Psalm 37

1 Fret not thyself because of evil-doers,
Neither be thou envious against them that work unrighteousness.

General Subject. Comparison of the lot of the evil with the lot of the good. P. P.

1 By the zeal of Jehovah, and by a zealous God is meant in the genuine sense love and mercy, but in a sense not genuine, such as is seen by those who are in evils and falsities, anger and vastation are signified. A. 8875.

1, 2, 8-10, 12-15, 17, 20, 21, 28, 32, 35, 36, 38. Although the evil nourish for a short time, yet they perish, and are cast down into hell. P. P.

2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb.

2 The grass and the green herbage stand for what is most vile. A. 996.

By green grass in the Word is signified that good and truth of the church or of faith, which first springs up in the natural man. By all the green grass being burnt up — Revelation viii. 7 — is signified that every living thing of faith perished, and every living thing of faith perishes when there is no affection for good, and perception of truth. R. 401.

When truth and good which come from heaven do not find a receptacle with man in knowledges and scientifics, but in evils and falsities which are from hell, then scientifics are not alive but dead, and correspond to grass withered and burnt up. E. 507.

3 Trust in Jehovah, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on his faithfulness.
4 Delight thyself also in Jehovah;
And he will give thee the desires of thy heart.
5 Commit thy way unto Jehovah;
Trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass.

3-7, 11, 16, 18, 19, 22-31, 34, 37, 39, 40. The good are saved by the Lord, and taken up into heaven. P. P.

6 And he will make thy righteousness to go forth as the
And thy justice as the noonday.
7 Rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently for him:
Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in
his way,
Because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:
Fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil-doing.
9 For evil-doers shall be cut off;
But those that wait for Jehovah, they shall inherit the
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be:
Yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and he
shall not be.

6 ” Thy judgment as the noon-day ” — as the south. The south signifies the intelligence which is procured by knowledges. The knowledges are celestial and spiritual truths which are so many radiations of light in heaven.
A. 1458.

Judgment and judgments stand for Divine truth. A. 9857.

See Psalm xxxvi. 7. S. 85.

The Divine love and the Divine wisdom are understood in the Word by justice and judgment, the Divine love by justice, and the Divine wisdom by judgment, wherefore in the Word justice and judgment are predicated of God.
W. 38.

See Psalm xxxvi. 7. R. 668.

See Psalm xxxvi. 7. T. 51.

11 But the meek shall inherit the land,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12 The wicked plotteth against the just,
And gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13 The Lord will laugh at him;
For he seeth that his day is coming.

11, 37. See Psalm iv. 7-9. R. 306.

By the meek or afflicted are here meant those who are in temptations in the world. By the abundance of peace in which they shall delight themselves are signified the delights which succeed temptations, for after temptations there are given delights from the Lord by virtue of the conjunction of good and truth at the time, and of conjunction with the Lord thence derived. E. 365.

12 See Psalm xxxv. 15, 16. R. 435.

See Psalm xxxv. 15, 16. E. 556.

14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent
their bow,
To cast down the poor and needy,
To slay such as are upright in the way.

14 See Psalm ix. 19. R. 209.

By the miserable and poor are here also understood they who are spiritually such, but yet desire the knowledge of truth and good. This is evident, for it is said that the wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow. The sword signifies what is false combating against truth and endeavoring to destroy it. Their bow the false doctrine against the doctrine of truth, wherefore it is said that they do this to cast down the miserable and poor. E. 238.

15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart,
And their bows shall be broken.
16 Better is a little that the righteous hath
Than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken;
But Jehovah upholdeth the righteous.

14, 15. By the sword is signified falsity combating against truth, and by bow the doctrine of what is false. To cast down the poor and needy signifies to pervert those who are in ignorance of truth and good. E. 357.

16-34. The just one is thus described. These things are the good of charity which are the just. That those goods of charity are from the Lord, so that they are of the Lord with man, is known to the church. A. 9263.

18 Jehovah knoweth the days of the perfect;
And their inheritance shall be for ever.

18 19. See Psalm xxxiii. 18, ig. R. 323.

