3. Psalms: Choosing the Right Path
(Psalms 1, 15, and 133)

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Audio (34:05)


Psalm 1 compares the righteous person to a tree planted by the water. Vincent van Gogh, "Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background" (Saint-Remy: June, 1889). Oil on canvas, 72.5 x 92.0 cm, New York Museum of Modern Art. Larger image.
Our next group of psalms -- Wisdom Psalms 1, 15, and 133 -- seem to share some characteristics with the Bible's Wisdom Literature, such as Proverbs. They urge believers to righteous living, provide warnings to avoid evil, and exalt the beauty of right relationships.

Psalm 1 - The Two Ways, Righteous and Unrighteousness

It is no accident that this psalm was placed first in the Book of Psalms. By doing so the editor is suggesting that the Psalter is a book of wisdom, containing Yahweh's instruction for the faithful. David Howard suggests, "Psalm 1, with its instructions about studying the Torah, can be seen as directing readers to study the Psalter in the same way."1 In some ancient manuscripts of the Psalms, the first psalm seems to be treated as a preface to the entire collection.2

Blessed is ... (1:1a)

The psalm begins with a statement of blessedness:

"Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked...." (1:1)

"Blessed" (´āshār), is the adjective "happiness, blessedness." There are two verbs that mean "to bless" in Hebrew, bārak and ´āshar. Bārak is used more of God's blessing that comes undeserved, while ´āshar expresses more the idea of the natural blessing that comes from right living.3

Āshar isn't a bad word or an inferior blessing, it just has a different connotation than bārak. This isn't an extraordinary, miraculous blessing of Yahweh -- though God is fully capable of miraculous blessing. It is the normal result of a life lived for God. Missionaries have observed a phenomenon of "redemption and lift." The first generation of Christians in a new area may be dirt poor. But the second generation of Christians -- the children of the first generation -- are quite likely to be more prosperous than the dirt-poor non-Christians in the community. Since they've adopted a godly lifestyle, stopped getting drunk, doing drugs, and gambling they've been able to see the prosperity that comes naturally from a life well lived.

Happy, to be congratulated, is the person who ... delights in the law of the Lord, rather than be under the influence of sinners and sinful ways.

Separating from Sin, Delighting in God (1:1-2)

Observe the three-fold parallelism that describes what a believer doesn't do in verse 1b:

walk in the counsel of the wicked
stand in the way of sinners
sit in the seat of mockers

That's the negative part. The positive is found in verse 2. Look at the verbs that describe the godly person's actions:

"But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night." (1:2)

The righteous person cherishes the Torah, and by extension, all of God's Word.

"Delight" (ḥēpeṣ) functions as a verb in this sentence. The basic meaning of the root is to feel great favor towards something. The object solicits favor by its own intrinsic qualities. The verb means "to experience emotional delight."4 In our verse then, the righteous man takes emotional delight in the law of the Lord.

"Meditates" is hāgā, "meditate, utter, mutter." The basic meaning is a low sound, characteristic of the moaning of a dove. It can be used negatively "to plot, whisper," or positively, "to meditate, ponder." Perhaps the Scripture was read half out loud in the process of meditation.5 The NJB renders this line, "and murmurs his law day and night," which may catch the idea here. The verb is also used in Psalms 63:6; 77:12; and 143:5. In God's word to Joshua, meditation results in prosperity:

"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." (Joshua 1:8)

That also is the result of the righteous man in our psalm:

"Whatever he does prospers." (verse 3d)

"Prospers" is ṣālēaḥ, "prosper, succeed, be profitable." The root means to accomplish satisfactorily what is intended.6

The Lord's Watch-Care over the Believer (1:6)

After the imagery of the fruit-bearing tree and the chaff, which we'll consider in a moment, we see the conclusion of this short psalm, the punch line:

"For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish." (1:6)

It is the "way" that is the focus of this verse. Derek, "way, road," is a very common Hebrew noun. Beyond a literal path worn by constant walking, it is commonly used figuratively to refer to the customary actions or behavior of a person.7 A dynamic translation here might be "lifestyle."

