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Bible Study Analysis of Psalm 37

guibox

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It is necessary to understand the viewpoint of the Hebrews on the final judgment of mankind. This chapter expresses it quite clearly.

Here it is.

1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

 2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass. , and wither as the green herb

 3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

 4Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

 5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

 6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

 7Rest 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.

 8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

 9For evildoers shall be cut off. : but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

 10For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be..

 11But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

 12The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

 13The LORD shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

 14The 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.

 15Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

 16A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

 17For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

 18The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.

 19They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

 20But 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..

 21The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

 22For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.

 23The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

 24Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

 25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

 26He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

 27Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.

 28For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

 29The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

 30The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

 31The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

 32The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

 33The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

 34Wait 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.

 35I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.

 36Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

 37Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

 38But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.

 39But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

 40And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.
This chapter along with many other texts show:

1) The Hebrews did not have a concept of an immortal soul
2) That David and the rest of the OT characters fully believed that God's enemies would be destroyed in the new earth (see also Isaiah 66)
3) Like John 5 and Revelation 20, the rewards and punishment would occur, not at death, but at the resurrections of the just and the unjust where the righteous receive eternal life and the wicked receive death (Daniel 12:2) (See also Romans 6:23 and John 3:16)
4) The wicked being 'cut off' coincides with NT 'garden language', where it says the 'wheat and tares will be separated' and the 'tares cast into the fire'. Like the tree that doesn't produce fruit is cut off and how the branches are attached to the Vine and can be cut off from the Vine'

Any comments?
 
B

BradtheImpaler

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Christians will usually only cite OT scriptures which they believe support some NT doctrine. If it's something that appears to go against the grain of their interpretation of the NT, they will dismiss it as being, well, the Old Testament.
 

cyberjosh

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Christians will usually only cite OT scriptures which they believe support some NT doctrine. If it's something that appears to go against the grain of their interpretation of the NT, they will dismiss it as being, well, the Old Testament.
That's baloney, the Bible is an inseperable unit. Dismiss it my foot, and Psalms is one of my favorite OT books.

This doesn't mean I know everything, but I certainly don't ignore anything.
 

cyberjosh

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1) The Hebrews did not have a concept of an immortal soul
That's an unwarranted conclusion. In keeping with #4 (being 'cut off'), the wicked being no more means to be cut off from the land (it is contrasted with the righteous inheriting the land/earth) and cut off from the living. You are extending the scope beyond what you should (use Occam's Razor).

You also shouldn't seperate this Psalm from the others and make such an absolute statement. Other Psalms do affirm the belief of an immortal soul that survives well beyond death.

2) That David and the rest of the OT characters fully believed that God's enemies would be destroyed in the new earth (see also Isaiah 66)
The "new" earth? They will be cut off on this earth, as is clear from the descriptions of the "Day of the LORD". What verse in this Psalm gives you this idea?

3) Like John 5 and Revelation 20, the rewards and punishment would occur, not at death, but at the resurrections of the just and the unjust where the righteous receive eternal life and the wicked receive death (Daniel 12:2) (See also Romans 6:23 and John 3:16)
Again which verse(s) in this Psalm gives you this impression?

4) The wicked being 'cut off' coincides with NT 'garden language', where it says the 'wheat and tares will be separated' and the 'tares cast into the fire'. Like the tree that doesn't produce fruit is cut off and how the branches are attached to the Vine and can be cut off from the Vine'
See my comment on #1.
 

guibox

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cybershark5886 said:
That's an unwarranted conclusion. In keeping with #4 (being 'cut off'), the wicked being no more means to be cut off from the land (it is contrasted with the righteous inheriting the land/earth) and cut off from the living.
No, it is not an unwarranted conclusion. Any Hebrew scholar worth their weight will tell you the same thing, for a number of reasons:

1) The emphasis on 'death', 'destruction' and 'resurrection' with nothing in between
2) The usage and meanings of the words 'nephesh - soul', 'ruach - spirit' and how the Hebrews believed them
3) The clear texts that promote death as a 'sleep', 'unconsciousness', 'no knowledge' or 'praise' from which only resurrection can solve
4) The nature of Sheol being translated as 'the grave' which emphasises # 3

cybershark5886 said:
You also shouldn't seperate this Psalm from the others and make such an absolute statement. Other Psalms do affirm the belief of an immortal soul that survives well beyond death.
Really? Like this verse?

The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down to silence - Psalm 115:17
or this verse?

His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish - Psalm 146:4
Which coincides with Ecclesiastes 9:5,6,10

For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything. neither have they anymore a reward for the memory of them is forgotten...Also their love, and their hatred and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion ofr ever in anything that is done under the sun...Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. for there is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in Sheol whither thou goest
or this verse in Job 10:10,12,14

But man dieth and wasteth away. Yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?...So man lieth down, and risteth not till the heavens be no more. They shall not awake nor be raised out of their sleep...If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come
The "new" earth? They will be cut off on this earth, as is clear from the descriptions of the "Day of the LORD". What verse in this Psalm gives you this idea?
The Day of the Lord is the day when God's enemies are completely destroyed so God can make a new earth. Malachi 4:1-3 makes this quite clear the total destruction of God's enemies. I was looking beyond the scope of this verse. David talks constantly about the destruction of God's enemies. Not just on this earth but for eternity.

