Psalm 1

Happy the man * who has not entered * the council of the wicked,
    nor stood in the assembly of sinners, * nor sat in the session of scoffers.
But the law of Yahweh is his delight; * his law he recites day and night.

    So he shall be like a tree * transplanted near streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in its season, * and whose leaves never wither. * Whatever
            it produces is good.

Not so the wicked: * rather they are like chaff * that the wind drives along.
    The Supreme Being will not sustain the wicked * in the place of judgment, * nor sinners
            in the congregation of the just.
But Yahweh shall safekeep * the assembly of the just, * while the assembly of the wicked
        shall perish.

1:0 It is clear that this whole book is about Christ, as is clear from its causes and from the title, which is The beginning of the book of hymns or soliloquies of David about Christ. But the whole Christ is head and body -Eph 1:22-23 He gave him as head over the whole Church, which is his body. Therefore this book is about Christ the head and his body the Church. Since any systematically transmitted science beings from a definition and information about its subject, so does this. And since the name "Christ" does not apply to both parts, the Psalmist gave a name that applies to both parts: Blessed the man. This applies first to the head and then to the the other parts. So also does the definition that goes with that name, which is taken from the end which is happiness. Psalm 16:10 Delights at your right hand unto the end. We partake of his happiness, because we are one spirit with him: Heb 3:14 We have become partakers of Christ.

Since it is clear that this Psalm talks about Christ and the wicked, so that the first four verses more truly apply to Christ, and the remaining three to the wicked, why put such distant things together? Sir 13:22 What communication can a holy man have with a dog? 2 Cor 6:14-15 What communion is there between light and darkness. What do Christ and Belial have in common? -as far as the head is concerned; but with regard to the members of Christ and the devil, what can a believer have to do with an infidel? Reply: In the introduction to a science two things are usually done: The first is to give a definition of the subject, the second is to distinguish the subject from other things, especially with regard to anything related to the subject, so as to show the convertibility of the definition with the subject, as a demonstrative syllogism is defined in the Posterior Analytics, and a false syllogism is distinguished from it. Thus, since the wicked share the same nature as the whole Christ, the Psalmist describes the subject and distinguishes the reprobate from it.

Thus the Psalm is divided into two parts, with the second beginning with the words: Not such the wicked, not such. Yet, because to be free from evil is naturally prior to abounding in good -Ps 37:27 Turn away from evil and do good, therefore Christ is distinguished from all other men by the fact that he is free from all evil except that of penalty -Lamentations 1:12 All you who pass by the way…etc. But as for the evil of guilt -Isaiah 53:9 He did no evil, nor was any deceit found in his mouth. This can be said of no other man, at least because of original sin. -Rom 3:23 All have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. -Job 1:8 There is none like him on earth. To show that Christ is entirely free from the evil of guilt, the Psalmist proceeds by induction from the three kinds of guilt. This induction is contained in the three negations: (1) He did not walk, (2) He did not stand, (3) He did not sit.

1. Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly,
Happy the man who has not entered the council of the wicked,

1:1.1.1 The word "man" is said of Christ because he is the most excellent of men, and because it is a marital term. As for the first reason, Isadore (Book 4, last chapter) says, "The word 'man' (vir) is taken from 'virtue' (virtus)." But Christ had all virtutes in a most excellent way. Isaiah 4:1 Seven women, that is seven virtues, will lay hold of one man on that day. The word 'man' is also taken from 'powers' (viribus); thus Rabbanus says, "Someone is called a man because he is stronger than a woman." But Christ had perfect power both to act and to suffer. -Psalm 86:8 There is no god like you, Lord. And Psalm 46:4 The mountains were shaken by his power. Eccl 9:15 There was found there a poor man, and a wise man delivered the city. A man is also so called because of his power to suffer. Cassiodorus says, "The word 'man' comes from 'power' because in tolerating adversity he cannot fail, nor can he boast of prosperity, but with a stable mind, strengthened by contemplation of heavenly things, he remains always fearless." Such was Christ. -1 Peter 2:23 When he was cursed, he did not curse back. When he suffered, he did not threaten. Isaiah 53:3 We liked him as a man of sorrows, patient and acquainted with weakness.

