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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Psalms 37

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 37:1 « [A Psalm] of David. » Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Ver. 1. Fret not thyself because of evil-doers] Who prosper in the world when better men suffer many times. This made good David sick of the fret, as himself testifieth, Psalms 73:14-16, till better informed and settled, by repairing to the sanctuary, Psalms 73:17. He wrote this thirty-seventh psalm for the good of God’s people; lest they, being scandalized in like manner, and stumbling at the same stone that he had done, should want direction, and so fall into inconvenience, temptation, and a snare. David was old when he wrote this psalm, as appeareth, Psalms 37:25, "I have been young, and now am old," therefore should his counsel here given be the more acceptable. He might as well say to men’s tumultuatiug passions, as once Augustus did to his mutinous soldiers, and thereby quieted them, Audite senem iuveues, quem iuvenem senes audierunt, Hear old men you youth, rather than old men hear the youth. Fret not yourselves, fret not yourselves, I say, to do evil. Be not angry at God, as Jonah was; or aggrieved, as Jeremiah, Jeremiah 12:1; and Habakkuk, Habakkuk 1:13; as if the Divine providence did not justly divide to every man his due estate, and do him right; but have patience a while, yea, let patience have line and rope, her perfect work, as St James hath it; and quiet your boiling spirits with that word, wherewith Christ becalmed the raging sea, "Peace; be still." God will unriddle his providences ere long; and then men shall see the reason of all occurrences, and that all was done in singular wisdom. Pompey, beaten out of the field by Caesar, complained that there was a mist over the eye of providence; when as indeed all the fault was in the soreness or dimness of his own eyes, and the twinkling light of Nature’s rush candle. Seneca saw as far and said as much to this matter as a heathen could, in his tract, Cur malis bene sit, &c. Whu is it well for the wicked, But it is the sanctuary alone that can afford sound satisfaction to a soul thus puzzled; as for philosophical comforts and counsels in this case, Cicero said well of them, Nescio quomodo imbecillior est medicina quam morbus, However it cometh to pass, the disease is too hard for the medicine.

Neither be thou envious against, &c.] Their prosperity is their portion, all they are likely to have, Psalms 17:14; and what is it more than a small annuity for term of life, in the utmost part of that large lordship, whereof thou art the heir, and shalt shortly be the possessor? Queen Elizabeth envied the milkmaid, when she was in prison. But if she had known what a glorious reign she should have had afterwards for forty-four years she would not have envied her. And as little needeth a godly man, though in misery, to envy a wicked man in the ruff of all his prosperity and jollity, considering what he hath in hand, much more what he hath in hope.


Verse 2

Psalms 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Ver. 2. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass] Faenea quadam felicitate temporaliter florent, as Austin phraseth it, but their felicity is short-lived; this proud grass shall be mowed down ere long, Psalms 92:7, if not sooner, yet at death howsoever, which unto them is but a trapdoor to hell. Envy me not my grapes, said that soldier, I must die for them. So may wicked men say of their present prosperity, which is but like Haman’s banquet before execution.


Verse 3

Psalms 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; [so] shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Ver. 3. Trust in the Lord, and do good] These and the following are excellent means and medicines against the fret. True faith will trust in God where it cannot trace him; it will also work by love, and by doing good approve itself to be right; as it appeared by the fruits that it was a good land; and as it appeared by the coats that Dorcas was a good woman.

So shalt thou dwell in the land] Heb. Dwell thou in the land, viz. be content with thy lot, not looking at the larger allowances of wicked rich men; who the more they have of the fat of the earth the more they will fry and blaze in hell. Do thou abide in thy station, and serve God’s providence in thy particular calling.

And verily thou shalt be fed] Fed like a sheep, under the conduct and keeping of a good sheppherd, as the word signifieth. Kimchi readeth it, Pasce in veritate, Feed others with the truth; as the lips of the righteous feed many. Tremellius rendereth it, Pascere fide, feed on faith; that is, nourish thyself, and live by it, according to that of Habakkuk, Habakkuk 2:4, "The just shall live by his faith." Some render it, Pasce fidem, feed faith, sc. by pondering the promises of God, which are, Pabulum fidei, the food of faith. Others, Pascere fideliter, get thy living faithfully and honestly by thy true labour.


