New American Standard Bible
The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
King James Bible
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Darby Bible Translation
The wicked are not so; but are as the chaff which the wind driveth away.
World English Bible
The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Young's Literal Translation
Not so the wicked: But -- as chaff that wind driveth away!
Psalm 1:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The ungodly are not so - literally, "Not thus the wicked." For the word ungodly, see the notes at Psalm 1:1. The statement that the "wicked are not so," is a general statement applicable alike to their character and destiny, though the mind of the author of the psalm is fixed immediately and particularly on the difference in their destiny, without specifying anything particularly respecting their character. It is as true, however, that the ungodly do walk in the counsel of the wicked, and stand in the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of the scornful, as it is that the righteous do not; as true that they do not delight in the law of the Lord, as it is that the righteous do; as true that the wicked are not like a tree planted by the channels of water, as it is that the righteous are. This passage, therefore, may be employed to show what is the character of the ungodly, and in so applying it, what was before negative in regard to the righteous, becomes positive in regard to the wicked; what was positive, becomes negative. Thus it is true:
(a) that the wicked do walk in the counsel of the ungodly; do stand in the way of sinners; do sit in the seat of the scornful;
(b) that they do not delight in the law of the Lord, or meditate on his word; and
(c) that they are not like a tree planted by the waters, that is green and beautiful and fruitful.
Both in character and in destiny the ungodly differ from the righteous. The subsequent part of the verse shows that, while the general truth was in the mind of the writer, the particular thing on which his attention was fixed was, his condition in life - his destiny - as that which could not be compared with a green and fruitful tree, but which suggested quite another image.
But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away - When the wheat was winnowed. This, in Oriental countries, was commonly performed in the open field, and usually on an eminence, and where there was a strong wind. The operation was performed, as it is now in our country, when a fan or fanning-mill cannot he procured, by throwing up the grain as it is threshed with a shovel, and the wind scatters the chaff, while the grain falls to the ground. See the notes at Matthew 3:12.
This very naturally and appropriately furnished an illustration of the destiny of the wicked. Compared with the righteous, they were like the worthless chaff driven away by the wind. The image is often found in the Scriptures. See Job 21:18, note; Isaiah 17:13, note. Compare also Psalm 35:5; Isaiah 29:5; Isaiah 41:15; Daniel 2:35; Hosea 13:3. The idea here is, that the wicked are in no respect like the green and fruitful tree referred to in Psalm 1:3. They are not like a tree in any respect. They are not even like a decaying tree, a barren tree, a dead tree, for either of these would suggest some idea of stability or permanency. They are like dry and worthless chaff driven off by the wind, as of no value to the farmer - a substance which he is anxious only to separate wholly from his grain, and to get out of his way. The idea thus suggested, therefore, is that of intrinsic worthlessness. It will be among other things, on this account that the wicked will be driven away - that they are worthless in the universe of God - worthless to all the purposes for which man was made. At the same time, however, there may be an implied contrast between that chaff and the useful grain which it is the object of the farmer to secure.
LibraryThe Chaff Driven Away
We sometimes call men irreligious; and, surely, to be irreligious is bad enough; but to be religious is not good enough. A man may be religious, but yet he may not be godly. There are many who are religious; as touching the law outwardly they are blameless; Hebrews of the Hebrews, Pharisees of the straitest sect. They neglect no rubric, they break no law of their church, they are exceedingly precise in their religion; yet, notwithstanding this, they may rank under the class of the ungodly; for to …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859
As Therefore the Apostle, Nay Rather the Spirit of God Possessing and Filling And...
Writings of St. Ambrose.
How those are to be Admonished who Sin from Sudden Impulse and those who Sin Deliberately.
"His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
"Are they as straw before the wind, And like chaff which the storm carries away?
Let them be like chaff before the wind, With the angel of the LORD driving them on.
But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.
The nations rumble on like the rumbling of many waters, But He will rebuke them and they will flee far away, And be chased like chaff in the mountains before the wind, Or like whirling dust before a gale.
"I will winnow them with a winnowing fork At the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy My people; They did not repent of their ways.
"Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
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