The word "man" also has a marital sense. Isidore (Book 9, chapter 4): "The word 'man' indicates sex, but not necessarily marriage, except in a certain context. Thus Christ is now said to be the husband of the Church, as he once was of the Synagogue. -2 Cor 11:2 I have espoused you to one man as a chaste virgin, etc. Jer 3:14 Come back to me, sons, because I am your husband. Therefore in Scripture he is often called man or husband. -Zachariah 6:12 See the man, and his name is the Dawn. He is the rising Dawn (Oriens) according to his divinity. He is called the "rising Dawn" rather than the "risen Dawn" (Ortus), because he always arises from the Father. Christ is also a man from his rising, not afterwards, as other men. -Jer 31:22 The Lord has done a new thing on earth. A woman encompasses a man. Eccl 8:29 I found one man among a thousand.

Blessed. Note five things that make for true happiness. (1) First, to have what one wants. Thus Augustine says about the happy life: "They are constantly miserable who do not have what they want." (2) Second, to want what is good. Thus Augustine says about the happy life: "The saying that they are happy who live as they want is false, because to want what is not fitting is a most miserable condition. Not to have what you want is not as bad as wanting to have what is not fitting. That is because the will is more responsible for perversity than chance. (3) Third, that the will should be capable of satisfying its desire. -Augustine on the happy life: "Full satisfaction of the mind is the happy life." (4) Fourth, that the good itself should be satisfying, that is, permanent. -Augustine on the happy life: "We have no doubt that anyone who proposes to become happy will try to obtain what will remain permanently and cannot be taken away by some unfortunate event." Therefore worldly things cannot make one happy. -1 John 2:17 The world and all its desires pass away. -James 1:17 He only remains who is unchangeable and undergoes no shadow of alteration. (5) Fifth is the security of not losing that good. -Augustine: "I do not see how anyone can be happy whose happiness is uncertain." -1 John 4:18 Fear is painful.

These five things were present in Christ, even while he was on route in this world. -Psalm 65:5 Happy is the one you have chosen and taken up. This is true in spite of the fact that someone on route in this world may suffer great misery and affliction, and wishes to escape death. -Mat 26:39 Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. By his rational will he willed to have these sufferings and misery, but his nature shrunk from them. For if his rational will refused suffering, Isaiah (53:7) could never have written: He was offered up because he himself wished it. -Jer 31:26 My sleep was pleasant. And in Mat 20:22 he calls his death a "cup" Note that there is the happiness of the homeland -Luke 14:15 Happy is he who feasts in the kingdom of God -and also happiness on the way, and that of two kinds: one on the left -Psalm 144:15 They call these people happy who have these [material] things, and the other on the right -Mat 5:3 Happy are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven etc.

Who hath not walked. After the relative pronoun there follows a description of the man, first to deny the evil of guilt. This consists first of all in turning away from the unchangeable good. He denies this when he says nor sat. Or, according to Cassiodorus, "to walk in the council of the ungodly" is to sin by thought, "to stand in the way of sinners" is to sin by action. These two apply to Christ in himself. But "to sit in the chair of pestilence" is to spread the poison of bad teaching by word or by example. All these the Psalmist denies of Christ.

He therefore says, Who has not walked by going away from God by sinning in thought, as is said in Isaiah 57:17 They kept turning back to their own ways. He did not walk in the council of the ungodly, which is the way of the flesh, the world and the devil. The flesh counsels pleasure, and that is the council of the old men in Daniel 13:20 Have sex with us etc. The world counsels amassing temporal goods. -Psalm 143:15 They call these people happy who have these things… -Isaiah 5:8 Woe to you who add room to room. -Prov 1:11 They say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood, let us wantonly ambush the innocent. The devil counsels a desire for honors. That is the counsel of Ahithophel in 2 Sam 17. -Job 21:16 Their counsel is far from me. -Gen 49:6 Let my soul not enter their counsel. -Sirach 37:9 Keep your soul away from a bad counselor.

nor stood in the way of sinners,
nor stood in the assembly of sinners,

1:1.1.2 That is, by taking delight in evil and putting it into practice. -Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts, says the Lord. For the ways of the evil are unclean. -Jer 2:36 How vile you have come as you wander about. They are also hard. -Sirach 21:11 The way of sinners is paved with stones. They are also dark. -Prov 4:19 The ways of the godless are dark. And they are dangerous. -Prov 22:5 Arms and swords are in the way of the proud. And they are crooked. -Psalm 12:9 The godless prowl around. But the way of Christ and his followers is clean. -Psalm 18:31 His way is unpolluted. -Isaiah 14:23 I will sweep it with a broom from earthly things. It is also peaceful. -Prov 3:17 His ways are beautiful, and his paths peaceful. -Prov 4:11-12 I will have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered; and if you run, you will not stumble. And it is bright. -Prov 4:18 The paths of the just are like a shining light. And they are straight. -Isaiah 40:3 Make straight the paths of our God. Christ stood in such a path, by walking that way. -Psalm 19:6 He exults like a giant to run his way. -Jer 14:8 Why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a wayfarer who turns aside to tarry for a night?

nor sat in the chair of pestilence.
nor sat in the session of scoffers.

