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Psalms 37:23-29

Context

37:23 The Lord grants success to the one

whose behavior he finds commendable. 1 

37:24 Even if 2  he trips, he will not fall headlong, 3 

for the Lord holds 4  his hand.

37:25 I was once young, now I am old.

I have never seen a godly man abandoned,

or his children 5  forced to search for food. 6 

37:26 All day long he shows compassion and lends to others, 7 

and his children 8  are blessed.

37:27 Turn away from evil! Do what is right! 9 

Then you will enjoy lasting security. 10 

37:28 For the Lord promotes 11  justice,

and never abandons 12  his faithful followers.

They are permanently secure, 13 

but the children 14  of evil men are wiped out. 15 

37:29 The godly will possess the land

and will dwell in it permanently.

1 tn Heb “from the Lord the steps of a man are established, and in his way he delights.” The second line qualifies the first. The man whose behavior is commendable in God’s sight is the one whose ways are established by God. Another option is that the second line refers to the godly man delighting in God’s “way,” namely the lifestyle which he prescribes for men. In this case one might translate, “The Lord grants success to the one who desires to obey his commands.”

2 tn Other translation options for כִּי in this context are “when” (so NASB) or “though” (so NEB, NIV, NRSV).

3 tn Heb “be hurled down.”

4 tn The active participle indicates this is characteristically true. See v. 17.

5 tn Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”

6 tn Heb “or his offspring searching for food.” The expression “search for food” also appears in Lam 1:11, where Jerusalem’s refugees are forced to search for food and to trade their valuable possessions for something to eat.

7 tn The active participles describe characteristic behavior.

8 tn Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”

9 tn Or “Do good!” The imperatives are singular (see v. 1).

10 tn Heb “and dwell permanently.” The imperative with vav (ו) is best taken here as a result clause after the preceding imperatives.

11 tn Heb “loves.” The verb “loves” is here metonymic; the Lord’s commitment to principles of justice causes him to actively promote these principles as he governs the world. The active participle describes characteristic behavior.

12 tn The imperfect verbal form draws attention to this generalizing statement.

13 tn Or “protected forever.”

14 tn Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”

15 tn Or “cut off”; or “removed.” The perfect verbal forms in v. 28b state general truths.



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