New American Standard Bible
Better is the little of the righteous Than the abundance of many wicked.
King James Bible
A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
Darby Bible Translation
The little that the righteous hath is better than the abundance of many wicked;
World English Bible
Better is a little that the righteous has, than the abundance of many wicked.
Young's Literal Translation
Better is the little of the righteous, Than the store of many wicked.
Psalm 37:16 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
A little that a righteous man hath - literally, "Good is a little to the righteous, more than," etc. Our translation, however, has expressed the sense with sufficient accuracy. There are two things implied here:
(a) that it happens not unfrequently that the righteous have little of the wealth of this world; and
(b) that this little is to them of more real value, accompanied, as it is, with higher blessings, than the more abundant wealth which the wicked often possess.
It is better to have but little of this world's goods with righteousness, than it is to have the riches of many wicked men - or the wealth which is often found in the possession of wicked men - with their ungodliness. It is not always true, indeed, that the righteous are poor; but if they are poor, their lot is more to be desired than that of the wicked man, though he is rich. Compare Luke 16:19-31.
Is better than the riches of many wicked - Of many wicked people. The small property of one truly good man, with his character and hopes, is of more value than would be the aggregate wealth of many rich wicked men with their character and prospects. The word rendered "riches" here - המון hâmôn - means properly noise, sound, as of rain or of a multitude of people; then, a multitude, a crowd of people; and then, a "multitude" of possessions; that is, riches or wealth. The allusion here is not, as Prof. Alexander supposes, to the tumult or bustle which often attends the acquisition of property, or to the disorder and disquiet which attends its possession, but simply to the "amount" considered as large, or as accumulated or brought together. It is true that its acquisition is often attended with bustle and noise; it is true that its possessor has not often the peace and calmness of mind which the man has who has a mere competence; but the simple thought here is that, in reference to the amount, or the actual possession, it is better, on the whole, to have what the poor, pious man has, than to have what many wicked men have, if it were all gathered together. It does more to make a man happy on earth; it furnishes a better prospect for the life to come.
LibraryApril 19. "Rest in the Lord and Wait Patiently for Him" (Ps. xxxvii. 7).
"Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him" (Ps. xxxvii. 7). It is a very suggestive thought that it is in the Gospel of Mark, which is the Gospel of service, we hear the Master saying to His disciples, "Come ye apart into a desert place, and rest awhile." God wants rested workers. There is an energy that may be tireless and ceaseless, and yet still as the ocean's depth, with the peace of God, which passes all understanding. The two deepest secrets of rest are, first, to be in harmony with the …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
The Secret of Tranquillity
Fret not Thyself
Grace and Holiness.
Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it.
Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice.
nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; and we do not have vineyard or field or seed.
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