1:1.1.3 Note the very beautiful style of expression, whereby different verbs are assigned to different nouns in each phrase: "walked, stood, sat" correspond with "council, way, seat". Likewise we have "godless, sinners, scoffers (pestilence)".

I say, he did not sit by persevering in evil or by corrupting others by his words and works, as a professor from his chair. -Prov 29:8 Scoffers (pestilentes) set a city aflame. -Sir 11:35 Beware of scoundrels (pestiferis). -Jer 51:25 I am against you, O destroying (pestifer) mountain that destroys the whole earth. Christ is not like that; rather his words heal and do not corrupt. -Wis 16:12 Neither herb nor poultice cured them, etc.

A chair (cathedra) consists of material shaped for sitting. As we are in a sitting posture, it gently supports our back and bears us in its lap. It is also is fitted with comfortable upholstery. It belongs properly to teachers, just as a tribunal belongs to a judge and a throne to a king. The chair of the scoffers (pestilentium) has four legs: (1) The first is malice, which loves evil. -Micah 3:2 Hate good and love evil. (2) The second is contempt of God. -Psalm 36:1 There is no fear of God before their eyes. (3) The third is shamelessness. -Jer 6:15 They were not ashamed, they did not know how to blush. -Jer 3:3 You have the forehead of a whore, you refuse to be ashamed. (4) astuteness in carrying out malice, so as to mix vinegar into honey and poison into oil. -Jer 4:22 They are skilled in doing evil, but do not know how to do good. But the easy-chair for soft sitting is adulation. -Psalm 10:3 The sinner is praised for the desires of his soul, and the evil man is blessed (Vul) -Ez 13:18 Woe to the women who sew bands on all wrists. But the footstool of the chair are those who support the evil man in his deeds.

2. But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night.
But from the law of Yahweh is his delight, and from his law he recites day and night.

1:1.2.1 Here the Psalmist describes Christ positively, showing how he has a threefold good: (1) that of the mind, in this verse, (2) that of work, in the following verse: "And he shall be like…", (3) that of the mouth: "And his leaf…", so that these three are opposed to the three that were denied of him. Since in the mind there is both knowledge and affection, the Psalmist first commends Christ for the goodness of his affection, later for his knowledge: "On his law he shall meditate…" He says, therefore, not only does he lack these evils, but "his will is in the law of the Lord." Note here that there are four different relations a will can have to the law of God: (1) There is a will which is above the law, and that is the divine will, which is in Christ in so far as he is God, and in this way is the author of the law. -Isaiah 33:22 The Lord is our lawgiver. In this Christ is unique and different from any other man. -James 4:12 There is but one Lawgiver and Judge, one who can save and destroy. (2) There is a will in the law, which is to carry out the works of the law and of God's commandments purely from love. -Psalm 118:48 I lift my hands to your commandments which I love. -Deut 27:26 Cursed is the one who does not abide by the words of the Law. Thus the will of the man Christ, and of his members who clung to him with perfect charity, was in the law. -Rom 7:22 I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, agreeing that it is good. Such people experience what is described in Sirach 23:37 There is nothing sweeter than to heed the commandments of the Lord (3) There is a a will under the law for those to whom the law is a burden. They fulfil the law from fear, as a slave does. -Psalm 118:38 Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you. the Law oppresses and weighs down on such people. -Acts 15:10 This burden, neither ourselves nor our fathers could bear. But those mentioned earlier are directed by the Law directs. -Rom 6:14 You are not under the law, but grace. -Gal 5:18 If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. (4) And there is a will which is contrary to the Law; this is in the evil who hear the commandments but do the contrary. To these the Law is really an adversary. -Mat 5:25 Come to terms with your adversary while you are on the way.

To the first will the Law is subject, to the second it is a way, to the third it is a burden, to the fourth it is an adversary.

