James Nisbet Commentary - Psalms 1:3 - 1:3

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James Nisbet Commentary - Psalms 1:3 - 1:3

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:


‘A tree planted by the waterside.’

Psa_1:3 (Prayer Book Version)

I. Its variety.—The comparison is with a fruit tree, not of any particular kind, but one of that large class of trees. The variety which God stamps upon nature He means to have reproduced in character.

II. Its Divine culture.—The godly man is not like a tree that grows wild. He is like a tree planted, and that in a place which will best promote its growth. Godly character is developed under God’s special supervision and with God’s own appliances.

III. Its fruitfulness.—God’s tree by God’s river must be a fruitful tree. Notice: (1) The words are ‘his fruit,’ not any other tree’s fruit. (2) ‘In his season.’ The seasons are different for different fruits. The latest fruit is usually the best. But, early or late, the fruit of godly character is seasonable.


(1) ‘Like our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount, this first psalm opens with a benediction. The word “blessed,” or more accurately “blessednesses,” is the first to greet us. “Oh, the blessednesses of the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.” This psalm begins where all true saints hope to end—in perfect blessedness. The Psalter begins with blessing man, and ends with praising God.’

(2) ‘The leaf is the thing of the spring time. It is the first thing that comes. Well, in the Christian life spring-leaf shall ever remain. The spring greenness of life shall not wither as the years roll by. The beauties of the spring time shall continue through all the seventy years. The beauties of early life, of young life, the beauties of childhood, shall never be destroyed. “His leaf shall not wither.” His childlikeness, the glory of the spring time of life, shall always be fresh and beautiful; it shall never wither away.’