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Psalm 1

"Delight in the instruction of the Lord"

Translations as Tools

No single translation can fully capture the meaning and beauty of the original Hebrew. Each English rendering highlights a particular feature(s) of the biblical text. 




אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי־הָאִ֗ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֤ר ׀ לֹ֥א הָלַךְ֮ בַּעֲצַ֪ת רְשָׁ֫עִ֥ים

וּבְדֶ֣רֶךְ חַ֭טָּאִים לֹ֥אעָמָ֑ד

וּבְמוֹשַׁ֥ב לֵ֝צִ֗ים לֹ֣א יָשָֽׁב׃

 כִּ֤י אִ֥ם בְּתוֹרַ֥ת יְהוָ֗ה חֶ֫פְצ֥וֹ

וּֽבְתוֹרָת֥וֹיֶהְגֶּ֗ה יוֹמָ֥ם וָלָֽיְלָה׃

 וְֽהָיָ֗ה כְּעֵץ֮ שָׁת֪וּל עַֽל־פַּלְגֵ֫י מָ֥יִם

אֲשֶׁ֤ר פִּרְי֨וֹ ׀יִתֵּ֬ן בְּעִתּ֗וֹ

וְעָלֵ֥הוּ לֹֽא־יִבּ֑וֹל

וְכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה יַצְלִֽיחַ׃


לֹא־כֵ֥ן הָרְשָׁעִ֑ים

כִּ֥י אִם־כַּ֝מֹּ֗ץ אֲֽשֶׁר־תִּדְּפֶ֥נּוּ רֽוּחַ׃

עַל־כֵּ֤ן ׀ לֹא־יָקֻ֣מוּ רְ֭שָׁעִים בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט

וְ֝חַטָּאִ֗ים בַּעֲדַ֥ת צַדִּיקִֽים׃


כִּֽי־יוֹדֵ֣עַ יְ֭הוָה דֶּ֣רֶךְ צַדִּיקִ֑ים

וְדֶ֖רֶךְ רְשָׁעִ֣ים תֹּאבֵֽד׃








Happy is the one who does not go in the counsel of    wicked people,

does not come to a standstill in the pathway of sinful  people,

and does not settle in the dwelling place of insolent  people.

But his delight is in the instruction of YHWH,

and he rehearses his instruction day and night.

And he will become like a tree transplanted on  streams of water,

which gives its fruit in its season,

and its leaf does not wither,

and he makes successful all that he does.

Not so the wicked people.

Rather, they are like chaff that the wind drives away.


Therefore, wicked people will not stand firm in the


and sinful people will not stand in the congregation  of righteous people.

Because YHWH cares for the way of righteous  people,  

and the way of wicked people will come to an end.

* The "close-but-clear" is a formal-equivalent rendering of the Hebrew. It is based on the interlinear, adjusted for English word-order. It aims to be as close to the Hebrew as possible while still being clear in English. 









Here’s to the one
    who does not set out on life’s journey with bad guidance,
    who does not linger on the road that sinners take,
    who does not settle down in the place where mockers live.


Instead, he delights in YHWH’s guidance.
    Day and night, he thinks about his Law.

And so, he will become like a tree planted by water channels.
    Its fruit comes every season.
    Its leaves never fall.
    He flourishes in every way!

It’s not this way for the wicked.
    Instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away.


And so, the wicked will not survive the Judgment.
    Sinners will not remain with the righteous.


This is because YHWH is intimately involved in the journey of  the righteous.
    As for the wicked, their way will come to an end.

** The "synthesis" is a dynamic-equivalent rendering, intended to support the Synthesis (at-a-glance) visualisation.

Psalm 1


Psalm 1 - Synthesis - Overview.jpg


Answers the question: "What is the psalmist trying to accomplish?"


Answers the question: "What argument(s) does the psalmist make to accomplish this purpose?


Answers the question: "What theological truth might an ancient or contemporary audience draw from this Psalm?

Psalm 1

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