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Psalm 37[a]

By David.

37 Do not fret[b] when wicked men seem to succeed.[c]
Do not envy evildoers.
For they will quickly dry up like grass,
and wither away like plants.[d]
Trust in the Lord and do what is right.
Settle in the land and maintain your integrity.[e]

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  1. Psalm 37:1 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. Psalm 37:1 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. Psalm 37:1 tn Heb “over sinners.” The context indicates that the psalmist has in mind the apparent power and success of sinners. See v. 7b.
  4. Psalm 37:2 tn Heb “like green vegetation.”
  5. Psalm 37:3 tn Heb “tend integrity.” The verb רָעָה (raʿah, “tend, shepherd”) is probably used here in the sense of “watch over, guard.” The noun אֱמוּנָה (ʾemunah, “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.