The promise of this verse is that Yahweh "watches over" (NIV, NRSV, NJB) or "knoweth" (KJV, NASB) the path of the believer. The verb is yāda`, "know," here with the specific meaning of "protect, guard."8 This verse has several parallels in the Bible, in particular:

"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:6, KJV)
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)

Poetic Structure

Let's look for a moment at the poetic elements of this remarkable psalm -- its parallel structure along with its imagery, the major elements of Hebrew poetry. So far in our study of the Psalms we've seen mainly synonymous parallelism. Psalm 1 contains a mixture of synonymous and antithetic parallelism, which is characteristic of Wisdom literature, such as the Book of Proverbs. The simplest example in our psalm is in verse 6:

"For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish." (1:6)
The clear positive/negative structure of Psalm 1
Above you can see the clear positive/negative structure of this psalm. The positive is highlighted in green, the negative in red.

As typical of antithetic parallelism, the first line states the positive, reinforced by the second line which states the negative. Here's an example from Proverbs:

"Hear, my child, your father's instruction,
and do not reject your mother's teaching." (Proverbs 1:8)

Once you learn to recognize parallelism in the Bible, you'll begin to appreciate the poetic beauty of a psalm as well as its teaching. Psalm 1, however, doesn't show simple antithetic parallelism, but whole verses that are positive followed by others that are negative, a intricate interweaving that enhances the beauty and power of this psalm.

A Fruit-Bearing Tree Planted by the Water (1:3)

The second powerful poetic element in Hebrew poetry is imagery -- and the imagery in Psalm 1 is simple, but very powerful indeed:

Fruit-bearing tree planted by the water
vs.
Chaff
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers." (1:3)

In the arid climate of Israel, consider the beauty and calm pictured by a vigorous tree planted next to a water-channel,9 that bears fruit regularly and not a bit of withering of its leaves, no matter how dry the summer. Its roots go down deep. So long as the water keeps flowing, it will be healthy. The water in this figure would probably be God's word, or the Lord himself.

This is a powerful, enduring image expressed by the words of the familiar African American spiritual:

"I shall not be, I shall not be moved,
I shall not be, I shall not be moved,
Just like a tree planted by the water, Lord,
I shall not be moved."

Psalm 92 gives a similar word picture of the righteous:

"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green...." (Psalm 92:12-14)

Chaff that the Wind Blows Away (1:4)

The second image in our psalm is of chaff being blown in the wind.

"Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away." (1:4)

Chaff is the paper-thin membrane surrounding the grain. It is removed before the grain is ground to make flour. The ancient Hebrews would gather the cut and dried wheat stalks into a flat area, best in a breezy area, and physically remove the chaff from the wheat by driving a donkey over it pulling a sled or log. Now the grain and chaff would lie together on the threshing floor. To separate the two, the farmer would use a pitchfork, called a winnowing fork, to throw the straw into the air. The breeze would blow away the light straw and the paper-thin chaff, while the grain would fall back to the ground by itself, where it would be collected and stored.

In this simile, the wicked are identified as the chaff -- light, insubstantial, and transitory. The heavier, substantial, valuable grain which is not mentioned in this brief image, would represent the believer. Winnowing is a symbol of judgment in verses 4 and 5. John the Baptist picks up a similar image as he declares the coming of the Messiah who will bring judgment:

"His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Luke 3:17)

The chaff, if any remains, will be burned up by the farmer. Our psalm concludes fittingly:

"For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish." (1:6)
Q1. (Psalm 1). This short psalm seems to reaffirm what we already know: the righteous will succeed and the wicked will perish. Why do we need to be reminded of this? From an emotional standpoint, what lines in this psalm stand out to you. Why do you think you like them?
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Psalm 15- Characteristics of a Righteous Person

Sometimes Christians are afraid to talk about righteousness. They are either too judgmental and self-righteous that they can't see straight or they are so quick to talk about grace not works so that righteous living doesn't seem to matter much.

But the Bible has a lot to say about righteous living. Why? Because in our world -- as in the ancient world -- there are far too many people who live for themselves, shade the truth, cut corners where they can -- and call themselves Christians. Just what is a righteous person? This psalm of David considers the question.

Dwelling with God (15:1)

"LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?" (15:1)

The real question here is: Who can dwell in God's presence? The answer is, someone who is conscientiously trying to live as God commands. Is that too much for us to handle?