And on his law shall he meditate, thinking and comparing, night and day.This is to be understood of Christ the Head, since only he could meditate on the Law of the Lord waking and sleeping. -Canticles 5:2 I sleep, but my heart is awake. Not even Nehemias could meditate on the Law of the Lord while he was sleeping. Thus we read in Neh 8 that after he read the Law all day, he sent away the people, and the next day the elders came back and interpreted what was read. But if this verse is applied to the body of Christ, it refers to the good who meditate on the Law of the Lord day and night, that is, whenever there is time and place for meditation, they meditate. Or they meditate during the day of prosperity and during the night of adversity. Isaiah 21 If you seek in adversity, seek also in prosperity (not in Bible). Therefore in Deuteronomy 17 the king was commanded to have a copy of the Law made for himself and to read it all the days of his life, that is, in prosperity and adversity. Otherwise he would be unable to rule himself or others. -2 Chron 23:11 They put the Law in his hand for him to hold, and made him a king (Vul). Therefore it is said in Sirach 14:22 Happy is the person who meditates on wisdom and reasons intelligently. -Prov 8:34 Happy is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors.

3. And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit, in due season.
So he shall be like a tree transplanted near streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season,

1:1.2.2 Here the Psalmist commends Christ for his good work, using the metaphor of a fruitful tree, then from its actually bearing fruit, "which shall bring forth its fruit," thirdly for doing so at the right time, "in due season". So he says, a tree is what I think he he is like or will be, but in reality he will not be just any tree, but on "which is planted near the running waters". Christ is the tree. -Prov 3:18 He is a tree of life to those who know him. In Rev 2:7 it is said of the wisdom of God, which is Christ: Whoever wins, I will let him eat from the tree of life. This is the tree located in the middle of Paradise (Gen 2:9), that is, in the middle of the Church. It is the tree with a branch of divinity grafted onto the trunk of human nature. -James 1:21 In meekness receive the ingrafted word, which can save your souls etc.

Which is planted, not in an arid and dry place, but near the running waters, alongside the fulness of grace. John 7:38 speaks of these: If anyone believes in me, rivers of living water will flow from his breast. Or alongside crowds of people, since peoples and nations are the waters along which Christ wished to be planted, as he took flesh that was like sinful flesh, but not really sinful, as is said in Rom 8. -Rev 17:15 The waters that you saw, where the whore is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. Not only the Head himself is the tree, but so also is each just member of his. Isidore says (Book 17, ch. 6) that wood is something that, when lit, turns into light. Thus wood is shining and burning. It was said about one just person (John the Baptist, John 5:35) that he was a burning lamp. -Jer 17:8 He is like a tree transplanted next to the water, that is of charity. -Eph 3:17 Rooted and founded in charity. Or the root or the land in which it is planted is called charity. The running waters are the streams of Scripture. -Prov 18:4 The words of his mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream. These are the words of the "blessed man" described above. The "gushing stream" is the fountain of wisdom. Sacred Scripture is the water flowing from above, that is, from that most high fountain referred to in Sirach 1:5 (LXX/Vul): The fount of wisdom is God's word on high. And Wisdom 11:4 They were given water from the most high rock. 1 Cor 10:4 But the rock was Christ.

Which shall bring forth its fruit. It brings forth a threefold fruit of sincere erudition, purged of all shit of error, (1) like a good vine. -Sirach 24:23 I gave forth fruit like a vine, and John 15:1 I am the true vine. (2) It is like a fig tree of sweet consolation and the promise of eternal goods, which are pleasing to the taste of listeners. -Ez 47:12 Its fruit will be food for you. This is the fig which the Jews stripped of bark by taking off his clothes, as the Lord complains of in Joel 1:7 They stripped my fig tree of bark. These are the "good fig trees, very good ones" (Jer 24:3). (3) It is also the olive tree producing the oil of "mitigation and healing" (Vul Sir 36:25), literally by working miracles. -Jer 11:16 "A green olive tree, fair with goodly fruit," the Lord has called you. -Psalm 52:10 I am like a fruitful olive tree in the house of the Lord. The abundance of this fruit tree is what the writer of Cant 1 expressed: Your name is oil poured out.

