This psalm was put first as a preface to all the rest, as a powerful persuasive to the serious study of the whole book, and of the rest of the holy scripture, taken from that blessedness which attends upon the study and practice of it. It shews us, the holiness and happiness of a good man, ver. 1-3 The sinfulness and misery of a wicked man, ver. 4, 5. The ground and reason of both, ver. 6.
Verse 1. Blessed - The Hebrew words are very emphatical: O the blessedness of that man! Counsel - That doth not lead his life according to their counsel, or manner of living. Standeth - Which notes a more settled abode in it. Way - In their manner of conversation. Seat - Which notes a constant and resolved perseverance in their wicked courses. Scornful - Of those who make a mock of sin, and scoff at goodness and goodmen. Divers observe a gradation in this verse; the following clause still exceeding the former, for standing is more than walking, and sitting more than standing; and sinners in scripture use, are worse than the ungodly, and the scornful are the worst of sinners.
Verse 2. Day and night - Not seldom and slightly, but diligently, and constantly.
Verse 3. Whither - His happiness is not short and transitory, but, like those trees which are continually green and flourishing.
Verse 4. Ungodly - Their condition is far different. Chaff - They are restless and unquiet: their seeming felicity, hath no firm foundation, but quickly vanishes and flees away as chaff before the wind.
Verse 5. Not stand - Not endure the trial. Judgment - In the great and general judgment of the world.
Verse 6. Knoweth - He approves, loves, and delights in them, and therefore will recompence them. Perish - All their designs and courses shall come to nothing, and they shall perish with them.