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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 37

Verses 1-40

This is an acrostic Ps., in which the alphabetic arrangement is carried without a break through 22 stanzas of varying length, to which the vv. of the English Bible do not correspond. The contents are closely akin to the maxims of the book of Proverbs, but they are touched with a fervour which elevates them into true poetry. The creed of the Psalmist is that sooner or later, even in this life, wickedness is punished, and righteousness vindicated. This is a theory which, of course, is too simple to cover all the facts of experience, but it is true as far as it goes, and its practical doctrine of ’trust in God and do the right’ is sound at all times.

3. So shalt thou dwell.. and.. be fed] RV ’dwell in the land and follow after faithfulness.’ Do not go to other lands: an utterance of patriotism.

8. In any wise to do evil] RV ’it’ (fretfulness) ’tendeth only to evil doing.’

9. The earth] RV ’the land’ of Canaan. So in Psalms 37:11, Psalms 37:22.

10. It shall not he] RV ’he shall not be.’

11. See Matthew 5:6.

13. His day] of retribution.

14. Conversation] conduct, manner of life.

18. Knoweth the days] regards with favour and watchful care: cp. Psalms 1:6; Psalms 31:7. For ever] from generation to generation. For OT. thought there was satisfaction in the blessings of one’s posterity as well as in those of one’s own life: see Psalms 37:26-27, Psalms 37:29.

20. Fat of lambs] RV ’excellency of the pastures,’ the grass and flowers which wither away—a figure distinct from that of the burning which follows.

23. Ordered] RV ’established.’

35. A green bay tree] RV ’a green tree in its native soil.’

36. He passed by] RV ’one passed by.’ Perhaps we should read, ’I passed by.’

37. End] RM ’future’ or ’posterity.’

39. Strength] RV ’strong hold.’

Verses 1-40

This is an acrostic Ps., in which the alphabetic arrangement is carried without a break through 22 stanzas of varying length, to which the vv. of the English Bible do not correspond. The contents are closely akin to the maxims of the book of Proverbs, but they are touched with a fervour which elevates them into true poetry. The creed of the Psalmist is that sooner or later, even in this life, wickedness is punished, and righteousness vindicated. This is a theory which, of course, is too simple to cover all the facts of experience, but it is true as far as it goes, and its practical doctrine of ’trust in God and do the right’ is sound at all times.

3. So shalt thou dwell.. and.. be fed] RV ’dwell in the land and follow after faithfulness.’ Do not go to other lands: an utterance of patriotism.

8. In any wise to do evil] RV ’it’ (fretfulness) ’tendeth only to evil doing.’

9. The earth] RV ’the land’ of Canaan. So in Psalms 37:11, Psalms 37:22.

10. It shall not he] RV ’he shall not be.’

11. See Matthew 5:6.

13. His day] of retribution.

14. Conversation] conduct, manner of life.

18. Knoweth the days] regards with favour and watchful care: cp. Psalms 1:6; Psalms 31:7. For ever] from generation to generation. For OT. thought there was satisfaction in the blessings of one’s posterity as well as in those of one’s own life: see Psalms 37:26-27, Psalms 37:29.

20. Fat of lambs] RV ’excellency of the pastures,’ the grass and flowers which wither away—a figure distinct from that of the burning which follows.

23. Ordered] RV ’established.’

35. A green bay tree] RV ’a green tree in its native soil.’

36. He passed by] RV ’one passed by.’ Perhaps we should read, ’I passed by.’

37. End] RM ’future’ or ’posterity.’

39. Strength] RV ’strong hold.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 37". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/psalms-37.html. 1909.