190-Psalm 37 – Bring it!

I’ve mentioned before that one thing we do when studying the scriptures is to take note of repeating words and phrases paying particular attention to how they influence our understanding of the text. Well, this week I want to spend a few minutes considering the word “bring”.

The word “bring” appears three times in as many verses in Psalm 37. Let’s look at the first occurrence. 

Psalm 37:5

           5       Commit your way to the LORD,

    Trust also in Him,

    And He shall bring it to pass.


When we consult the source language we discover something troubling. The word bring in verse five is the Hebrew word יַעֲשֶֽׂה and is transliterated yaase. What’s troubling about that you might ask? There is not a “one word to one” word translation for this yaase between the Hebrew and English languages. The word yaase is actually translated as “shall bring to pass” in verse five and if you’re reading the New King James like I am, you may notice that the word “it” is in italics meaning there is no corresponding Hebrew word but is actually supplied by the translators for readability.

Additionally, it’s troubling because the word “bring” is not actually even in the range of meaning. The range of meaning for the Hebrew word is to make, manufacture, do, to labor, to work about anything, to fabricate, to produce, to create, to produce it from oneself, and so on.

Let’s take a quick peek at the next time “bring” shows up and see if it is the same word in Hebrew.

Psalm 37:6

           6       He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,

    And your justice as the noonday.


The “bring” in verse six is a different Hebrew word. It is the word הוֹצִ֣יא transliterated hosi, covers the words “He shall bring forth” and has a different range of meaning. The range of meaning includes things like come or go out, come or go forth, proceed, come forward, lead out produce, to rise, march out, be brought out, extend, serve, descend.

I hope I haven’t lost you yet. Hang in there with me for a little longer – just one more occurrence to examine, then we’ll try to make sense of this slightly more academic exercise.

Psalm 37:7

           7       Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;

    Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,

    Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

עָשָׂה is the Hebrew word in this last occurrence of “bring”, transliterated as ose. This word has the range of meaning to make, manufacture, do, to labor, to work about anything, to produce by labor, to fabricate, carry out, perform, and so on. I should submit that anyone who knows Hebrew would probably shrink back at my improper handling of the source language words we’ve looked at. I haven’t addressed gender, number (singular/plural), verb or noun, declension, or any other language component that a true exegete would consider. 


If you feel like I just took you on a power walk through quicksand give me one more minute to attempt to redeem myself, dear reader.

Let’s look again at verse five, but this time I have bolded all the English words that represent the Hebrew word.

Psalm 37:5

           5       Commit your way to the LORD,

    Trust also in Him,

    And He shall bring it to pass.


If we attempt to pick from the possible range of meaning in the Hebrew Lexicon we may end up rendering the verse this way.

Psalm 37:5

           5       Commit your way to the LORD,

    Trust also in Him,

    And He shall [creatively produce it from Himself].


Feel free to experiment with the other words in the range of meaning to see if they illuminate the text without changing the meaning.

I don’t think I would ever have expected to deal with the word “it” in my articles, yet here we are! I’ve already told you the word “it” doesn’t appear in the Hebrew but was supplied by the translators for readability, which I think in this case is correct. The word “it”, though not present, is inferred. This begs the question, “to what is the word it referring?” Are we talking about the “desires of your heart” in verse four, or “your righteousness”, and maybe “justice” in verse six?

I honestly have not yet reached a conclusion on what “it” represents. However, we are surely to be blessed as we walk according to the truths revealed in this passage. Here’s the beauty of not knowing. If I want to pursue an understanding of what “it” summarizes I must continue to meditate and maybe dig deeper into the language nuances. Maybe you aren’t inclined to pick at the Hebrew language, but I certainly hope that you would attempt to sate your curiosity by meditating, mulling over, pondering, and wondering about this wonderful passage of the Word of God.

I love what YHWH told Joshua.

Joshua 1:8

      8       This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 


And what the Psalmist said in Psalm 19:14.


    14       Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

    Be acceptable in Your sight,

    O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.


What comfort, joy, and peace we encounter as we peer into God’s Holy Word!


All Scripture quotations from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.


2 Replies to "190-Psalm 37 - Bring it!"

  • Roger Streifel
    December 7, 2020 (4:38 pm)

    Whew! That was a tough one for my small mind to grasp. But thanks for bringing out a better understanding to me of the Word on a weekly basis.

  • Terry Kern
    December 8, 2020 (11:00 am)

    I liked (really liked) your post today. One of the things I liked best was the spirit of humility with which you wrote. That is worth it’s weight in gold. I also liked your use of Logos software to surface the fact that though three times the English word (Bring) is used it translates three different Hebrew words/constructions. And then when you wrapped it up you encouraged others to get into the deeper study of the Scriptures. That is fabulous. Thanks for your good work and stay with that “right spirit”. It is why the Holy Spirit enlightens you to the meaning of His word. He won’t give illumination to the arrogant. Great job Brother. “be Steadfast and immovable….”
    Pastor Terry.

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