PSALM 101 COMMENTARY

EDITED BY GLENN PEASE

Of David. A psalm. INTRODUCTION
1. SPURGEON, "TITLE. —A Psalm of David. This is just such a psalm as the man after God's own heart would compose when he was about to become king in Israel. It is David all over, straight forward, resolute, devout; there is no trace of policy or vacillation, the Lord has appointed him to be king, and he knows it, therefore he purposes in all things to behave as becomes a monarch who me the Lord himself has chosen. If we call this THE PSALM or PIOUS RESOLUTIONS, we shall perhaps remember it all the more readily. After songs of praise a psalm of practice not only makes variety, but comes in most fittingly. We never praise the Lord better than when we do those things which are pleasing in his sight. 2.TREASURY OF DAVID, "Whole Psalm. The contents of this psalm show that it was written at some remarkable period of David's life. Three different times have been fixed upon as respectively giving occasion for the solemn resolutions which are announced in it. The first is supposed to be when David, immediately after the death of Saul, succeeded to the government of a part of the kingdom; the second, when the whole kingdom was united under the dominion of David; and the third, when he removed the ark from the house of Obededom to Zion, and placed it in the vicinity of his own abode. It is certainly of little importance which of these periods we select, but the second verse of the psalm has some appearance of relating to the last mentioned. The psalmist here says, When wilt thou come to me? which seems to intimate that when he was to have the symbols of God's presence so near to him, he experienced a solemn sentiment respecting the holiness that was now more than ever incumbent upon him—a sentiment which induced him to form the sacred purposes and resolutions which he has specified. These purposes relate to the character of the persons whom he would select for his household, and those whom he would employ in carrying on his government, which appeared to be more firmly established by the divine condescension that was manifested to him, in having the earthly residence of God placed so near to himself. It was quite in agreement with David's character to form purposes of more fervent and steadfast obedience, in proportion to the advantages and favours which the divine goodness bestowed upon him. —William Walford. Whole Psalm. This psalm has been appropriately called "The House-holder's Psalm"; and assuredly if every master of a family would regulate his household by these rules of the conscientious psalmist, there would be a far greater amount, not

merely of domestic happiness and comfort, but of fulfilment of the serious and responsible duties which devolve on the respective members of a household. David in some measure may be supposed to speak of the regulation of a royal court and household; and of course with such we in our humbler sphere can have but little in common; yet though there may not be the same duties and the same requirements, yet the same principles should actuate all alike, and the same virtues that adorn the lowlier station may shed a radiance even on the highest. —Barton Bouchier. Whole Psalm. This is the psalm which the old expositors used to designate "The Mirror for Magistrates"; and an excellent mirror it is. It would mightily accelerate the coming of the time when every nation shall be Christ's possession, and every capital a "City of the Lord", if all magistrates could be persuaded to dress themselves by it every time they go forth to perform the functions of their godlike office. When Sir George Villiers became the favourite and prime minister of King James, Lord Bacon, in a beautiful Letter of Advice, counselled him to take this psalm for his rule in the promotion of courtiers. "In those the choice had need be of holiest and faithful servants, as well as of comely outsides who can bow the knee and kiss the hand. King David (Psalms 101:6-7) propounded a rule to himself for the choice of his courtiers. He was a wise and a good king; and a wise and a good king shall do well to follow such a good example; and if he find any to be faulty, which perhaps cannot suddenly be discovered, let him take on him this resolution as King David did, `There shall no deceitful person dwell in my house.'"It would have been well both for the Philosopher and the Favourite if they had been careful to walk by this rule. —William Binnie. Whole Psalm. Eyring, in his "Life of Ernest the Pious" (Duke of Saxe Gotha), relates that he sent an unfaithful minister a copy of Psalms 101:1-8, and that it became a proverb in the country when an official had done anything wrong: He will certainly soon receive the prince's psalm to read. —F. Delitzseh. Whole Psalm., Psalms 101:1-8 was one beloved by the noblest of Russian princes, Vladimir Monomachos; and by the gentlest of English reformers, Nicholas Ridley. But it was its first leap into life that has carried it so far into the future. It is full of a stern exclusiveness, of a noble intolerance, not against theological error, not against uncourtly manners, not against political insubordination, but against the proud heart, the high look, the secret slanderer, the deceitful worker, the teller of lies. These are the outlaws from king David's court; these are the rebels and heretics whom he would not suffer to dwell in his house or tarry in his sight. —Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, in "Lectures on the History the Jewish Church", 1870. Whole Psalm. Such a hymn of praise as the grand doxology of Psalms 99:1-9 could not die away without an echo. Accordingly Psalms 100:1-5 may be regarded as forming the chorus of the church, and this as taking up and applying that part of the doxology which celebrated the present manifestation of the "King in his beauty." —Alfred Edersheim. Whole Psalm. Mr. Fox reports that Bishop Ridley often read and expounded this psalm to his household, hiring them with money to get it by heart. —Thomas Lye, in "The Morning Exercises."

1 I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
1. Barnes, “I will sing of mercy and judgment - That is, In the psalm which he was about to compose, he would make these the burden of his song; he would, in fact, by stating his views as to the regulation of his own conduct, commend these virtues - mercy and justice - to mankind, and celebrate their value. He who himself “adopts” the principles of mercy, kindness, truth, and justice, as his own guide, commends these virtues to mankind in the best way possible. No language can do it effectually, unless a man practices these virtues himself. Unto thee, O Lord, will I sing - As commending and approving these things; as having put it into my heart to practice them; as displaying them in thine own higher administration: for a father of a family, or a magistrate, is but the representative of God.

2. Clarke, “I will sing of mercy and judgment - David might say, Adverse and prosperous providences have been of the utmost use to my soul; therefore, I will thank God for both. Or, as he was probably now called to the government of all the tribes, he might make a resolution that he would show ‫ חסד‬chesed, incessant benevolence, to the upright; and ‫ משפט‬mishpat, the execution of judgment, to the wicked; and would make
the conduct of God the model of his own.

3. Gill, “I will sing of mercy and judgment,.... Either of mercy and justice, exercised
by him towards his people, which he resolved to do, and did, 2Sa_8:15 which are two very principal points in government, are the glory of a reign, the support of the throne, and the happiness of a people, Pro_20:28, or rather of the mercy of God to himself, in delivering him from his enemies, and raising him to the throne; and of the judgment of God in maintaining his cause, and avenging him on those that hated him: every good man has reason to sing of the "mercy" of God; not only of his providential mercy, but of his special mercy, prepared in council and covenant for him, displayed in regeneration, in the pardon of sin, and in his everlasting salvation: or of "grace" and goodness, as the word (f) signifies; of the grace and goodness of God laid up in Christ, shown forth through him, and to which the whole of salvation is owing; singing of this shows a sense of it, thankfulness for it, and a cheerful disposition of soul, in a view of interest in it: and he may also sing of "judgment": of righteous punishment inflicted upon his enemies, and the enemies of God, and Christ, and true religion; not as taking delight in the misery of fellow creatures, but as rejoicing in the glory of divine justice displayed therein, and in a deliverance from them; as Israel did at the Red sea; and as the church will, when Babylon is destroyed: moreover, a good man may sing of mercy and judgment together, with respect to himself; there being, in the course of his life, a mixture of prosperity and adversity, of merciful and afflictive dispensations, which work together for his good; and he has reason to be thankful for the one as for the other, as Job was, Job_1:21, so the Targum,

"if thou renderest mercy to me; if thou exercisest judgment on me; for all I will praise thee:'' judgment sometimes signifies chastisement, Jer_10:24, it may be understood of Christ, who sung of the mercy of God, as shown in the mission of him into the world to save men, and which was glorified in their redemption by him; and of the justice of God exercised on him, as their surety, on whom judgment came unto condemnation for their sins; and when the sword of justice was awaked against him, the hand of mercy was turned on the little ones, Zec_13:7, unto thee, O Lord, will I sing; on the above subjects.

4. Henry, “David here cuts out to himself and others a pattern both of a good magistrate and a good master of a family; and, if these were careful to discharge the duty of their place, it would contribute very much to a universal reformation. Observe, I. The chosen subject of the psalm (Psa_101:1): I will sing of mercy and judgment, that is, 1. Of God's mercy and judgment, and then it looks back upon the dispensations of Providence concerning David since he was first anointed to be king, during which time he had met with many a rebuke and much hardship on the one hand, and yet, on the other hand, had had many wonderful deliverances wrought for him and favours bestowed upon him; of these he will sing unto God. Note, (1.) God's providences concerning his people are commonly mixed - mercy and judgment; God has set the one over-against the other, and appointed them April-days, showers and sunshine. It was so with David and his family; when there was mercy in the return of the ark there was judgment in the death of Uzza. (2.) When God in his providence exercises us with a mixture of mercy and judgment it is our duty to sing, and sing unto him, both of the one and of the other; we must be suitably affected with both, and make suitable acknowledgments to God for both. The Chaldee-paraphrase of this is observable: If thou bestowest mercy upon me, or If thou bring any judgment upon me, before thee, O Lord! will I sing my hymns for all. Whatever our outward condition is, whether joyful or sorrowful, still we must give glory to God, and sing praises to him; neither the laughter of a prosperous condition nor the tears of an afflicted condition must put us out of tune for sacred songs. Or, 2. It may be understood of David's mercy and judgment; he would, in this psalm, promise to be merciful, and just, or wise, for judgment is often put for discretion. To do justly and love mercy is the sum of our duty; these he would covenant to make conscience of in that place and relation to which God had called him and this in consideration of the various providences of God that had occurred to him. Familymercies and family-afflictions are both of them calls to family-religion. David put his vow into a song or psalm, that he might the better keep it in his own mind and frequently repeat it, and that it might the better be communicated to others and preserved in his family, for a pattern to his sons and successors. 5. Jamison, “In this Psalm the profession of the principles of his domestic and political government testifies, as well as actions in accordance with it, David’s appreciation of God’s mercy to him, and His judgment on his enemies: and thus he sings or celebrates God’s dealings.

