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Psalms 37:12-17


37:12 Evil men plot against the godly 1 

and viciously attack them. 2 

37:13 The Lord laughs in disgust 3  at them,

for he knows that their day is coming. 4 

37:14 Evil men draw their swords

and prepare their bows,

to bring down 5  the oppressed and needy,

and to slaughter those who are godly. 6 

37:15 Their swords will pierce 7  their own hearts,

and their bows will be broken.

37:16 The little bit that a godly man owns is better than

the wealth of many evil men, 8 

37:17 for evil men will lose their power, 9 

but the Lord sustains 10  the godly.

Psalms 37:28-29


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 Or “innocent.” The singular is used here in a representative sense; the typical evildoer and the typical godly individual are in view.

2 tn Heb “and gnashes at him with his teeth” (see Ps 35:16). The language may picture the evil men as wild animals. The active participles in v. 12 are used for purposes of dramatic description.

3 tn Heb “laughs.” As the next line indicates, this refers to derisive laughter (see 2:4). The Hebrew imperfect verbal form describes the action from the perspective of an eye-witness who is watching the divine response as it unfolds before his eyes.

4 tn Heb “for he sees that his day is coming.” As the following context makes clear (vv. 15, 17, 19-20), “his day” refers to the time when God will destroy evildoers.

5 tn Heb “to cause to fall.”

6 tn Heb “the upright in way,” i.e., those who lead godly lives.

7 tn Heb “enter into.”

8 tn Heb “Better [is] a little to the godly one than the wealth of many evil ones.” The following verses explain why this is true. Though a godly individual may seem to have only meager possessions, he always has what he needs and will eventually possess the land. The wicked may prosper for a brief time, but will eventually be destroyed by divine judgment and lose everything.

9 tn Heb “for the arms of the evil ones will be broken.”

10 tn The active participle here indicates this is characteristically true.

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.

TIP #07: Use the Discovery Box to further explore word(s) and verse(s). [ALL]
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