New English Translation
37 Do not fret[b] when wicked men seem to succeed.[c]
Do not envy evildoers.
2 For they will quickly dry up like grass,
and wither away like plants.[d]
3 Trust in the Lord and do what is right.
Settle in the land and maintain your integrity.[e]
4 Then you will take delight in the Lord,[f]
and he will answer your prayers.[g]
5 Commit your future to the Lord.[h]
Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf.[i]
6 He will vindicate you in broad daylight,
and publicly defend your just cause.[j]
7 Wait patiently for the Lord![k]
Wait confidently[l] for him!
Do not fret over the apparent success of a sinner,[m]
a man who carries out wicked schemes.
8 Do not be angry and frustrated.[n]
Do not fret. That only leads to trouble.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Psalm 37:2 tn Heb “like green vegetation.”
- 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.
- Psalm 37:4 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).
- Psalm 37:4 tn Or “and he will give you what you desire most.” Heb “and he will grant to you the requests of your heart.”
- Psalm 37:5 tn Heb “roll your way upon the Lord.” The noun “way” may refer here to one’s activities or course of life.
- Psalm 37:5 tn Heb “he will act.” Verse 6 explains what is meant; the Lord will vindicate those who trust in him.
- Psalm 37:6 tn Heb “and he will bring out like light your vindication, and your just cause like noonday.”
- Psalm 37:7 tn Heb “Be quiet before the Lord!”
- Psalm 37:7 tc The Hebrew text has וְהִתְחוֹלֵל (vehitkholel, Hitpolel of חִיל, khil, “writhe with fear, suffer”) but this idea fits awkwardly here. The text should be changed to וְתוֹחֵל (vetokhel; 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, yehvah) and (2) the final ל (lamed) is accidentally repeated (note the preceding lamed and the initial lamed on the following form, לו).
- Psalm 37:7 tn Heb “over one who causes his way to be successful.”
- Psalm 37:8 tn Heb “Refrain from anger! Abandon rage!”