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37. Psalm 37

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

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

3Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

4Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

5Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

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

7Rest 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

14The 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.

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

16A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

17For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.

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

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

20But 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.

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

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

23The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

24Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.

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

26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

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

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

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

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

31The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

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

33The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

34Wait 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.

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

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

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

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

39But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

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

The accumulation of terms which occurs in the next verse, in which he lays a restraint as with a bridle upon anger, allays wrath and assuages passion, it is not superfluous; but, as in necessary, he rather prescribes numerous remedies for a disease which it is difficult to cure. By this means, he reminds us how easily we are provoked, and how ready we are to take offence, unless we lay a powerful restraint upon our tumultuous passions, and keep them under control. And although the faithful are not able to subdue the lusts of the flesh without much trouble and labour, whilst the prosperity of the wicked excites their impatience, yet this repetition teaches us that we ought unceasingly to wrestle against them; for if we steadily persevere, we know that our endeavors shall not be in vain in the end. I differ from other commentators in the exposition of the last clause. They translate it, at least to do evil; as if David meant that we should appease our anger lest it should lead us to do mischief. But as the particle אך, ach, which they translate at least, is often used affirmatively in Hebrew, I have no doubt that David here teaches, that it cannot be otherwise than that the offense which we take at the prosperity of the wicked should lead us to sin, unless we speedily check it; as it is said in another Psalm,

“God will break the cords of the ungodly, lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity,” (Psalm 125:3.)


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