Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
A composed and uniform trust in God and a constant course of integrity
are urged in view of the blessedness of the truly pious, contrasted in
various aspects with the final ruin of the wicked. Thus the wisdom and
justice of God's providence are vindicated, and its seeming
inequalities, which excite the cavils of the wicked and the distrust of
the pious, are explained. David's personal history abundantly
illustrates the Psalm.
1, 2. The general sentiment of the whole Psalm is expressed. The
righteous need not be vexed by the prosperity of the wicked; for it is
transient, and their destiny undesirable.
3. Trust--sure of safety.
shalt thou dwell--or, "dwell thou"; repose quietly.
verily . . . fed--or, "feed on truth," God's promise
(Ps 20:5; 21:2),
what is lawful and right, really good
5. Commit thy way--
Works--what you have to do and cannot set forth as a burden.
trust . . . in him--literally, "on Him." He will do what you
Ps 22:8; 31:6).
He will not suffer your character to remain under suspicion.
7, 8. Rest in--literally, "Be silent to the Lord."
and wait--Be submissive--avoid petulance and murmurings, anger and
9. Two reasons: The prosperity of the wicked is short; and the pious,
by humble trust, will secure all covenant blessing, denoted here by
"inherit the earth" (compare
10, 11. shall not be--literally, "is not"--is not to be found.
11. peace--includes prosperity.
12. gnasheth . . . teeth--in beastly rage.
his day--of punishment, long delayed, shall yet come
14, 15. sword, and . . . bow--for any instruments of violence.
poor and needy--God's people
(Ps 10:17; 12:5).
The punishment of the wicked as drawn on themselves--often mentioned
Ps 7:15, 16; 35:8).
16. riches--literally, "noise and tumult," as incidental to much
Thus the contrast with the "little" of one man is more vivid.
17. Even the members of the body needed to hold weapons are
18, 19. God, who knows His people's changes, provides against evil
and supplies all their need.
20. While the wicked, however mighty, are destroyed, and that
utterly, as smoke which vanishes and leaves no trace.
21, 22. payeth not--not able; having grown poor (compare
Ability of the one and inability of the other do not exclude moral
dispositions. God's blessing or cursing makes the difference.
22. cut off--opposed to "inherit the earth" (compare
Le 7:20, 21).
23, 24. steps--way, or, "course of life"; as ordered by God, failures
will not be permanent.
26. his seed is blessed--literally, "for a blessing"
This position is still true as the rule of God's economy
(1Ti 4:8; 6:6).
27-29. The exhortation is sustained by the assurance of God's essential
rectitude in that providential government which provides perpetual
blessings for the good, and perpetual misery for the wicked.
30, 31. The righteous described as to the elements of character,
thought, word, and action.
31. steps--or, "goings"--for conduct which is unwavering
32, 33. The devices of the wicked against the good fail because God
34. On the contrary, the good are not only blessed, but made to see
the ruin of their foes.
35, 36. of which a picture is given, under the figure of a flourishing
tree (compare Margin), which soon withers.
36. he was not--(Compare
37. By "the end" is meant reward
(Pr 23:18; 24:14),
or expectation of success, as in
which describes the end of the wicked in contrast, and that is
cut off (compare
38. together--at once; entirely
39, 40. strength--
(Ps 27:1; 28:8).
(Ps 9:9; 10:1).
In trust and quietness is the salvation of the pious from all foes and
all their devices.