But it gave this fruit in due season, that is in the time of the fulness of grace. -Gal 4: When the fulness of time came, God sent etc. But at last he will give the best fruit, which is himself, of which he gives us a foretaste in the sacrament of the altar. -Psalm 127:3 Sons are the reward of your womb. That is the sublime fruit spoken of by Isaiah 4:2 The sublime fruit of the earth. Similarly every just person gives fruit, according to Mat 3:10 Every tree which does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. -Luke 13:7 I have been looking for fruit from this fig tree for three years and have not found any. Why should it continue to occupy the land? Cut it down. But it should produce the fruit of worthy repentance. -Luke 3:8 Produce worthy fruits of repentance. These also are the fruits enumerated by the Apostle to the Galatians 5:22 Charity, peace etc. The Psalmist pointedly said "its" fruit against the hypocrites, who may do many good things, but they belong to others and benefit them, not themselves. -Mat 16:26 What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his soul? It is not surprising that they do not belong to the hypocrites, because they do not give what is their own, as the just do. Rather they sell this fruit for human praise. -Mat 6:2 Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.

The just also gives fruit in due season, that is, in this present life, which he knows is given to him so that he can do good. -John 9:4 I must do the work of the one who sent me while it is still daytime. The night is coming when no one can work. -Sirach 9:10 Whatever you can do, do it at once. After this life is the time for receiving reward for work. -2 Cor 5:10 We must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each one may receive what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

and all whosoever he shall do shall prosper.
and whose leaves never wither. Whatever it produces is good.

1:1.2.3 Here the man is commended for the good that comes from his mouth. Leaves are called words because they give shade and coolness in the heat. -Sirach 18:16 Does not dew cool the heat, and a word more than a gift? This coolness is understood in the passage of Canticles 2:3 I sat under the shade of the one I desired. Likewise, leaves adorn a tree while they are green and sticking to the tree. Thus a good word adorns its speaker. -Sirach 5:15 There is honor and glory in the word of a sensible person. Likewise, leaves cover and protect the fruit, so that it will not be spoiled by exterior bad weather. So also thegood words of good works preserve the fruit and keep it free of corruption. -Prov 12:6 The mouth of the just will liberate them. Christ's word is especially compared to a leaf. For in a leaf there is a kind of middle dividing thread going right to its tip, and from this thread many other finer threads protrude, and from them other still finer threads, and on these the whole leave is woven and structured. The central thread in the word of Christ is the commandment to love God and neighbor. -Mat 22:37 You shall love the Lord your God from all your heart. But it has branches and is distinguished into the ten commandments of the Decalogue, spoken of in Exodus 20, and still further into some minor and more subtle commands in Exodus 21, 22 and following.

The leaf of Christ does not fall off, but is permanent now and in the past and in the future. -Mat 24:35 and Luke 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Thus the just should not let the word fall away from them. -Prov 11:28 The just will flourish like a green leaf. -Jer 17:8 His leaf will be green, and in time of dryness he will not worry. Great care should be taken so that the word does not fall off and get detached from truth by falsehood. -Wisdom 1:11 The mouth that lies kills the soul. -John 17:17 Your word is truth. And let it not fall away from the due season by too much talk. -Lev 15:2 Someone who passes semen is unclean. Nor should it be left open to obscurity. -Wisdom 1:11 Devious speech will not go unpunished. Nor let it become useless by idleness. -Mat 12:36 On the day of judgment everyone will give account of every idle word he has spoken. Nor let it fall away from the right intention by cupidity. -1 Sam 3:19 None of his words fell on the ground -this was said of Samuel. But of the evil it is said in John 3:31 Whoever is from earth speaks about the earth. -Is 29:4 Deep from the earth you shall speak, from low in the dust your words shall come; your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost, and your speech shall whisper out of the dust. Anyone who prevents the word from falling away in this way is a perfect man. -James 3:3 Whoever does not offend in word etc. Note that we pour out by a bad will, we pour away by a disordered choice, and we are poured dry by perverse action. -Heb 2:1 Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not flow away from it.

The reason why the leaves of trees fall off is the following: When the heat of the sun recedes, as in winter, the natural heat of the tree, which is little, is collected at the root, and it attracts nourishment as best it can. Since it cannot get it from outside, it takes it from the upper parts of the tree. So when the sap goes down, dryness results, and that causes the leaves to fall. Similarly, when the heat of the true sun recedes, -see Malachi 4:2 But for you who fear my name, there will arise etc.- that is, charity, the word quickly falls and gets detached from the truth and other good conditions. -Mat 24:9 The charity of many will grow cold. Thus honesty of words and maturity will cease. -James 1:26 If anyone pretends to be religious and does not guard his tongue, deceiving his heart, his religion is vain etc.

