112:0Bible students think that Psalm 112 follows Psalm 111 in a special way. Psalm 111 is about a righteous God. Psalm 112 is about the man that God makes righteous
We do not know who wrote Psalm 112. And we do not know when they wrote it. It was probably after the exile ended. That was 500 years before Jesus Christ came to the earth as a man. The exile was when the King of Babylon took the Jews to Babylon. They were there for 70 years. After they came back, they made the Book of Psalms. They used it in the new temple (house of God in Jerusalem) that they built. Psalm 111 was about the righteousness of God. So someone wrote Psalm 112 to describe the man that God made righteous.
Psalm 112 is a special kind of poem. A poem is a beautiful way to use words. All the psalms are Hebrew poems, but some of them are acrostic poems. Hebrew is the language that the Jews spoke. They used it to write their Bible. An acrostic psalm has one verse or part of a verse that begins with the first letter of the alphabet. The next begins with the next letter, and so on. This is very difficult to do when you translate the psalms into another language. This set of psalms does it with Psalms 9 and 10, but not with Psalm 112. But we have put the letters of the Hebrew alphabet before each part. So, after the first ‘hallelujah’ (that means ‘praise the LORD’ or ‘tell the LORD that he is very great’) there are 22 lines in the psalm. This is because there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. ‘LORD’ is a special name for God. The people that love and obey him use it.
God's Man is Righteous
(Aleph) The man that is afraid of the LORD will be very happy.
(Beth) It will give him pleasure when he obeys the LORD's rules.
112:1Verse 1: A better English word for ‘afraid’ is ‘in awe.’ It means more than being afraid. It also means to want to love and obey the person that you are afraid of!
2 (Gimel) His children will become powerful in the land.
(Daleth) The LORD will do good things for the good people in his family.
112:2Verse 2: ‘His children’ means more than just his children. It means children, grandchildren and their children or grandchildren, for many centuries. Another word is ‘descendants.’
3 He will be a rich man with valuable things in his house.
(Vav) He will always have God's gift of righteousness.
112:3Verse 3: We do not know what the valuable things were in the psalmist's day. The psalmist wrote the psalm. Often today, the LORD's people are not rich. And they do not have much that is valuable.
4 (Zayin) A good man is like a light that shines in dark places.
(Heth) He is kind and loving and righteous.
112:4Verse 4: Bible students are not sure who ‘he’ is in the ‘heth’ part. Some think that it is the LORD. But other students think that it is the good man. Our translation makes it mean the good man. This is because the other verses (which we call the context) are all about the good man.
5 (Teth) A good man is kind and lends to people.
(Yod) He is fair in everything that he does.
6 (Kaph) So a good man will never fail.
(Lamed) People will always remember a righteous man.
7 (Mem) He is not afraid of bad news.
(Nun) His heart is steady and he trusts in the LORD.
112:7Verse 7: In Hebrew poems, ‘heart’ means ‘mind’, the part of us that thinks. A steady heart is one that does not change. It does not think something different when bad news comes. This is because the person trusts in the LORD. To trust in the LORD is to know that the LORD will give you help when you need it.
8 (Samech) His heart is safe. And he will not be afraid,
(Ayin) until God destroys his enemies.
112:8Verse 8: ‘Until (God) destroys his enemies’ is ‘until what the good man wants to happen to his enemies does happen’ in the Hebrew Bible. This translation decides that the good man wants God to destroy these enemies.
9 (Pe) He gives a lot to poor people.
(Tsade) He will always be righteous.
(Qoph) He will be powerful. And people will say that he is good.
10 (Resh) The bad man will see it and be angry.
(Shin) He will gnash his teeth together, then disappear.
(Tav) The things that the bad man wants will not happen.
112:10Verse 10: When the bad man sees what happens to the good man, he is angry. He will ‘gnash his teeth together’ because he is so angry. ‘Gnash his teeth’ means ‘hit his teeth together.’ It was a Jewish way to say (idiom) that someone is very angry. ‘Disappear’ means the opposite of ‘appear.’ This is because God will not let the bad man have his way. ‘Not to have his way’ means ‘what he wants to happen will not happen.’ Nobody will see the bad man any more.