This Wisdom Psalm (see Introduction) contrasts the two ways of life—good and evil—and their consequences—happiness and misery.
Thus, it is a summary of the moral teaching of the Psalter; hence, its place at the beginning of the Psalms.
Happy is the one: a common Wisdom phrase; see Ps. 41.1
and the beatitudes of Jesus (Matt. 5.1–12
). See also Prov. 3.13 n.
A tree … beside water channels is a symbol of the fullness of life in arid Palestine where trees are generally dwarfed for lack of moisture; compare Ezek. 47.1–12
The confident assertion that the
LORD watches over the way of the righteous is found in many psalms, especially Wisdom Psalms. Even though in the Laments the psalmist recognizes the paradox of the
just suffering, the one praying trusts that deliverance always comes; see Ps. 22
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