Psalm 37:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 37:20, NIV: But the wicked will perish: Though the LORD's enemies are like the flowers of the field, they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

Psalm 37:20, ESV: But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

Psalm 37:20, KJV: But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

Psalm 37:20, NASB: But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

Psalm 37:20, NLT: But the wicked will die. The LORD's enemies are like flowers in a field--they will disappear like smoke.

Psalm 37:20, CSB: But the wicked will perish; the Lord's enemies, like the glory of the pastures, will fade away -- they will fade away like smoke.

What does Psalm 37:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

God not only cares for those who love Him (Psalm 37:3–6), He will also punish their wicked enemies. This verse makes it clear that depraved and evil people are not only the enemies of the Lord's people, but they are also the enemies of the Lord Himself. Nothing touches the Lord's people that does not also touch Him. A direct reference to this connection can be found in the New Testament. When, on the road to Damascus, the Lord confronted Saul of Tarsus, the bloodthirsty persecutor of believers, he asked, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" (Acts 9:4).

This statement also notes that the enemies of God will suffer death and judgment for their sin. They will vanish away like the beautiful flowers of the field (1 Peter 1:24) and like smoke (Revelation 14:11). Israel's rainy season causes the flowers of the field to spring up and blossom, but soon the strong heat of day causes them to wilt. Therefore, the flowers are short-lived. The Lord's people were familiar with smoke that arose from the altar on which lambs were sacrificed. It arose from the altar and quickly vanished.