Yes, we are imperfect and need forgiveness. There are other psalms that explore grace and forgiveness, but this psalm is talking about the lifestyle of one who claims to be a believer.

This "sanctuary" (NIV), "tent" (NRSV), "tabernacle" (KJV) talked about in verse 1 (´ōhel) is God's "dwelling place, home, tabernacle, tent." Though it specifically refers to an animal-skin tent, it can be used generically as one's dwelling place, even long after the Israelites had adopted more permanent dwellings.10 In the second line, the "holy hill" refers to Jerusalem, specifically the dwelling place of God in Jerusalem, where in Solomon's day the temple would be built (Psalm 2:6; 3:4; 43:3-4; 87:1-3). We see a similar question raised in Psalm 24 that we will consider in chapter 8:

"Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?" (Psalm 24:3)

Do you want to live in close proximity to God? I do. What is required? Jesus put it pretty bluntly when he said:

"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching." (John 14:23-24a)

What are those things? David doesn't give us an exhaustive list, but rather some earmarks, characteristics, of a person who is seeking to please God.

Poetic Structure

Before we continue, let's look at the fairly complex structure of the poem:

  • An opening couplet (two parallel lines; verse 1)
  • A closing single concluding line. (verse 5c)

Between these are

  • Two triplets (verses 2 and 3) and
  • Three doublets (verses 4 and 5)

Another way to look at the structure is by alternating positive conditions vs. negative conditions:

A. Positive Conditions (verse 2)
  1. Walking blamelessly
  2. Doing right
  3. Speaking truth
B. Negative Conditions (verse 3)
  • No falseness
  • No evil
  • No reproach
  • C. Positive Conditions (verse 4)
  • Despise reprobates
  • Swear to do good
  • D. Negative Conditions (verse 5)
  • No usury
  • No bribery
  • It may not be a coincidence that there are 10 of these conditions. While not corresponding directly to the 10 commandments, maybe they are meant to echo the idea of 10 conditions of a righteous person.11

    The imagery in this psalm isn't complex. It is of a tent, a dwelling place on a hill where God lives. Who can live in the same tent with God day by day? Can you? Can I? What does it take to live with God?

    Moral Integrity (15:2)

    The first triplet or three parallel lines talk about inner integrity.

    "He whose walk is blameless
    and who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from his heart." (15:2)

    I don't think that David is talking about complete moral perfection here -- pure thoughts, pure motives, never getting angry inappropriately, etc. I think he is talking about living a law-abiding, upright life -- abiding by God's law, that is. Notice that each of the verbs speak about actions: (1) "walk" or "live," (2) "do" or "work", and (3) "speak." Three words modify these verbs:

    • "Blameless" (NIV, NRSV), "uprightly" (KJV) is tāmīm, from the verb tāmam, which carries the fundamental idea of completeness. Our word is used of animal sacrifices that are without blemish, as well as moral integrity, "whole, upright, perfect."12
    • "Righteous" (NIV, KJV) or "right" (NRSV) is ṣedeq, from a root that basically connotes conformity to an ethical or moral standard.13
    • "Truth" (´ĕmet), from a root which denotes firmness or certainty. The noun means "truth, faithfulness, verity ... with an underlying sense of certainty, dependability."14

    Fairness to Neighbors (15:3)

    The second characteristic is a sense of fairness and even-handedness towards others. These are stated in the negative:

    "... And has no slander on his tongue,
    who does his neighbor no wrong
    and casts no slur on his fellowman...." (15:3)

    I've met a few people who act overtly to deceive, wrong, cheat, or ruin others. But the part of this which catches me and some people I know is the verb "slander" (NIV, NRSV) or "backbiteth" (KJV), rāgal, "slander, gossip," from a word that suggests roaming about, spying out, and telling secrets.15 Too often we do wrong to our neighbor by talking casually about him or her, saying things that are unkind -- that we would never think of saying to his or her face. One way to look at this is to, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39)

    Clear Allegiance (15:4a)

    Verse 4 may trouble Christians who have been taught by Jesus to love their enemies. It seems to suggest hate. Or does it?

