Psalms 1121Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the one ▼
▼ Heb “[Oh] the happiness [of] the man.” Hebrew wisdom literature often assumes and reflects the male-oriented perspective of ancient Israelite society. The individual is representative of a larger group, called the “godly” in vv. 3–4. The principle of the psalm is certainly applicable to all people, regardless of their gender. To facilitate modern application, we translate the gender specific “man” with the more neutral “one.” The generic masculine pronoun is used in the following verses.who obeys ▼
▼ Heb “fears.”the Lord,
who takes great delight in keeping his commands. ▼
2 His descendants ▼
▼ Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”will be powerful on the earth;
the godly ▼
▼ Heb “His seed will be mighty on the earth, the generation of the godly.” The Hebrew term דוֹר (dor, “generation”) could be taken as parallel to “offspring” and translated “posterity,” but the singular more likely refers to the godly as a class. See BDB 189-90 s.v. for other examples where “generation” refers to a class of people.will be blessed.
3 His house contains wealth and riches;
his integrity endures. ▼
▼ Heb “stands forever.”
4 In the darkness a light ▼ shines for the godly,
for each one who is merciful, compassionate, and just. ▼
▼ Heb “merciful and compassionate and just.” The Hebrew text has three singular adjectives, which are probably substantival and in apposition to the “godly” (which is plural, however). By switching to the singular, the psalmist focuses on each individual member of the group known as the “godly.” Note how vv. 5–9, like vv. 1–2a, use the singular to describe the representative godly individual who typifies the whole group.
5 It goes well for the one ▼
▼ Heb “man.”who generously lends money,
and conducts his business honestly. ▼
▼ Heb “he sustains his matters with justice.”
6 For he will never be upended;
others will always remember one who is just. ▼
▼ Heb “for an eternal memorial a just [one] will be.”
7 He does not fear bad news.
He ▼ is confident; he trusts ▼ in the Lord.
8 His resolve ▼
▼ Heb “his heart,” viewed here as the seat of the volition.is firm; he will not succumb to fear
before he looks in triumph on his enemies.
9 He generously gives ▼
▼ Heb “he scatters, he gives.”to the needy;
his integrity endures. ▼
▼ Heb “stands forever.”
He will be vindicated and honored. ▼
▼ Heb “his horn will be lifted up in honor.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17).
10 When the wicked ▼ see this, they will worry;
they will grind their teeth in frustration ▼ and melt away;
the desire of the wicked will perish. ▼
▼ Psalm 113. The psalmist praises God as the sovereign king of the world who reaches down to help the needy.
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