Psalm 37:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 37:16, NIV: Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;

Psalm 37:16, ESV: Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.

Psalm 37:16, KJV: A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.

Psalm 37:16, NASB: Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked.

Psalm 37:16, NLT: It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich.

Psalm 37:16, CSB: The little that the righteous person has is better than the abundance of many wicked people.

What does Psalm 37:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Scripture always counsels us to look at life from an eternal perspective. Whatever earthly gains we see in the lives of the wicked are just that: temporary. Eternity will not be kind to those who profit from evil. David concludes that it's better to have little, from a worldly perspective, and to be righteous, than to be evil (Matthew 16:26).

Asaph, who wrote Psalm 73, was envious of the prosperous wicked until he entered the sanctuary and quietly assessed the situation. He concluded that the Lord would destroy the wicked. They would perish, but the Lord would always be with him and guide him throughout his life and then welcome him to heaven (Psalm 73:2–3, 16–17). In his first letter to Timothy the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to advise wealthy people not to rely too much on money, but to trust in God (1 Timothy 6:17). He added in the same verse that God "richly provides us with everything to enjoy." We can say with David, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1).