Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.(2) Mighty.—In the sense of wealthy, as in Ruth 2:1.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.(3) His righteousness endureth for ever.—The parallelism in Psalm 112:9, where the same clause is repeated, seems to require for righteousness the limited sense which the Talmud gives the word—viz., liberality or beneficence. See also Daniel 4:27, in the LXX. Still the saying is true in its widest sense. “There is nothing, no, nothing, innocent or good, that dies or is forgotten; let us hold to that faith, or none” (Dickens).
Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.(4) Ariseth . . .—The Hebrew verb is commonly used of the sunrise. (Comp. Psalm 97:11; Isaiah 58:8.) For the good man the darkest night of trouble and sorrow will have a dawn of hope.
He is gracious . . .—The Authorised Version is right in making this a description of the upright man’s character. The construction certainly at first appears strange, since “the upright” is in the plural, while the epithets in this clause resume the singular of Psalm 112:3. This may be best explained by treating the first clause of this verse as a familiar proverbial saying, which the poet introduces, as a quotation, without changing the number to suit his own construction.
A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.(5) A good man.—Rather, happy is the man who gives and lends, good being here not used in a moral sense, but meaning prosperous.
He will guide . . .—Rather, he will gain his cause: in (the) judgment. So apparently the LXX. and Vulg. Others, “he will sustain his affairs by justice.” The verb primarily means “to measure,” but in the conjugation here used has the sense of “sustains.” (See Genesis 45:11; Genesis 47:12; Genesis 1:21, where the Authorised Version has “nourish.”) The meaning is confirmed by the parallelism of the next verse.
Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.(6) See Psalm 15:5; Proverbs 10:7.
He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.(7) The story of Job, when the messengers of ill succeeded one another so fast, is an illustration of the truth of this verse. “A good conscience before God” is the best “armour against fate.”
“Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful.”—
SHAKESPERE: Measure for Measure.
His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.(8) Until he see.—See Note, Psalm 59:10, and comp. Psalm 112:8.
He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.(9) He hath dispersed.—The conjugation of the verb indicates a frequent and customary action.
For St. Paul’s use of this verse, see New Test. Com. 2Corinthians 9:9.
His horn.—For the image of the exalted horn see Note, Psalm 75:5.
The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.(10) Gnash.—See Psalm 35:16.
Melt away.—As we say, “Consume with vexation.”