Psalm 37:37
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
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(37) For the end of that man is peace.—This is quite wrongly translated, since acharîth must here mean, as in Psalm 109:13; Amos 4:2; Amos 9:1, “posterity.” The parallelism decides in favour of this.

Mark the honest man, and behold the upright;

For a posterity (shall be) to the man of peace:

But transgressors are altogether destroyed,

The posterity of the wicked is destroyed.

So the LXX. and Vulg.

Psalm 37:37-39. Mark the perfect man, &c. — Behold now a very different character, a man who is upright before God, who sincerely desires and endeavours to please and glorify him, and therefore makes it his care to walk in his ordinances and commandments blameless: mark him, keep your eye upon him, and observe the issue of his course and conversation. For the end of that man is peace — Though he may meet with troubles in his way; though his days may be long, dark, and cloudy; yet all shall end well with him; he shall be happy at last. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together — Or, alike, one as well as another, all without any exception or respect of persons. The end of the wicked shall be cut off — That is, he shall be cut off at last, or in the end. His prosperity shall end in destruction. But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord — And therefore it shall certainly come to and be conferred upon them.

37:34-40 Duty is ours, and we must mind it; but events are God's, we must refer the disposal of them to him. What a striking picture is in ver. 35,36, of many a prosperous enemy of God! But God remarkably blights the projects of the prosperous wicked, especially persecutors. None are perfect in themselves, but believers are so in Christ Jesus. If all the saint's days continue dark and cloudy, his dying day may prove comfortable, and his sun set bright; or, if it should set under a cloud, yet his future state will be everlasting peace. The salvation of the righteous will be the Lord's doing. He will help them to do their duties, to bear their burdens; help them to bear their troubles well, and get good by them, and, in due time, will deliver them out of their troubles. Let sinners then depart from evil, and do good; repent of and forsake sin, and trust in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ. Let them take his yoke upon them, and learn of him, that they may dwell for evermore in heaven. Let us mark the closing scenes of different characters, and always depend on God's mercy.Mark the perfect man - In contrast with what happens to the wicked. The word "perfect" here is used to designate a righteous man, or a man who serves and obeys God. See the notes at Job 1:1. The word "mark" here means "observe, take notice of." The argument is, "Look upon that man in the end, in contrast with the prosperous wicked man. See how the close of life, in his case, differs from that of a wicked man, though the one may have been poor and humble, and the other rich and honored." The point of the psalmist's remark turns on the end, or the "termination" of their course; and the idea is, that the end of the two is such as to show that there is an advantage in religion, and that God is the friend of the righteous. Of course this is to be understood in accordance with the main thought in the psalm, as affirming what is of general occurrence.

And behold the upright - Another term for a pious man. Religion makes a man upright; and if a man is not upright in his dealings with his fellow-man, or if what he professes does not make him do "right," it is the fullest proof that he has no true piety, 1 John 3:7-8.

For the end of that man is peace - DeWette renders this, Denn Nachkommen hat der Mann Friedens; "For a future has the man of peace." So it is rendered by the Latin Vulgate: Sunt reliquiae homini pacifico. So the Septuagint. So also Hengstenberg, Rosenmuller, and Prof. Alexander. Tholuck renders it, as in our version, "It shall go well at last to such man." It seems to me that the connection demands this construction, and the authority of Tholuck is sufficient to prove that the Hebrew will admit of it. The word rendered "end" - אחרית 'achărı̂yth - means properly the last or extreme part; then, the end or issue of anything - that which comes after it; then, the after time, the future, the hereafter: Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1; Genesis 49:1; Daniel 10:14. It may, therefore, refer to anything future; and would be well expressed by the word "hereafter;" the "hereafter" of such a man. So it is rendered "my last end" in Numbers 23:10; "latter end," Numbers 24:20; "their end," in Psalm 73:17. It "might," therefore, refer to all the future. The connection - the contrast with what happens to the wicked, Psalm 37:36, Psalm 37:38 - would seem to imply that it is used here particularly and especially with reference to the close of life. The contrast is between the course of the one and that of the other, and between the "termination" of the one course and of the other. In the one case, it is ultimate disaster and ruin; in the other, it is ultimate peace and prosperity. The one "issues in," or is "followed by" death and ruin; the other is succeeded by peace and salvation. Hence, the word may be extended without impropriety to all the future - the whole hereafter. The word "peace" is often employed in the Scriptures to denote the effect of true religion:

(a) as implying reconciliation with God, and

(b) as denoting the calmness, the tranquility, and the happiness which results from such reconciliation, from his friendship, and from the hope of heaven.

See John 14:27; John 16:33; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:6; Galatians 5:22; Philippians 4:7. The meaning here, according to the interpretation suggested above, is, that the future of the righteous man - the whole future - would be peace;

(a) as a general rule, peace or calmness in death as the result of religion; and

(b) in the coming world, where there will be perfect and eternal peace.

