Psalm 34:21 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 34:21, NIV: "Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned."

Psalm 34:21, ESV: "Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned."

Psalm 34:21, KJV: "Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate."

Psalm 34:21, NASB: "Evil will bring death to the wicked, And those who hate the righteous will suffer for their guilt."

Psalm 34:21, NLT: "Calamity will surely overtake the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished."

Psalm 34:21, CSB: "Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished."

What does Psalm 34:21 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

David knew the righteous have troubles and are despised by their adversaries. Scripture is fully aware that faithful service to God does not make a person immune to hardship (Psalm 34:19; John 16:33). What provides ultimate hope for those who love God is knowledge that the Lord turns the tables on the wicked—He makes their efforts part of their own ruin. While struggles in life are part of a believer's path to eternity (Romans 8:28–30; Revelation 21:4), even the greatest success of the wicked is preparation for their judgment (John 3:36; Revelation 20:15).

The wicked despise the righteous (1 Peter 4:3–4), but they will pay a bitter price for their sin. A classic example of this is what became of Judas. He betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, but his sin made him feel so miserable he returned the money (Matthew 27:3) and then hanged himself (Matthew 27:5).

Further evidence of the condemnation of the wicked is found in Revelation 19. Satan's two henchmen, who spill the blood of righteous people in the tribulation period, receive judgment when Jesus returns to earth. He captures them and throws them "alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur" (Revelation 19:20). The righteous experience suffering, but it is only for "a little time" (1 Peter 1:6). However, the wicked will experience suffering that lasts forever (Revelation 20:10).