6. K&D, “This is the “prince's Psalm,”
(Note: Eyring, in his Vita of Ernest the Pious Duke of Saxe-Gotha, v. 1601, d. 1675, relates that he sent an unfaithful minister a copy of the 101st Psalm, and that it became a proverb in the country, when an official had done anything wrong: He will certainty soon receive the prince's Psalm to read.) or as it is inscribed in Luther's version, “David's mirror of a monarch.” Can there be any more appropriate motto for it than what is said of Jahve's government in Psa_99:4? In respect of this passage of Psa_99:1-9, to which Psa_100:1-5 is the finale, Psa_101:1-8 seems to be appended as an echo out of the heart of David. The appropriateness of the ‫ ל ְ ד‬position of the words is as in Psa_24:1-10; 40; 109:1-110:7; 139) is words ‫(ָ וִ ד מ ִ זְ מֹור‬the corroborated by the form and contents. Probably the great historical work from which the chronicler has taken excerpts furnished the post-exilic collector with a further gleaning of Davidic songs, or at least songs that were ascribed to David. The Psalm before us belongs to the time during which the Ark was in the house of Obed-Edom, where David had left it behind through terror at the misfortune of Uzzah. David said at that time: “How shall the Ark of Jahve come to me (the unholy one)?” 2Sa_6:8. He did not venture to bring the Ark of the Fearful and Holy One within the range of his own house. In our Psalm, however, he gives utterance to his determination as king to give earnest heed to the sanctity of his walk, of his rule, and of his house; and this resolve he brings before Jahve as a vow, to whom, in regard to the rich blessing which the Ark of God diffuses around it (2Sa_6:11.), he longingly sighs: “When wilt Thou come to me?!” This contemporaneous reference has been recognised by Hammond and Venema. From the fact that Jahve comes to David, Jerusalem becomes “the city of Jahve,” Psa_101:8; and to defend the holiness of this the city of His habitation in all faithfulness, and with all his might, is the thing to which David here pledges himself. The contents of the first verse refer not merely to the Psalm that follows as an announcement of its theme, but to David's whole life: graciousness and right, the selfmanifestations united ideally and, for the king who governs His people, typically in Jahve, shall be the subject of his song. Jahve, the primal source of graciousness and of right, it shall be, to whom he consecrates his poetic talent, as also his playing upon the ‫ ח‬condescension which flows from the principle of free love, and ‫שׁ ְ פּ ָ ט‬ ִ‫מ‬ harp. ‫ֶ ס ֶ ד‬is legality which binds itself impartially and uncapriciously to the rule (norm) of that which is right and good. They are two modes of conduct, mutually tempering each other, which God requires of every man (Mic_6:8, cf. Mat_23:23 : τὴν κρίσιν καὶ τὸν ἔλεον), and more especially of a king.

7.SPURGEON, "Faith triumphs in trial. When reason is thrust into the inner prison, with her feet made fast in the stocks, faith makes the dungeon walls ring with her merry notes as she cries, “I will sing of mercy and of judgment. Unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.” Faith pulls the black mask from the face of trouble, and discovers the angel beneath. Faith looks up at the cloud, and sees that “’Tis big with mercy and shall break In blessings on her head.” There is a subject for song even in the judgments of God towards us. For, first, the

trial is not so heavy as it might have been; next, the trouble is not so severe as we deserved to have borne; and our affliction is not so crushing as the burden which others have to carry. Faith sees that in her worst sorrow there is nothing penal; there is not a drop of God’s wrath in it; it is all sent in love. Faith discerns love gleaming like a jewel on the breast of an angry God. Faith says of her grief, “This is a badge of honour, for the child must feel the rod”; and then she sings of the sweet result of her sorrows, because they work her spiritual good. Nay, more, says Faith, “These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” So Faith rides forth on the black horse, conquering and to conquer, trampling down carnal reason and fleshly sense, and chanting notes of victory amid the thickest of the fray. “All I meet I find assists me In my path to heavenly joy: Where, though trials now attend me, Trials never more annoy. “Blest there with a weight of glory, Still the path I’ll ne’er forget, But, exulting, cry, it led me To my blessed Saviour’s seat.” 8. SPURGEON, "Ver. 1. I will sing of mercy and judgment. He would extol both the love and the severity, the sweets and the bitters, which the Lord had mingled in Iris experience; he would admire the justice and the goodness of the Lord. Such a song would fitly lead up to godly resolutions as to his own conduct, for that which we admire in our superiors we naturally endeavour to imitate. Mercy and judgment would temper the administration of David, because he had adoringly perceived them in the dispensations of his God. Everything in God's dealings with us may fittingly become the theme of song, and we have not viewed it aright until we feel we can sing about it. We ought as much to bless the Lord for the judgment with which he chastens our sin, as for the mercy with which he forgives it; there is as much love in the blows of his hand as in the kisses of his mouth. Upon a retrospect of their lives instructed saints scarcely know which to be most grateful for—the comforts which have, or the afflictions which nave purged them. Unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. Jehovah shall have all our praise. The secondary agents of either the mercy or the judgment must hold a very subordinate place in oue memory, and the Lord alone must be hymned by our heart. Our soul's sole worship must be the lauding of the Lord. The psalmist forsakes the minor key, which was soon to rule him in the one hundred and second psalm, and resolves that, come what may, he will sing, and sing to the Lord too, whatever others might do. 9.TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 1. I will sing. If thou bestowest mercies upon me; or if thou bringest any judgment upon me; before thee, O Lord, will I sing my hymn for all. —Chaldee Paraphrase. Ver. 1. I will sing. The manner of expression imports a cordial resolution; heart and

will are engaged in it; there is twice I will in the text. The manner of expression imports a humble resolution; I cannot sing of merit; but I will sing of mercy, and through mercy I will sing of mercy. To sing of mercy must be a humble song, for mercy towards a miserable sinner is a melting word; and to sing of judgment must be a humble song, for judgment in every sense is an awful word. The manner of the expression imports a skilful harper, a dexterous musician, even in a spiritual sense; he knew what should be the subject of the song, and he says, "I will sing of mercy and judgment"; and he knew what should be the object of the song, or to whom it should be sung, and therefore says, "To thee, O Lord, I will sing"; he knew who should be the singer, and therefore says, "I will" do it; he knew what should be the manner; and therefore says, "I will sing of mercy and judgment; to thee, O Lord, will I sing." It is before the Lord he resolves to sing, as he did before the ark, which was a type of Christ; and so is it s song to the praise of God in Christ. The manner of the expression imports a firm, fixed, and constant resolution; so the redoubling of it seems to import; "I will sing, I will sing." He had a mind this exercise of singing should not go down, but be his continual trade, "I will sing, I will sing"; I will sing on earth and I will sing in heaven; I will sing in time and I will sing in eternity. And, indeed, all on whom the spirit of praise and gratitude is poured out resolve never to give over singing... David had heard once, yea, twice, that mercy as well as power belongs to the Lord; and therefore not only once, but twice in a breath he resolves to sing unto the Lord. The word hath a great deal of elegancy and emphasis in it; I will sing of mercy, I will sing of judgment; O, I will sing, O Lord, I will sing; and I will sing unto thee. —Ralph Erskine. Ver. 1. This song of the sweet singer of Israel is peculiar to earth; they do not sing of judgment in heaven, for there is no sin there; they do not sing of mercy in hell, for there is no propitiation for sin there. Time was when the song was not heard even on earth; for in Paradise man walked in innocence, and walking in innocence he walked in the light of his Father's face. —Hugh Stowell, 1856. Ver. 1. I will sing of mercy and judgment. It comes all to this, as if the psalmist should say, "I will sing of merciful judgements"; for judgment is mercy, as it is the matter of the song: or, to take them separately, "I will sing of mercy in mercies, and, I will sing of mercy in judgment"; and so I will sing of my blinks and of my showers; I will sing both of my cloudy and my clear day; both of my ups and downs. —Ralph Erskine. Ver. 1. Mercy and judgment. As the pedge of the ship S.Paul sailed in was Castor and Pollux, twin brothers, so the badge of this Psalm is Mercy and Judgment, inseparable companions; of whom it may be said, as our prophet sometimes spake of Saul and Jonathan, "They were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their deaths they were not divided." These are the two brightest stars in the firmament of majesty; the two fairest flowers, and choicest jewels in the imperial crown; like the carnation and the lily, the ruby and the sapphire, or the carbuncle and the diamond, yielding a mutual and interchangeable lustre each to other. They resemble not unfitly the two supporters of the king's arms, or the two seraphim stretching out their golden wings over the propitiatory, or the white and red rose in the same escutcheon. We read that Solomon set up two goodly pillars in the porch of the temple, the one called Jachin, the other Boaz, which signify stability and strength; such pillars of

the state are mercy and judgment. The throne of the King is borne up by them, as Solomen's was with lions of ivory on each side. Therefore I as in one place it is said that "the throne is established by justice" (Proverbs 16:12); so in another that it is "upheld by mercy" (Proverbs 20:28); justice being as the bones and sinews in the body politic, and mercy as the veins and arteries. They are the two hands of action, the two eyes of virtue, and the two wings of honour. And as the eyes, if they be rightly set, do both look one way; so do mercy and judgment, however in the apprehension of the vulgar they seem to look contrary ways. And as the treble and the bass accord best music; so do they in managing the commonwealth. Wherefore David promiseth to make them both sound tunable in his song without jar or discord: "I will sing of mercy and judgment." ... As mercy is here set in the first place; so shall the sentence of mercy and absolution be first pronounced at the last day. And it is a laudable custom of princes, at their first entrance to their kingdoms, to shew mercy, by hearing the mourning of the prisoner, and delivering the children of death, by loosing the bands of wickedness, by taking off the heavy burdens, by letting the oppressed go free, and by breaking every yoke of former extortions. Thus, our prophet himself, as soon as the crown was settled on his head, made inquiry if there remained yet alive any of the house of Saul, on whom he might shew mercy (2 Samuel 9:1). O how fair a thing is this mercy in the time of anguish and trouble! It is like a cloud of rain that cometh in the time of drought. But this mercy, here spoken of in the first part of our prophet's song, stretcheth further; unfolding itself in clemency, in courtesy, and in compassion. In clemency, by pardoning malefactors; in compassion, by relieving the afflicted; in courtesy, towards all. —George Hakewill, or Hakewell, 1579-1649. Ver. 1. Mercy and judgment. What is the history of every poor sinner, plucked as a brand from the fire and brought to heaven in peace at last, but a history of "mercy and judgment"? Judgment first awakes to terror and to fear; mercy meets the poor, trembling, returning prodigal, and falls on his neck, and kisses, and forgives. Then, through all his chequered course, God hems up his way with judgment, that he may not wander, and yet brightens his path with mercy, that he may not faint. Is there a child of God that can look into the varied record of his heart or of his outward history, and not see goodness and severity, severity and goodness, tracking him all his journey through? Has he ever had a cup so bitter that he could say, "There is no mercy here"? Has he ever had a lot so bright that he could say, "There is no chastisement or correction here"? Has he ever had any bad tidings, and there have been no good tidings set over against them to relieve them? Has he ever had a sky so dark that he could see in it no star, or a cloud so unchequered that he could trace no rainbow of promise there? ... What a beautifully woven web of judgment and mercy does every man's secret history, in his way through the wilderness of life to the land of promise, present! and how good, and how wholesome, and how kindly, and how gracious is this blessed intermingling of both! How do we need the judgment, to keep us humble and watchful and pure! and how do we need the mercy to keep us hopeful, and to nerve our efforts, and to stir our hearts, and to sustain us in patience, amid life's battle and struggle, and disappointment and vexation! Oh, how good it is for us, that we should thus, therefore, have the rod and staff together—the rod to chasten, and the staff to solace and sustain! How good it is for us, that we should have to "sing of