As far as biblical evidence, perhaps you should check out this thread for the biblical evidence of the total destuction of god's enemies as contrasted to the righteous receiving eternal life.

http://www.christianforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=25553
 
C

CP_Mike

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cybershark5886 said:
You also shouldn't seperate this Psalm from the others and make such an absolute statement. Other Psalms do affirm the belief of an immortal soul that survives well beyond death.


See my comment on #1.
Hi,
There are planty of other hints that 'soul' is not immortal

Numbers 23:10
Ezekiel 18:4

The OT 'soul' means not the 'essence of a person incarnated into a body', but the whole living person in bodily form. In essence, it is the life of the person or creature. It clearly states that the 'life' dies at physical death.
 

cyberjosh

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Hi,
There are planty of other hints that 'soul' is not immortal

Numbers 23:10
Ezekiel 18:4

The OT 'soul' means not the 'essence of a person incarnated into a body', but the whole living person in bodily form. In essence, it is the life of the person or creature. It clearly states that the 'life' dies at physical death.
Perhaps I had a slip up in terminology there, because I agree with you up to a point. In the NT the actual uses of soul and spirit are more clearly used & defined and it is clear that the soul is the temporal personality, will, and emotions (seated in the mind & heart) of a person and the spirit is their eternal being.

Although verses like, "For You will not leave my soul to Sheol" (Psalms 16:10) beg the question of whether the soul survives or not. This much seems unclear. There is also the strange incident of Saul talking to Samuel via the witch/necromancer, which I can't really explain either, but stirs up curious questions. And Jesus also told the story of Abraham and Lazarus communicating in Sheol so apparently they aren't completely without awareness or identity.
 

cyberjosh

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Guibox, Since your arguements are relevant to the "soul sleep" arguements & views read this excellent link which will challenge the "soul sleep" interpretation on linguistic and doctrinal grounds, and talks about those verses that you quoted what it means for "thoughts to perish" (explores the Hebrew meaning), etc. Here is the link:
http://www.tektonics.org/qt/sleepy.html

And it quotes one thing which backs up a view I have always suspected as correct:

"Johnston summarizes the nature of Sheol, and among his findings are that persons in Sheol are inactive and weak, yet still can be conscious. We will test this conclusion against any cites made favoring the doctrine of "soul sleep" as this would obviously disagree with such a doctrine. [76] "

And it also states in a conclusion to one of his Hebrew studies:

"In essence, if we understand 'abad correctly, those in Sheol do not lose consciousness, but rather, concentration. And if that is so, little wonder "sleeping" is the main activity!"



Tell me your thoughts on that article.
 

guibox

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cybershark5886 said:
Guibox, Since your arguements are relevant to the "soul sleep" arguements & views read this excellent link which will challenge the "soul sleep" interpretation on linguistic and doctrinal grounds, and talks about those verses that you quoted what it means for "thoughts to perish" (explores the Hebrew meaning), etc. Here is the link:
http://www.tektonics.org/qt/sleepy.html

Tell me your thoughts on that article.
I find it interesting that he pooh-pooh's clear teaching of unconsciousness in Sheol in 4 passages of Ecclesiastes and 2 of Psalms as not being taken literally but then quotes Isaiah 14 which is obvious personification and metaphor to support his theory that there IS consciousness in Sheol and then makes that the accepted version.

He didn't read Bacchiocchi very well for in his book 'Immortality or Resurrection?' he explains all of this quite well.

I also find it funny that he should refer to 2 Corinthians 5:8 to support his idea that my spirit goes to heavenly bliss when this verse is obviously talking about receiving the resurrection body as spoken of in 1 Corinthians 15:34-55 and not an immortal spirit.

The immortality of the soul/spirit is a concept read into the texts that it doesn't belong in. Until people start taking off their Greek dualism glasses and see the bible for what it really says, they will always be in confusion in this matter.

However, I would like to keep this thread about the perishing of the wicked at the end described in Psalm 37 and clarified and supported throughout the rest of the scriptures.
 
O

Oscar3

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guibox said:
It is necessary to understand the viewpoint of the Hebrews on the final judgment of mankind. This chapter expresses it quite clearly.

Here it is.



This chapter along with many other texts show:

1) The Hebrews did not have a concept of an immortal soul
2) That David and the rest of the OT characters fully believed that God's enemies would be destroyed in the new earth (see also Isaiah 66)
3) Like John 5 and Revelation 20, the rewards and punishment would occur, not at death, but at the resurrections of the just and the unjust where the righteous receive eternal life and the wicked receive death (Daniel 12:2) (See also Romans 6:23 and John 3:16)
4) The wicked being 'cut off' coincides with NT 'garden language', where it says the 'wheat and tares will be separated' and the 'tares cast into the fire'. Like the tree that doesn't produce fruit is cut off and how the branches are attached to the Vine and can be cut off from the Vine'

Any comments?

I have a comment



1 tim 4:1 1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

2 tim 3: 1-7 1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 tim 4:1-4 1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at* His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2 peter 2:1-2 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
 
S

SputnikBoy

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cybershark5886 said:
That's baloney, the Bible is an inseperable unit. Dismiss it my foot, and Psalms is one of my favorite OT books.

This doesn't mean I know everything, but I certainly don't ignore anything.
It ISN'T baloney, cyber. He said MOST Christians ...NOT cybershark5886. And I agree with Brad wholeheartedly.
 

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