I have seen - I have had an opportunity, in my long life Psalms 37:25, of witnessing the accuracy of the statement just made, that a righteous man may live to see a confirmation of the truth that wickedness, however prosperous the wicked man may be, will lead to ultimate ruin - as I have had an opportunity of seeing Psalms 37:25-26 the effect of a course of righteousness on the ultimate prosperity and happiness of its possessor. The same experience, with the same result, is referred to in Job 5:3.
In great power - The word used here - ‛ârı̂yts - means properly "terrible; inspiring terror." It is applied to God in Jeremiah 20:11; and to powerful nations, Isaiah 25:3. It is also used in a bad sense, as denoting violent, fierce, lawless, or a tyrant, Isaiah 13:11; Isaiah 25:4-5; Job 15:20; Job 27:13. Here it may be used in the sense of one who was prosperous and mighty, and as referring to a man who wielded vast power; but there is connected with that also, undoubtedly, the idea that that power was wielded, not for purposes of benevolence, but for injustice, oppression, and wrong. It was a "wicked" man that was thus powerful.
And spreading himself - The word used here means properly to be naked; to make naked; to empty; then, to pour oneself out; and then, to spread oneself abroad. It is applied here to a tree that seems to pour itself out, or to spread itself out in every direction - sending its limbs aloft, and its branches far on every side.
Like a green bay tree - Margin: "a green tree that groweth in its own soil." The "bay tree" is a species of laurel, but there is no evidence that the original word here refers particularly to this, or specifically to any other tree. The original word 'ezrâch - is derived from zârach , to rise; and then, to spring up as a plant does, and it properly means here, as expressed in the margin, "a native tree;" that is, a tree that grows in its own soil, or that has not been transplanted. Then, also, it comes to denote a native; one born in the country, not a foreigner: Leviticus 16:29; Leviticus 18:26, et al. The idea here is that a tree which thus remains in its own soil is more vigorous, and will attain to a larger growth, than one which is transplanted; and thus the figure becomes an emblem of a prosperous and mighty man. "Perhaps," also, there is included here, respecting the man, the idea that he has grown up where he is; that he has not been driven from place to place; that he has had uniform prosperity; that on the very soil which gave him birth he has risen to rank, to wealth, to power. His life has been spent in tranquil scenes, where everything seemed to be stable and secure; what his end will be, the psalmist states in the next verse.
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