And whatever he does. Here he briefly points to every good thing, as if he were to say, "Every work of his, interior in his heart, and exterior in his works, will be useful." -Isaiah 55:11 The word which goes forth from my mouth. -that is, the Son, who says of himself in Sirach 24:5 I came forth from the mouth of the Most High- will not come back to me empty, but will prosper in all that I sent it to do. -Psalm 89:35 I will not annul what come from my lips.

Therefore, if some created words cannot be annuled, all the more an uncreated word cannot. Thus for the just man, whatever he does will prosper. -Rom 8:28 Everything works together for good for those who are called according to his purpose etc. Not only his interior will prospers, but also his exterior speech and his actions. -Ez 47:12 Its fruits will be good for food, and its leaves for medicine.

4. Not so the wicked, not so:
Not so the wicked:

1:2.1.1 This is the second part of the whole Psalm, where the Psalmist distinguishes the reprobate from Christ. First he separates them from the Head, then from the body: "They shall not rise again," so that it may be clear that whoever does not hold to the Head or to the body does not belong to Christ. In the first part he does two things: First he shows that the ungodly have none of the things that have been said of Christ. Secondly he shows why this is, and what they really have: "But like the dust…"

So he says, "Such is the blessed man", but not such are the wicked, because they are not free from those evils. -Prov 5:22 The wicked are caught by their own evil. They are not such, that is participating in the good things mentioned, nor do they meditate on the Law. -Sirach 21:18 The wanton man hears them with scorn. Gregory says (Moralia, Book 8, Ch. 4), "Anyone who repudiates a vice is burdensome to the ears of the evil." -Prov 18:2 A stupid man will not hear wise words, unless you tell him what he is planning in his heart. -Sirach 13:13 How can the earthen pot go with the metal cauldron? Later it will be seen that as the wolf sometimes has contact with the lamb, so the sinner with the just. What contact can their be between a saint and a dog? -2 Cor 6:14-15 How can justice share with iniquity, or what community is there between light and darkness? What accord is there between Christ and Belial? None at all. -Isaiah 55:9 As the heavens are lifted above the earth, so my ways are lifted above yours. Note that when the Psalmist speaks of the happiness of the just, he uses the singular. But speaking of the unbelief of the wicked, he uses the plural. That is because the good are few and united, but the wicked are many and divided. -Mat 22:14 Many are called, but few are chosen etc. -Qohaleth 1:15 The number of stupid people is infinite.

but like the dust, which the wind driveth from the face of the earth.
rather they are like the winnowed chaff * that the wind drives along.

1:2.1.2 The dust refers to those who do not have the good described above. What are they? They are like dust, not any dust, but bad dust, because there is an indifferent dust: -Gen 3:19 Dust you are, and unto dust you shall return. This is the dust of human weakness, spoken of in Sirach 10:9 Why should you be proud, earth? There is also the good dust of humility, spoken of in Genesis 18:27 I will speak to my Lord, since I am dust and ashes. -Mat 10:14 Going from the house or town, shake off the dust from your feet, and that is venial sin. Sometimes even mortal sin is called dust, since it blinds the eye of reason. -Isaiah 41:2 He makes them like dust with his sword. The sword is the word of God. Dust is given to this sword when mortal sin is destroyed by the word of God. The sinner himself is also called dust. -Isaiah 65:25 The lion and cow will both eat grass, and the snake will eat dust. A sinner is rightly called dust, because sinners are not solid, lacking the stickiness of charity. -Ex 5:12 When they were in Egypt, they scattered to collect straw. -Prov 15:7 The heart of fools is different, as opposed to the just, who are called "wood". They are also instable and light. -Sirach 27:11 The stupid man changes like the moon. -2 Thes 2:2 Do not be quickly moved from your good sense. In contrast to the just being "planted", they are dry. -Psalm 22:16 My strength is dried up like a potsherd. -Ez 37:4 Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. In contrast to "near the running waters", they are stirile. -Job 40:17 About him are poplars on the bank. In contrast to "it shall bring forth its fruit", they are "dust which the wind drives". That is the wind of pride, spoken of in Job 1:19 A strong wind came from the desert etc. -Mat 7:25 The floods came and the wind blew. -Mat 11:7 A reed blown by the wind. This is the wind that the rich of this world feed on. -Hosea 12:1 Ephraim chases the wind. It will be driven from the face of the earth, that is from his own liberty, of which Gen 3:17 speaks of: Cursed be the ground because of you etc. Therefore they are called back to this earth. -Isaiah 46:8 Bear it well in mind, you rebels. It will be driven from the face of the living, that is of the Church triumphant, of which Gen 49:15 talks: When he saw how good a settled life was, and how pleasant the country.