mercy and judgment!" And yet, what is judgment itself, but mercy with a sterner aspect? And what are the chidings of judgment, but the sterner tones of the voice of a Father's love? For even judgment is one of the "all things" that "work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose." —Hugh Stowell. Ver. 1. Mercy and judgment. God intermixeth mercy with affliction: he steeps his sword of justice in the oil of mercy; there was no night so dark, but Israel had a pillar of fire in it; there is no condition so dismal, but we may see a pillar of fire to give light. If the body be in pain, conscience is in peace, —there is mercy: affliction is for the prevention of sin, —there is mercy. In the ark there was a rod and a pot of manna, the emblem of a Christian's condition, mercy interlined with judgment. — Thomas Watson. 10. CALVIN, "1 I will sing of mercy and of judgment What David here says concerning singing must be understood by the reader as intimating that this psalm contains the substance of his meditations with himself, as to what kind of king he would be whenever he should be put in possession of the sovereign power which had been promised him. To sing therefore of mercy and of judgment, is equivalent to declaring in solemn terms, that he would be a just and an upright king. Augustine understands this as meaning that God is to be praised, whether he punish men with severity, or whether he show himself merciful to them; but this interpretation is too refined. David does not speak of God’s secret judgments, but of the due administration of the kingdom, that he might both by words and deeds fulfill his vocation. When he asserts, Unto thee, O Jehovah! will I sing psalms, he acknowledges that it was by the favor of God that he was appointed to so distinguished and honorable an office; for it would have been an act of presumptuous rashness for him to have thrust himself into it, at the mere impulse of his own mind. He very properly comprehends all princely virtues under these two particulars, mercy and judgment; for as it is the principal duty of a king to yield to every man his own right, so he is also required to possess a considerate love and compassion towards his subjects. Solomon therefore justly says, (Proverbs 16:12) “The throne is established by righteousness.” 11. HENRY LAW, "Praise is the inhabitant of the godly heart. The Psalmist engages that songs to the Lord shall be his glad employ. Mercy and judgment compose the happy theme. To think of God's mercy is the delight of delights. To utter its praise is a foretaste of heaven. Judgment, also, claims its place. The Lord is not slow to vindicate what is the right. His righteous dealings should be magnified continually. But the mercy and the judgment, which are the attributes of the Lord, should also be the characteristics of magisterial rulers. Those who are invested with the exercise of authority should realize that they are ordained by God to represent Him. Therefore His mode of governing should be their studied pattern. But left to themselves men are poor and ignorant and weak. Every man in his best estate is altogether vanity. Hence our prayer for the teaching and indwelling of the Spirit

should be earnest and incessant. Oh, when will You come unto me? His presence is light and strength and power. It never is denied to those who truly serve and seek Him. He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and We will come to him, and take up Our abode with him. Thus the pious man looks up for heavenly aid, and resolves that he will act with wisdom and discretion. He will diligently watch that no flaw shall stain his godly walk. His heart shall be wholly given to the Lord; and the heart is the rudder of all conduct.

2 I will be careful to lead a blameless life— when will you come to me? I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.

1. Barnes, “I will behave myself wisely - In the choice of principles to guide me; in my conduct in my family; in my official relations. This expresses a “desire” to act wisely, and a “purpose” to do it. In a perfect way - In accordance with the perfect rules of right. I will make these my guide. I will “aim” to be perfect; I will have before me a perfect standard. O when wilt thou come unto me? - Perhaps this would be better rendered, “When thou dost come unto me;” that is, When then dost visit me and my dwelling, thou shalt find that these are the principles which regulate and govern me in my house. The idea is that God would come to visit his habitation, and inspect his conduct; and that whenever this should occur, however often it might be, or however unexpectedly he might come, he should “always” find these principles governing him in his family. A man should so live that “whenever” God comes into his dwelling, or when anyone comes, or however narrow and searching may be the inspection, these principles shal be found to regulate his conduct. I will walk within my house - Before my family; in the principles which shall govern me there. With a perfect heart - Always aiming to do exactly that which is right: in my general conduct; in the rules by which I live; in my treatment of all under my charge and in my employ. The great principles of “right,” in everything - in the smallest matters shall guide and govern me.

2. Clarke, “I will behave myself wisely - God’s law prescribes a perfect way of life; in this perfect way I have professed to walk, and I must act wisely in order to walk in it. When wilt thou come unto me? - I can neither walk in this way, nor grow wise unto salvation, unless thou come unto me by thy grace and Spirit; for without thee I can do nothing. I will walk within my house - It is easier for most men to walk with a perfect heart in the Church, or even in the world, than in their own families. How many are as meek as lambs among others, when at home they are wasps or tigers! The man who, in the midst of family provocations, maintains a Christian character, being meek, gentle, and longsuffering to his wife, his children, and his servants, has got a perfect heart, and adorns the doctrine of God his Savior in all things. The original is very emphatic; ‫ אתהלך‬ethhallech, “I will set myself to walk,” I will make
it a determined point thus to walk. I will bear and forbear with children, servants, etc., not speaking rashly, nor giving way to bad tempers. Through various motives a man will behave with propriety and decorum among others; but none of these motives operate in his own house where he feels himself master, and consequently under no restraint.

3. Gill, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way, So David did before he

came to the throne, which made Saul fear him, and the people love him, 1Sa_18:14 and so he resolved to do, and did afterwards; and thus it becomes all good men, in every station of life, to do: and then do they behave wisely, when they walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time; when they make the perfect law of liberty, the word of God, the rule of their faith; take Christ for their pattern and example, and the Spirit for their guide; when they walk as becomes the Gospel of Christ; seek the glory of God, and the good of others; behave inoffensively to all, and live as pilgrims and strangers here; attending closely to their duty, walking in all the commandments of the Lord blameless: and yet it is certain that no man lives without sin, or does or can behave himself wisely in so "perfect a way" and manner as to have no fault in him; wherefore this seems most applicable to Christ, who, as it was prophesied he should, so he did "deal prudently", or behave wisely, Isa_52:13, where the same word is used as here; and this is true of Christ throughout the whole of his life; in his infancy, when but twelve years of age; in his public ministry, in his conduct towards all men; in his answers to the ensnaring questions of his enemies; in his behaviour at his apprehension, arraignment, condemnation and crucifixion; and this to perfection, so as that the least fault could not be found in him: O when wilt thou come unto me? and perform thy promise in bringing me to rule over all the tribes of Israel: or it may be read without an interrogation, "when thou wilt come unto me" (g); that is, when thou wilt grant me thy gracious presence, and divine assistance, then I will behave myself wisely, in a perfect way; or "in the way of perfect" (h) and upright men, and will walk with them, and do as they do; without the grace of God, and strength of Christ, and the assistance of the Spirit, nothing is to be done that is wise and good: if it is applied to Christ, it respects the time of his sufferings and death, when he was without the divine Presence and help: I will walk within my house with a perfect heart ; or "in the integrity of my heart" (i); in a sincere and upright manner, ruling my own house well, and setting a good example to all in the family; and so should all good men do, performing all duties of

religion in the family; be a pattern of good works, bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and neglect nothing that may contribute to their real good and the glory of God: the house of Christ is his church and people: here he walks and manifests himself, giving proofs of his sincere love and affection to them: the Targum paraphrases it, "the house of my doctrine;'' such is the church of Christ, Isa_2:3.

4. Henry, “ The general resolution David took up to conduct himself carefully and conscientiously in his court, Psa_101:2. We have here, 1. A good purpose concerning his conversation - concerning his conversation in general (how he would behave himself in every thing; he would live by rule, and not at large, not walk at all adventures; he would, though a king, by a solemn covenant bind himself to his good behaviour), and concerning his conversation in his family particularly, not only how he would walk when he appeared in public, when he sat in the throne, but how he would walk within his house, where he was more out of the eye of the world, but where he still saw himself under the eye of God. It is not enough to put on our religion when we go abroad and appear before men; but we must govern ourselves by it in our families. Those that are in public stations are not thereby excused from care in governing their families; nay, rather, they are more concerned to set a good example of ruling their own houses well, 1Ti_3:4. When David had his hands full of public affairs, yet he returned to bless his house, 2Sa_6:20. He resolves, (1.) To act conscientiously and with integrity, to walk in a perfect way, in the way of God's commandments; that is a perfect way, for the law of the Lord is perfect. This he will walk in with a perfect heart, with all sincerity, not dissembling either with God or men. When we make the word of God our rule, and are ruled by it, the glory of God our end, and aim at it, then we walk in a perfect way with a perfect heart. (2.) To act considerately and with discretion: I will behave myself wisely; I will understand or instruct myself in a perfect way, so some. I will walk circumspectly. Note, We must all resolve to walk by the rules of Christian prudence in the ways of Christian piety. We must never turn aside out of the perfect way, under pretence of behaving ourselves wisely; but, while we keep to the good way, we must be wise as serpents. 2. A good prayer: O when wilt thou come unto me? Note, It is a desirable thing, when a man has a house of his own, to have God come to him and dwell with him in it; and those may expect God's presence that walk with a perfect heart in a perfect way. If we compare the account which the historian gives of David (1Sa_18:14), we shall find how exactly it answers his purpose and prayer, and that neither was in vain. David, as he purposed, behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and, as he prayed, the Lord was with him. 5. Jamison, “He avows his sincere purpose, by God’s aid, to act uprightly (Gen_17:1;

Psa_18:30).

6. K&D, “Further, he has resolved to give heed, thoughtfully and with an endeavour to
‫ ִ שׂ‬in ‫ ה‬Dan_9:13), unto the way of that which is perfect, i.e., blameless. pursue it ( ְ ‫ ְ כּ ִ יל בּ‬as What is further said might now be rendered as a relative clause: when Thou comest to me. But not until then?! Hitzig renders it differently: I will take up the lot of the just

when it comes to me, i.e., as often as it is brought to my knowledge. But if this had been ִ‫בּ‬ ‫בְּד‬ the meaning, ‫ד ְ ב ַ ר‬would have been said instead of ְ ‫( ֶ ר ֶ ך‬Exo_18:16, Exo_18:19; 2Sa_ ‫תמים‬ ‫דוך‬ 19:12 [11]); for, according to both its parts, the expression is an ethical notion, and is therefore not used in a different sense from that in Psa_101:6. Moreover, the ‫ מ‬Hebrew cannot be supported, with the exception, relative use of the interrogative ‫ ָ ת ַ י‬in perhaps, of Pro_23:35. Athanasius correctly interprets: ποθῶ σου τὴν παρουσίαν, ὦ δέσποτα, ἱμείρομαί σου τῆς ἐπιφανείας, ἀλλὰ δὸς τὸ ποθούμενον. It is a question of strong yearning: when wilt Thou come to me? is the time near at hand when Thou wilt erect Thy throne near to me? If his longing should be fulfilled,

