A Commentary on the Psalms Vol 3 by AP Ross

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AH Bogaards | Forum Activity | Posted: Wed, May 24 2017 4:34 AM

When will A Commentary on the Psalms Vol 3 by AP Ross be available? Hard copy already available since 2015

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Vincent Chia | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 24 2017 6:20 AM

I am also keen to see its release in Logos format. Why the delay???


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Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 24 2017 8:19 AM


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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 24 2017 9:17 AM


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Jerry Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 24 2017 9:37 AM

AH Bogaards:

When will A Commentary on the Psalms Vol 3 by AP Ross be available? Hard copy already available since 2015

Yes! Been using the hard copy since it came out and would love it in Logos format!

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Travis Walter | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 24 2017 11:48 AM

In case others are wondering what this is about.. (I had to look it up also.)  Its this resource.


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Daniel Bender | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 24 2017 12:08 PM


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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 24 2017 1:14 PM

Travis Walter:

In case others are wondering what this is about.. (I had to look it up also.)  Its this resource.


This is the time when I wish I had a coupon to spare 😁 Ross is great at what he does. Having all three volumes in Logos is a goal I now have.


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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 26 2017 11:19 AM

Could anyone who owns Ross's commentaries on Psalms post a sample. Maybe the full comments with outline and all of Psalm 1? Thanks! I'm thinking of buying, but not enough previews.


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Stephen Steele | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 29 2017 8:04 AM

Seems very strange to have the first two volumes but not the final one.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 27 2017 8:49 AM

Bump ✊👍👌

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Joseph Turner | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 28 2017 4:04 AM

V 1, p 181 PSALM 1

The Life That Is Blessed


V 1, p 182 Composition and Context

Psalm 1 sets the tone for much of the rest of the Psalter by contrasting the way of the righteous with the way of the ungodly and sets the stage for the hostility of the ungodly. Along with Psalm 2, it forms the introduction to the entire collection. Psalm 2, a royal psalm, lays out the connection between God’s rule and the human monarchy. Psalm 1 says nothing about the king, but it focuses on the way of the righteous that is to be lived out in accordance with the law of the LORD. Putting the two psalms together we have the main themes of the book, the way the righteous are to live among the ungodly, and the salvation the righteous have in their divinely chosen king. Psalm 1 then begins by reminding the reader that those who order their lives by God’s word will find success in this life and in the life to come, but those who reject God’s word have no hope of escaping his judgment. The message of the psalm centers on the importance of meditating on God’s word (and so the psalm is often studied as a torah psalm).
The psalm is put together in a way that focuses attention on the righteous life that is based on the law of the LORD. The first three verses lay out the untarnished (v. 3) and blessed (v. 1) life of the believer who lives by God’s word (v. 2). The V 1, p 183 second part of the psalm provides a strong contrast (“Not so are the ungodly”); it portrays the life of the ungodly as worthless and therefore doomed in God’s judgment. The last verse of the psalm provides a fitting conclusion: the way the righteous live is the way of salvation; the way the ungodly live is the way of judgment.
There is no indication of authorship or date for the psalm; the commentators offer a wide range of suggestions. Kraus, for one, concluded that a date in the first or second century before Christ was likely. On the other hand, Perowne presented the traditional early date (Solomonic),9 noting that the psalm had several themes of wisdom literature: it contrasted the righteous and the ungodly, emphasized the fear of the LORD and the love for the law, and concluded with the inevitability of reward for the righteous and judgment for the ungodly. One may observe that like wisdom literature in general Psalm 1 employs similes, has the formula “blessed is,” and uses vocabulary common to the genre. As a wisdom psalm it extols the wisdom of living in accordance with the law of the LORD, but it is the emphasis on meditation in the word of the LORD that has prompted many modern scholars to choose a later post-exilic date for the psalm (see Introduction). Broyles suggested that the lack of a superscription, especially in Book I which consistently uses superscriptions, indicates that this psalm and the next were added to introduce the collection. Whether they were added after all the psalms had been collected or not is hard to prove. In fact, settling on a date for the composition is equally hard to determine, but there is no compelling reason it should be post-exilic. An earlier psalm could have been selected to form part of the introduction to the collection.

V 1, p 184 Exegetical Analysis


The psalmist describes the blessed individual who leads an untarnished and prosperous life in accord with God’s word, and contrasts the worthless lives of the ungodly who will perish in the day of judgment.