The empyrean heaven is also called the land the because of its stability. -Sirach 1:4 Generations come and go, but the earth remains always. Also because of its frutifulness. -Deut 33:28 Untroubled is Jacob's abode in a land of grain and wine. Also because it nourishes the dwelling of the interior man, just as the material earth nourishes the exterior man. -Phil 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. Also because it receives the dead. -Mat 5: Blessed are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The sinner is driven out of this earth by the wind of pride, just as his leader was thrown out. -Ez 28:16 I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, and the guardian cherub drove you out. -Psalm 36:12 They are thrust down, unable to rise.

5. Therefore the wicked shall not rise again in judgment:
The Supreme Being will not sustain the wicked in the place of judgment,

1: This refers to the separation of the reprobate from the body of Christ, which rightly follows. Since they driven from the Head by the wind of pride, they are rightly separated from his body. There are two ways of being separated from the body: first corporally, which is treated first and will take place in the future, then spiritually which takes place now, "For the Lord knows". Likewise, there are two kinds of reprobate: the unbelievers, who are properly called godless, and those with corrupt morals but who still cling to the right goal, and these are properly called sinners. The separation of the godless is treated first, then that of sinners: "nor sinners".

So he says that just as the reprobate are separated from the Head, therefore the wicked, and among them the unbelievers, will not rise again in judgment. You may object from 1 Cor 15:51 We shall all rise (Vul). I answer that the godless will rise by taking on a body, but will not rise in the judgment so as to judge or even to be judged, for they are already judged. -John 3:18 Whoever does not believe is already judged. -Rom 2:12 ll All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law. You may still object with Joel 3:2 I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will enter into judgment with them there. I answer that this gathering of all nations should be understood as referring to representatives of each nation, not to all the individuals of every nation. For there is no nation or tongue which does not have some reprobate Christians. It is right that they should then be condemned without a judgment, since they refused to pay attention to God's many punishments and judgments. This judgement is referred to in 1 Pet 4:17 The time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God.

nor sinners in the council of the just.
nor sinners in the congregation of the just.

1: Nor sinners, who have faith, but deform it by their way of life, in the council of the just who judge with Christ. They shall not rise, although they will rise lined up with the multitude of those who are to be judged. To understand this, we should note that the Lord will come at the end of the world to judge those who professed his faith. -Micah 7:2 Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel. Then the just will come forward as assessors to sit with him in judgment. -Isaiah 3:14 The Lord enters to judge with the elders and princes of his people (Vul). And the promise made to them will be fulfilled. -Mat 19:28 At the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. -Job 36:6 He gives the afflicted their right.

You may say that this applies [not just to the perfect, but] to all the good, since they will all approve of the judgment of God, and that is the office of those who sit with him in judgment. I answer that the assessors formally approve the judgment that is to be made, but ordinary good people approve it after it has already been made. But sinners will neither be among the assessors of a judgment that is to be made, nor in the council of the good who approve it after it has been made, but will be at the judgment to receive retribution for all their deviant behavior, according to Sirach 12:14 God will bring every deed into judgment. The punishment will be separation from the head and body of Christ and eternal torture. -Isaiah 14:19-20 Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will not be joined with them (var). -Rev 22:15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. -Mat 25:41 You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire etc. They would have been free from that judgment if in the present they had examined their consciences and rose from the death of sin, according to the council of the Apostle. -Eph 5:14 Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead etc. -Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. Therefore the Apostle says in 1 Cor 10:31 If we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. Note that however humiliating it may be to be presented to Christ for judgment, it will be much harder to be condemned by him, as will happen to sinners. -Mat 25:42 I was hungry and you gave me no food etc. And this is just, because those who sinned more should be punished more. -2 Pet 2:21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment that was passed on to them.