Verse 4

Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Ver. 4. Delight thyself also in the Lord] While others delight in riches and pleasures; as if there were no other happiness but to have and to hold, no sport unless men may have the devil their playfellow. The like counsel hereunto giveth St Paul to his son Timothy, 1 Timothy 6:12; while others lay hold as with tooth and nail on riches, &c., lay thou hold on eternal life; make God thy portion, and thou art made for ever.

And he shall give thee the desires of thy heart] It shall be unto thee even as thou wilt. It is said of Luther, that he could have what he would of Almighty God. What may not a favourite, who hath the royalty of his prince’s ear, obtain of him? It is said of Sejanus, that in all his designs he found in Tiberius, the emperor, so great facility and affection to his desires, that he needed only to ask and give thanks.


Verse 5

Psalms 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass.

Ver. 5. Commit thy way unto the Lord] Heb. Roll thy way, &c. That is, depend wholly upon him for direction and success in all thine undertakings and affairs; easing thy mind to him by prayer, and casting thyself by faith upon his care and conduct: "Cast thy burden upon the Lord," saith David elsewhere, Volve, i.e. omnem necessitatem in eum exoneres (Kimchi).

Trust also in him] Things are therefore repeated in this psalm, that they may take the better impression, and beget encouragement.

And he shall bring it to pass] It, that is, whatsoever thou committest to him.


Verse 6

Psalms 37:6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Ver. 6. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light] God will so oil thy good name that infamy shall not stick to it. Dirt will stick upon a mud wall, not so upon marble. But say thou be aspersed and denigrated by calumnies and contumelies cast upon thee, and thou lie under them for a time, as the earth doth under the darkness of the night; yet as the morning suddenly arising driveth away that darkness, so shall God clear up thy wronged innocence; and as the moon wadeth out of a cloud, so shalt thou get over all thy troubles in this kind or any other; it shall be with thee as it was once with Cato, whom Seneca calleth the lively picture of virtues, who was thirty-two times accused in open court, and as many times cleared and absolved.

And thy judgments as the noonday] At the day of judgment, howsoever, if not sooner; then there will be a resurrection as well of names as bodies.


Verse 7

Psalms 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Ver. 7. Rest in the Lord] Heb. Be silent to the Lord; Digito compesce labellum, lay thine hand upon thy mouth when chafing ripe, when ready to let fly at those that wrong thee. The more silent the patient is the more shrill the wrong will be; as, Numbers 12:2, while Moses is dumb, God speaks; deaf, God hears and stirs; the less he said and did the more God struck in for him: and the less any man striveth for himself the more is God his champion; so he do it to the Lord, that is, in obedience to him, and not for a name, as some heathens did.

And wait patiently for him] Or, put thyself to pain for him; that is, though it go against the hair with thee, and thou find it hard to suffer evil, and to wait patiently for better, yet do it for his sake, and therein thou shalt do thyself no disservice at all.

Who bringeth wicked devices to pass] And pleaseth himself in them, because for present he prospereth; as Dionysius did in his sacrilege, because no harm to him followed upon it. Saeculi laetitia est impunita nequitia, saith Austin.


Verse 8

Psalms 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Ver. 8. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath] Repetitio est, ut magis iuculcet, saith Vatablus; This precept is doubled and redoubled, that we may the better retain and practise it. Angry a man may be, and must be at evildoers, inasmuch as they break God’s law, Psalms 119:134, pollute his name, Ezekiel 36:20; Ezekiel 36:23, Romans 2:23-24; procure the judgments of God upon others also, Joshua 22:18; pull down swift destruction upon themselves, 2 Peter 2:1, Romans 2:5. Thus Moses was angry, Exodus 32:19; and our Saviour, Mark 3:5; yet not so angry but that they could at some time pity those they were displeased with, and pray for them too. This they that cannot do are inordinately and sinfully angry, and must at any rate suppress such passionate distempers.

Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil] And he shall have nmch ado not to overdo, not to do amiss, that bridleth not his passions; for these, like heavy bodies down steep hills, once in motion, move themselves, and seldom know any ground but the bottom. Ne igitur accendaris ira saltem ad malefaciendum. Kimchi rendereth it, Ne misceas teipsum, Come not in company with the ungodly, at least to do evil; to do as they do. So to those words in the first verse, "Fret not thyself because of evildoers," the Chaldee addeth, to be like unto them.


