He will be like a tree planted by channels of water where he will yield his fruit in season; whose foliage will not fade, and all he does will thrive. He is spoken of, not she, as elsewhere in this Psalm, per the usual in ancient literature, and in modern literature until recently. The use of the third masculine pronoun foregrounds but does not limit the application of the psalm to those of masculine gender. The tree and the individual who is faithful to יהוה merge in the course of the simile. My translation seeks to bring that out. In a parallel passage, the tenor-vehicle distinction is likewise blurred. The tree is personified:
בָּרוּךְ הַגֶּבֶר אֲשֶׁר
וְהָיָה יְהוָה מִבְטַחוֹ׃
וְהָיָה כְּעֵץ שָׁתוּל
וְעַל־יוּבַל יְשַׁלַּח שָׁרָשָׁיו
וְלֹא־יִרְאֶה כִּי־יָבֹא חֹם
וְהָיָה עָלֵהוּ רַעֲנָן
וּבִשְׁנַת בַּצֹּרֶת לֹא־יִדְאָג
וְלֹא־יָמִישׁ מֵעֲשׂוֹת פֶּרִי׃
Blessed is the
who will trust in יהוה,
whose source of trust is יהוה.
He shall be like a tree transplanted by water,
by a stream he shall send forth his roots.
He will not notice when heat comes,
his foliage will be verdant.
In a year of stress he will not pine,
and will not be deterred from producing fruit.
Not so the wicked. On the contrary, they are like chaff that the wind drives away. The fates of the wanton and the innocent are intertwined. The wicked are so called because they take advantage of the innocent. There is no way that the innocent can stand (persist, survive) unless the malevolent are driven away from their feasting on them. It is because יהוה takes note of the way of the righteous that the way of the wicked - those who prey on the righteous – will perish.
Job asks how often the wicked receive their just reward. He desires that they receive it, because as long as they don’t, the innocent are at their mercy. The imagery employed is remarkably similar:
כַּמָּה נֵר־רְשָׁעִים יִדְעָךְ
וְיָבֹא עָלֵימוֹ אֵידָם
חֲבָלִים יְחַלֵּק בְּאַפּוֹ׃
יִהְיוּ כְּתֶבֶן לִפְנֵי־רוּחַ
וּכְמֹץ גְּנָבַתּוּ סוּפָה׃
How often is the lamp of the wicked extinguished,
and their doom come upon them?
(How often) does he apportion lots in anger?
Let them be like straw before wind,
like chaff a storm stole away!