What does Psalm 37:25 mean?
ESV: I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.
NIV: I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
NASB: I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken Or his descendants begging for bread.
CSB: I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread.
NLT: Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.
KJV: I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
NKJV: I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.
Verse Commentary:
This verse is controversial but can be understood in the broader context of Scripture. David's point here is not that the "righteous" will never experience poverty, hardship, or even death (Psalm 34:19; John 16:33). Rather, his meaning is in the context of recovery (Psalm 37:24).

Strictly speaking, David is referring to his own observations, not necessarily an absolute condition of the entire world. We know that famines have struck nations in which both believers and unbelievers have died from starvation. Poverty and destitute circumstances can affect even those who honor God. Certainly, as a general rule, God provides sufficiently for His people (Matthew 6:31–33). Believers should not worry about what they should eat or drink or wear because their heavenly Father is aware of their need and has promised to meet it. That provision is not always according to what we prefer, or what we expect, but it's always according to God's perfect will (Romans 8:28–30).

The apostle Paul thanked the Philippians for sending help for his needs twice (Philippians 4:16), and he promised, "My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Verse Context:
Psalm 37:21–31 points out the blessings of the righteous. David describes not only their blessings but also their character and conduct. The Lord blesses the righteous with the promise of an inheritance, personal guidance, protection, provision, a good posterity, and His presence.
Chapter Summary:
In this psalm, David contrasts the way God protects and saves His people, contrasted with the ruin which awaits the wicked. Much of this seems to be based on David's own experiences (Psalm 37:25, 35). As with many other passages in Psalms and Proverbs, this passage encourages godly wisdom. Those who reject God and His ways can expect uncertainty on earth and disaster in eternity.
Chapter Context:
Psalm 37 lies in the first division of Psalms and addresses mankind. Its tone resembles that of the book of Proverbs. The psalm dispenses wisdom about the security of the righteous man and the insecurity and fate of the wicked man. Psalms 36 and 39 also describe the insecurity and fate of the wicked. The covenant God made with Israel in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 27—30 is the basis for David's assurance that the righteous are secure. The issue of the prosperity of the wicked is also featured in Psalms 49 and 73. David most likely wrote Psalm 37 in his old age.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
Accessed 4/24/2024 8:50:23 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.