Verse 9

Psalms 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

Ver. 9. For evildoers shall be cut off] Yea, they shall soon be cut off, Psalms 37:10, and so shall all such as, having a while fretted at them, do at length revolt to them; as David was ready to do, once at least, Psalms 73:12-14, and as some others did out and out, as they say, Psalms 37:10, therefore his people return hither to their temporal undoing at least.

But those that wait upon the Lord] For deliverance in due season, and for accomplishment of the promises. All good people are such expectants, and should they die in a waiting condition (for comfort, I mean), yet are they blessed, because God hath said, Blessed are all they that wait for him, Isaiah 30:18.

They shall inherit the earth] Having a right to all, as heirs of the world together with faithful Abraham, Romans 4:13, and although it be detained from them for a while, as the promised land was from the Israelites, by the Amorites, till their sins were full, Genesis 15:16; yet the saints shall one day have power over all things; and meanwhile they are sure of a sufficiency, if not a superfluity. An heir during his minority is many times held to strait allowance, and forced to borrow of servants; so it is with the saints.


Verse 10

Psalms 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it [shall] not [be].

Ver. 10. For yet a little while and the wicked, &c.] Tantillum, tantillum, adhuc pauxillum; wait, therefore, and fret not. See Psalms 37:9, the same in effect with this and the next; for more certainty of the matter, and to correct our short spiritedness, who would have things done straight upon it or not at all.

Yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place] There is neither root nor branch to be found, tale nor tidings to be heard of him, he is utterly vanished, and banished out of the world.


Verse 11

Psalms 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Ver. 11. But the meek shall inherit the earth] Our Saviour (and probably from hence) saith the same, Matthew 5:5. {See Trapp on "Matthew 5:5"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 37:9"}

And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace] Because cured of the fret, and well content with their present condition; hence that ευθυμια, rectitude of mind, the mother of all true mirth; when the wicked are in a perpetual disquietude, στασιαζει γαρ αυτων η φυχη, they are never at rest.


Verse 12

Psalms 37:12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

Ver. 12. The wicked plotteth against the just] Plotteth and practiseth, being set on by that old manslayer, who lendeth the wicked man his seven heads to plot, and his ten horns to push.

And gnasheth upon him with his teeth] Saying unto him, when he hath laid hold on him, Nunc inveni te, as Kimchi paraphraseth, Now I have found you, and shall be even with you. Art thou come, thou villain? said Stephen Gardiner to Doctor Taylor, martyr, when he first appeared before him. How darest thou look me in the face for shame? Knowest thou not who I am? (Acts and Mon.) Thus that proud prelate, gnashing his teeth, and boasting great matters with his tongue; and he was bravely answered, as hath been before related.


Verse 13

Psalms 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

Ver. 13. The Lord will laugh at him] See Psalms 2:4. The righteous also shall have a time to laugh at him, Psalms 52:6, and meanwhile comforteth himself with this, that God laughed at him, and that therefore himself had no great cause to cry, since ridendo irritos reddit, by laughing at them he blasted all their designs, and that with disgrace; men love not to be laughed at.

For he seeth that his day is coming] His dismal day, his death’s day (which will also be his doomsday), that day wherein God hath determined to slay them with their own sword, and to save the righteous; as it is in the two next verses. But especially that last and great day of the world, wherein

Dicetur reprobis, Ite, Venite probis.

He will say to the reprobate, go, and come to the righteous.


Verse 14

Psalms 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, [and] to slay such as be of upright conversation.

Ver. 14. The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow] That they may assault the righteous, both cominus, nearer hand, and eminus, at a distance; for which purpose they come against him (like a walking armoury) with sword, bow, and other instruments of death; as resolved to kill and slay. "We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter," Romans 8:36.


Verse 15

Psalms 37:15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

Ver. 15. Their sword shall enter into their own heart] As did Saul’s, and his armourbearer’s, 1 Samuel 31:4-5 see Psalms 7:1.

Per quod quis peccat, per idem punitur et ipse.

And their bows shall be broken] Neither their bows only, but their arms also, Psalms 37:17. They shall utterly be disarmed and disabled when once God takes them to do; which is commonly when they are at the strongest and most confident.


