“The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭14:2-3‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Does “they have all turned aside” in verse 3 mean that none of the “sons of men” (all humankind?) in verse 2 seek after God?

2 Answers 2


Ps 14:2, 3 is quoted by Paul in Rom 3:9-18 -

What then? Are we any better? Not at all. For we have already made the charge that Jews and Greeks alike are all under sin. As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”

“The venom of vipers is on their lips.”

“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

“Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery lie in their wake, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Paul is very clear about this - the natural man is a very sinful creature bot in his thinking and tendency of the heart and also in the wicked acts committed. we ALL desperately need salvation and a change of heart. Even David said:

  • Ps 51:5 - Surely I was brought forth in iniquity; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

Paul's theology is consistent - he strongly maintained that all people, without exception are sinful. Note Paul's frustration with himself:

  • Rom 7:24 - What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

The Apostle John said the same thing:

  • 1 John 1:8 - If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
  • 1 John 1:10 - If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar, and His word is not in us.


The answer to the OP question, according to NT writers is, YES - ALL are sinful and need Jesus Christ as our Savior.

  • 2 Peter 1:1 - To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours

Two groups of people are contrasted in this passage: one group is described in some detail and is generally referred to as they who are corrupt (v.1-6); the other group is comprised of the righteous and the poor and are referred to as God’s people (v.4-7).

We do not know how the first group behaves on the outside, but “in their heart,” they are corrupt.

v1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed detestable acts; There is no one who does good.

v2 The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of mankind

Though the words “the sons of mankind” may be a reference to all of mankind, the text here continues to build the case against the corrupt, suggesting that these words are still referencing the same group.

  • That which has been born of the flesh is flesh, and that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit. —John 3:6

They are incapable of doing good because they no longer seek God or seek to understand his will.

v.2 The LORD has looked down …To see if there are any who understand, Who seek God.

They are accused of doing detestable things (v.1). In order to benefit themselves, they take advantage of the poor and the righteous, the people of God.

v.4 Do all the workers of injustice not know, Who devour my people as they eat bread

v.5 For God is with a righteous generation

v.6 You would put to shame the plan of the poor

Surely all mankind is sinful, but the group depicted here represents a more extreme state of moral deterioration. Those who sin may knowingly go against God's will, but the corrupt "do not call upon the Lord" (v.4). Thus they act without any consideration of what God wills. All can be contrasted against the Son of Man, who came to do only the will of God (Jn 6:38).

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