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Psalms 37:1

Context
Psalm 37 1 

By David.

37:1 Do not fret 2  when wicked men seem to succeed! 3 

Do not envy evildoers!

Psalms 37:7

Context

37:7 Wait patiently for the Lord! 4 

Wait confidently 5  for him!

Do not fret over the apparent success of a sinner, 6 

a man who carries out wicked schemes!

1 sn Psalm 37. The psalmist urges his audience not to envy the wicked, but to trust in and obey the Lord, for he will destroy sinners and preserve the godly. When the smoke of judgment clears, the wicked will be gone, but the godly will remain and inherit God’s promised blessings. The psalm is an acrostic; every other verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

2 tn The verb form is singular (see vv. 3-10 as well, where the second person verbs and pronouns are also singular). The psalmist’s exhortation has a wisdom flavor to it; it is personalized for each member of his audience.

3 tn Heb “over sinners.” The context indicates that the psalmist has in mind the apparent power and success of sinners. See v. 7b.

4 tn Heb “Be quiet before the Lord!”

5 tc The Hebrew text has וְהִתְחוֹלֵל (vÿhitkholel, Hitpolel of חִיל, khil, “writhe with fear, suffer”) but this idea fits awkwardly here. The text should be changed to וְתוֹחֵל (vÿtokhel; Hiphil of יָחַל, yakhal, “wait”). It appears that the Hebrew text is the product of dittography: (1) the initial וה (vav-he) is accidentally repeated from the preceding word (יְהוָה, yÿhvah) and (2) the final lamed (ל) is accidentally repeated (note the preceding lamed and the initial lamed on the following form, לו).

6 tn Heb “over one who causes his way to be successful.”



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