Verse 16

Psalms 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath [is] better than the riches of many wicked.

Ver. 16. A little that the righteous man hath, &c.] Whereas it was said before, the meek shall inherit the earth, some man might object that sach are commonly poor enough; and that is no small affliction, as the heathens (Menander, Euripides, Alcus, &c.) have affirmed; and experience assureth it. Hereunto it is answered that "a little that the righteous man hath is better," &c., as a box of pearls is more worth than many loads of pebbles. And as a bird with a little eye, and the advantage of a wing to soar with, may see far wider than an ox with a greater; so the righteous, with a little estate, joined with faith, tranquillity, and devotion, may have mere pleasure, feel more comfort, see more of God’s bounty, than one of vast possessions, whose heart cannot lift itself above the earth, as one well observeth. Some render it thus, Better is the little of one righteous man than the plenteous mammon of many wicked. The bee is as well (if not better) content with feeding on the dew, or sucking from a flower, as Behemoth, that grazeth on the mountains. Here the psalmist speaketh, saith Vatablus, of the secret blessing of God; Quia etsi in diem victitent, e caelo tamen non secus ac manna pascuntur; for although they have but from hand to mouth, yet they are fed from heaven, as it were, with manna.


Verse 17

Psalms 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

Ver. 17. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken] i.e. His power, valour, all that wherein they think their strength and help standeth. See Psalms 37:15; the strongest sinew in the arm of flesh cracks.

But the Lord upholdeth the righteous] Though seemingly never so weak and wealthless.


Verse 18

Psalms 37:18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

Ver. 18. The Lord knoweth the days of the upright] In bonum novit, Psalms 1:6 id est prolongat, saith Kimchi; he knoweth, that is, he acknowledgeth, approveth, hath a gracious regard unto, their days and the events thereof; he hath decreed to a minute how long they shall suffer, and what happiness shall succeed their sufferings.

And their inheritance shall be for ever] Here long; and hereafter eternal. What they want here, shall be there made up abundantly.


Verse 19

Psalms 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

Ver. 19. They shall not be ashamed] They shall hold up their heads when others droop; neither shall they be without comfort in times of common calamity, as Noah was - media tranquillus in unda.

And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied] God will work wonders rather than they shall want anything that is good for them; as he fed the Israelites in the wilderness, Elijah by the ravens, Jeremiah by a special providence in the siege. As Rochelle was relieved by an extraordinary shoal of fish cast in upon them by Divine providence. And as Leyden, besieged by the Duke of Alva and forced for their sustenance to search and scrape dunghills, to boil old leather, &c., was rescued by the turning of the winds and swelling of the tide, which forced the duke to raise the siege and be gone.


Verse 20

Psalms 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD [shall be] as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

Ver. 20. But the wicked shall perish] In tbe midst of their wealth and greatest abundance; their money shall perish with them.

And the enemies of the Lord] These are worse than those wicked aforementioned, said Theodoret; they are such as go on still in their trespasses, Psalms 68:21.

Shall be as the fat of lambs] Which in sacrifices was wholly to be burnt and consumed, Leviticus 3:15-17.

Into smoke shall they consume away] Smoke the higher it ascendeth the sooner it vanisheth. Quanto fuerit globus ille grandior, tanto vanter, saith Austin. They shall be consumed in the smoke of Gehenna, or hell, saith the Chaldee here.


Verse 21

Psalms 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

Ver. 21. The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again] Either because he cannot, he is so unable; or because he cares not, he is so unconscionable, Non sunt reddendo. But in the midst of his wealth he is many times wanting; in the fulness of his sufficiency he is in straits; and to supply his necessities, sticketh long in the usurer’s furnace, which leaveth him at last neither metal nor matter.

But the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth] Of that which is his own, to which end he hath a great care to pay his debts. When Archbishop Cranmer discerned the storm which after fell upon him in Queen Mary’s days, he took express order for the payment of all his debts, which, when it was done, a most joyful man was he. How hospitable he was and liberal, Tremellius testifieth in his epistle before his Comment on Hosea.


Verse 22

Psalms 37:22 For [such as be] blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and [they that be] cursed of him shall be cut off.

Ver. 22. For such as be blessed of him, &c.] See Psalms 37:9; Psalms 37:11.

