What is the Bible saying in Psalm 53?

The last verse of Psalm 53 tells us that it was written during the Babylonian Exile, first because it mentions Jerusalem (Zion) and then because it talks of the captivity as not yet ended:"Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."


The psalmist is depressed at the situation and the apparently total lack of faith in the Jewish God:

53:1: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good."

53:3: "Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one."


Only in the final verse, does the psalmist show evidence of optimism:

53:6: "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."

This short chapter expresses God's sorrow at how Man has turned away to his own understanding and forsaken Him. Man has turned to evil and is wasting away. There is hope that salvation will come out of Israel and bring peace and joy to His children.

Psalm 53

1 The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.

2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.

3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that does good, no, not one.

4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.

5 There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God has scattered the bones of him that encamp against thee: thou has put them to shame, because God has despised them.

6 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.