Here the days of the upright signify the states of those who are in good and thence in truths, or who are in charity and thence in faith. By their inheritance being for ever is signified that they belong to the Lord alone and are in heaven. By their not being ashamed in the time of evil is signified that they shall conquer when they are tempted by evils. By their being satisfied in the day of famine is signified that they shall be supported by truths, when they are tempted and infested by falsities. The time of evil and the day of famine signify states of temptations, and temptations are from evil and falsities. E. 386.

19 They shall not be put to shame in the time of evil;
And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

19 The days of famine and evil time. D. P., Page 32.

20 But the wicked shall perish,
And the enemies of Jehovah shall be as the fat of lambs:
They shall consume; in smoke shall they consume

20 The falsities of lusts welling up out of the evil loves are also described in the Word by smoke from fire, and from a furnace. See Genesis xix. 28. R. 422.

See Psalm xviii. 9. E. 494.

Here by the wicked perishing, and the enemies of Jehovah being consumed into smoke is signified that they shall perish by the falsities of evil. They are called wicked who are in falsities, and enemies who are in evils. Smoke stands for the falsity of evil. E. 539.

21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again;
But the righteous dealeth graciously, and giveth.

21 In the Word where mention is made of borrowing and lending it signifies to be instructed and to instruct from the affection of charity. It is charity to give to the good, and it is not charity to give to the evil what they ask and desire. A. 9174-

By being merciful and lending is described the state of those who are in genuine charity. A. 9174-

22 For such as are blessed of him shall inherit the land;
And they that are cursed of him shall be cut off.
23 A man’s goings are established of Jehovah;
And he delighteth in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down;
For Jehovah upholdeth him with his hand.
25 I have been young, and now am old;
Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken,
Nor his seed begging bread.
26 All the day long he dealeth graciously, and lendeth;
And his seed is blessed.
27 Depart from evil, and do good;
And dwell for evermore.
28 For Jehovah loveth justice,
And forsaketh not his saints;
They are preserved for ever:
But the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
And dwell therein for ever.

22 By benediction or blessing when predicated of man is understood nothing else but the reception of Divine truth and Divine good, because in them are contained heaven and eternal happiness. E. 340.

30 The mouth of the righteous talketh of wisdom,
And his tongue speaketh justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall slide.
32 The wicked watcheth the righteous,
And seeketh to slay him.
33 Jehovah will not leave him in his hand,
Nor condemn him when he is judged.
34 Wait for Jehovah, and keep his way,
And he will exalt thee to inherit the land:
When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

30 The mouth from correspondence, thus in the spiritual sense, signifies the thought, but in the natural sense utterance or enunciation. Here by the mouth is signified thought from the affection, for thence man meditates wisdom, and not from the mouth and its speech. E. 580.

35 I have seen the wicked in great power,
And spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil.
36 But one passed by, and, lo, he was not:
Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

35 See Psalm xxxvii. 2 add: that by green or growing green is signified living or alive is manifest. R. 401.

By green is signified what is living or alive. A vegetable object when it flourishes, that is, whilst it as it were lives is green, but when it no longer flourishes, or as it were dies, then the verdure perishes. E. 507.

37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright;
For there is a happy end to the man of peace.
38 As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together:
The end of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is of Jehovah:
He is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 And Jehovah helpeth them, and rescueth them:
He rescueth them from the wicked, and saveth them,
Because they have taken refuge in him.

37 He is called just who does good, and he is called upright who does truth therefrom, which also is to do justice and judgment. Holiness and justice are the celestial of faith, uprightness and judgment are the spiritual therefrom. A. 612.

Peace in the supreme sense signifies the Lord, and in a representative sense it signifies His kingdom, and good from the Lord therein, thus the Divine which flows into good, or into affections for good, which also causes joy and happiness from the inmost. A. 3780.

See Psalm xxv. 21. A. 9905.

That it is Divine and heavenly peace which is meant by peace in the Word, may be evident from Isaiah In. 7; liv. 10: Jeremiah xvi. 5; xxv. 37: Haggai ii. 9, etc. H. 287.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)