Shall be cut off] In hoc saeculo et future, saith Kimchi. Or this verse may be taken as a reason of the former, viz. why are wicked rich men so necessitated and righteous men so enabled, enlarged? God curseth the one, but blesseth the other, and that is it which maketh the odds between them.


Verse 23

Psalms 37:23 The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

Ver. 23. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord] Heb. The steps of a man; for good men only are reckoned of by God, Jeremiah 5:1. So a wife is put for a good wife, Proverbs 18:22. A bad wife is but (according to Lamech’s second wife’s name) Zillah, that is, the shadow of a wife. Now, as God chose out the Israelites’ way for them all along the wilderness; so he doth still for those that are good, not always the shortest way, but the safest; not always the straightest way, but that which most conduceth to their journey’s end. As therefore Israel in the wilderness, so must we follow God, though he seem to lead us in and out, backward and forward, as if we were treading a maze.

And he delighteth in his way] His way it is called, for encouragement sake, though it be God alone who chooseth and chalketh out his way, yea, causeth him to keep his commandments, Ezek. xxvi. Certum est nos facere quod facimus; sed ille facit ut faciamus. God doth all our works for us.


Verse 24

Psalms 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth [him with] his hand.

Ver. 24. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down] See Proverbs 24:16. If he fall, yet he falleth forward; and if he be cast down, yet be continueth not, Quum ruit non corruit (Vat.); so 2 Corinthians 4:9; as do the wicked, Ezekiel 32:4, whom God casteth into the briers, and there leaveth them.

For the Lord upholdeth him with his hand] God’s hand is still under his; and his goodness lower than they can fall. His supporting grace preserveth them from utter recidivation; his Almighty power, from utter destruction.


Verse 25

Psalms 37:25 I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

Ver. 25. I have been young, &c.] Here he recordeth an experiment of his (such as whereof Psalms 119:1-176 is mostly made up), and if other men’s experiences agree not altogether with his, it is no wonder; kings use not to mind beggars. Or he might only mean vagrants; according to that, "Let their children be vagabonds, and beg their bread." Good men may be compelled to crave their bread, as David himself did of Ahimelech, the high priest; as Elijah did of the widow of Sarepta; as those pauperes de Lugduno, and many others have lived upon alms. But seldom or never have good people needed to crave relief of the ungodly.

Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken] Left he may be for a time, as the lion leaveth his whelps till they are almost famished, and have well-nigh killed themselves with roaring, to make them more hardy and valiant, but never forsaken, no, though he beg his bread; because God hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." The righteous is never forsaken, nor his seed too, said Mr Perkins. God may cast godly parents into want, but their godly children shall surely he blessed. Others understand by righteous here, merciful men, who give alms for the love of God, and therefore come not to poverty, Psalms 112:5; Psalms 112:9, Proverbs 11:24-25, Psalms 41:1. See Mr Bradford’s sweet letter to Mr John Hall and his wife, prisoners for the gospel (Acts and Mon. 1495).


Verse 26

Psalms 37:26 [He is] ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed [is] blessed.

Ver. 26. He is ever merciful, and lendeth] Heb. Every day, according to others’ necessity and his own ability; for to stretch beyond the staple were to mar all. But he is ever "ready to distribute, willing to communicate," 1 Timothy 6:17, as Mr Wiseheart, the Scotch martyr, whose charity had never an end, night, day, nor noon, saith Mr Fox; and Thomas Tomkins, an English martyr, very forward to lend, looking for nothing again.

And his seed is blessed] Heb. is in the blessing, that is, receiveth grace and communication of all true goodness from God; and praises, goodwill, and good wishes from men (Diod.).


Verse 27

Psalms 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

Ver. 27. Depart from evil, and do good] See Psalms 34:14.

And dwell for evermore] Sine indigentia, saith Kimchi, without such indigency and poverty as may drive thee abroad, and make thee beg thy bread. Universal righteousness secureth a man from such straits.


Verse 28

Psalms 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Ver. 28. For the Lord loveth judgment] See Psalms 11:7.

But the seed of the wicked shall be cut off] See Job 18:19, {See Trapp on "Job 18:19"}


Verse 29

Psalms 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

Ver. 29. The righteous shall inherit, &c.] This verse hath been expounded before, and is here repeated for more assurance, Verba toties inculcata viva sunt, vera sunt, sana sunt, plana sunt.