    "... Who despises a vile man
    but honors those who fear the LORD." (15:4a)

    "Despise" (NIV, NRSV) or "contemn" (KJV) is bāzā, which has the basic meaning "to accord little worth to something." It means "to despise, disdain, hold in contempt."16 Here it is contrasted in antithetic parallelism with the word "honor."17 A couple of other verses are appropriate here:

    "Let those who love the LORD hate evil." (Psalm 97:10a)
    "To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
    I hate pride and arrogance,
    evil behavior and perverse speech." (Proverbs 8:13)

    Again and again we see this idea in the Psalms: "Turn from evil and do good...." (Psalms 34:14; 36:4; 37:27; 101:3; 119:104, 163).

    We live in a tolerant society that teaches us to overlook sin, to call evil "good" and good "evil." Intolerance in our society is considered an evil. Yes, there is a kind of proud judgmentalism that we must avoid. But we believers must not be tolerant of evil or regularly associate with evil people. We must stand clearly for the right. We are on God's side unashamedly! That doesn't mean that we can or should be complete separatists or hermits. We must live in society (1 Corinthians 5:1-13, especially 9-10). But we must be crystal clear about our allegiance.

    Keeping One's Word (15:4b)

    The next characteristic of a righteous person is keeping his word, even when it is difficult to do so.

    "Who keeps his oath
    even when it hurts." (15:4b)

    All healthy human relationships are built on trust, require trust. We serve a God who is faithful to keep his word. It follows that a follower of the Lord will take pains to keep his promises, even though that later becomes costly.

    Living without Greed (15:5)

    Money is tempting; money is corrupting, that is, if our hearts desire it. "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). The last descriptor of a righteous person in our psalm is one who is not controlled or swayed by money:

    "Who lends his money without usury
    and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
    He who does these things
    will never be shaken." (15:5)

    Money-lending in ancient times wasn't thought of as funding for capital expenditures such as a house. Instead, it was a last resort for a poor person who didn't have any other choice. The Mosaic Law didn't forbid all money-lending at interest (Deuteronomy 23:20; Matthew 25:27), but in the strongest possible terms it condemned money-lending designed to take advantage of a poor brother's extremity. Thus the righteous person described in the psalm lends money as an act of charity, not business. Nor does he accept a bribe to act unjustly. Only a person who has money clearly submitted to God can walk righteously before him.

    The psalm concludes with the promise of stability for the righteous:

    "He who does these things
    will never be shaken." (15:5b)

    The final lines remind me again just a bit of the African American spiritual based on Psalm 1 that we just studied: "Like a tree planted by the water, I shall not be moved."

    Q2. (Psalm 15) The Wisdom Psalms are meant to instruct us. How would you use this psalm in your family to instruct your children? What topics of right living does it cover?
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    Psalm 133 -- The Beauty of Unity

    Our final psalm in this lesson doesn't speak of justice, but of the rightness and beauty of unity. It is a psalm "of David" and is called "a song of ascents," traditionally sung as pilgrims approached Jerusalem as they went up for a feast.

    Begin by reading this short psalm out loud:

    "1How good and pleasant it is
    when brothers live together in unity!
    2It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
    running down on Aaron's beard,
    down upon the collar of his robes.
    3It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
    For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore." (Psalm 133)

    What stands out to me about this psalm is its startling imagery.

    • Oil poured on the head
    • Running down on the beard and clothing
    • Dew

    Brothers Living Together in Unity (133:1)

    The key term here is "yaḥad, "unitedness, union, association, community."18 Every other phrase in this short psalm amplifies and informs this word.

    The single purpose of this psalm is to exalt the value and virtue of unity with brothers. That's it. Pure and simple. In a fractured world, unity gets a bad rap. We have separatist churches refusing to fellowship with others that might have some different understanding of the Bible, too often seeing doctrinal purity and separation from "worldly Christians" as their prime distinctives as a denomination. It is because of this attitude that the Protestant church is splintered into hundreds of self-righteous pieces. Jesus gave a higher command than separation:

    "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)

    This now is our "prime directive." So to reinforce this value in our hearts, let's consider Psalm 133 carefully, taking time to allow its words and images to settle in our hearts and affix themselves to our souls.