From the preceding it can be gathered that at the end of the world there will be an authoritative judgment by the whole Trinity. -2 Sam 2:10 . The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. There will also be a ministerial judgment to promulgate the sentence, and that belongs to Christ the man. -John 5:22 The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son. Furthermore, there is the judgment of the assessors, in which the perfect will be judges. -1 Cor 6:2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? -Mat 19:28 You who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. There is also the judgment of what has been done best. -Mat 10:42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it. And there is the judgment of distinction, where all the believers, whether good or evil, and the unbelievers will be judged. That is what is referred to here in the statement "They shall not rise again in judgment." Finally, there is the judgment of retribution to each according to his merits. This will encompass believers and unbelievers, good believers and bad ones, and the good who are perfect and imperfect. -Dan 7:10 The court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. -2 Cor 6:10 All of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the just:
But Yahweh shall safekeep the assembly of the just, This refers to the spiritual separation of the reprobate from the body of Christ, which is also the cause of their physical separation from it. The separation occurs because the members did what God approved of, and these did what he disapproved of. The two are referred to in this verse: first approval of the works of the just, secondly disapproval of the works of the ungodly, "and the way of the wicked…"

So he says that they will be separated bodily, because the Lord knows the way of the just. He knows, because he is ignorant of nothing. -Heb 4:13 But all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. He also knows their ways. -Prov 16:2 All the ways of men are open to his eyes (Vul). -Sirach 23:19 The eyes of the Lord are ten thousand times brighter than the sun; they look upon every aspect of human behavior and see into hidden corners. -Jer 30:19 whose eyes are open to all the ways of mortals. But his knowledge of the just is one of approbation. -Prov 4: The Lord knows the ways of those who are on the right (not in Bible). Which are those ways is shown in Psalm 84:7 The legislator will give a blessing. They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion (Vul). Truly worthy of approval is the way that begins with what is good and goes on through what is better to what is best. It is a good grace that frees the soul from the stain of sin; that is the "blessing". It is a better virtue that fills the soul with merits and good works and defends it from vices; that is "going from strength to strength". But glory is the best, which perfects the soul and makes it happy; this is "seeing the God of gods in Zion".

This is the straight way, which keeps to the mean and does not proceed from extremes. -Isaiah 26:7 The way of the righteous is level; O Just One, you make smooth the path of the righteous. Likewise the ways of the just are clean through the gift of fear, which expels sin. They are smooth and straight through the gift of piety, which offends no one and hurts no one. The Gloss says on Mat 5:4 that the meek person is one unaffected by rancor or anger, but who bears all with equanimity. They are bright by the gift of knowledge. -Psalm 118:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. They are secure by the gift of fortitude. -Prov 28:1 The righteous are as bold as a lion. They are clear by the gift of counsel, which clears away all obstacles. -Mat 16:27 Look, we have left everything and followed you etc. Bernard said: "Peter you acted rightly and wisely, because you could not follow burdened down." They are straight by the gift of understanding, which show how to govern oneself and order all things to God. -Prov 1:5 The intelligent man will acquire good guidance. They are pleasant by the gift of wisdom, which gives one a foretaste of eternal goods. -Psalm 33:8 Taste and see etc.

and the way of the wicked shall perish.
while the assembly of the wicked shall perish.

1: -This second section is a reprobation of evil works. The way of the wicked, in other words, "The ways of the just are approved by God, but the way of the evil he does not know, as far as knowledge of approbation is concerned."- will perish. Note first of all that the Psalmist calls the works of the good "ways". For a way leads to a goal; likewise the works of the just are directed to a goal. -Phil 3:13 This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. A way also comes from somewhere. The evil leave the True Being and move towards desctruction. -Wis 3:10 They neglected justice and forsook the Lord. -Wis 3:4 Their going forth from us seemed utter destruction. The way of the wicked is said to perish because it causes the one who follows it to perish, and to go from being into almost non-being, making them live with the evils of both guilt and penalty. Gregory said (Moralia, Book 5, Ch. 15) said that they perish not into non-being but into evil-being. -Job 18:15 In their tents nothing remains.

Truly the way of the godless is not approved by God, because it is unclean from unchastity. -Joel 1:17 Animals wallow in their own shit (Vul). It is rough because of avarice, which is hard. -Sirach 3:26 A stubborn man will fare badly in the end. It is dark because of anger, since anger blinds the mind so that it cannot see the truth. -Psalm 6:8 My eyes are dimmed from furor (=sorrow). It is timid because of laziness. -Job 15:21 Terrifying sounds are in their ears etc. It is blocked because of envy, which digs into everything. -Wis 5:7 We journeyed through trackless deserts. It is unending because of gluttony, which comes back every day. -Prov 30:16 Fire never says, "Enough" It is tasteless and rotten because of pride. -Zach 5:11 A house was built for wickedness, that is, pride, in Shinar, which is interpreted as bad breath.