As a usual fact religious men die calmly and peacefully, sustained by hope and by the presence of God; as a univeral fact, they are made happy forever beyond the grave.

37. By "the end" is meant reward (Pr 23:18; 24:14), or expectation of success, as in Ps 37:38, which describes the end of the wicked in contrast, and that is cut off (compare Ps 73:17). Though he may meet with troubles in his way, yet all shall end well with him; he shall be happy at last.

Mark the perfect man,.... None are so in themselves, not the most holy man upon earth; for though all grace is implanted at once in regeneration, the seed of grace of every kind is cast into the heart at once; yet it opens and spreads, and gradually increases; nor is any grace in its exercise perfect; not faith, nor hope, nor love: sin is in the best of men, and all stand in need of fresh supplies of grace. None of the saints ever affirmed that they had arrived to perfection, but have disclaimed it: one saint may indeed attain to a greater degree of grace and knowledge than another, and in a comparative sense be perfect; and there is a perfection of parts, though not of degrees, in all; the new man is formed in all its parts, though these are not grown to their full perfection: and whereas perfection often denotes truth and sincerity, such may be said to be perfect, that is, sincere, who have received the grace of God in truth, have the, truth and root of the matter in them; so Noah, Job, and others, are said to be perfect men; but not simply and absolutely in themselves, but as in Christ Jesus; who has obtained complete redemption, perfectly fulfilled the law for them, fully expiated their sins, procured the entire pardon of them, and brought in an everlasting righteousness, by which they are justified from all sin, and are perfectly comely, and a perfection of beauty, through the comeliness of Christ put upon them;

and behold the upright; the man that is upright in heart and conversation, who has a right spirit renewed in him, and the uprightness of Christ showed unto him; or, in other words, who has the truth of grace within him, and the righteousness of Christ upon him: such men are to be marked, observed, viewed, and considered, as rare and uncommon men; and to be imitated and followed in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty; and especially the end of such persons is to be marked and beheld, as follows;

for the end of that man is peace: such a man now enjoys a conscience peace, which passes the understanding of worldly men; and which he possesses in Christ, and from him, amidst a variety of tribulations, arising from a view of interest in his blood and righteousness; and, generally speaking, goes off the stage of life, if not triumphing, yet resigned to the will of God, and in a serene and tranquil frame of spirit, and even desiring to be gone, and to be with Christ, and to have leave, with good old Simeon, to depart in peace; and as soon as they are departed they enter into peace, into the joy of their Lord, into his presence, where is fulness of joy, and pleasures for evermore; see Numbers 23:10.

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

(y) He exhorts the faithful to mark diligently the examples both of God's mercies, and also of his judgments.

37, 38. Stanza of Shin. The future of the wicked and the righteous.

Mark] I.e. observe. The P.B.V., Keep innocency, and take heed unto the thing that is right, follows the LXX, Vulg., Symm., Jer., Syr., Targ., in a doubtful rendering.

for the end &c.] R.V. for the latter end &c. But the marginal alternatives certainly give the right construction of the sentence: there is a reward (or, future, or, posterity) for the man of peace. Acharîth means ‘an after’, ‘a sequel’ (Proverbs 23:18; Proverbs 24:20): hence ‘reward’ or ‘posterity’; and Psalm 37:38 points to the latter sense here. ‘The man of peace’ lives on in his posterity: the wicked man’s family become extinct. P.B.V., for that shall bring a man peace at the last, appears to be a paraphrase of Jerome’s quia erit in extreinum viro pax.

Verse 37. - Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace. This translation is much disputed. Most ancients and many moderns render the first line, "Keep innocency, and observe uprightness," while some critics maintain that acharith in the second line must mean "posterity," and not "end." Others, again, join shalom to ish, and render, "There shall be posterity (or, a future) to the man of peace." However, the rendering of the Authorized Version is retained by our Revisers, and accepted in part by Hengstenberg and Dr. Kay, while it has the complete approval of Canon Cook. Psalm 37:37תּם might even be taken as neuter for תּם, and ישׂר for ישׁר; but in this case the poet would have written רעה instead of ראה; שׁמר is therefore used as, e.g., in 1 Samuel 1:12. By כּי that to which attention is specially called is introduced. The man of peace has a totally different lot from the evil-doer who delights in contention and persecution. As the fruit of his love of peace he has אחרית, a future, Proverbs 23:18; Proverbs 24:14, viz., in his posterity, Proverbs 24:20; whereas the apostates are altogether blotted out; not merely they themselves, but even the posterity of the ungodly is cut off, Amos 4:2; Amos 9:1; Ezekiel 23:25. To them remains no posterity to carry forward their name, their אחרית is devoted to destruction (cf. Psalm 109:13 with Numbers 24:20).
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