1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, and in the way of the sinful ones does not stand, and in the seat of the scorning ones does not sit.

1:2 Instead, in the instruction of YHWH he delights, and in His instruction he will meditate by day and night.

1:3 And he has become like a tree being transplanted by channels of water whose fruit he will give in his time and his leaf will not fade and all that he will do will prosper.

1:4 Not so the wicked ones, they are like chaff which will be driven by wind.

1:5 Therefore, the wicked ones will not stand in the judgment and the sinning ones in the assembly of the righteous ones.

1:6 Because YHWH knows the way of the righteous ones and the way of the wicked ones they will perish.


[1] The NET chooses to translate הָלַךְ֮ בַּעֲצַ֪ת רְשָׁ֫עִ֥ים as “does not follow the advice of the wicked”, but I chose here to follow those versions that retained the idea of a “counsel” of individuals, as in an assembled gathering, of the wicked ones (rather than the “counsel”, meaning “advice”, given by the wicked ones). This retains the flow of thought which follows being in a counsel with being on a pathway and sitting in a seat.

This verse presents a progressive picture using the actions of walking, standing, and sitting. The righteous one will not, in any sense, be found behaving like the wicked/sinful/scorning ones.

[2] כִּ֤י אִ֥ם literally translates something like “that if”, but is translated as “instead” for readability.

בְּתוֹרַ֥ת יְהוָ֗ה can be translated “law” or “instruction” of YHWH. While the NASB, ESV, and NIV all translate it as “law”, the NET translates it as “the Lord’s commands”. I avoided the traditional translation of “law” or “commands” in favor of “instruction” due to my understanding of Psalm 1 as an introduction to the Psalter (rather that a poem about the Book of Moses).

[3] וְֽהָיָ֗ה is in the perfect, therefore rather that translating it with the static “is” I chose to use “has become” to emphasize the completed state of the subject.

NASB, ESV, NET, and NIV translate שָׁת֪וּל as planted, rather than transplanted. I follow the definition given in BDB.

[4] The NET footnotes emphasizes the juxtaposition within this verse between the tree that is, as the NIV emphasizes, firmly planted and the chaff which is simply “wind-driven” (NET).

[5] עַל־כֵּ֤ן is literally translated “upon thus”, but is translated as “therefore” for readability.

Most translations introduce 5b with “nor” to clarify is meant by “the sinning ones in the assembly of the righteous”. In 5a the wicked ones will “not” stand in the judgment. The same is to be said of the sinning ones in the assembly of the righteous–they will not stand there.

[6] The NIV translates יוֹדֵ֣עַ as “watches” and the NET as “guards”, but I chose to agree with the NASB and ESV which maintains the more literal “knows” (or “is knowing”).