Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, July 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
StudyLight.org has pledged to help build churches in Uganda. Help us with that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries
Psalms 112

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary


Psalms 112:0


Prosperity of the One who Fears the Lord No MT IntroThe Blessed State of the RighteousThe Contrasting Fate of the Righteous and the Wicked(Wisdom Psalm)The Happiness of a Good PersonPraise of the Upright
Psalms 112:1-6Psalms 112:1aPsalms 112:1-3Psalms 112:1aPsalms 112:1a
Psalms 112:1b-d Psalms 112:1-3Psalms 112:1-2
Psalms 112:2-8
Psalms 112:3-4
Psalms 112:4-10Psalms 112:4-6
Psalms 112:5-6
Psalms 112:7-9 Psalms 112:7-10Psalms 112:7-8
Psalms 112:9-10 Psalms 112:9
Psalms 112:10 Psalms 112:10

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Etc.


A. See Contextual Insights of Psalms 111:0 for the obvious connections between Psalms 111:0 and 112.

B. Psalms 111:0 praises YHWH but Psalms 112:0 praises the faithful follower (cf. Psalms 128:0).

1. he fears the Lord, Psalms 112:1b

2. he delights in His revelations, Psalms 112:1c (cf. Psalms 1:2)

3. his descendants will be mighty on earth, Psalms 112:2a

4. they will be blessed, Psalms 112:2; Psalms 112:2b

5. they are prosperous, Psalms 112:3; Psalms 112:3a

6. his righteousness endures forever, Psalms 112:3; Psalms 112:3b

7. he and his family have light in darkness, Psalms 112:4a

8. he is gracious, Psalms 112:4b, Psalms 112:5a, Psalms 112:9a

9. he is compassionate, Psalms 112:4; Psalms 112:4b

10. he is upright, Psalms 112:4; Psalms 112:4b

11. he conducts his officers with justice, Psalms 112:5b

12. he will never be shaken, Psalms 112:6; Psalms 112:6a

13. he and his family as righteous people will be remembered forever, Psalms 112:6; Psalms 112:6b

14. he will not fear evil tidings, Psalms 112:7a

15. his heart is steadfast (cf. Psalms 57:8; Psalms 108:1), trusting in the Lord, Psalms 112:7b (cf. Isaiah 26:3)

16. his heart is steady, BDB 701, KB 759, Qal passive participle (i.e., by God), Psalms 112:8a

17. he will not fear, Psalms 112:8a

18. his enemies will be defeated before him, Psalms 112:8; Psalms 112:8b, Psalms 112:10a

19. his righteousness endures forever, Psalms 112:9; Psalms 112:9b

20. his horn will be exalted in honor, Psalms 112:9c (cf. Psalms 75:10)

C. By contrast the wicked will experience the exact opposite. Their fate is specifically mentioned in Psalms 112:10.

1. the wicked will see the blessing of the righteous and be vexed

2. they will gnash their teeth

3. they will melt away

4. their desire will perish

Verses 1-6

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 112:1-6 1Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments. 2His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. 3Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. 4Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. 5It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. 6For he will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever.

Psalms 112:1 “Praise the Lord” See note at Psalms 111:1.

“How blessed is the man. . .” This is Wisdom vocabulary.

1. blessed (TEV, “happy”), Psalms 112:1 - BDB 80 (cf. Psalms 1:1; Psalms 119:1-2)

2. blessed, Psalms 112:2 - BDB 138

3. well (TEV, “happy”), Psalms 112:5 - BDB 373 II

“fears the Lord” See note at Psalms 111:10. See Special Topic: Fear.

“Who greatly delights in His commandments” The verb (BDB 342, KB 339, Qal perfect) denotes a person's attitude toward YHWH's revelation (cf. Psalms 19:10; Psalms 111:2; Psalms 119:35). The faithful follower obeys them (cf. Deuteronomy 4:1-2, Deuteronomy 4:14, Deuteronomy 4:40; Deuteronomy 16:12; Deuteronomy 30:8, Deuteronomy 30:16, Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

For “commandments” see the Special Topic: Terms For God's Revelation.

