jewish commentaror Aben Ezra believes the promise concerns the preserving of the words of God from generation to generation.

And others are of the opinion that God is promising to preserve His people. The bible versions are in wide disagreement as are the commentators regarding both how the text should read and what the meaning is. I, of course, side with the King James Bible in that God has promised to preserve every one of His inspired words. All modern versionists deny that He did so and they all believe that the Hebrew texts have been corrupted in numerous places, though none of them agrees with any of the others as to where or how.

Will Kinney

Steven Avery 05-23-2008 08:17 AM

Psalm 12 - contrast - God's word with lips of men
Hi Folks,

Above we we were discussing the harmony of the promise of scripture preservation in Psalm 12 with the consistent theme within the Bible.

Also very helpful is to discuss verse 7 within the Psalm chapter. So much is written about the context of verse 7, often only referring to one or two verses earlier. This can be sound, however it is also very helpful to read and consider the full Psalm.

Notice that Psalm 12 seven times refers to the false lips of the children of men. And then, after speaking of God's judgment against the vain and prideful lips of the children of men, the psalmist shows the contrast with the purified as silver words of the LORD !

Psalm 12
Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth;
for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
They speak vanity every one with his neighbour:
with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips,
and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail;
our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,
now will I arise, saith the LORD;
I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.
The words of the LORD are pure words:
as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD,
thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
The wicked walk on every side,
when the vilest men are exalted.

The full context of the chapter is clear in the contrast of the pure words of God with the vain proud, flattering lips of vile men - the principle theme of the Psalm. And God supplies his pure words to the remnant, the 'godly man' (v.1) words to lift the 'poor and needy' (v.5), words that his servants love. (Psalm 119:140). The 'poor and needy' that are freed from oppression are the godly whom hear and receive the pure, refined as silver, words of God. This purified silver is kept and preserved, available to all generations.

And then, in contrast to the natural lifting up and contrast with the "words of the LORD" - to try to apply verse seven as to the poor and needy and not to the words of God, you would have to create a whole new class of people.

-- the silver, purified, kept and preserved poor and needy (many who are oppressed, and receive injustice, are themselves not even believers).

And the modernist attempt would take these attributes of purity and refinement as silver away from the words of God. Yet any simple and clear reading of the Psalm shows that the Psalm compares the words of flattering and fleeting wicked men with God's eternal and preserved and pure words.

Now, because God's words are preserved, many who receive and keep those words (e.g. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) will be preserved, even in fire. This is a result of their dedication to God's pure words. Personally, I do not see any difficulty in the auxiliary linked understanding of Psalm 12 being the preservation of those faithful to God's pure words. Even a bit of deliberate dual meaning in the Psalm is possible, and the historic Jewish understanding included both aspects. Whether or not one allows for the auxiliary interpretation, it is clear that the primary and forceful and clear and majestic meaning of Psalm 12:7 is the preservation of God's words.


Biblestudent 05-23-2008 08:26 AM

Very nice observation, Steven!

Truth4Today 05-24-2008 12:21 AM

See for some go infomation:

• Psalm 12:6-7 and Bible Preservation
by Jack Moorman http://www.feasite.org/Foundation/fbcpresv.htm

• STROUSE SAYS PSALM 12:7 TEACHES PRESERVATION OF SCRIPTURE http://www.wayoflife.org/fbns/strouse-psalm127.html

• Samuel C. Gipp an the answer book http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/Gipp/ab_28.htm


- “One accurate measurement is worth more than a thousand expert opinions”

- “...this is the Word of God; come, search, ye critics, and find a flaw; examine it, from its Genesis to its Revelation, and find an error... This is the book untainted by any error; but is pure, unalloyed, perfect truth. Why? Because God wrote it. Ah! charge God with error if you please; tell him that his book is not what it ought to be. I have heard men, with prudish and mock-modesty, who would like to alter the Bible; and (I almost blush to say it) I have heard ministers alter God's Bible, because they were afraid of it... Pity they were not born when God lived far—far back that they might have taught God how to write.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: Sermon II p. 31)

- “If, therefore, any do complain that I have sometimes hit my opponents rather hard, I take leave to point out that 'to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the sun' : 'a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embracing' : a time for speaking smoothly, and a time for speaking sharply. And that when the words of Inspiration are seriously imperilled, as now they are, it is scarcely possible for one who is determined effectually to preserve the Deposit in its integrity, to hit either too straight or too hard.” Dean John William Burgon (The Revision Revised. pp. vii-viii)

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