7. SPURGEON, "Ver. 2. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. To be holy is to be wise; a perfect way is a wise way. David's resolve was excellent, but his practice did not fully tally with it. Alas! he was not always wise or perfect, but it was well that it was in his heart. A king had need be both sage and pure, and, if he be not so in intent, when he comes to the throne, his after conduct will be a sad example to his people. He who does not even resolve to do well is likely to do very ill. Householders, employers, and especially ministers, should pray for both wisdom and holiness, for they will need them both. O when wilt thou come unto me? —an ejaculation, but not an interruption. He feels the need not merely of divine help, but also of the divine presence, that so he may be instructed, and sanctified, and made fit for the discharge of his high vocation. David longed for a more special and effectual visitation from the Lord before he began his reign. If God be with us we shall neither err in judgment nor transgress in character; his presence brings us both wisdom and holiness; away from God we are away from safety. Good men are so sensible of infirmity that they cry for help from God, so full of prayer that they cry at all seasons, so intense in their desires that they cry with sighs and groanings which cannot be uttered, saying, "O when wilt thou come unto me?" I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. Piety must begin at home. Our first duties are those within our own abode. We must have a perfect heart at home, or we cannot keep a perfect way abroad. Notice that these words are a part of a song, and that there is no music like the harmony of a gracious life, no psalm so sweet as the daily practice of holiness. Reader, how fares it with your family? Do you sing in the choir and sin in the chamber Are you a saint abroad and a devil at home? For shame! What we are at home, that we are indeed. He cannot be a good king whose palace is the haunt of vice, nor he a true saint whose habitation is a scene of strife, nor he a faithful minister whose household dreads his appearance at the fireside. 8. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 2. I will behave myself wisely. The first thing he vows touching himself, is wise behaviour; prudence, not sapience; not wise contemplation, but wise action. It is not wise thoughts, or wise speaking, or wise writing, or wise gesture and countenance, will serve the turn, but wise behaviour: the former are graceful, but the other needful. For as the apostle saith of godliness, "Having a show of godliness, but denying the power thereof"; so certainly there are those who in point of wisdom and sufficiency that do little or nothing thoroughly,

but magno conatu nugas, they make much ado about small matters; using all the perspectives of shifting they can devise to make an empty superficies seem a body that hath depth and bulk. —George Hakewill. Ver. 2. I will walk. Walking is a word often used in Holy Scripture, and especially by our prophet in this book of the Psalms; yet more often figuratively than properly. It shall not be amiss, then, out of the property and nature of it, to consider the duties included and implied in it. The natural acts of it, then, are three; motion, progress, and moderations. As it includes motion, so is it opposed to lying, or standing, or sitting; as it includes progress in motion, so is it opposed to jumping or capering up and down in the same place; as it includes moderation, in a progressive motion, so is it opposed to violent running. —George Hakewill. Ver. 2. I will walk within my house. Much, though not all of the power of godliness, lies within doors. It is in vain to talk of holiness if we can bring no letters testimonial from our holy walking with our relations. Oh, it is sad when they that have reason to know us best, by their daily converse with us, do speak least for our godliness! Few so impudent as to come naked into the streets: if men have anything to cover their haughtiness they will put it on when they come abroad. But witat art thou within doors? What care and conscience to discharge thy duty to thy near relations? He is a bad husband that hath money to spend among company abroad, but none to lay in provisions to keep his family at home. And can he be a good Christian that spends all his religion abroad, and leaves none for his nearest relations at home? That is, a great zealot among strangers, and little or nothing of God comes from him in his family? Yea, it were well if some that gain the reputation of Christians abroad, did not fall short of others that pretend not to profession in those moral duties which they should perform to their relations. There are some who are great strangers to profession, who yet are loving and kind in their way to their wives. What kind of professors then are they who are dogged and currish to the wife of their bosom? Who by their tyrannical lording it over them embitter their spirit, and make them cover the Lord's altar with tears and weeping? There are wives to be found that are not clamorous, peevish, and froward to their husbands, who yet are far from a true work of grace in their hearts; do they then walk as becomes holiness who trouble the whole house with their violent passions? There are servants who from the authority of a natural conscience, are kept from railing and reviling language, when reproved by their masters, and shall not grace keep pace with nature? Holy David knew very well how near this part of a saint's duty lies to the very heart of godliness; and therefore, when he makes his solemn vow to walk holily before God, he instanceth this, as one stage wherein he might eminently discover the graciousness of his spirit; "I will walk within my house with a perfect heart." — William Gurnall. Ver. 2. Within my house. It is easier for most men to walk with a perfect heart in the church, or even in the world, than in their own families. How many are as meek as lambs among others, when at home they are wasps or tigers. —Adam Clarke. Ver. 2. Within my house with a perfect heart. Even in our best directed establishments, as well as in private families, cultivation is still in a great measure confined to intellect alone; and the direct exercise and training of the moral and religious sentiments and affections are rarely thought of as essential to their full and

vigorous development. Moral precepts are, no doubt, offered in abundance; but these address thelnselves chiefly to the intellect. We must not be satisfied with merely exclaiming, "Be kind, just, and affectionate", when perhaps at the very moment we are counteracting the effect of the advice by our own opposite conduct. "She told me not to lie", said Guy Rivers in speaking of his mother, "and she set me the example herself by frequently deceiving my father, and teaching me to disobey and deceive him." Conduct like this is more common in real life than is supposed, although generally less flagrant in degree. Parents and teachers indeed too often forget that the sentiments feel and do not reason, and that, consequently, even a stupid child may, by the instinctive operation of its moral nature at once detect and revolt at the immorality of practices, the true character of which its reason is unable to penetrate or expose. It is one of the most effectual methods of cultivating and exciting the moral sentiments in children, to set before them the manifestations of these in our habitual conduct... What kind of moral duties does the parent encourage, who, recommending kindness, openness, and justice, tricks the child into the confession of a fault, and then basely punishes it, having previously promised forgiveness? And how is openness best encouraged —by practising it in conduct, or by neglecting it in practice, and prescribing in words. Is it to be cultivated by thrusting suspicions in the face of honest intentions? And how is justice to be cultivated by a guardian who speaks about it, recommends it, and in practice charges each of four pupils the whole fare of a hackney-coach? Or what kind of moral education is that which says, "Do as I bid you, and I will give you sweet-meats or money, or I will tell your mama how good you were", holding out the lowest and most selfish propensities as the motives to moral conduct? Did space permit, I might indeed pursue the whole round of moral and religious duties, and ask similar questions at each. But it is needless. These examples will suffice; and I give them, not as applicable generally either to parents or teachers, but simply as individual instances from among both, which have come within the sphere of my own knowledge, and which bear directly upon the principle under discussion. —Andrew Combe, in "The Principles of Physiology", 1836. 9. CALVIN, "2 I will behave myself prudently in a perfect way David here shows that he carefully considered how weighty a charge was laid upon him when he was made king. We know, and it is a truth taught us by experience, that almost all kings are intoxicated with the splendors of royalty; and the proverb was not used without foundation in ancient times, “A king must be born either a king or a fool.” It is indeed a mistake to say that kings are born fools. Men were led to speak in this manner, because it commonly happens that those who are invested with the government of kingdoms and empires are fools and blockheads. And surely it is a remarkable instance of the vengeance of God, that beasts, and such as are altogether unworthy to be numbered among men, commonly possess the highest authority. But although kings are not born fools, yet they are so blinded by their dignity, that they think themselves in no respect indebted to their subjects, become arrogant and haughty in their carriage, recklessly plunge into their pleasures, and at length utterly forget themselves. David therefore says, I will behave myself prudently, or,

which amounts to the same thing, I will look warily to myself; it being a rare virtue for the man who may do as he pleases to exercise such moderation, as not to allow himself liberty in any degree to do evil. He then who is exalted to sovereign power, and yet, instead of attempting to go as far as he can in doing mischief, restrains himself by self-control, is endued with true understanding. In short, David protests that he will not be like other kings who are infatuated by their own dignity; but that according to the greatness of the charge imposed upon him, he would endeavor wisely to perform his duty. It is to be observed, that he represents wisdom as consisting in a perfect way, or in uprightness. From this we learn that tyrants who employ their talents in forming wicked devices, and who are daily contriving new methods for burdening and oppressing their subjects; in short, who are ingenious only in doing mischief, are not wise towards God. Many persons, it is true, dislike such craftiness; but still, it is undeniable that, if kings are intent upon enlarging the boundaries of their kingdom, and are masters in refined policy for accomplishing such a purpose, this is accounted the most perfect wisdom which they can possess, and is extolled to the skies. David, on the contrary, covets no other wisdom but that which is the mistress of integrity. Till thou comest to me These words may be read in two ways. Some translate them interrogatively, When wilt thou come? as if David besought God not to subject him to any longer delay. And truly he had just ground to groan and lament, when he saw himself so long oppressed with poverty, and driven from place to place a wretched exile. It had been better for him to have lived obscure and unnoticed in his father’s cottage, following his former occupation as a shepherd, than to be anointed king, that, being driven out of his country, he might live in utter dishonor and hatred. But I prefer reading the sentence without interrogation, until or when thou comest; and yet even this I interpret somewhat differently from the majority of commentators, understanding it to mean, that although David still continued in the condition of a private person, and did not enjoy the royal power which had been promised him, he nevertheless did not cease in the meantime to follow after uprightness. Thus he sets the midst of his house in opposition to palaces and public buildings; as if he had said, Within my private house or in my family. 10. F. B. MEYER, "This is the hardest place to walk in perfectly. It seems easier to walk perfectly among strangers than in one’s own house. But you may rest assured that a man is really no better than he is to his own. You must not gauge your worth by what the outside world thinks and says, but by the estimate of those that see you in the ordinary intercourse of the home. To be perfectly courteous to those whom you are meeting at every meal; to hold yourself under perfect control when worried by tiny insidious jars, and stung by almost invisible gnats; to maintain always the perfect girding of the loins; to have the head always anointed and the face always washed; to realize God’s ideal, love’s ideal, and your own. Ah, me! this requires the utmost grace that God can give. To die once is easy; to live always with an undivided heart, this is hard. Understand that in the home-life God is educating and training you for the greatest

victories. There you are learning the deepest lessons in sanctification. You need not ran to conventions, sermons, and holiness meetings; if you would resolve to walk in your house with a perfect heart, you would discover how far from perfect you are, and how you are the least of his saints. Seek the perfect heart in your home-life; for then God will come unto you, and dwell beneath your roof, and the story of Bethany would be reduplicated for your household and your. self. “Perhaps ‘a single heart’ is never known, Save in the yielded life that lives for God alone; And that is therefore doubted as a dream By those who know not the tremendous power Of all-constraining love.”

3 I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.

1. Barnes, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes - That is, I will propose no wicked thing to be done; I will have no such object in view; I will employ no one to do that which is wrong. The margin, as the Hebrew, is, “thing of Belial.” See the notes at Psa_41:8. It here means that which is worthless, bad, wicked. He would have no wicked aim; he would not look upon a wicked thing for a moment, or with the least favor. I hate the work of them that turn aside - All their doings, motives, plans. The word rendered “turn aside” means to turn out of the way; out of the right path: Wanderers - transgressors - those who leave the path of truth and honesty. It shall not cleave to me - I will have nothing to do with it. It shall not he allowed to attach itself to me. A wicked plan or purpose is thus represented as having a tendency to fasten itself on a man, or to “stick to him” - as pitch, or wax, as a “burn” does.

2. Clarke, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes - I will undertake no unjust wars; will enter into no sinful alliances; will not oppress my subjects by excessive taxation, to support extravagance in my court. I will not look favourably on things or words of Belial. What is good for nothing or evil in its operation, what is wicked in its principle, and what would lead me away from righteousness and truth, I will never set before my eyes. Them that turn aside - I shall particularly abominate the conduct of those who apostatize from the true religion, and those who deny its Divine authority, and who live

without having their conduct governed by its influence, such shall never he put in a place of political trust or confidence by me.

