What does Psalm 14:2 mean?
ESV: The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
NIV: The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.
NASB: The Lord has looked down from heaven upon the sons of mankind To see if there are any who understand, Who seek God.
CSB: The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there is one who is wise, one who seeks God.
NLT: The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.
KJV: The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
NKJV: The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Verse Commentary:
This verse teaches that the Lord is transcendent. His perspective is greater than that of any person (Isaiah 55:8–9). Symbolically, David imagines God looking for someone with spiritual understanding, and finding none. He perceives that not one person has spiritual understanding, and no one seeks after the Lord. This is especially true in the case of those who reject God entirely (Psalm 14:1).

Genesis 6:5 portrays the Lord seeing the spiritual condition of humanity in the days of Noah. He "saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth." Although God has revealed Himself in nature (Psalm 19:1), the person who lacks spiritual understanding (1 Corinthians 2:14) rejects this revelation. In Psalm 8:1 David exclaims, "O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" Paul writes in Romans 1:19–20, "For what can be known about God is plain to [everyone], because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
Verse Context:
Psalm 14:1–3 comments on the general state of humanity. Those who reject the existence of God are described as fools. Moral corruption is widespread, and the earth if filled with evildoers who refuse to seek God. Sin has tainted everything humanity does, and everyone has turned away from God.
Chapter Summary:
David begins this psalm by describing those who live as if God does not exist as "fools." From God's perspective, the entire human race has become corrupt and estranged from God. Especially heinous are the evildoers who persecute the poor and weak. However, God stands up for the righteous and subjects the wicked to the terror of His judgment. Believers find their protection in the Lord. David concludes with a bright hope: a longing for God's kingdom to arrive. At that time, the Lord will bless Israel with fortunes, and Jacob's descendants will rejoice and be glad.
Chapter Context:
This psalm and Psalm 53 are extremely similar. Romans 3:10–12 quotes from these passages. Like previous psalms, this describes David's enemy as corrupt, ignorant of God, and thoroughly evil. The psalm ends with David's prayer for God to establish the kingdom for Israel.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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