    Good and Pleasant (133:1)

    "How good (ṭôb) and pleasant (nā`īm) it is
    when brothers live together in unity!

    The first words we see are "good" and "pleasant." The root of "good" refers to "good" or "goodness" in its broadest senses. "Good" (ṭôb), depending on the context, can carry meanings such as, "good, pleasant, beautiful, delightful, glad, joyful, precious, correct, and righteous." Hebrew often uses ṭôb where in English we would say something like "beautiful" or "expensive." It may also include the ideas of superior quality or relative worth.19

    The word "pleasant" (nā`īm) is a close synonym. It means "sweet, lovely, agreeable."20 The root is used to describe David as the "sweet" psalmist of Israel (2 Samuel 23:1), the physical beauty of two lovers in the Song of Solomon (1:16; 7:6), for the taste of bread (Proverbs 9:17) and the music of the lyre (Psalm 81:2).

    The words themselves carry associations of beauty, joy, and loveliness. Unity is not evil compromise! Unity is love working itself out amidst the difficulties that otherwise tend to divide people. Unity is beautiful, a thing to behold. The Apostle Paul commands us:

    "Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." (Ephesians 4:3-6)

    Unity Is Like Perfumed Oil Generously Poured Out (133:2)

    "It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
    running down on Aaron's beard,
    down upon the collar of his robes." (133:2)

    "Oil" (NIV, NRSV) or "ointment" (KJV) is the common word shemen, "oil," either of pure olive oil or prepared for various uses such as perfume or ointment. Kings and priests were anointed with oil and it became important in cosmetics and perfumery. Oil became a symbol of prosperity and blessing (Deuteronomy 32:13; 33:24; Psalm 92:10). It is referred to as "the oil of joy" (Isaiah 61:3; Psalm 45:7). An honored guest would be anointed with oil as an act of generous hospitality, as in the 23rd Psalm: "You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows" (Psalm 23:5). In Jesus' day, putting oil on a guest's head was considered the act of a gracious host (Luke 7:46).

    But in Psalm 133, this wasn't just olive oil. It was "precious" oil, probably perfumed. The adjective here is ṭôb which we saw in verse one, in the sense of "beautiful, expensive." The New Jerusalem Bible renders it "fine oil."

    And it wasn't just "a little dab will do you." This oil is poured21 until it begins to run off the hair and down onto the beard, and then even onto the recipient's robes.22 I would worry about staining my clothes. But the figure here is used to suggest abundance, extravagance, overflowing blessing. Aaron is mentioned because he was anointed as high priest by Moses (Exodus 30:25-30; Leviticus 8:12).

    Unity Is Like Heavy Dew (133:3)

    "It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
    For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore." (133:3)
    Experiencing the Psalms, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson, a Bible study on Psalms in 12 lessons
    Now all the lessons are available together in e-book and paperback formats.

    Mount Hermon is a high, snow-covered mountain on the border between Syria and Lebanon, the highest mountain in the lands of the Bible, 9,230 feet (2,814 meters). George Adam Smith observed, "The dews of Syrian nights are excessive; on many mornings it looks as if there had been heavy rain...."23 The dew that falls on the slopes of Mt. Hermon is copious.24 Mount Zion, on the other hand, is a poetic term for the city of Jerusalem. The psalmist seems to be saying that unity of brothers can be compared to the proverbial heavy dew of Mount Hermon descending upon Jerusalem. Kirkpatrick expresses it this way:

    "Dew is a symbol for what is refreshing, quickening, invigorating. The Psalmist compares the influence of brotherly unity upon the nation to the effect of dew on vegetation. From such dwelling together, individuals draw fresh energy; the life of the community, social and religious, is revived and quickened."25
    Q3. (Psalm 133) What about this short psalm seems to attract you? Why is "dwelling together in unity" so difficult? What kinds of commitments does unity require of us? How do the principles of unity and purity seem to conflict with each other? Why are reconciliation and unity such high values in Jesus' teaching, do you think?
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    Exercise. For one of the psalms in this lesson -- or another psalm with a similar theme -- do one of the suggested exercises to help you experience the Psalms (www.jesuswalk.com/psalms/psalms-exercises.htm). These include such things as praying a psalm, meditating, reading to a shut-in, paraphrasing, writing your own psalm, singing, preparing a liturgy, and memorizing. Then report to the forum what the exercise meant to you personally or share what you've written with others.
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    Prayer

