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Psalms 37:21

    Psalms 37:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The wicked borrows, and pays not again: but the righteous shows mercy, and gives.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again; But the righteous dealeth graciously, and giveth.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The sinner takes money and does not give it back; but the upright man has mercy, and gives to others.

    Webster's Revision

    The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again; But the righteous dealeth graciously, and giveth.

    World English Bible

    The wicked borrow, and don't pay back, but the righteous give generously.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous dealeth graciously, and giveth.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 37:21

    The wicked borroweth - Is often reduced to penury, and is obliged to become debtor to those whom he before despised.

    And payeth not again - May refuse to do it, because he is a wicked man; or be unable to do it, because he is reduced to beggary.

    But the righteous showeth mercy - Because he has received mercy from God, therefore he shows mercy to men. And even to his enemies he showeth mercy, and giveth; his heart being disposed to it by the influence of Divine grace and his hand being enabled to do it by the blessing of God's providence.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 37:21

    The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again - This is probably intended here, not so much to describe the "character" as the "condition" of the wicked. The idea is, that he will be in such a condition of want that he will be under a necessity of borrowing, but will not have the means of repaying what he has borrowed, while the righteous will not only have enough for himself, but will have the means of showing mercy to others, and of "giving" to them what they need. The ability to lend to others is referred to as a part of the promise of God to his people, and as marking their condition as a prosperous one, in Deuteronomy 15:6 : "And thou shalt lend unto many nations, and shalt not borrow." Compare Deuteronomy 28:12, Deuteronomy 28:44. It is true, however, as a characteristic of a wicked man, that he will often be "disposed" to borrow and not pay again; that he will be "reckless" about borrowing and careless about paying; and that it is a characteristic of a good or upright man that he will not borrow when he can avoid it, and that he will be punctual and conscientious in paying what he has borrowed.

    But the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth - That is, in this connection, he is not under the necessity of borrowing of others for the supply of his wants. He has not only enough for himself, but he has the means of aiding others, and has the disposition to do it. It is his "character" to show favors, and he has the means of gratifying this desire.

    And giveth - Imparts to others. He has enough for himself, and has also that which he can give to others. Of course all this is designed to be general. It does not mean that this will universaly be the case, but that the tendency of a life of piety is to make a man prosperous in his worldly affairs; to give him what he needs for himself, and to furnish him with the means, as he has the disposition, to do good to others. Other things being equal, the honest, temperate, pure, pious man will be the most prosperous in the world: for honesty, temperance, purity, and piety produce the industry, economy, and prudence on which prosperity depends.