Psalm 36:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 36:4, NIV: Even on their beds they plot evil; they commit themselves to a sinful course and do not reject what is wrong.

Psalm 36:4, ESV: He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil.

Psalm 36:4, KJV: He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.

Psalm 36:4, NASB: He plans wickedness on his bed; He sets himself on a path that is not good; He does not reject evil.

Psalm 36:4, NLT: They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil.

Psalm 36:4, CSB: Even on his bed he makes malicious plans. He sets himself on a path that is not good, and he does not reject evil.

What does Psalm 36:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

There are a few ways to interpret this reference to an evil person's lifestyle (Psalm 36:1–3). One is that the evil person loses sleep over their constant plotting of sin. Or they are so addicted to depravity they cannot rest until accomplishing some perverse goal (Proverbs 4:16). Such an approach is a sharp contrast to meditating on God's Word day and night (Psalm 1:2).

Another meaning is that someone deeply entrenched in "transgressions" of God's will is drawn to evil even when they are resting. The prophet Micah warns about someone who schemes in this way, saying, "Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds!" (Micah 2:1). Righteous people with a clear conscience can sleep soundly (Psalm 3:5). In contrast, "'the wicked are like the tossing sea…There is no peace', says my God, 'for the wicked'" (Isaiah 57:20–21).

This verse also notes that those who doggedly reject God (Proverbs 29:1) are set in their evil ways. They choose a path that ignores the Lord and insist on it (Proverbs 5:1–6). This person refuses to reject evil (Proverbs 21:7). Turning from sin and accepting the Savior is the only way a wicked person's heart and conduct can change. Second Corinthians 5:17 proclaims: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."