Psalms 112:2 From the Ten Commandments we learn that evil moves through generations (cf. Exodus 20:5; Deuteronomy 5:9, Deuteronomy 5:10) but, praise God, so does faith (cf. Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10; Deuteronomy 7:9; Exodus 34:7).

Psalms 112:3a Remember, this is an OT text, the “two ways” of the Mosaic covenant (cf. Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Psalms 1:0; Proverbs 4:10-19; Jeremiah 21:8; Matthew 7:13-14). This did not work because of mankind's fallen nature (cf. Genesis 3:0; Romans 1-3; Galatians 3:0; Hebrews). Be careful of proof-texting these verses on prosperity as if they were NT promises!

Psalms 112:4a This phrase implies that the faithful follower will have understanding amidst the problems of this fallen age because

1. he fears YHWH, Psalms 112:1b, Psalms 112:7b

2. he delights in His revelation, Psalms 112:1c

3. he lives out his faith, Psalms 112:4-5

4. he will not be shaken, Psalms 112:6a

5. he does not fear, Psalms 112:8a

The subject of the verb “rises” (BDB 280, KB 281, Qal perfect) is unspecified. It could refer to the faithful follower. The UBS Handbook (p. 960) suggests “He is like a light in darkness, that shines for the honorable (i.e., upright, masculine plural) men.”

Psalms 112:4b These same attributes are said of YHWH in Psalms 111:3b, Psalms 111:4b (cf. Exodus 34:6-7). This line of poetry has no subject or verb but three masculine adjectives.

1. gracious - BDB 337

2. merciful - BDB 933

3. righteous - BDB 843

It could refer to YHWH (AB, p. 128). NIDOTTE, vol. 2, p. 204, says that “gracious” is used thirteen times and always refers to YHWH, except in Psalms 112:4. This implies that Psalms 112:4 might not refer to YHWH.

Psalms 112:5 In the OT, covenant brothers were to lend to the poor without interest (cf. Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-38; Deuteronomy 15:7-8). To help the poor was a way to show one's devotion to YHWH, who cared for the poor (cf. Psalms 37:26; Proverbs 19:17; Matthew 5:42; Luke 6:35). The way one treats others clearly reveals his relationship with God (cf. Psalms 112:4).

Psalms 112:6b Because of this line and Psalms 112:3b and 9b, an afterlife of some kind, not just the memory of God, is implied! Heaven is not just God's memory but His people in fellowship with Him (cf. Matthew 22:31-32).

Verses 7-9

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 112:7-9 7He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 8His heart is upheld, he will not fear, Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries. 9He has given freely to the poor, His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted in honor.

Psalms 112:9a This is quoted (cf. 2 Corinthians 9:9) in Paul's discussion of the Gentile churches' one-time gift to the Mother Church in Jerusalem (i.e., 2 Corinthians 8-9).

Psalms 112:9c “horn will be exalted in honor” This is an OT idiom for a person's place in society. It denotes a work of God in lifting a person's status, wealth, and power. YHWH does this to the king in 1 Samuel 2:10 (also note Psalms 89:17, Psalms 89:24) and to Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:1.

Verse 10

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 112:10 10The wicked will see it and be vexed, He will gnash his teeth and melt away; The desire of the wicked will perish.

Psalms 112:10 “gnash his teeth” This was a sign of anger (cf. Psalms 35:16; Psalms 37:12; Psalms 112:10; Luke 13:28). It also refers to the experience of judgment (cf. Matthew 8:12; Matthew 13:42, Matthew 13:50; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 24:51; Matthew 25:30).

“melt away” The wicked will perish (cf. Psalms 68:2). They will melt away in the fire of YHWH's judgment (cf. Isaiah 34:2-4).

Their psychological pain is caused by

1. the reversal of their prosperous state

2. their exclusion from God's kingdom

3. the blessing and prosperity of the faithful followers before their eyes


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. What does it mean “to fear” the Lord?

2. Explain Psalms 112:4a in your own words.

3. Do Psalms 112:3, Psalms 112:6, and 9 speak of heaven?

4. What does it mean “to exalt one's horn”? (Psalms 112:9)

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Psalms 112". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/psalms-112.html. 2021.
Ads FreeProfile