Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 37

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole BibleCommentary Critical



:-. A composed and uniform trust in God and a constant course of integrity are urged in view of the blessedness of the truly pious, contrasted in various aspects with the final ruin of the wicked. Thus the wisdom and justice of God's providence are vindicated, and its seeming inequalities, which excite the cavils of the wicked and the distrust of the pious, are explained. David's personal history abundantly illustrates the Psalm.

Verse 1

1, 2. The general sentiment of the whole Psalm is expressed. The righteous need not be vexed by the prosperity of the wicked; for it is transient, and their destiny undesirable.

Verse 3

3. Trust—sure of safety.

shalt thou dwell—or, "dwell thou"; repose quietly.

verily . . . fed—or, "feed on truth," God's promise ( :-; compare Hosea 12:1).

Verse 4

4. desires— (Psalms 20:5; Psalms 21:2), what is lawful and right, really good (Psalms 84:11).

Verse 5

5. Commit thy way— ( :-). Works—what you have to do and cannot set forth as a burden.

trust . . . in him—literally, "on Him." He will do what you cannot (compare Psalms 22:8; Psalms 31:6). He will not suffer your character to remain under suspicion.

Verse 7

7, 8. Rest in—literally, "Be silent to the Lord."

and wait—Be submissive—avoid petulance and murmurings, anger and rash doing.

Verse 9

9. Two reasons: The prosperity of the wicked is short; and the pious, by humble trust, will secure all covenant blessing, denoted here by "inherit the earth" (compare Psalms 25:13).

Verse 10

10, 11. shall not be—literally, "is not"—is not to be found.

Verse 11

11. peace—includes prosperity.

Verse 12

12. gnasheth . . . teeth—in beastly rage.

Verse 13

13. (Compare :-).

seeth—knows certainly.

his day—of punishment, long delayed, shall yet come ( :-).

Verse 14

14, 15. sword, and . . . bow—for any instruments of violence.

slay—literally, "slaughter" (1 Samuel 25:11).

poor and needy—God's people (Psalms 10:17; Psalms 12:5). The punishment of the wicked as drawn on themselves—often mentioned (compare Psalms 7:15; Psalms 7:16; Psalms 35:8).

Verse 16

16. riches—literally, "noise and tumult," as incidental to much wealth (compare :-). Thus the contrast with the "little" of one man is more vivid.

Verse 17

17. Even the members of the body needed to hold weapons are destroyed.

Verse 18

18, 19. God, who knows His people's changes, provides against evil and supplies all their need.

Verse 20

20. While the wicked, however mighty, are destroyed, and that utterly, as smoke which vanishes and leaves no trace.

Verse 21

21, 22. payeth not—not able; having grown poor (compare Deuteronomy 15:7). Ability of the one and inability of the other do not exclude moral dispositions. God's blessing or cursing makes the difference.

Verse 22

22. cut off—opposed to "inherit the earth" (compare Leviticus 7:20; Leviticus 7:21).

Verse 23

23, 24. steps—way, or, "course of life"; as ordered by God, failures will not be permanent.

Verse 26

26. his seed is blessed—literally, "for a blessing" (Genesis 12:2; Psalms 21:6). This position is still true as the rule of God's economy (1 Timothy 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:6).

Verse 27

27-29. The exhortation is sustained by the assurance of God's essential rectitude in that providential government which provides perpetual blessings for the good, and perpetual misery for the wicked.

Verse 30

30, 31. The righteous described as to the elements of character, thought, word, and action.

Verse 31

31. steps—or, "goings"—for conduct which is unwavering ( :-).

Verse 32

32, 33. The devices of the wicked against the good fail because God acquits them.

Verse 34

34. On the contrary, the good are not only blessed, but made to see the ruin of their foes.

Verse 35

35, 36. of which a picture is given, under the figure of a flourishing tree (compare Margin), which soon withers.

Verse 36

36. he was not—(Compare :-).

Verse 37

37. By "the end" is meant reward (Proverbs 23:18; Proverbs 24:14), or expectation of success, as in Proverbs 24:14- :, which describes the end of the wicked in contrast, and that is cut off (compare Proverbs 24:14- :).

Verse 38

38. together—at once; entirely (Psalms 4:8).

Verse 39

39, 40. strength— (Psalms 27:1; Psalms 28:8).

trouble—straits (Psalms 9:9; Psalms 10:1). In trust and quietness is the salvation of the pious from all foes and all their devices.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 37". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/psalms-37.html. 1871-8.
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