Psalm Thirty seven – Translation of the Song

37,1 By David.
Do not be goaded by evildoers, do not be jealous of those who commit injustice.
37,2 For, like the grasses, they will quickly dry out, and, like seasonal greens, will wilt away.
37,3 Trust in ADONAI, and do good. Dwell in the land, and shepherd faith.
37,4 Take pleasure in ADONAI and He will give you your heart’s desires.
37,5 Turn your way to ADONAI and trust that He will act.
37,6 And He will bring forth your righteousness like the light and your justice like the midday.
37,7 Be quiet before ADONAI, and yearn for Him.
Do not be goaded by the man whose way prospers because of his scheming.
37,8 Let go of anger, and leave behind fury. Do not be goaded, it only brings about harm.
37,9 For evildoers will be cast off, but those who hope in ADONAI, they will inherit the land.
37,10 And in a little while, the wicked is no more; you will look carefully at his place, and he is not.
37,11 But the humble will inherit the land, and take pleasure in abundant wholeness.
37,12 The wicked schemes against the righteous, and gnashes at him with his teeth.
37,13 The Master will laugh at him, for He saw that his day will come.
37,14 The wicked have drawn open their sword, and have stretched tight their bow,
to bring down the poor and the impoverished, to slaughter those of upright ways.
37,15 Their sword will come into their own hearts and their bows will be broken.
37,16 Better is the little of the righteous than the plenitude of the mighty wicked.
37,17 For the arms of the wicked will be broken, but ADONAI holds up the righteous.
37,18 ADONAI knowingly guards the days of those who are perfect, cleansed of offences, and their estate will be for all time.
37,19 They will not be shamed in the time of hardship, and in the days of hunger they will be satisfied.
37,20 For the wicked will be lost, and the enemies of ADONAI, like the choicest of succulents, will be extinguished — in smoke, extinguished.
37,21 The wicked borrows and will not pay, while the righteous, favoured, gives.
37,22 For those who are blessed will inherit the land and those who are cursed will be cast off.
37,23 Guided by ADONAI, a man’s footsteps are firm; his way will be desirable.
37,24 Though he is brought down, he will not be thrown, for ADONAI holds up his hand.
37,25 A youth I was, and have become old,
and yet have not witnessed the righteous abandoned, nor his seed asking for bread.
37,26 All the day he deals favourably, and lends; and his seed, blessed.
37,27 Turn away from evil and do good; and dwell for all time.
37,28 For ADONAI loves justice, and will not abandoned His devout ones: they are guarded for all time,
while the seed of the wicked, cast off.
37,29 Righteous ones will inherit the land and will dwell on it forever.
37,30 The mouth of the righteous will speak wisdom’s logic and his tongue will utter justice.
37,31 The Torah of his God is in his heart; his gait does not falter.
37,32 The wicked scouts out the righteous, craving to kill him.
37,33 ADONAI will not abandon him to his hand and will not let him be convicted when he is judged.
37,34 Hope for ADONAI and guard His way, and He will raise you up to inherit the land — you will witness the wicked being cast off.
37,35 I have witnessed the wicked tyrant, rooted like a native, invigorated.
37,36 Yet, it passed, and behold, he is not. I asked for him, but he was not found.
37,37 Guard perfection and witness uprightness; for there is a sure future for the man of wholeness.
37,38 But offenders will be destroyed altogether, the future of the wicked surely cast off.
37,39 Yet the deliverance of the righteous is from ADONAI, their stronghold in time of torment.
37,40 And ADONAI will aid them and will rescue them, will rescue them from the wicked and will deliver them, for they have sheltered in Him.  

Notes on Translation, Psalm 37

  1. 16: in Hebrew, the word for “plenitude”, [הֲמוֹן], connotes the Hebrew word for “tumult” or “turmoil”, מְהוּמָה, perhaps suggesting that overabundance can provoke discord.


  1. 20: the Hebrew word for “succulents”, [כָּרִים], can refer either to the most tender part of meadow greens or of the grazing animals, both are which are vulnerable simply because of their succulence.


  1. 21: the Hebrew is ambiguous. The “favoured”, [חוֹנֵן], can refer to the righteous who act favourably in their relations with others or who are themselves granted favour. In both meanings, they are favoured because of their favourable acts.


  1. 25: the Hebrew verb for “witness”, [רָאִיתִי], used as well in verses 35 and 37, denotes the ability “to see through” the words and character of another, an insightfulness gained through experience; an ability, then, that the singer attributes to his old age.


  1. 32: the Hebrew for “craving” is the same word as “asking for” in v. 25, [וּמְבַקֵּשׁ]. However, the context of the two verses differs: the children of the righteous will be provided for, the singer asserts; they will not need to “ask”. The wicked, however, do “ask” but only in the sense of their own compulsion; their hatred grants them permission to kill.


  1. 35: the wicked are commonly described in English translations as spreading like a tree. The Hebrew word for “tree” does not actually appear in the verse. Rather, [כְּאֶזְרָח רַעֲנָן] means either vegetation or a person native to a particular climate or soil.


  1. 36: the Hebrew word, [וַיַּעֲבֹר], is ambiguous. It can refer to both the passage of time or the death of an individual.


  1. 37: the Hebrew word for “perfection” denotes both the path of the perfect and the one who follows that path.


  1. 38: the Hebrew for “altogether’, [יַחְדָּו], has a double intent: it can mean that all offenders alike will be destroyed or that they will be utterly destroyed – a subtle difference. In either possibility, their destruction is certain.


  1. 39: the Hebrew word for “torment”, [צָרָה], has the same root as the word for “Egypt” – narrow or constricted. The similarity would seem to be an implicit reference to the Israelites’ enslavement in the land of Egypt.

These translations are by Rabbi Maccabi and Dr. Rosenberg. The translations are as close to the literal Hebrew as possible.

Click here to study “Literary analysis of Psalm 37”

Sing & Learn: click here to hear a song composed for Psalm 37

King James Psalms 37  Translation:

[1] Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
[2] For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
[3] Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
[4] Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
[5] Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
[6] And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
[7] Rest in the LORD, 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 pass.
[8] Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
[9] For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
[10] For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
[11] But the meek shall inherit the earth; 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 shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
[14] The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
[15] Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
[16] A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
[17] For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
[18] The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
[19] They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
[20] But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
[21] The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
[22] For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
[23] The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
[24] Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD 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] He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
[27] Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
[28] For the LORD loveth judgment, 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.
[30] The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
[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] The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
[34] Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
[35] I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
[36] Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
[37] Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
[38] But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
[39] But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
[40] And the LORD shall help them and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.