Psalm 1:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

King James Bible
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

Darby Bible Translation
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, and standeth not in the way of sinners, and sitteth not in the seat of scorners;

World English Bible
Blessed is the man who doesn't walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers;

Young's Literal Translation
O the happiness of that one, who Hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked. And in the way of sinners hath not stood, And in the seat of scorners hath not sat;

Psalm 1:1 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Blessed is the man - That is, his condition is a happy or a desirable one. The word used here, אשׁר 'esher means properly, "happiness" or "blessedness." It is found, however, only in the plural form and in the construct state, and takes the nature and force of an interjection - " O the happiness of the man!" or "O happy man!" Deuteronomy 33:29 : "happy art thou, O Israel!" 1 Kings 10:8 : "happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants!" Job 5:17 : "happy is the man whom God correcteth!" Psalm 2:12 : "blessed are all they that put their trust in him!" See also Psalm 32:1-2; Psalm 33:12; Psalm 34:8; Psalm 40:4; Psalm 41:1; Psalm 65:4; Psalm 84:4-5, Psalm 84:12, et al., where it is rendered "blessed." The word is of the most general character, and, in itself, would embrace all that is supposed to constitute real happiness. The particular kind of blessedness referred to here, as explained in the subsequent part of the psalm, consists in the fact that he avoids the companionship of the wicked; that he has pleasure in the law of the Lord; that he will be prospered in this world; and that he will not perish at lasts. The word "man" here, also, is of the most general character, and is designed to include all people, of all times and of all conditions, who possess the character referred to. The term is applicable to the poor as well as to the rich; to the low as well as to the exalted; to the servant as well as to the master; alike to the aged, the middle-aged, and the young. All who have the character here described come under the general description of the happy man - the man whose condition is a happy and a desirable one.

That walketh not - Whose character is that he does not walk in the manner specified. Prof. Alexander renders this, "Who has not walked." But it implies more than this; it refers to more than the past. It is the characteristic of the man, always and habitually, that he does not thus walk; it has not only been true in the past, but it is true in the present, and will be true in the future. It is that which distinguishes the man. The word "walk" is often used in the Scriptures to denote a way of life or conduct - since life is represented as a journey, and man as a traveler. Psalm 15:2 : "who walketh uprightly." Compare 1 Kings 9:4; Deuteronomy 19:9; Deuteronomy 28:9; Psalm 81:12-13; Isaiah 33:15.

In the counsel - After the manner, the principles, the plans of this class of men. He does not take counsel of them as to the way in which he should live, but from the law of the Lord, Psalm 1:2. This would include such things as these: he does not follow the advice of sinners, 2 Samuel 16:20; 1 Kings 1:12; he does not execute the purposes or plans of sinners, Isaiah 19:3; he does not frame his life according to their views and suggestions. In his plans and purposes of life he is independent of them, and looks to some other source for the rules to guide him.

Of the ungodly - The wicked. The word used here is general, and would embrace all kinds and degrees of the unrighteous. It is not so specific, and would, in itself, not indicate as definite, or as aggravated depravity, as the terms which follow. The general sentiment here is, that the man referred to is not the companion of wicked men.

Nor standeth - This indicates more deliberation; a character more fixed and decided.

In the way - The path where they are found, or where they usually go. His standing there would be as if he waited for them, or as if he desired to be associated with them. Instead of passing along in his own regular and proper employment, he stations himself in the path where sinners usually go, and lingers and loiters there. Thus, he indicates a desire to be with them. This is often, in fact, illustrated by men who place themselves, as if they had nothing to do, in the usual situation where the wicked pass along, or where they may be met with at the corners of the streets in a great city.

Of sinners - חטאים chaṭṭâ'iym. This word means literally, those who miss the mark; then, those who err from the path of duty or rectitude. It is often used to denote any kind or degree of sin. It is more specific than the former word rendered "ungodly," as denoting those who depart from the path of duty; who fail in regard to the great end of life; who violate positive and known obligations.

Nor sitteth - This implies still greater deliberation and determination of character than either of the other words employed. The man referred to here does not casually and accidentally walk along with them, nor put himself in their way by standing where they are ordinarily to be found; but he has become one of them by occupying a seat with them; thus deliberately associating with them. He has an established residence among the wicked; he is permanently one of their number.

In the seat - The seat which the scornful usually occupy; the place where such men converse and sit together - as in a ball-room, or in a "club," where wicked men hold their meetings, or where infidels and scoffers are accustomed to assemble.