3. Gill, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes, Either the eyes of the body,

which are the inlets of lust and are easily caught with objects that inflame the heart, and should be turned aside from beholding vanity; or the eyes of the mind; so the Targum, "I will not propose to my heart;'' or, as Kimchi, "in my thought'', that is, I will not set up an evil thing in my imagination, to dwell upon in my thoughts, and take delight and pleasure in meditating upon it; or set it before me, to imitate as a pattern, to work by, and copy after: Christ did not so; he set the Lord always before him, Psa_16:8, not anything of Belial (k) or Satan, as the phrase here may be rendered; no, he always bid Satan, or anything of his, be gone, and get behind him, Mat_4:10. I hate the work of them that turn aside ; from God, and from his law; from the paths of religion, truth, and virtue; and from the Gospel, and a profession of it; such are not fit for the kingdom of God, and in these God and Christ have no pleasure, Heb_ 10:38, it shall not cleave to me; neither the wicked thing, or thing of Belial, nor the work of apostasy; that is, he would have no familiarity nor fellowship with it; not come near it, nor connive at it, but hate and abhor it: the Jews said, an evil disease, or a thing of Belial, "cleaveth fast unto him", Psa_41:8, but they were mistaken.

4. Henry, “His particular resolution to practise no evil himself (Psa_101:3): “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes; I will not design nor aim at any thing but what is for the glory of God and the public welfare.” He will never have it in his eye to enrich himself by impoverishing his subjects, or enlarge his own prerogative by encroaching on their property. In all our worldly business we must see that what we set our eyes upon be right and good and not any forbidden fruit, and that we never seek that which we cannot have without sin. It is the character of a good man that he shuts his eyes from seeing evil, Isa_ 33:15. “Nay, I hate the work of those that turn aside from the paths of equity (Job_31:7), not only I avoid it, but I abhor it; it shall not cleave to me. If any blot of injustice should come on my hands, it shall be washed off quickly.” IV. His further resolution not to keep bad servants, nor to employ those about him that were vicious. He will not countenance them, nor show them any favour, lest thereby he should harden them in their wickedness, and encourage others to do like them. He will not converse with them himself, nor admit them into the company of his other servants, lest they should spread the infection of sin in his family. He will not confide in them, nor put them in power under him; for those who hated to be reformed would certainly hinder every thing that is good. When he comes to mention particulars he does not mention drunkards, adulterers, murderers or blasphemers; such gross sinners as these he was in no danger of admitting into his house, nor did he need to covenant particularly against having fellowship with them; but he mentions those whose sins were less

scandalous, but no less dangerous, and in reference to whom he needed to stand upon his guard with caution and to behave himself wisely. He will have nothing to do,

5. Jamison, “set ... eyes — as an example to be approved and followed.
no wicked thing — literally, “word,” plan or purpose of Belial (Psa_41:8). work of ... aside — apostates. not cleave to me — I will not be implicated in it (compare Psa_1:1-3).

6. K&D, “David is resolved to, and will then, behave himself as he further sets forth in

the vows he makes. He pledges himself to walk within his house, i.e., his palace, in the innocence or simplicity of his heart (Psa_78:72; Pro_20:7), without allowing himself to be led away from this frame of mind which has become his through grace. He will not set before his eyes, viz., as a proposition or purpose (Deu_15:9; Exo_10:10; 1Sa_29:10, lxx), ְ‫ב‬ any morally worthless or vile matter whatsoever (Psa_41:8, cf. concerning ‫ִ יּ ַ ע ַ ל‬,‫ל‬Psa_ 18:5). The commission of excesses he hates: ‫ע ֲ שׂה‬ is infin. constr. instead of ‫ע ֲ שׂוֹת‬ as in ‫ֵ ט ִ ים ס‬in ‫שׂ‬ Gen_31:28; Gen_50:20; Pro_21:3, cf. ‫ר ְ אֹה‬ Gen_48:11, ‫שׁ ְ תֹו‬ Pro_31:4. ‫(ֵ ט ִ ים‬like Hos_5:2), as the object of ‫עשׂה‬, has not a personal (Kimchi, Ewald) signification (cf. on

the other hand Psa_40:5), but material signification: (facta) declinantia (like ‫ד ִ ים‬, ֵ‫ז‬Psa_ 19:13, insolentia; ‫ֹב ְ ל ִ ים‬ ,‫ה‬ Zec_11:7, vincientia); all temptations and incitements of this sort he shakes off from himself, so that nothing of the kind cleaves to him

7. SPURGEON, "Ver. 3. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes. I will neither delight in it, aim at it or endure it. If I have wickedness brought before me by others I will turn away from it, I will not gaze upon it with pleasure. The psalmist is very sweeping in his resolve, he declines the least, the most reputable, the most customary form of evil—no wicked thing; not only shall it not dwell in his heart, but not even before his eyes, for what fascinates the eye is very apt to gain admission into the heart, even as Eve's apple first pleased her sight and then prevailed over her mind and hand. I hate the work of them that turn aside. He was warmly against it; he did not view it with indifference, but with utter scorn and abhorrence. Hatred of sin is a good sentinel for the door of virtue. There are persons in courts who walk in a very crooked way, leaving the high road of integrity; and these, by short cuts, and twists, and turns, are often supposed to accomplish work for their masters which simple honest hearts are not competent to undertake; but David would not employ such, he would pay no secret service money, he loathed the practices of men who deviate from righteousness. He was of the same mind as the dying statesman who said, "Corruption wins not more than honesty." It is greatly to be deplored that in after years he did not keep himself clear in this matter in every case, though, in the main he did; but what would he have been if he had not commenced with this resolve, but had followed the usual crooked Policy of Oriental princes? How much do we all need divine keeping! We are no more perfect than David, nay, we fall far short of

him in many things; and, like him, we shall find need to write a psalm of penitence very soon after our psalm of good resolution. It shall not cleave to me. I will disown their ways, I will not imitate their policy: like dirt it may fall upon me, but I will wash it off, and never rest till I am rid of it. Sin, like pitch, is very apt to stick. In the course of our family history crooked things will turn up, for we are all imperfect, and some of those around us are far from being what they should be; it must, therefore, be one great object of our care to disentangle ourselves, to keep clear of transgression, and of all that comes of it: this cannot be done unless the Lord both comes to us, and abides with us evermore. 8. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 3. Wicked thing. The original hath it, if we will render it word for word, "I will set no word of Belial before mine eyes." But word is figuratively there put for thing; as likewise Psalms 41:8; and so is it rendered both by Montanus in the margin, and in the text by Junius; howbeit, in his comment upon this psalm, he precisely follows the original, applying it against sycophants and flatterers, the mice and moths of court. —George Hakewill. Ver. 3. I hate the work of them that turn aside. Mr. Schultens hath shown in his commentary on Proverbs 7:25 that hjv hath a much stronger and more significant meaning than that of mere turning aside; and that it is used of an unruly horse, that champs upon the bit through his fiery impatience; and when applied to a bad man, denotes one impatient of all restraint, of unbridled passions, and that is headstrong and ungovernable in the gratification of them, trampling on all the obligations of religion and virtue. Such as these are the deserved objects of the hatred of all good men, whose criminal deviations and presumptuous crimes they detest; none of which shall cleave to them; they will not harbour the love of, or inclination to them, nor habitually commit them, or encourage the practice of them. Persons of this character are too frequently about the courts of princes, but it is their honour and interest, as far as ever they can, to discountenance them. —Samuel Chandler. Ver. 3. It shall not cleave to me. A bird may light upon a man's house; but he may choose whether she shall nestle or breed there, or no: and the devil or his instruments may represent a wicked object to a man's sight; but he may choose whether he will entertain or embrace it or no. For a man to set wicked things before his eyes is nothing else but to sin of set purpose, to set himself to sin, or to sell himself to sin, as Ahab did, 1 Kings 21:1-29. —George Hakewill. Ver. 3. It shall not cleave to me. A wicked plan or purpose is thus represented as having a tendency to fasten itself on a man, or to "stick to him" —as pitch, or wax, or a burr does. —Albert Barnes. 9. CALVIN, "3 I will not set a wicked thing before my eyes After having protested, that in leading a private life, he would practice virtue and righteousness, even as it becomes good princes to begin with this, he now adds, that in executing the office of prince, he will be the enemy of all injustice and wickedness. To set a wicked thing before one’s eyes, is equivalent to purposing to do something that is wicked. He therefore declares, that he will turn away from all wickedness; and it is certain, that no man can be a just and an impartial punisher of wrongdoing, but he who abhors it with all his heart. Whence it follows that kings, in order to the performance of

their duty, must keep themselves entirely free from all consent to wickedness. Some join to the first sentence the word ‫עשוה‬, asoh, which we translate work, and supply the letter ‫ל‬, lamed; as if it had been said, I will not set before my eyes any wickedness to do it, or, nothing wicked will be acceptable to me to execute it. But the other sense is more probable, which is, that David, after having declared that he will not suffer any iniquity before his eyes, immediately adds for the sake of confirmation, that he will be an enemy to all injustice. If the last clause is referred to the persons who turn aside, there is a change of the number. It may, however, be explained of the work itself, implying that he would never have any share in wicked defections from the path of rectitude.

4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

froward means perverse, false, deceitful, depraved. See the notes at Psa_18:26. The “idea” here is that of one who is inclined to evil; who has some wrong passion or inclination to indulge; who has an obstinate and perverse will; who does not listen to reason or the voice of wise persuasion; who will do wrong, despite all the means which may be employed to induce him to do right. The language may either refer to the author of the psalm himself, as regulating his own conduct; or it may refer to those in his employ. In the former sense, it would mean that he would not himself be perverse and froward; in the latter sense, that he would not have such persons in his employ. The connection seems to require that we should understand it in the latter sense, as referring to the class of persons that the psalmist would have about him. I will not know a wicked person - I will not countenance such a one; I will not recognize such a one among those who are admitted into my house, or own him as my friend; or, I will not have such in my employ. Probably the language embraces both these ideas - as it should in the case of all who are at the head of a family: (a) I will not countenance or recognize as among my friends, who are to be admitted to my fireside and family, and who are to be familiar with me and my children, those who are profligate, wicked, and unprincipled, whatever may be their rank, their wealth, their accomplishments, their fascination of manner, or their power of conversation; (b) I will have in my employ no one who is not honest, temperate, virtuous, pure. The welfare of a family depends more on the former of these things than the latter; no family can be well ordered where both are not found.

1. Barnes, “A froward heart shall depart from me - The word here rendered

2. Clarke, “A froward heart - Rash and headstrong men shall not be employed by me. I will not know a wicked person - I will give no countenance to sinners of any kind; and whatever is evil shall be an object of my abhorrence.