I. The psalmist describes the blessed person who leads an untarnished and prosperous life in accord with the word of the LORD (1–3).
A. He announces the blessedness of the untarnished life (1).
B. He attributes this life to meditation in the Law of the LORD (2).
C. He describes the prosperity of the righteous under the image of a fruitful tree (3).
II. By contrast, the psalmist describes the ungodly as worthless and without hope (4–5).
A. He portrays the worthlessness of the ungodly under the image of chaff (4).
B. He predicts the final separation of the ungodly from the righteous (5).
III. The psalmist concludes that the ungodly shall perish but that the LORD will save the righteous (6).


I. The Way of the Righteous: Those who are blessed by God lead an untarnished and prosperous life in accordance with his word (1–3).

A. The righteous lead an untarnished life (1).

The first verse gives a summary description of the life of the righteous: it begins with an announcement of their spiritual V 1, p 185 state and then qualifies it with three clauses. Their state is that they are “blessed” (אַשְׁרֵי), a term that refers to the joyful spiritual condition of those who are right with God and the pleasure and satisfaction that is derived from that. It is an abstract plural, stressing the fullness of joy; it may be paraphrased: “O the heavenly blessedness[es] of the person who.…”12
Following this three relative clauses explain the blessed life. In the clauses there is a threefold trilogy of ascending intensity. First, the three terms for the people of the world are “ungodly,” “sinners,” and then “scorners.” The “ungodly” (רָשָׁע) here are unbelievers, people who have no part in the covenant and so remain guilty before God. A translation “the wicked” gives the V 1, p 186 impression that they only do wicked things. This may be true at times, and in some contexts that describe their works, “wicked” would be a better translation. The word can also describe people who may seem to be kind and who may even be part of the congregation; they are just not godly. Next in intensity is the word “sinners” (חַטָּאִים), those who are either ignorantly or intentionally failing to obey God. Finally, there are the “scorners” (לֵצִים), V 1, p 187 those who ridicule the righteous and try to destroy their integrity. The word probably focuses on things they say because the verb is used elsewhere with meanings of “interpret” or “translate” (Gen. 42:23). These people are vicious in their words, often using double meanings and cutting taunts; they are an abomination (Prov. 24:9). In the three descriptions of the unrighteous there is a growing intensity, signifying that what may start as a harmless bit of advice from an unbeliever may end up with a dangerously close connection to those who want to destroy the faith.
Similarly, the verbs also increase in force. The first is “walks” (הָלַךְ, an implied comparison that became an idiom), which signifies how one lives, whether morally and ethically or not; here it would refer to living according to the advice of the ungodly. Next is “stands” (עָמַד, another implied comparison), indicating a halting to consider the life style of the sinner. And finally there is “sits” (יָשַׁב), which would signify joining in collusion with the scorners and being identified with them (and so probably a metonymy of adjunct). These verbs, “walks,” “stands,” and “sits,” are all characteristic perfects that should be translated by the present tense. In this case they are negated: those who are right with God do not characteristically live like the various types of unbelievers.
Third, the nouns in the prepositional phrases correspond to this pattern of intensification. The verse starts with “counsel” (עֵצָה), a general word for advice that is concerned with the moral and ethical decisions in life. Next is “way” (דֶּרֶךְ), an idiom (based on an implied comparison) that refers to the course of life, how one lives. And finally, there is “seat” (מוֹשָב), a figure that indicates the place of joining with the scorners and identifying with their activities (a metonymy of adjunct). In the Psalms the pious do not want to join the assemblies of the wicked (Ps. 26:4, 5).
V 1, p 188 The point of this threefold intensification is to show that if people at first take their spiritual guidance from unbelievers instead of God, they will gradually begin living like the world and become more entangled in it.

