All Together and Altogether

Psalm 14:3, “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

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

When reading scripture have you ever come across two verses, separated by hundreds of pages, that read nearly the same? If one will read the Bible enough, it will happen. But what does this occurrence do for us as students? What is the lesson?

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, the Lord is wisdom. And at the same time, He is full of mercy and grace for His precious little children. Psalm 103:13-14, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” Psalm 39:5, “…verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity…” The Lord in His mercy helps us. Much like an educated teacher will reach down and make things more simple for a preschool or kindergarten student, the Lord reaches down to help our feeble and weak minds. The Lord, in His Holy Word, will gives us the best commentary when studying the Bible. When we come across a text difficult to understand, if we will just keep reading, the Lord will help us.

Earlier in the article we referenced two verses. One in Psalm 14 the other in Psalm 53. These two read nearly the same. One of the differences is “all together” and “altogether.” Both are teaching us about sin, its origin and effects. And at the same time they are both teaching us something different that we may better understand what happened when Adam transgressed against God’s law (Genesis 2:16-17).

In Psalm 14:3 we read the two words “all together.” The word “all” was added by the translators to keep the text in a sentence structure (when translating from one language to another it will require two words to translate one). The phrase “all together” is teaching us that the entire group represented in Adam (all of us) became filthy at the same time. If I were to interpret this verse in my own words I could say, they all together, at one time, became filthy. Or, All of them have become filthy at the same time.

In Psalm 53 we read the single word “altogether.” This word directs the attention of the reader to persons in the group more than the group itself. Psalm 53 teaches us that every person in the group wholly became corrupt. If I interpreted this verse using my own words I could say, they all alike have become corrupt. Meaning every person in the entire group has become wholly corrupt.

By putting these two verses together we understand the Bible to teach that all represented in Adam (all of us) became filthy and corrupt in sin at the same time. And all who became filthy and corrupt were wholly corrupt. There is no goodness in the group and there is no goodness in any individual in the group. Man is “all together” and “altogether” totally depraved in sin. Which is what Paul taught in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned:…” The whole group, and every person in the group wholly dead and corrupt. Conclusion? Eternal salvation must be by God’s grace and His grace alone! Amen!

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