3. Gill, “A froward heart shall depart from me,.... A man of a froward heart, that

devises frowardness in his heart, and speaks it out with his mouth; that which is perverse, and contrary to the law of God and Gospel of Christ, to the light of nature and the word of God; contrary to the sentiments of all good men, and repugnant to truth and good manners: such sort of persons are disagreeable companions, and good men would not choose to have anything to do with them; they are hateful to Christ, and shall be bid to depart from him; see Pro_8:13. I will not know a wicked person: so as to be familiar with him, or show him any respect; have any affection for him, or take any notice of him; such Christ will not know at the great day, Mat_7:23, or "I will not know wickedness" (l), or any wicked work and action, approve of it, love it, delight in it, and do it: the Targum interprets it of the evil concupiscence, corruption of nature, or indwelling sin, which is hated by the believer, Rom_7:15 and is utterly unknown to Christ; he was not conscious of it; he knew no sin, 2Co_5:21 original or actual; he had no sin in him, nor was any done by him, or, it may be, mention is made of the morning, because that was the usual time of hearing and judging causes, Jer_21:12, or this may have respect to the spiritual reign of Christ, whose coming will be as the morning; when the Heathens shall perish out of his land, when sinners shall be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked shall be no more, and he will destroy them that destroy the earth, Psa_10:16. The Targum agrees with this, "in the world to come, which is like to the light of the morning, I will destroy all the wicked of the earth:'' that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord ; from the city of Jerusalem, as the Targum and Kimchi interpret it; and it may be understood of the church of God, in the spiritual reign of Christ, into which shall enter no more the uncircumcised and the unclean; and all that offend and do iniquity shall be gathered out of it, Isa_52:1 or of the New Jerusalem church state, in the personal reign of Christ, into which no wicked doers will be admitted, but will remain for ever without, Rev_21:27.

4. Henry, “With spiteful malicious people, who are ill-natured, and will bear a grudge a

great while, and care not what mischief they do to those they have a pique against (Psa_ 101:4): “A froward heart (one that delights to be cross and perverse) shall depart from me, as not fit for society, the bond of which is love. I will not know,” that is, “I will have no acquaintance or conversation, if I can help it, with such a wicked person; for a little of the leaven of malice and wickedness will leaven the whole lump.” will not indulge, nor even know evil or wickedness.

5. Jamison, “A froward heart — or, “perverse heart” (Psa_18:26). Such a temper I

ֵ‫ל‬ 6. K&D, “The confessions in Psa_101:4 refer to his own inward nature: ‫(ב ע ִ קּ ֵ שׁ‬not

‫קּ ֶ שׁ־ל ֵ ב‬ ִ‫ע‬ , Pro_17:20), a false heart that is not faithful in its intentions either to God or to men, shall remain far from him; wickedness (‫ר ָ ע‬ as in Psa_36:5) he does not wish to know, i.e., does not wish to foster and nurture within him.

7. SPURGEON, "Ver. 4. A froward heart shall depart from me. He refers both to himself and to those round about him; he would neither be crooked in heart himself, nor employ persons of evil character in his house; if he found such in his court he would chase them away. He who begins with his own heart begins at the fountain head, and is not likely to tolerate evil compamons. We cannot turn out of our family all whose hearts are evil, but we can keep them out of our confidence, and let them see that we do not approve of their ways. I will not know a wicked person. He shall not be my intimate, my bosom friend. I must know him as a man or I could not discern his character, but if I know him to be wicked, I will not know him any further, and with his evil I will have no communion. "To know" in Scripture means more than mere perception, it includes fellowship, and in that sense it is here used. Princes must disown those who disown righteousness; if they know the wicked they will soon be known as wicked themselves. 8. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 4. A froward heart. The original sense of vqe is torsit, contorsit, to twist together, and denotes, when applied to men, persons of a perverse, subtle disposition, that can twist and twine themselves into all manner of shapes, and who have no truth and honour to be depended on. —Samuel Chandler. Ver. 4. A froward heart. By which I understand "from-wardness" —giving way to sudden impulses of anger, or quick conception, and casting it forth in words or deeds of impetuous violence. —Thomas Chalmers. 9. CALVIN, "4 The perverse heart shall depart from me Some by perverse heart understand perfidious men; but this I reject as a sense too forced, and it is moreover inconsistent with the context. As David has added in the second clause by way of exposition, I will not know evil, he doubtless in the first protests that he will be free from all perfidiousness and wickedness. The amount is, that he will do his endeavor to keep himself from all wrong-doing, and that he will not even know what it is to do wrong to his neighbors.

5 Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.

1. Barnes, “Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour - literally, “One who speaks concerning his neighbor in secret.” If a man has any good to say of another, he will be likely to say it openly; if he has any evil to say, it will be likely to be said in secret. Hence, to speak in secret of anyone comes to mean the same thing as to slander him. Him will I cut off - That is, I will cut him off from me; I will not employ him. He would not have one in his house, or in his service, who did injustice to the character of others; who stabbed their reputation in the dark. This was alike indicative of the personal character of the author of the psalm, and of his purpose as the head of a family. It is hardly necessary to say that no one should employ another who is in the habit of slandering his neighbor. Him that hath an high look - That is proud - as a proud man commonly carries his head high. And a proud heart - The Hebrew word here rendered “proud” commonly means wide, broad, large, as of the sea, or of an extended country, Job_11:9; Exo_3:8. It is applied also to the law of God as comprehensive, and without limit, Psa_119:96. Then it comes to mean swelled up - made large - inflated Pro_28:25; and hence, proud and arrogant. Will not I suffer - I will not tolerate such a person near me. No one can have peace in his house who has such a class of servants or domestics; no one should countenance such persons. Humility is the very foundation of all virtue.

2. Clarke, “Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor - All flatterers and timeservers, and those who by insinuations and false accusations endeavor to supplant the upright, that they may obtain their offices for themselves or their dependants, will I consider as enemies to the state, I will abominate, and expel them from my court. The Chaldee gives a remarkable meaning to the Hebrew, ‫ מלשני בסתר רעהו‬melasheni

bassether reehu, which we translate, Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, and which it renders thus, ‫ דמשתעי לישן תליתי על חבריה‬demishtaey lishan telitai al chabreyah: “He who speaks with the triple tongue against his neighbor.” That is, the tongue by which he slays three persons, viz., 1. The man whom he slanders; 2. Him to whom he communicates the slander; and, 3. Himself, the slanderer. Every slanderer has his triple tongue, and by every slander inflicts those three deadly wounds. Such a person deserves to be cut off. On this subject St. Jerome speaks nearly in the same way: Ille qui detrahit, et se, et illum qui audit, demergit; “He who slanders ruins both himself and him who hears him;” he might have added, and him who is slandered, for this is often the case; the innocent are ruined by detraction. A high look and a proud heart - One who is seeking preferment; who sticks at

nothing to gain it; and one who behaves himself haughtily and insolently in his office. Will not I suffer - ‫ לא אוכל‬lo uchal, I cannot away with. These persons especially will I drive from my presence, and from all state employments.

3. Gill, “Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off ,.... That

raises and spreads a false report of him; that insinuates evil things of him; that brings false charges and accusations against him, in a private manner, when he has no opportunity to defend himself: such an one David threatens to cut off from his presence, as Kimchi interprets it; from all communion and conversation with him; and yet he listened to the slanders of Ziba against Mephibosheth: but Christ, who knows the hearts and the secret actions of men, will reject and cut off all persons of such a character: the Targum is, "he that speaketh with a triple tongue against his neighbour, him will I destroy, and he shall be smitten with the leprosy:'' a slandering tongue is called a triple tongue with the Jews (m), because, as they say, it kills three persons; him that carries the slander, him that receives it, and him of whom it is related; see the Apocrypha: "Whoso hearkeneth unto it shall never find rest, and never dwell quietly.'' (Sirach 28:16) him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer ; or, "I cannot" (n); that is, cannot bear him in my presence and company; cannot look upon him with any pleasure and delight: the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and the Oriental versions, render it, "with him I will not eat": have no familiarity or acquaintance with him; see 1Co_5:11, such who looked above others, and with contempt upon them, whose hearts were large, as the word (o) signifies, were ambitious and insatiable, and never had enough of riches and honour; such were very contrary to David's character, and could never be agreeable to him, Psa_121:1, as the proud and haughty Pharisees were not to Christ, Luk_18:9, and the man of sin that exalts himself above all that is called God, that little horn, whose look is more stout than his fellows, 2Th_2:4.

4. Henry, “With slanderers, and those who take a pleasure in wounding their

neighbour's reputation secretly (Psa_101:5): “Whoso privily slanders his neighbour, either raises or spreads false stories, to the prejudice of his good name, him will I cut off from my family and court.” Many endeavour to raise themselves into the favour of princes by unjust representations of persons and things, which they think will please their prince. If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked, Pro_29:12. But David will not only not hearken to them, but will prevent the preferment of those that hope thus to curry favour with him: he will punish not only him that falsely accuses another in open court, but him that privily slanders another. I wish David had remembered this vow in the case of Mephibosheth and Ziba. 3. With haughty, conceited, ambitious people; none do more mischief in a family, in a court, in a church, for only by pride comes contention: “Therefore him that has a high look and a proud heart will I not suffer; I will have no patience with those that are still grasping at all preferments, for it is certain that they do not aim at doing good, but only at aggrandizing themselves and their families.” God resists the proud, and so will David.

5. Jamison, “The slanderers and haughty persons, so mischievous in society, I will
disown;

6. K&D, “Whoso secretly slanders his neighbour, him will he destroy; it will therefore be so little possible for any to curry favour with him by uncharitable perfidious talebearing, of the wiliness of which David himself had had abundant experience in his relation to Saul, that it will rather call forth his anger upon him (Pro_30:10). Instead of ְ ‫ מ‬Kerî reads ‫ שׁ ְ נִ י‬, ָ‫ל‬ melŏshnı̂ ְ‫מ‬ linguâ petere, like ‫עֹי ֵ ן‬ the regularly pointed ‫לֹושׁ ְ נִ י‬the , a Poel (‫לשׁ ֵ ן‬ oculo petere, elsewhere ‫ ְ שׁ ִ ין‬, ‫ל‬Pro_30:10) ִ‫ה‬ with ŏ instead of ō (vid., on Psa_109:10; Psa_
62:4) and with Chirek compaginis (vid., on Psa_113:1-9). The “lofty of eyes,” i.e., supercilious, haughty, and the “broad of heart,” i.e., boastful, puffed up, self-conceited (Pro_28:25, cf. Psa_21:4), him he cannot endure (‫אוּכ ָ ֽל‬ , properly fut. Hoph., I am incapable of, viz., ‫שׂ ֵ את‬,ָ ‫ל‬ which is to be supplied as in Isa_1:13, after Pro_30:21; Jer_ 44:22). (Note: In both instances the Masora writes ‫( אֹותֹו‬plene), but the Talmud, B. Erachin 15b, had ‫ אתו‬before it when it says: “Of the slanderer God says: I and he cannot dwell together in the world, I cannot bear it any longer with him (‫א ִ תֹּו‬ ).”)