Of the scornful - לצים lētsiym. This word properly means those who mock, deride, scoff; those who treat virtue and religion with contempt and scorn. Proverbs 1:22; Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 9:7-8; Proverbs 13:1; Proverbs 15:12, et saepe. It denotes a higher and more determined grade of wickedness than either of the other words employed, and refers to the consummation of a depraved character, the last stage of wickedness, when God and sacred things are treated with contempt and derision. There is hope of a man as long as he will treat virtue and religion with some degree of respect; there is little or none when he has reached the point in his own character in which virtue and piety are regarded only as fit subjects for ridicule and scorn. We have here, then, a beautiful double gradation or climax, in the nouns and verbs of this verse, indicating successive stages of character. There is, first, casual walking with the wicked, or accidentally falling into their company; there is then a more deliberate inclination for their society, indicated by a voluntary putting of oneself in places where they usually congregate, and standing to wait for them; and then there is a deliberate and settled purpose of associating with them, or of becoming permanently one of them, by regularly sitting among them.

So also it is in regard to the persons with whom they associate. They are, first, irreligious men in general; then, those who have so far advanced in depravity as to disregard known duty, and to violate known obligations; and then, those who become confirmed in infidelity, and who openly mock at virtue, and scoff at the claims of religion. It is unnecessary to say that, in both these respects, this is an accurate description of what actually occurs in the world. He who casually and accidentally walks with the wicked, listening to their counsel, will soon learn to place himself in their way, and to wait for them, desiring their society, and will ultimately be likely to be feared identified with open scoffers; and he who indulges in one form of depravity, or in the neglect of religion in any way, will, unless restrained and converted, be likely to run through every grade of wickedness, until he becomes a confirmed scoffer at all religion. The sentiment in this verse is, that the man who is truly blessed is a man who does none of these things. His associations and preferences are found elsewhere, as is stated in the next verse.

Psalm 1:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Chaff Driven Away
We sometimes call men irreligious; and, surely, to be irreligious is bad enough; but to be religious is not good enough. A man may be religious, but yet he may not be godly. There are many who are religious; as touching the law outwardly they are blameless; Hebrews of the Hebrews, Pharisees of the straitest sect. They neglect no rubric, they break no law of their church, they are exceedingly precise in their religion; yet, notwithstanding this, they may rank under the class of the ungodly; for to
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859

As Therefore the Apostle, Nay Rather the Spirit of God Possessing and Filling And...
19. As therefore the Apostle, nay rather the Spirit of God possessing and filling and actuating his heart, ceased not to exhort the faithful who had such substance, that nothing should be lacking to the necessities of the servants of God, who wished to hold a more lofty degree of sanctity in the Church, in cutting off all ties of secular hope, and dedicating a mind at liberty to their godly service of warfare: likewise ought themselves also to obey his precepts, in sympathizing with the weak, and
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

Writings of St. Ambrose.
The extant writings of St. Ambrose may be divided under six heads. I. Dogmatic; II. Exegetic; III. Moral; IV. Sermons; V. Letters; VI. A few Hymns. I. Dogmatic and Controversial Works. 1. De Fide. The chief of these are the Five Books on the Faith, of which the two first were written in compliance with a request of the Emperor Gratian, a.d. 378. Books III.-V. were written in 379 or 380, and seem to have been worked up from addresses delivered to the people [V. prol. 9, 11; III. 143; IV. 119]. This
St. Ambrose—Works and Letters of St. Ambrose

How those are to be Admonished who Sin from Sudden Impulse and those who Sin Deliberately.
(Admonition 33.). Differently to be admonished are those who are overcome by sudden passion and those who are bound in guilt of set purpose. For those whom sudden passion overcomes are to be admonished to regard themselves as daily set in the warfare of the present life, and to protect the heart, which cannot foresee wounds, with the shield of anxious fear; to dread the hidden darts of the ambushed foe, and, in so dark a contest, to guard with continual attention the inward camp of the soul. For,
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Cross References
Deuteronomy 33:29
"Blessed are you, O Israel; Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, Who is the shield of your help And the sword of your majesty! So your enemies will cringe before you, And you will tread upon their high places."

Joshua 1:8
"This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Psalm 5:9
There is nothing reliable in what they say; Their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; They flatter with their tongue.

Psalm 5:10
Hold them guilty, O God; By their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, For they are rebellious against You.

Psalm 10:2
In pride the wicked hotly pursue the afflicted; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.

Psalm 17:4
As for the deeds of men, by the word of Your lips I have kept from the paths of the violent.

Psalm 26:4
I do not sit with deceitful men, Nor will I go with pretenders.

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