Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Col, 1886. Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers: Series 1: Volume VIII. Re-published 2014, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle electronic edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-372-3.
Augustine jumps into the body of Psalm 58 immediately and forcefully, saying that we who would speak of justice need to have right judgment (Augustine Psalms, loc. 326837). He alleges that we who are eager to complain of injustice are also likely to ignore the Scripture, where God speaks to us. Augustine points out that we have both a law of God written on our hearts and a law written in the Scripture, since we deny what is written in us (Augustine Psalms, loc. 326844). To take away all doubt, Augustine speaks individually of various laws of God which almost all humans will view as universally applicable. The actual problem, then, is hypocrisy, since we affirm good and evil but we live as though they are not what we confess (Augustine Psalms, loc. 326875). Verse three goes on to condemn all the wicked, because they were born that way. Sinners sin because they are sinful (Augustine Psalms, loc. 326890). Augustine is clear that sin comes from alienation from the truth. It is the separation from Christ and the Church that leads us into sin and falsehood (Augustine Psalms, loc. 326913). Out following falsehood makes us deadly dangerous, as said in verses 4-5, like a deadly sname that can’t hear the snake charmer. But unlike the deaf snake, Augustine says these people who could hear will block their ears to avoid hearing (Augustine Psalms, loc. 3269828).
The judgment of God comes upon those who pursue falsehood. Verse six proclaims this judgment, which consists of a shattering of their mouths (Augustine Psalms, loc. 326936). Augustine sees the injury focused on the mouth, from where the slander and biting speech come. The location of the injuries is significant of the crimes (Augustine Psalms, loc. 326943). Augustine illustrates several other places in Scripture where penalties may be seen as related to wrongdoings. The result of God’s rejection of evil is that, in verse seven, the evils tend to run away. Augustine repeats that heresies run their course then pass away (Augustine Psalms, loc. 326982). It may well be a difficult process, involving pain, as the evil burns away like wax (Augustine Psalms, loc. 327012). Yet God is in control of the process.