Psalms 37

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version

← Psalms 36   Psalms 38 →

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.

← Psalms 36   Psalms 38 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 287


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 612, 996, 1458, 3780, 9174, 9263, 9857, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 209, 306, 323, 401, 422, 435, 668

Divine Love and Wisdom 38

Sacred Scripture 85

Heaven and Hell 287

True Christian Religion 51


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 238, 340, 357, 365, 386, 494, 507, ...

Marriage 51

Scriptural Confirmations 4, 60

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 24:12, 26:3

Numbers 65

Deuteronomy 5:33, 6:6

Joshua 14:9

1 Samuel 2:31, 19:10, 23:14

2 Samuel 18:14, 15

2 Kings 6:13

1 Chronicles 5:20

2 Chronicles 28:6, 32:22

Esther 3:5, 15, 5:13, 14, 7:10, 9:16, 22

Job 4:7, 8:18, 11:17, 17:8, 18:19, 20:5, 9, 22:26, 35:14

Psalms 1:4, 6, 2:4, 9:10, 10:15, 11:2, 7, 25:13, 27:14, 28:7, 33:19, 34:15, 20, 22, 35:16, 40:3, 9, 46:2, 10, 56:7, 62:2, 68:3, 76:4, 91:8, 92:8, 12, 94:18, 112:5, 8, 129:6, 145:14

Proverbs 1:26, 2:21, 22, 3:5, 10:3, 20, 24, 31, 11:8, 12:7, 14:11, 16:3, 8, 20:22, 21:26, 23:17, 24:16, 19, 20, 29:16

Ecclesiastes 8:13

Isaiah 2:12, 17:14, 41:10, 51:7, 57:13, 58:8, 10, 60:21

Jeremiah 11:19, 12:2, 15:20, 18:23, 48:25, 51:10, 56

Lamentations 3:25

Ezekiel 26:21

Daniel 3:17, 4:7, 6:5, 8:24, 11:19

Micah 7:8

Malachi 4:1

Matthew 5:5, 42

Luke 6:7, 11:9

Romans 12:19

Hebrews 13:5

1 Peter 1:5, 4:19, 5:10

1 John 2:17, 3:22

Word/Phrase Explanations

iniquity
Folly, iniquity, hypocrisy, and error, as in Isaiah 9:17: Folly has respect to the false, iniquity signifies evil, hypocrisy, the evils spoken against goods, and...

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

Grass
Grass signifies the scientific principle. Just as green grass serves animals for support, scientific truth serves men for spiritual nourishment. ‘Grass’ is scientific truth, and...

wither
In the Bible (and in life), the idea of withering is usually connected to plants, and plants generally wither if they don't get enough water....

green
The color green is almost exclusively used in connection with plants in the Bible (the exceptions include two stomach-turning references to moldy plagues in Leviticus),...

Herb
Every herb in the Word signifies some species of scientifics. 'Herb bearing seed,' as mentioned in Genesis 1:29, signifies every truth which regards use. 'Green...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

Land
Land' in the Word, denotes the church, for the things which signify the church also signify the things relating to the church, for these constitute...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

Way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

Pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

righteousness
The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

light
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...

Judgment
Judgement' pertains to the Lord's divine human and holy proceeding. Judgment' has two sides, a principle of good, and a principle of truth. The faithful...

rest
'To slumber' and 'sleep' denotes the state of a person who is not in truths, as in Jeremiah 51:39, 57, Psalm 8:3 and 76:5, and...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

wicked
Swedenborg several times associates the “wicked” with “malevolence,” defines “malevolence” as “destroying good, interior and exterior,” and says that the wicked do this by disowning...

wrath
'Wrath,' as in Genesis 49:7, signifies aversion from truth. 'Great wrath,' as in Revelation 12:12, signifies hatred against the new church.

upon
Over' or 'upon' in the Word, signifies being within, because the highest part in successive order becomes inmost in simultaneous order. This is why the...

Place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

meek
The word "meek" is used just a handful of times in the Bible, but it is attributed several times to the Lord and is used...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

Just
He is said to be 'just' in a spiritual sense, who lives according to divine laws. They on the right hand being called 'just,' as...

Teeth
'Teeth' signify the outer edges of the life of the natural self, or the sensory level. This has two kinds, the will, and the understanding....

coming
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

Sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

Bow
A bow signifies falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and spear, the falsity of evil de­stroying good. (Jer. 6:23.)

Bow, to
To bow, as in Genesis 18:2 signifies to humble.

cast
For something to be cast down or cast out generally refers to a rather dramatic move from a higher spiritual state to a lower one....

needy
In most cases, those described as "needy" in the Bible are those who lack true knowledge of the Lord and his teachings, but have a...

Slay
'To slay' or 'to kill' in the Word, means destroying souls, which is spiritually killing.