B. The righteous love to meditate on God’s word (2).

To be blessed and remain untarnished in the world, the faithful must live according to God’s word. The word “law” (תּוֹרָה) can refer to instruction in general, or an individual teaching, or the commandments, or the books of the Law, or Scriptures as a whole. V 1, p 189 Wisdom literature does not always designate which is meant, but it would be hard to think of the word tôrāh without reference to the Pentateuch and other Scripture based on it. In general the psalmist is thinking of meditation on divine revelation, beginning with the Law.
The verse begins with a figure to refer to this meditation in God’s word: “his delight is in the Law of the LORD” (a metonymy of adjunct or cause). The parallel colon makes it clear that he meditates in the Law, but this first part tells us it is his delight. For believers it was a delight to study God’s instructions; it was sweeter than honey and opened the way to a full and healthy life (Ps. 19).
The verb in the second half of the verse is “meditates” (יֶהְגֶּה; s.v. Ps. 2:1). Because it is qualified by “night and day,” a figure (merism) that means “all the time,” the translation should be put in the present tense (a progressive or habitual imperfect). The spiritual discipline of meditation, according to the Psalter, begins with the memorization of divine instruction so that along the way by day, or on the bed at night, one could recall it and think about it. This hiding of God’s word in the heart also requires gaining a full understanding of it. Then, one can speak to God about the word, turning its ideas and concerns into prayer. And finally, meditation concludes with self-exhortation—rebuking, exhorting, or encouraging—as the case might be (“why are you cast down, O my soul?”—the refrain in Pss. 42:5, 11 and 43:5). The “meditation” is fixed in the mind more by speaking or uttering the words, which is what the Hebrew term actually V 1, p 190 indicates (s.v. Ps. 2:1). Such meditation in the word prevents people from being caught up in the ideas of the world.

C. The righteous have success in this life (3).

With emblematic parallelism, the third verse gives a lovely picture of the success of the person who lives according to divine revelation. The emblem is in the first few clauses, beginning with the simile—“like a tree”—and including an elaboration on it; then the final clause states the intended reality.
The simile of the tree represents a flourishing and fruitful life; the simile is here extended for clarification. First, it is planted (שָׁתוּל) by channels of water or irrigation ditches. If the tree represents the individual, then the water represents the word of God, for as the water makes the tree grow, the word causes the person to grow spiritually. Similarly, Paul says that some have to water the seed that was sown, meaning teach the new believer so that there would be growth (1 Cor. 3:6).
Secondly, the tree produces (יִתֵּן) fruit in its season—not all the time, but when it is supposed to bear fruit. The verb, either the habitual or progressive imperfect, affirms that such a tree continually or regularly gives fruit in its season. If a tree is alive and being watered, it will show the proper growth; likewise, if true believers are in the word, they will produce righteousness (see Paul’s discussion of the “fruit that the Spirit produces” in Gal. 5:22–23). Broyles explains “in its season” by cautioning that “while believers may be able to sustain spiritual life through times of adversity, they may be productive only at certain times, whose determination is beyond their control”.
Third, “its leaf does not wither.” If the tree is carefully planted so that it can grow and is well-watered, it will not only live, but V 1, p 191 also flourish. Likewise one would expect to find the spiritual life alive and flourishing if nourished by the word of the LORD.
Now the last clause leaves the emblem part of the parallelism and states the reality intended by it: “and everything he does will prosper” (or “flourish,” יַצְלִיחַ; s.v. Ps. 45:4). This is not a blanket statement promising unlimited success; the context itself restricts the application. If the righteous meditate in God’s word, they will live in obedience to it—and doing that is what will succeed.

II. The Way of the Ungodly: Those who are not believers produce nothing of value for God and have no future with God (4–5).

A. The life of the ungodly is worthless (4).

A strong contrast now shifts the focus of the psalm: “Not so are the ungodly!” The rest of the verse uses a simile to explain that the ungodly life is worthless—and this makes the warning to avoid the advice of the ungodly even more compelling. Even though unbelievers appear to be good people, they do not understand the faith and have no desire to please God or obey his word, and so they produce nothing of value for God. What could they say that would assist believers in doing the will of God?
The psalmist compares them to chaff, the worthless husks that have to be separated from the grain. Harvested wheat was crushed with a threshing sledge and then thrown into the air in a breezy location so that the little flakes of chaff could be blown away and the heavier grain fall to the ground. The figure shows that the ungodly are not only of no value, but also will eventually be removed. This imagery of winnowing at the harvest provided biblical writers with a vivid picture of judgment (e.g., Matt. 3:12).
One might protest that even unbelievers are worth something. On the one hand they may be charitable and kind, involved in community works, and even improve everyone’s living conditions by their deeds. And on occasion God will even use what they do for his own purposes. On the other hand the witness of the Bible is clear: unless good works are done by faith and to the glory of God, they are worthless to God and therefore of no merit before him (see Psalm 127:1–2).

V 1, p 192 B. The ungodly will not survive the judgment (5).

