Psalms 1:3

3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

Psalms 1:3 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 1:3

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
&c.] Or, "for then shall he be" as Alshech renders the words; and the Hebrew "vau" is often used for "then" F17. As ( Psalms 1:1 Psalms 1:2 ) describe the man who is blessed, this points at his blessedness, and shows and proves him to be an happy man; for he is comparable to a "tree": not to a dry tree, or a tree without fruit, or whose fruit is withered, but to a fruitful tree, a green and flourishing one; green olive tree, or a palm tree, or a cedar in Lebanon; to which David compares himself and the righteous, ( Psalms 52:8 ) ( 92:12 ) ; and here such an one is compared to a tree "planted"; not to one that grows of itself, a wild tree, a tree of the wood; but to one that is removed from its native place and soil, and planted elsewhere; and so designs such who are broken off of the wild olive tree, and are grafted into the good olive tree; who are planted in Christ Jesus, and in the church, the house of the Lord; of which transplantation the removal of Israel into Canaan's land was an emblem, ( Psalms 80:8 ) ; and such a spiritual plantation is of God the husbandman; whose planting the saints are efficiently, ( Isaiah 60:21 ) ( 61:3 ) ( Matthew 15:13 ) . And it is owing to the word, the ingrafted word, ( James 1:21 ) , which is the means of this ingrafture, and to the ministers of it instrumentally; some of whom plant, and others water, ( 1 Corinthians 3:6 1 Corinthians 3:7 ) . Moreover, the happy man before described is like a tree that is situated "by the rivers of water", or "divisions" F18 and rivulets of water; which running about the plants, make them very fruitful and flourishing; see ( Ezekiel 31:4 ) ; and which may intend the river of the love of God, and the streams of it, the discoveries and applications of it to regenerate persons; and also the fulness of grace in Christ, who is the fountain of gardens, the well of living waters and streams from Lebanon, to revive, refresh, supply, and comfort his people, ( Song of Solomon 4:15 ) ; as well as the graces of the Spirit of God, which are near the saints, and like rivers of water flow out of them that believe in Christ, ( John 7:38 ) ; to which may be added the word and ordinances of the Gospel, which are the still waters, to which they are invited and led, and by which and with which they are greatly refreshed, and made fruitful. Arama interprets it of the waters of the law; it is best to understand it of the Gospel; see ( Isaiah 55:1 ) ; it follows,

that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
and so appears to be a tree of righteousness, filled with the fruits of righteousness, the graces of the Spirit, and good works; which are brought forth by him under the influence of grace, as he has opportunity, and according to the measure of grace bestowed. His leaf also shall not wither; neither tree, nor fruit, nor leaf shall wither, but shall be always green; which is expressive of the saints' perseverance: the reasons of which are, they are ingrafted in Christ the true vine, and abide in him, from whom they have their sap, nourishment, and fruit, ( John 15:1 John 15:2 ) ; they are rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith of him; and so they hold fast the profession of it without wavering;

and whatsoever he doth shall prosper;
meaning not so much in things temporal, of which Arama interprets it, for in these the good man does not always succeed, but in things spiritual: whatever he does in faith, from love, to the glory of God, and in the name of Christ, prospers; yea, those things in which he is concerned, that are adverse, and seem for the present to be against him, in the issue work for good to him: in short, such a man is blessed with grace here, and glory hereafter; and therefore must needs be an happy man.


F17 Vid. Noldii Concord. Part. Ebr. p. 308.
F18 (yglp le) "juxta divisiones"; Musculus, Hammond; so Ben Melech.

Psalms 1:3 In-Context

1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly.
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