    Dear Lord, we thank you for the encouragement to righteous living that you give us in these psalms. Help us to be diligent to obey you. Also help us to be diligent to seek unity, rather than just to judge, condemn, and separate. Teach us how to love -- to love you and to love our neighbors. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

    Songs

    • "Can I Ascend," words and music by Matt Redman (© 1995 Thankyou Music). Psalm 24:3.
    • "Clean Hands and a Pure Heart," words and music by Dale Garratt (© 1980, Scripture in Song). Psalm 24:3-5; 2 Chronicles 16:9.
    • "I Shall Not Be Moved," African American spiritual. Psalm 1
    • "Give Us Clean Hands," words and music by Charlie Hall (© 2000, worshiptogether.com songs). Psalm 24:3-5.
    • "Micah 6:8," words and music by Bob Sklar (© 1978, 1980, Maranatha! Music)
    • "¡Miren Qué Bueno! (O Look and Wonder)," words and music: Pablo Sosa (1979), translated by George Lockwood (© 1979 Cancionero Abierto, Buenos Aires). Psalm 133.
    • "Who May Ascend to the Hill of the Lord?" words and music by Kirk Dearman (© 1989, Maranatha Praise, Inc.). Psalm 24:3-5.

    References

    1. David M. Howard, Jr., "The Psalms in Current Study," in Interpreting the Psalms, p. 25.
    2. Gerald H. Wilson, "The Structure of the Psalter," in Interpreting the Psalms, p. 232-233.
    3. There are three distinctions between the use of bārak and āshar: (1) Bārak is never used to bless God or in God's mouth to bless people. It may be that ´āshar is reserved for man as a word of envious desire, "to be envied with desire is the man who trusts in the Lord." (2) Bārak can be a blessing from God that man doesn't deserve, but to be blessed (´ashrê), man has to do something. (3) Bārak is a benediction, ´āshar more of a congratulation (Victor P. Hamilton, bārak, TWOT #183a).
    4. Leonard J. Wood, ḥāpēṣ, TWOT #712b.
    5. Herbert Wolf, hāgā, TWOT 467.
    6. John E. Hartley, ṣālēaḥ, TWOT #1917.
    7. Herbert Wolf, dārak, TWOT #453a.
    8. On this special use of yāda`, Craigie (Psalms 1-50, p. 58) cites Dahood, Psalms, I, 5. "Care about, be concerned about" ... "take care of, take up the cause of" (Yāda`, Holladay, p. 129, meaning 7.a.).
    9. Peleg, means "artificial water-channel, canal" (Holliday 292).
    10. Jack P. Lewis, ´āhal, TWOT #32a.
    11. Craigie, Psalms, p. 150-151.
    12. J. Barton Payne, tāmam, TWOT #2522d.
    13. Harold G. Sitgers, ṣādēq, TWOT 1879a.
    14. Our word "Amen" comes from the same root ´āman. Jack B. Scott, ´āman, TWOT #116k.
    15. Holladay, p. 332; Kidner, Psalms 1-72, p. 81.
    16. Bruce K. Waltke, bāzā, TWOT #244.
    17. The "vile person" (KJV, NIV) or "wicked" (NRSV) is mā´as, "refuse, reject." Holladay, p. 180b.
    18. Paul R. Gilchrist, yāḥad, TWOT #858b; Holladay 132b.
    19. Andrew Bowling, ṭôb, TWOT #793a.
    20. Marvin R. Wilson, nā`ēm, TWOT #1384b.
    21. The word "poured" is implied. It isn't in the Hebrew text.
    22. "Skirts" (KJV) or "collar" (NRSV, NIV) is peh, "mouth," here used figuratively of the top opening of the robe (Victor P. Hamilton, peh, TWOT #1738).
    23. George Adam Smith, The Historical Geography of the Holy Land (Seventh Edition; New York: A.C. Armstrong and Son, 1900).
    24. Kirkpatrick, Psalms, p. 771.
    25. Ibid.

    Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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