7. SPURGEON, "Ver. 5. Whose privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off. He had known so bitterly the miseries caused by slanderers that he intended to deal severely with such vipers when he came into power, not to revenge his own ills, but to prevent others from suffering as he had done. To give one's neighbour a stab in the dark is one of the most atrocious of crimes, and cannot be too heartily reprobated, yet such as are guilty of it often find patronage in high places, and are considered to be men of penetration, trusty ones who have a keen eye, and take care to keep their lords well posted up. King David would lop the goodly tree of his state of all such superfluous boughs, Him that hath an high look and a proud heart him will not I suffer. Proud, domineering, supercilious gentlemen, who look down upon the poor as though they were so many worms crawling in the earth beneath their feet, the psalmist could not bear. The sight of them made him suffer, and therefore he would not suffer them. Great men often affect aristocratic airs and haughty manners, David therefore resolved that none should be great in his palace but those who had more grace and more sense than to indulge in such abominable vanity, Proud men are generally hard, and therefore very unfit for office; persons of high looks provoke enmity and discontent, and the fewer of such eople about a court the better for the stability of a throne. If all slanderers were now cut off, and all the proud banished, it is to be feared that the next census would declare a very sensible diminution of the population. 8. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 5. Privily slandereth —literally, he that tongueth his neighbour secretly. Will I not suffer, is properly, "him I cannot", i.e., cannot live with, cannot bear about me, as the same verb is used in Isaiah 1:13. —Henry

Cowles. Ver. 5. Him that hath an high look. Pride will sit and show itself in the eyes as soon as anywhere. A man is seen what he is in oculis, in poculis, in loculis (in his eyes, his cups, and his resorts) say the Rabbins. See Proverbs 6:17. —John Trapp. Ver. 5. Proud heart. From bxr latus or dilatatus est, is the noun bxr, here, broad, or wide, or large; and being applied to the heart or soul, it notes largeness of desires. — Henry Hammond. Ver. 5. Detraction, ambition, and avarice are three weeds which spring and flourish in the rich soil of a court. The psalmist declareth his resolution to undertake the difficult task of eradicating them for the benefit of his people, that Israelites might not be harassed by informers, or repressed by insolent and rapacious ministers. Shall we imagine these vices less odious in the eyes of that King whose character was composed of humilty and charity; or will Christ admit those tempers into the court of heaven, which David determined to exclude from his court upon earth? —George Horne. Ver. 5-10. Perfect, as prophetic of Christ, is the delineation of his associates and disciples. The perverse; the evil-doers; the slanderers, and the proud found no fellowship with him. There were no common principles; no bond of union between them. There was "a gulph" interposed, as in the parable, which they could not pass; and what they saw of Christ, they beheld only from a distance. Nor even now, as then, can "the deceitful" dwell in Christ's "house" —his holy temple; nor the man of "lies be established" by his love and favour. They must renounce their vices before they can be admitted to his covenant; or, however they may claim communion with Him, he in return can have no sympathy with them. —William Hill Tucker. 9. CALVIN, "5 Whoso slandereth his neighbor 130 in secret, him will I destroy. In this verse he speaks more distinctly of the duty of a king who is armed with the sword, for the purpose of restraining evil-doers. Detraction, pride, and vices of every description, are justly offensive to all good men; but all men have not the power or right to cut off the proud or detractors, because they are not invested with public authority, and consequently have their hands bound. It is of importance to attend to this distinction, that the children of God may keep themselves within the bounds of moderation, and that none may pass beyond the province of his own calling. It is certain, that so long as David lived merely in the rank of a private member of society, he never dared to attempt any such thing. But after being placed on the royal throne, he received a sword from the hand of God, which he employed in punishing evil deeds. He particularises certain kinds of wickedness, that under one species, by the figure synecdoche, he might intimate his determination to punish all sorts of wickedness. To detract from the reputation of another privily, and by stealth, is a plague exceedingly destructive. It is as if a man killed a fellow-creature from a place of ambush; or rather a calumniator, like one who administers poison to his unsuspecting victim, destroys men unawares. It is a sign of a perverse and treacherous disposition to wound the good name of another, when he has no opportunity of defending himself. This vice, which is too prevalent every where, while yet it ought not to be tolerated among men, David undertakes to punish.

He next characterises the proud by two forms of expression. He describes them as those whose eyes are lofty, not that all who are proud look with a lofty countenance, but because they commonly betray the superciliousness of their proud hearts by the loftiness of their countenance. He farther describes them as wide 131 of heart, because those who aspire after great things must necessarily be puffed up and swollen. They are never satisfied unless they swallow up the whole world. From this we learn that good order cannot exist, unless princes are sedulously on the watch to repress pride, which necessarily draws after it and engenders outrage and cruelty, contemptuous language, rapine, and all kinds of ill treatment. Thus it would come to pass, that the simple and the peaceable would be at the mercy of the more powerful, did not the authority of princes interfere to curb the audacity of the latter. As it is the will of God that good and faithful kings should hold pride in detestation, this vice is unquestionably the object of his own hatred. What he therefore requires from his children is gentleness and meekness, for he is the declared enemy of all who strive to elevate themselves above their condition.

6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me.

1. Barnes, “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land ... - I will look to them to be employed in my house, and in my service. The word rendered “faithful” means those who are worthy of belief or confidence. It does not “necessarily” mean those who are pious or religious - though it is often used to denote such persons, in reference to the principal trait in the character of the pious, that is, confidence or faith in God. The essential meaning here is, that he would seek those who were trustworthy; on whom he could place reliance; whose truth, fidelity, and honesty he could confide in. This would be most certainly found in those who are “faithful” to God, and who would then be “faithful” to lower obligations. Undoubtedly, also, it is desirable, on some accounts, to have only such in our employ, if such can be found. But we are not to regard this passage as teaching the doctrine, even by the example of the psalmist, that we are to employ no persons but such as are truly religious. There are others who will be found faithful, honest, and reliable; and they have such a claim to our confidence as to impose on us a moral obligation to show them that confidence - so far, at least, that we shall not, by any act of ours, declare them not worthy of trust because they are not religious. Besides, it may be desirable, on many accounts, that persons who are not religious should be brought under the influence of religion in pious families, and enjoy the advantages

which may be connected with a religious household. In seeking our own interest, and what will be for our own welfare and happiness, we should not be unmindful of what may be for the good of others. Religion may extend itself much in the world by thus bringing into the service of religious households those who may, by example, instruction, and prayer, be led to the possession and practice of true religion. He that walketh in a perfect way ... - Margin, “perfect in the way.” The translation in the text is the more correct. The phrase means an upright man; a man of integrity. It does not necessarily imply that he is absolutely holy, or free from all sin, but that he is upright, consistent, honest: a man whose moral character is developed in proper proportions, or is such that it may be relied on. See the notes at Job_1:1.

2. Clarke, “Mine eyes - My approbation.
Upon the faithful - The humble, upright followers of God. That they may dwell with me - Be my confidants and privy counsellors. No irreligious or wicked man, whatever his abilities may be, shall be countenanced or supported by me. I will purify my court from the base, the irreligious, the avaricious, the venal, the profligate, and the wicked. He that walketh in a perfect way - He that is truly religious. He shalt serve me - Shall be my prime minister, and the chief officer in my army, and over my finances.

3. Gill, “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land,.... To look them out,

bring them to court, and promote them to places of honour and trust; such an one was David himself, and such there were in the land of Israel, though but few, and of which he complains, Psa_12:1. Christ's eyes are upon faithful persons, on faithful ministers of the word, who preach the Gospel faithfully, administer the ordinances truly, are faithful to the souls of men in watching over them, reproving and exhorting them; his eyes are upon them to keep and preserve them, and to honour and reward them with a crown of life that fadeth not away; and his eyes are also on faithful members of churches, such who truly believe in him, who hold fast the faithful word, and keep close to his worship and ordinances; his eyes are upon them, to show favour to them, to bestow blessings upon them, and to protect and defend them, and preserve them from perishing: that they may dwell with me; or, "sit with me" (p); at his table, or at the council board, or in judgment, and assist him in the affairs of government: so such as are faithful shall dwell with Christ both here and hereafter; they dwell in him and with him by faith, and have communion with him; they dwell in his house below, and shall dwell with him above for evermore: he that walketh in a perfect way; in God's way, in the way he has prescribed and directed, to what is perfect; in a way agreeable to his word, in all his commandments and ordinances, in Christ, the way, the truth, and the life: and in the way of perfect men (q), as it may be rendered; in the way that such walk; and though he does not walk perfectly, or without sin, yet sincerely and uprightly: he shall serve me; be taken into my service, be employed by me, as a prime minister, a counsellor, a secretary of state, or in other lesser places under David. But, as it refers to

Christ, it signifies that such an one shall be a servant of his, which is no small honour; for, where he is, there shall his servant be, Joh_12:26. The Targum is, "he shall stand with my servants;'' in his house here, and at his right hand hereafter.

4. Henry, “His resolution to put those in trust under him that were honest and good (Psa_101:6): My eyes shall be upon the faithful in the land. In choosing his servants and ministers of state he kept to the land of Israel and would not employ foreigners; none shall be preferred but true-born Israelites, and those such as were Israelites indeed, the faithful in the land; for even in that land there were those that were unfaithful. These faithful ones his eyes shall be upon, to discover them and find them out; for they were modest, did not crowd into the city to court preferment, but lived retired in the land, in the country, out of the way of it. Those are commonly most fit for places of honour and trust that are least fond of them; and therefore wise princes will spy out such in their recesses and privacies, and take them to dwell with them and act under them. He that walks in a perfect way, that makes conscience of what he says and does, shall serve me. The kingdom must be searched for honest men to make courtiers of; and, if any man is better than another, he must be preferred. This was a good resolution of David's; but either he did not keep to it or else his judgment was imposed upon when he made Ahithophel his right hand. It should be the care and endeavour of all masters of families, for their own sakes and their children's, to take such servants into their families as they have reason to hope fear God. The Son of David has his eyes upon the faithful in the land; his secret is with them, and they shall dwell with him. Saul chose servants for their goodliness (1Sa_8:16), but David for their goodness. 5. Jamison, “Mine eyes ... upon — or, I will select reliable and honest men for my

servants.

6. K&D, “On the other hand, his eyes rest upon the faithful of the land, with the view,

viz., of drawing them into his vicinity. Whoso walks in the way of uprightness, he shall serve him

7. SPURGEON, ""Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me" (Psalm 101:6). If David spoke thus, we may be sure that the Son of David will be of the same mind. Jesus looks out for faithful men, and He fixes His eyes upon them, to observe them, to bring them forward, to encourage them, and to reward them. Let no true-hearted man think that he is overlooked; the King Himself has His eye upon him. There are two results of this royal notice. First we read, "That they may dwell with me." Jesus brings the faithful into His house, He sets them in His palace, He makes them His companions, He delights in their society. We must be true to our LORD, and He will then manifest Himself to us. When our faithfulness costs us most, it will be best rewarded; the more furiously men reject, the more joyfully will our LORD receive us. Next, he says of the sincere man, "He shall serve me." Jesus will use for His own glory those who scorn the tricks of policy and are faithful to Himself, His Word, and His cross. These shall be in His royal retinue, the honored servants of His Majesty.

