I was reading in Psalms 1, and I noted verse 5: "Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous." I was not exactly sure what the reference to the wicked not standing in judgment means. -- Juan Rojas (Vanderbilt University)

The psalms are poetry, and one of the most prominent features of Hebrew poetry is parallelism. That is, the second line somehow modifies the first line.

In the case of Psalm 1:5, the judgment begins with the assembly of the Israelites. It is not proper or permissible for the ungodly to be in the assembly of the righteous, in other words. But the principle is extended (in verse 6 and throughout the Bible) to the final judgment. If it is inappropriate for the ungodly to infiltrate the congregation of the godly, how much less will the Lord allow the ungodly at the day of judgment to "slip through" to the eternal assembly of the saved?

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