Upright
'Upright' signifies truth originating in charity. Truth may be derived from various origins, but what originates in the good of charity from the Lord is...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

bows
To bow in prayer is common in most religious practices, so it's not surprising that “to bow” in the Bible represents humility and worship in...

many
Intellectual things – ideas, knowledge, facts, even insight and understanding – are more separate and free-standing than emotional things, and it’s easier to imagine numbering...

Arms
Arms and feet (Dan 10:6) signify the exterior things of the Word, which are its literal sense.

inheritance
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...

Ashamed
To be ashamed (Gen 2:25) signifies to be in evil

time
Time is an aspect of the physical world, but according to Swedenborg is not an aspect of the spiritual world. The same is true of...

famine
Food and drink in the Bible represent the desire for good and the understanding of what is true, which nourish and delight us spiritually the...

Perish
'To perish,' or 'die,' relates to damnation, or the state in hell.

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

Fat
Fat signifies the celestial principle. Fat things, full of marrow, signify goodnesses. Fat and blood signify interior goods and truths, and hence the Israelites, prior...

Smoke
'Smoke' signifies divine truth in extremes, because 'fire' which gives off smoke, signifies love. 'Smoke' also signifies the same thing as 'cloud' in many places....

giveth
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

blessed
The Lord is perfect love expressed as perfect wisdom. He created us so that He could love us, could give us love and wisdom of...

cursed
The Lord is love itself, and his love for us never wavers and never changes. What does waver and change is the degree to which...

Steps
'Steps,' as in Exodus 20:26, signify ascent to higher or interior degrees.

fall
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

young
'The son of a cow' signifies the celestial natural level and natural exterior good.

old
Swedenborg tells us that space and time in the physical world correspond to states of life in the spiritual world. So when the Bible talks...

seen
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Seed
'A seed' signifies love, and everyone who has love, as in Genesis 12:7. 8:15, 16. 'A seed' signifies faith grounded in charity. 'A seed' signifies...

bread
The word “bread” is used two ways in the Bible. In some cases it means actual bread; in others it stands for food in general....

Saints
'Saints' mean people governed by truths from the Lord through the Word.

the seed of
'The seed of Sihor,' as in Isaiah 23:3, signifies scientific truth.

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

speaketh
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

wisdom
Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving (Rev. 7.) signify divine spiritual things of the Lord.

tongue
In Psalms 5:10, 'the throat an open sepulcher,' relates to evil, 'the tongue speaking smooth things,' to falsity.

the law
Jews at the time of Jesus had a number of ways to break down and describe the books of the Old Testament. Among the more...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

none
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

judged
It’s easy to see the connection between judging and truth. In a court of law, the judge’s whole purpose is to find the truth. In...

keep
"Keeping" in the Bible generally has to do with controlling the actual actions of life, though in some cases it can mean holding something away...

great power
In Revelation 11:17, 'thou hast taken to thee thy great power' signifies divine omnipotence, which is and was His from eternity.

Power
Power,' as in Revelation 4, signifies salvation, because all divine power regards this as its final purpose. A person is reformed by divine power, and...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

Passed
'Passed' or 'expired' denotes the conclusion of whatever state is being discussed.

Mark
'A mark' signifies an acknowledgment and a confession. To receive a mark on the right hand and on the forehead,' as in Revelation 13:16, signifies...

the
In Revelation 11:13, 'the remnant who were afraid' signifies people who joined some goods of charity to faith.

Perfect
'The days of the perfect' signifies the states of people who are in good and truths from good.

salvation
'Salvation, to the Lord our God,' as in Revelation 19:1, signifies an acknowledgment and confession that salvation is from the Lord.

Strength
Strength' relates truth and falsity. Strength,' as in Luke 10:27, signifies the will and understanding extended to extremes. Strength,' as in Revelation 1:6, signifies divine...

trouble
The Bible often talks of people being "troubled." The internal meaning is pretty straightforward; it indicates a state of spiritual turmoil, usually due to the...

save
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Divine Providence
The Lord keeps the world in a state of order through His Divine providence, which is directed above all to the human race.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 11 - 17

 Living in the Present
What can you do to reach your goals while also trusting in the Lord and doing what is good?
Activity | Ages over 15

 Loving One Another
This sermon shows that someone who really cares about others will seek to understand the truth so that he may serve in intelligent ways. When this happens, greater blessings are achieved for all. 
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Memory Verse: God Meant It for Good
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Memory Verse: Trusting in the Lord
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Quotes: Trusting in the Lord
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Secret Roads on Earth
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Story of Joseph
Examining the life and character of Joseph teaches us about how the Lord leads each of our lives.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Trust in the Lord
What is trust in the Lord? One who trusts in the Lord loves Him and looks to Him in all things. And this trust brings peace, because it opens a person’s mind to the Lord’s infinite love and wisdom.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18


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