Using the image of the chaff’s being blown away, verse five declares that the ungodly will be separated from the righteous because the ungodly are not righteous (v. 4), that is, they do not live by faith in obedience to the word of God, promoting and producing righteousness, and they do not receive blessing as the people of God do; therefore, they will be removed. Since these folks have never come to faith, never repented of their sins, and never sought to please God, in the judgment they will not survive (“rise up,” יָקוּמוּ; s.v. Ps. 3:1).
The psalm does not specify what judgment is meant. The word (מִשְׁפָּט; s.v. Ps. 9:4) can be used for any kind of judgment. One normally thinks of the final judgment when God will separate between the wheat and the chaff, the righteous and the unrighteous. The psalmist could have in mind a more immediate judgment from God, some event that might occur in the life of the nation that would be a divine punishment on unrepentant sinners. Down through history in such times of judgment many righteous people also died in the wars, or the plagues, or other catastrophes. Because Psalm 1 announces the separation of the righteous and the wicked in the expected judgment, it seems best to understand it as the final judgment. Besides, final retribution is a major theme in wisdom literature (Pss. 49; 73), namely, that at the end of the age the righteous will stand before God in glory, but the ungodly will not.

III. The Judgment: The righteous will be saved because the Lord knows them, but the ungodly will perish (6).

The final verse summarizes this separation in judgment, using the form of a causal clause. Its main point should be of great comfort to the faithful: the LORD knows them. This verb V 1, p 193 is a participle (יוֹדֵעַ), emphasizing the knowing as continuous or durative in nature. The idea is more than a mental awareness, what we call knowledge; Delitzsch said it was “a knowledge which was in living, intimate relationship to its subject and at the same time was inclined to it and bound to it by love” (s.v. Ps. 139:1). While the study of the usage of the word provides a good general understanding of the meaning, the determining factor for its meaning here is the antithetical parallelism: “but the way of the ungodly will perish.” In other words, “knows” is the opposite of “will perish.” Thus it is a knowledge that saves. If the LORD knows them, they will not perish; if he does not know them, they will. And this is the language the New Testament says that Jesus will use in the coming judgment: “I do not know you” (Luke 13:27) and “I am the good shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me” (John 10:14).
In these last two verses the psalmist contrasts the word “righteous” (צַדִּיקִים) with its antonym, “ungodly” (or “wicked”). The basic meaning of “righteous” has to do with conforming to the standard; in religious passages that standard is divine revelation. The righteous are people who have entered into covenant with God by faith and seek to live according to his word (2). The V 1, p 194 covenant that they have makes them the people of God—God knows them, and because God knows them, they shall never perish. They may do unrighteous things at times, but they know to find forgiveness because they want to do what is right.
In this contrast the emphasis is on the word “way.” The LORD knows the “way of the righteous,” but the “way of the ungodly” will perish. The word “way,” as noted above, has become idiomatic for the course of action that people follow (how they live, their motives, what they produce). Thus, the ungodly and all they do will perish, but the righteous and the righteousness they produce will remain.


By drawing a contrast between the righteous and the ungodly, the psalmist instructs believers not to live the way the world lives, not to take spiritual, moral, or ethical advice from unbelievers, and not to join them in their profane enterprises; rather, believers must study the word of God in order to live an untarnished and productive life for God, and that life will be evidence of a living faith that will see them through the judgment, when God judges the wicked.
V 1, p 195 The central point of this psalm expressed in an expository statement would be something like this: The righteous who live an untarnished and prosperous life in harmony with Scripture will be saved from the judgment of God on the ungodly.
For believers, the application is obvious: they must spend time meditating on God’s word so that they may live a distinct and productive spiritual life for God, and in the process find assurance that God knows them and will preserve them through the judgment. To unbelievers the message is urgent: they must come to faith in the Lord, because if they live their lives without faith in him or his word, not even their good deeds will count and they will not survive the judgment to come.
The New Testament also emphasizes these themes. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17). James stressed that by studying and doing the word of God people would be blessed in what they do (Jas. 1:22–25). But Paul reflected more of the message of this psalm when he wrote, “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2).
With all this in mind we see how the Psalm provides a fitting part of the introduction to the collection. Throughout the Psalter the reader will be confronted with the tension of living in a world that is not only alienated from God but antagonistic to him and his people. They must, therefore, find their direction and confidence in his word. And in so doing, they will also find their hope that someday the LORD will judge the world and vindicate them.

Allen P. Ross, A Commentary on the Psalms 1–89: Commentary, vol. 1, Kregel Exegetical Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2011–2013), 181–195.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jun 28 2017 4:58 AM

Thanks  Joseph! Hopefully vol 3 will make to Logos some day.


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