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Psalms 37:1-6

Context
Psalm 37 1 

By David.

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

Do not envy evildoers!

37:2 For they will quickly dry up like grass,

and wither away like plants. 4 

37:3 Trust in the Lord and do what is right!

Settle in the land and maintain your integrity! 5 

37:4 Then you will take delight in the Lord, 6 

and he will answer your prayers. 7 

37:5 Commit your future to the Lord! 8 

Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf. 9 

37:6 He will vindicate you in broad daylight,

and publicly defend your just cause. 10 

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 “like green vegetation.”

5 tn Heb “tend integrity.” The verb רָעָה (raah, “tend, shepherd”) is probably used here in the sense of “watch over, guard.” The noun אֱמוּנָה (’emunah, “faithfulness, honesty, integrity”) is understood as the direct object of the verb, though it could be taken as an adverbial accusative, “[feed] securely,” if the audience is likened to a flock of sheep.

6 tn Following the imperatives of v. 3 the prefixed verbal forms with vav (ו) in v. 4 indicate result. Faith and obedience (v. 3) will bring divine blessing (v. 4).

7 tn Or “and he will give you what you desire most.” Heb “and he will grant to you the requests of your heart.”

8 tn Heb “roll your way upon the Lord.” The noun “way” may refer here to one’s activities or course of life.

9 tn Heb “he will act.” Verse 6 explains what is meant; the Lord will vindicate those who trust in him.

10 tn Heb “and he will bring out like light your vindication, and your just cause like noonday.”



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