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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Psalms 37

 

 

Verse 1-2

Psalm 37:1-40. 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.

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

Trust — sure of safety.

shalt thou dwell — or, “dwell thou”; repose quietly.

verily … fed — or, “feed on truth,” God‘s promise (Psalm 36:5; compare Hosea 12:1).


Verse 4

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


Verse 5

Commit thy way — (Proverbs 16:3). 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 Psalm 22:8; Psalm 31:6). He will not suffer your character to remain under suspicion.


Verse 7-8

Rest in — literally, “Be silent to the Lord.”

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


Verse 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 Psalm 25:13).


Verse 10-11

shall not be — literally, “is not” - is not to be found.


Verse 11

peace — includes prosperity.


Verse 12

gnasheth … teeth — in beastly rage.


Verse 13

(Compare Psalm 2:4).

seeth — knows certainly.

his day — of punishment, long delayed, shall yet come (Hebrews 10:37).


Verse 14-15
bow — for any instruments of violence.

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

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


Verse 16

riches — literally, “noise and tumult,” as incidental to much wealth (compare Psalm 39:6). Thus the contrast with the “little” of one man is more vivid.


Verse 17

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


Verse 18-19

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


Verse 20

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


Verse 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

cut off — opposed to “inherit the earth” (compare Leviticus 7:20, Leviticus 7:21).


Verse 23-24

steps — way, or, “course of life”; as ordered by God, failures will not be permanent.


Verse 26

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


Verses 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 30-31

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


Verse 31

steps — or, “goings” - for conduct which is unwavering (Psalm 18:36).


Verse 32-33

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


Verse 34

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


Verse 35-36

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


Verse 36

he was not — (Compare Psalm 37:10).


Verse 37

By “the end” is meant reward (Proverbs 23:18; Proverbs 24:14), or expectation of success, as in Psalm 37:38, which describes the end of the wicked in contrast, and that is cut off (compare Psalm 73:17).


Verse 38

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


Verse 39-40

strength — (Psalm 27:1; Psalm 28:8).

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

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 37:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-37.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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