Shaddai

Learn Hebrew

Learn Torah

Hebrew for Christians
BS''D
Psalm 37 Recited in Hebrew

Mizmor Lamed Zayin -

Psalm 37 Recited in Hebrew

Please be patient as the sound files load...

NavigateNextPreviousMain List

MP3

"Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday." Psalm 37:1-6 (KJV). Here are a few brief comments on this great passage that I hope might encourage you...

 

"Fret not thyself because of evildoers,
neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity" (v1)
 

אַל־תִּתְחַר בַּמְּרֵעִים
אַל־תְּקַנֵּא בְּעשֵׂי עַוְלָה

al · titchar · ba'merei'im
al · tekanei · be'osei · avlah
 


Note that the phrase translated "fret not" (אַל־תִּתְחַר) comes from the verb charah (חָרָה), meaning to burn in anger, to fume in indignation or resentment, to become vexed or disturbed, or to take offense... We are admonished not to allow the seeming prosperity of evildoers inspire you to question the power and rule of God, as it says: "Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the LORD (יִרְאַת־יְהוָה) all the day" (Prov. 23:17). Worldly prosperity is devoid of real hope: "the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out" (Prov. 24:20). Likewise do not envy (אַל־תְּקַנֵּא) the workers of iniquity (עשֵׂי עַוְלָה), that is, those who practice injustice by the power of the lie.  Do not desire their power, for it is a trap that leads them to destruction, as David prayed: "Let their own table before them become a snare; and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.  Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see" (Psalm 69:22-23; cp. Rom. 11:9-10).

 

"For they shall soon be cut down like the grass,
and wither as the green herb" (v2)
 

כִּי כֶחָצִיר מְהֵרָה יִמָּלוּ
וּכְיֶרֶק דֶּשֶׁא יִבּוֹלוּן

ki · khe'chatzir · me'heirah · yimalu
ukh'yerek · deshe · yibbolun
 


The Hebrew word for "grass" used in this verse (i.e., חָצִיר) refers to a hay-like variety that sprouts quickly but does not put down deep roots, so that it withers and fades in the sustained presence of the sun. By analogy, the wicked enjoy a short season of growth that ultimately is insubstantial, superficial, and spiritually spurious...

By extension this implies that we should not fret or envy the wicked of this world, for their prosperity is transitory and finally unreal, and the heart of faith desires what is everlastingly true and righteous. As is written: "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold" (Prov. 22:1; Eccl. 7:1). The wicked are likened to grass that will soon be razed, and to green herb that withers away, as it also says: "Though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever" (Psalm 92:7), and they "conceive chaff; they give birth to stubble; their breath is a fire that will consume them" (Isa. 32:12). The righteous are considered alive even in death; the wicked are considered "dead" even while alive (Berachot 18a-b).

 

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land,
and verily thou shalt be fed" (v3)
 

בְּטַח בַּיהוָה וַעֲשֵׂה־טוֹב
שְׁכָן־אֶרֶץ וּרְעֵה אֱמוּנָה

be'tach · badonai · va'aseh · tov
shekhon · eretz · ure'eh · emunah
 


Unlike the wicked who will dry up and blow away like chaff (Psalm 1:4), the righteous who trust in the LORD (בְּטַח בַּיהוָה) feed on (or "befriend") His faithfulness (רְעֵה אֱמוּנָה), and they indeed shall be truly fed. Note that we are to trust in the LORD and to do (or make) good (ועֲשֵׂה־טוֹב). Trust by itself is not sufficient but must be lived out in righteousness (Matt. 7:21; 1 John 2:29; James 1:22). It is easy to be self-deceived, to fool yourself into believing that you are doing "God's work" when in fact you are acting in carnal pride (Micah 3:11).

Genuine trust shows itself in the visible world (Matt 5:16). The all-essential commandment of Torah is to trust in the LORD with all your heart (Prov. 3:5) for divine righteousness and life (Hab. 2:4). "So shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed," literally, and you shall "befriend faithfulness" (וּרְעֵה אֱמוּנָה); you shall be watched over like a sheep that grazes in lush pasture land, secure in the presence of the good shepherd (Psalm 23:1-3). Trust God to nurture you in the wonders of his faithful love.

"Trust in the LORD ... and "befriend faithfulness." The sages teach this verse begins with "trust" (i.e., betach) and ends with "faith" (i.e., emunah) to teach that faith is subordinate to trust. Faith refers to intellectual assent that God controls the world, that he is righteous, holy, etc., but trust involves translating such faith to the realm of action and doing... As the sage Ramban put it: "Everyone who trusts has faith but not everyone who has faith trusts."

 

"Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart" (v4)
 

וְהִתְעַנַּג עַל־יְהוָה
וְיִתֶּן־לְךָ מִשְׁאֲלת לִבֶּךָ

ve'hitanag · al · Adonai
ve'yitten · lekha · mishalot · libbekha
 


When we delight in the LORD by seeking to make His will our highest good and desire, then our requests will be fulfilled.  As Blaise Pascal asked, "What is left for us but to unite our will to that of God himself, to will in him, with him, and for him the thing that he has eternally willed in us and for us." We will not be consumed with the vain desires of the wicked of this world, and we will be free to pursue the treasures of heaven. "You shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken" (Isa. 58:14). "This is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us" (1 John 5:14). God heeds the language of his love and passion, and when we delight in him, he fulfills the deepest yearning of our hearts...

 

"Commit thy way unto the LORD;
trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass" (v5)
 

גּוֹל עַל־יְהוָה דַּרְכֶּךָ
וּבְטַח עָלָיו וְהוּא יַעֲשֶׂה

gol · al · Adonai · darkekha
u'vetach · alav · ve'hu · ya'aseh
 


The Hebrew here is stronger: "Roll your way upon the LORD" (גּוֹל עַל־יְהוָה) by confessing your burdens of resentment, fear, envy, etc., and bringing your heart before God for deliverance. Note that the Hebrew word for "commit" (i.e., גּוֹל) can also mean to "reveal" or "heap upon" and therefore we can read: "Reveal (or unload) your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will act (וְהוּא יַעֲשֶׂה), that is, he will assuredly intervene on your behalf.

 

"And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light,
and thy judgment as the noonday" (v6)
 

וְהוֹצִיא כָאוֹר צִדְקֶךָ
וּמִשְׁפָּטֶךָ כַּצָּהֳרָיִם

ve'hotzi · kha'or · tzidkekha
u'mishpatekha · katzahorayim
 


When the LORD acts on our behalf He graciously will bring forth your righteousness "as the light" (וְהוֹצִיא כָאוֹר צִדְקֶךָ) and your justice "as the noonday" (וּמִשְׁפָּטֶךָ כַּצָּהֳרָיִם). The way of trusting in God will finally be vindicated as the LORD manifests the Divine Presence at the restoration of all things after the End of Days...

"Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God." (1 Cor. 4:5).
 

Work in progress...



Related Topics:



<< Return



 


Hebrew for Christians
Copyright © John J. Parsons
All rights reserved.

email