Verse 30

Psalms 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

Ver. 30. The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom] Having spoken of the privileges of the righteous, he now describeth them, Tales autem sunt non quicunque nomen iustorum praetexunt, &c. Such are not all they that pretend to righteousness, or can talk of it; but that can speak of it fruitfully, feelingly, and from an outward principle. And as he talketh, so he walketb, ne dicta factis erubescant, as Tertullian hath it; lest his life should seem to give the lie to his lips.


Verse 31

Psalms 37:31 The law of his God [is] in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

Ver. 31. The law of his God is in his heart] He hath a Bible in his head and another in his heart; he hath a good treasure within, and there hence bringeth good things; he speaketh not by rote, and as a bungler, or as a philosopher only; but by proof, and as one that can say, I believed, I have felt it, and therefore have I spoken.

None of his steps shall slide] How should they, when they walk so exactly, and by such a rule? Jeremiah holding to it, durst say, Lord, if I am deceived, thou hast deceived me.


Verse 32

Psalms 37:32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

Ver. 32. The wicked wateheth the righteous] See Psalms 10:8-10, {See Trapp on "Psalms 10:8"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 10:9"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 10:10"} Speculatur, he accurately observeth, looking this way and that, as a watchman in a watch tower. Thus Saul eyed David, and laid out for him. Thus Jeroboam watched those of the ten tribes that went to Jerusalem to worship, he watched them, and waylaid them, Hosea 5:1.

And seeketh to slay him] All malice is bloody, and there want not those still that carry about Cain’s bloody club, hating to the death that goodness in another that they neglect in themselves.


Verse 33

Psalms 37:33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

Ver. 33. The Lord will not leave him in his hand] For he knoweth how to deliver his, 2 Peter 3:9, as that apostle could say by good experience, Acts 13:50, when he was inter saxum et sacrum, as they say.

Nor condemn him, when he is judged] Heb. Condemn him for wicked; but clear and acquit him when falsely accused, yea, when wrongfully condemned.


Verse 34

Psalms 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see [it].

Ver. 34. Wait on the Lord] Bind him not to a day, wake not the Beloved till he please.

Keep his way] For, out of God’s precincts out of his protection.

When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it] See and smile, look and laugh, Psalms 52:6-7, {See Trapp on "Psalms 52:6"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 52:7"}


Verse 35

Psalms 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

Ver. 35. I have seen the wicked in great power] Or, formidable to others; first, a terror, and, shortly after, a scorn.

And spreading himself like a green bay tree] Or, cedars of Lebanon, as the Greek hath it, i.e. priding himself in his great prosperity.


Verse 36

Psalms 37:36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he [was] not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

Ver. 36. Yet he passed away, &c.] The Greek and Latin have it, I passed by. See Psalms 37:10. How soon and utterly withered and wasted the fig tree Christ cursed! so forcible is his curse.


Verse 37

Psalms 37:37 Mark the perfect [man], and behold the upright: for the end of [that] man [is] peace.

Ver. 37. Mark the perfect man, &c.] As we must treasure up experiences ourselves; so we must stir up others to do the like. There is a woe to such as consider not the operation of God’s hands, Isaiah 5:12.

For the end of that man is peace] Though his beginning and middle may be troublesome, yet his end (his after end, at least) shall be peace. He shall by death enter into peace, rest in his bed, Isaiah 57:2.


Verse 38

Psalms 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

Ver. 38. But the transgressors, &c.] Here the end is worse than the beginning. Sin ever ends tragically.

The end of the wicked shall be cut off] Their end is not death, but destruction; they are killed with death, Revelation 2:23, life and hope end together.


Verse 39

Psalms 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble.

Ver. 39. But the salvation of the righteous, &c.] Etenim ut paucis omnia complectar, their salvation, temporal and eternal, is of the Lord; so is also the destruction of the wicked, as is here necessarily implied.

He is their strength, &c.] That they faint not, sink not under the heaviest burden of their light afflictions, which are but for a moment.


Verse 40

Psalms 37:40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

Ver. 40. And the Lord shall help them, &c.] He shall, he shall, he shall. Oh the rhetoric of God! the safety of the saints! the certainty of the promises!

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 37:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-37.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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