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Psalm 37 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 37[a]

The Fate of Sinners and the Reward of the Just

Of David.


Do not be provoked by evildoers;
    do not envy those who do wrong.
Like grass they wither quickly;
    like green plants they wilt away.


Trust in the Lord and do good
    that you may dwell in the land[b] and live secure.
Find your delight in the Lord
    who will give you your heart’s desire.


Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will act
And make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
    your justice like noonday.


Be still before the Lord;
    wait for him.
Do not be provoked by the prosperous,
    nor by malicious schemers.


Refrain from anger; abandon wrath;
    do not be provoked; it brings only harm.
Those who do evil will be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord will inherit the earth.


10 Wait a little, and the wicked will be no more;
    look for them and they will not be there.
11 But the poor will inherit the earth,
    will delight in great prosperity.


12 The wicked plot against the righteous
    and gnash their teeth at them;
13 But my Lord laughs at them,
    because he sees that their day is coming.


14 The wicked unsheath their swords;
    they string their bows
To fell the poor and oppressed,
    to slaughter those whose way is upright.
15 Their swords will pierce their own hearts;
    their bows will be broken.


16 Better the meagerness of the righteous one
    than the plenty of the wicked.
17 The arms of the wicked will be broken,
    while the Lord will sustain the righteous.


18 The Lord knows the days of the blameless;
    their heritage lasts forever.
19 They will not be ashamed when times are bad;
    in days of famine they will be satisfied.


20 The wicked perish,
    enemies of the Lord;
They shall be consumed like fattened lambs;
    like smoke they disappear.


21 The wicked one borrows but does not repay;
    the righteous one is generous and gives.
22 For those blessed by the Lord will inherit the earth,
    but those accursed will be cut off.


23 The valiant one whose steps are guided by the Lord,
    who will delight in his way,
24 May stumble, but he will never fall,
    for the Lord holds his hand.


25 Neither in my youth, nor now in old age
    have I seen the righteous one abandoned
    or his offspring begging for bread.
26 All day long he is gracious and lends,
    and his offspring become a blessing.


27 Turn from evil and do good,
    that you may be settled forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice
    and does not abandon the faithful.


When the unjust are destroyed,
    and the offspring of the wicked cut off,
29 The righteous will inherit the earth
    and dwell in it forever.


30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom;
    his tongue speaks what is right.
31 God’s teaching is in his heart;
    his steps do not falter.


32 The wicked spies on the righteous
    and seeks to kill him.
33 But the Lord does not abandon him in his power,
    nor let him be condemned when tried.


34 Wait eagerly for the Lord,
    and keep his way;
He will raise you up to inherit the earth;
    you will see when the wicked are cut off.


35 I have seen a ruthless scoundrel,
    spreading out like a green cedar.
36 When I passed by again, he was gone;
    though I searched, he could not be found.


37 Observe the person of integrity and mark the upright;
    Because there is a future for a man of peace.
38 Sinners will be destroyed together;
    the future of the wicked will be cut off.


39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord,
    their refuge in a time of distress.
40 The Lord helps and rescues them,
    rescues and saves them from the wicked,
    because they take refuge in him.


  1. Psalm 37 The Psalm responds to the problem of evil, which the Old Testament often expresses as a question: why do the wicked prosper and the good suffer? The Psalm answers that the situation is only temporary. God will reverse things, rewarding the good and punishing the wicked here on earth. The perspective is concrete and earthbound: people’s very actions place them among the ranks of the good or wicked. Each group or “way” has its own inherent dynamism—eventual frustration for the wicked, eventual reward for the just. The Psalm is an acrostic, i.e., each section begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each section has its own imagery and logic.
  2. 37:3 The land: the promised land, Israel, which became for later interpreters a type or figure of heaven, cf. Hb 11:9–10, 13–16. The New Testament Beatitudes (Mt 5:3–12; Lk 6:20–26) have been influenced by the Psalm, especially their total reversal of the present and their interpretation of the happy future as possession of the land.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Psalm 37 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 37[a]

Of David.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
    though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
    and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
    and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
    for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword
    and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
    to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
    and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous have
    than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
    but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
    and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
    in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20 But the wicked will perish:
    Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
    they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
    but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
    but those he curses will be destroyed.

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
    of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
    for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old,
    yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
    or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
    their children will be a blessing.[b]

27 Turn from evil and do good;
    then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
    and will not forsake his faithful ones.

Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed[c];
    the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
    and dwell in it forever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
    and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
    their feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
    intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
    or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Hope in the Lord
    and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
    when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
    flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
    though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
    a future awaits those who seek peace.[d]
38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
    there will be no future[e] for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
    he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
    he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him.


  1. Psalm 37:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the stanzas of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. Psalm 37:26 Or freely; / the names of their children will be used in blessings (see Gen. 48:20); or freely; / others will see that their children are blessed
  3. Psalm 37:28 See Septuagint; Hebrew They will be protected forever
  4. Psalm 37:37 Or upright; / those who seek peace will have posterity
  5. Psalm 37:38 Or posterity
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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