Communion and usefulness are the wages of faithfulness. LORD make me faithful that I may dwell with Thee and serve Thee. 8. SPURGEON, "Ver. 6. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me. He would seek them out, engage their services, take care of them, and promote them to honour: this is a noble occupation for a king, and one which will repay him infinitely better than listening to the soft nothings of flatterers. It would be greatly for the profit of us all if we chose our servants rather by their piety than by their cleverness; he who gets a faithful servant gets a treasure, and he ought to do anything sooner than part with him. Those who are not faithful to God will not be likely to be faithful to men; if we are faithful ourselves, we shall not care to have those about us who cannot speak the truth or fulfil their promises; we shall not be satisfied until all the members of our family are upright in character. He that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. What I wish myself to be, that I desire my servant to be. Employers are to a great degree responsible for their servants, and it is customary to blame a master if he retains in his service persons of notorious character; therefore, lest we become partakers of other men's sins, we shall do well to decline the services of bad characters. A good master does well to choose a good servant; he may take a prodigal into his house for the sinner's good, but if he consults his own he will look in another quarter. Wicked nurses have great influence for evil over the minds of little children, and ungodly servants often injure the morals of the older members of the family, and therefore great care should be exercised that godly servants should be employed as far as possible. Even irreligious men have the sense to perceive the value of Christian servants, and surely their own Christian brethren ought not to have a lower appreciation of them. 9. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 6. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful. There is an eye of search, and an eye of favour: the one is for the seeking and finding them out, that they may serve; the other for countenancing of their persons, and rewarding of their service. —George Hakewill. Ver. 6. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, etc. Christ's eyes are upon faithful persons, or faithful ministers of the word, who preach the Gospel faithfully, administer the ordinances truly, are faithful to the souls of men in watching over them, reproving and exhorting them; his eyes are upon them to keep and preserve them, and to honour and reward them with a crown of life that fadeth not away. His eyes are also on faithful members of churches, such who truly believe in him, who hold fast the faithful word, and keep close to his worship and ordinances; his eyes are upon them, to show fayour to them, to bestow blessings upon them, and to protect and defend them, and to preserve them from perishing: "That they may dwell with me; "or, sit with me; at his table, or at the council board, or in judgment, and assist him in the allairs of government; so such as are faithful shall dwell with Christ both here and hereafter; they dwell in him and with him by faith, and have communion with him; they dwell in his house below, and shall dwell with him above for evermore. —John Gill. Ver. 6. —He that walketh it, a perfect way, he shall serve me. Art thou a godly master? When thou takest a servant into thy House, choose for God as well as

thyself. Remember there is a work for God to be done by thy servant as well as by thyself: and shall he be fit for thy turn that is not for God's? Thou desirest the work should prosper thy servant takes in hand, dost thou not? And what ground hast thou, from the promise, to hope that the work should prosper in his hand that sins all the while he is doing of it? "The ploughing of the wicked is sin, "Proverbs 21:4. A godly servant is a greater blessing than we think on. He can work, and set God on work also, for his master's good: Genesis 24:12, "O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master." And sure he did his master as much service by his prayer as by his prudence in that journey. If you were but to plant an orchard, you would get the best fruit trees, and not cumber your ground with crabs. There is more loss in a graceless servant in the house than a fruitless tree in the orchard. Holy David observed, while he was at Saul's court, the mischief of having wicked and ungodly servants, for with such was that unhappy king compassed, that David compares his court to the profane and barbarous heathens, among whom there was scarce more wickedness to be found: Psalms 120:6. "Woe is me, that I sojourn in besech, that I dwell in the tents of, Kedar; "that is, among those who were as prodigiously wicked as any there. And no doubt but this made this gracious man in his banishment, before he came to the crown, having seen the evil of a disordered house, to resolve what he would do when God should make him the head of such a royal family. "He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight". He instanceth those hills, not as if he would'spend all his zeal against these, but because he had observed them principally to abound in Saul's court, by which he had suffered so much, as you may perceive by Psalms 120:1-7. — William Guruall. 10. CALVIN, "6 My eyes are towards the faithful of the land David here lays down another virtue of a wise prince, when he affirms that it will be his care to make all the faithful of the land his intimate friends, — that he will avail himself of their good offices, and have as domestic servants such only as are distinguished for personal worth. Some understand the words, that they may dwell with me, in a general sense thus: I will not neglect the good and inoffensive, nor will I suffer them to be unjustly molested; but I will secure, that under my administration, they shall live in a state of peace and tranquillity. But his meaning rather is, that he will exercise discretion and care, that, instead of taking persons into his service indiscriminately, he may wisely determine each man’s character, so as to have those who live a life of strict integrity as his most intimate friends, and that he may intrust them with the offices of state. He speaks of the faithful in the first place, because, although a man may possess talents of a high order, yet if he is not devoted to fidelity and integrity, he will never rightly execute the office of a judge. This is worthy of special notice; for although a prince may be the best of men, yet if his servants and officers are not of a corresponding character his subjects will experience hardly any advantage from his uncorrupted integrity. Servants are the hands of a prince, and whatever he determines for the good of his subjects they will wickedly overthrow it, provided they are avaricious, fraudulent, or rapacious. This has been more than sufficiently demonstrated by experience. The greater part of

kings, indeed, passing over the good and the upright, or, which is worse, driving them away from them, purposely seek to have as servants those who are like themselves, and who may prove fit tools for their tyranny; yea, even good and well disposed princes often manifest so much indolence and irresolution as to suffer themselves to be governed by the worst counsels, and inconsiderately prostitute the offices of state by conferring them on the unworthy. 11. HENRY LAW, "Truth and uprightness shall adorn their attendants. The faithful and the holy shall have office in their house. Wickedness shall be utterly expelled. Surely here is a picture of the blessed household of the King of kings. It is written, Your people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. If earthly rulers should be surrounded by a godly retinue, surely this rule will order the celestial court. Have we by faith put on the garment of salvation, the spotless robe of Christ's obedience? Have we received the Spirit to sanctify each movement of our hearts? Such is the glorious company of the celestial home.

7 No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.

1. Barnes, “He that worketh deceit - The man who is dishonest - who is full of tricks, false pretences, and devices - who cannot be confided in as straight-forward and sincere - one whose word cannot be relied on - one whose course is subterranean or serpentine. Shall not dwell within my house - Shall neither be employed in my service, nor be admitted as a guest and companion. I will not, in any way, patronise or countenance such a person. He that telleth lies - In any way: by stating what is false; by promising what is not performed; by deceiving me in his professions. I will seek only those who love and speak the truth. Shall not tarry in my sight - Margin, “shall not be established.” The idea is that of being confirmed or established. The sense here seems to be, that though such a person should gain admittance to his house on any pretence or profession, he should not obtain a permanent residence there. As soon as his real character was known, he would be dismissed or discharged. The psalmist says that he would do nothing to show him

countenance; he would not give occasion to have it represented that he favored liars or dishonest persons, or that such persons might find employment with him. As a universal rule, no man should have such plans to accomplish in his family, or in his businesstransactions, that he cannot employ, in accomplishing those things, persons who are perfectly honest; or, in other words, no man should engage in any undertaking, or pursue any kind of business, that would require people of loose principles - the cunning, the crafty, the deceitful, the dishonest - to carry it out. Yet there are many such employments in the world; and there are men suited for such employments, and who are willing to engage in such work. It may be a good test for a man in regard to the business in which he is engaged, to ask himself what kind of agents, clerks, or servants, it will be necessary for him to employ in carrying it out. If the business is such as to make it necessary to employ unprincipled people - people who have easy consciences - people who will violate the sabbath - men who have more skill than honesty - more cunning than principle - that very fact should determine him at once in regard to the propriety of the business.

2. Clarke, “He that worketh deceit - that tenets lies - I will expel from my court all sycophants and flatterers. Tiberius encouraged flatterers; Titus burned some, banished several others, and sold many for slaves. 3. Gill, “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house ,.... Flatterers,

sycophants, tricking and fraudulent persons, who seek to supplant others, and get into their places; these should lose the favour they had, when detected. So hypocritical persons, that have only a form of godliness, a mask of religion, and false teachers that lie in wait to deceive; and antichrist, whose coming was with all deceivableness of unrighteousness; who has seduced men by his miracles, doctrines, and sorceries; these shall have no place, neither in Christ's house below nor above. The Targum is, "he that works deceit shall not dwell in the midst of the house of my sanctuary:'' he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight ; or, "he shall not be established" before mine eyes (r); he shall not continue in his post and place, in his office and station; he shall soon be dismissed from it; lying is very abominable to God, very prejudicial to men, and hated by Christ, who is truth itself. All sorts of lies, and liars are so, religious and doctrinal ones; such who speak lies in hypocrisy, as the emissaries of Rome; all that make an abomination, or a lie, will have no place with Christ in the New Jerusalem, Rev_21:27. (Psa_101:7): “He that worketh deceit, though he may insinuate himself into my family, yet, as soon as he is discovered, shall not dwell within my house.” Some great men know how to serve their own purposes by such as are skilful to deceive, and they are fit tools for them to work by; but David will make use of no such persons as agents for him: He that tells lies shall not tarry in my sight, but shall be expelled the house with indignation. Herein David was a man after God's own heart, for a proud look and a lying tongue are things which God hates; and he was also a type of Christ, who will, in the great day, banish from his presence all that love and make a lie, Rev_22:15.

4. Henry, “With false deceitful people, that scruple not to tell lies, or commit frauds

5. Jamison, “not dwell — literally, “not sit,” or tarry, or be established. 6. K&D, “He who practises deceit shall not stay within his house; he who speaks lies

shall have no continuance (‫י ִ כֹּון‬is more than equivalent to ‫נָ כֹון‬ ) before (under) his eyes.

7. SPURGEON, "Ver. 7. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house. He had power to choose his courtiers, and he meant to exercise it. Deceit among most orientals is reckoned to be a virtue, and is only censured when it is not sufficiently cunning, and therefore comes to be found out; it was therefore all the more remarkable that David should have so determinedly set his face against it. He could not tell what a deceitful man might be doing, what plots he might be contriving, what mischief he might be brewing, and therefore he resolved that he would at any rate keep him out of his house, that his palace might not become a den of villainy. Cheats in the market are bad enough, but deceivers at our own table we cannot bear. He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. He would not have a liar within sight or hearing; lie loathed the mention of him. Grace makes men truthful, and creates in them an utter horror of everything approaching to falsehood. If David would not have a liar in his sight, much less will the Lord; neither he that loves nor he who makes a lie shall be admitted into heaven. Liars are obnoxious enough on earth; the saints shall not be worried with them in another world. 8. CALVIN, "7 He who worketh deceit shall not dwell in the midst of my house This verse may be explained of all magistrates to whose charge the exercise of public judgments is committed, as well as of household servants. But as David has just now spoken in general of all officers, he seems now to speak properly of those who are near the person of the king. When the chief counsellors of kings and other intimate acquaintances who have gained possession of their ears, are deceitful and crafty, this becomes the source of all corruptions; for by their example they encourage others in evil, lifting up as it were the banner of licentiousness. And it is impossible that he who does not maintain good order in his own house, can be a fit person for holding the government of a whole realm. The authority which cannot preserve its influence under the domestic roof is of little worth in state affairs.

8 Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.

1. Barnes, “I will early destroy ... - Hebrew, “In the mornings I will destroy.” That is, It shall be my first business as I enter upon the day. Possibly, also, by the use of the plural here - “in the mornings” - there may be the idea that this would be his constant rule of conduct: he would do it every day; he would do it morning by morning. He would on no day - at no time - allow the wicked to be in his service. This rule would be unvarying. It would extend through his life. The word “destroy” here may refer not only to his conduct as a man, and as the head of a family, but to the act of a magistrate; and the idea may be, that the rule which he prescribed for himself in his own house was a rule which he would carry with him into public: that is, as the psalm was composed by David, that, as a king and sovereign, it should be his aim to carry those principles to the throne; that, in respect to the state, he would do what he purposed to do in his homerelations. The strict and stern regard for truth, sincerity, honesty, fidelity, which he would evince in the one case he would evince in the other; carrying to the high employments of public life, where there were so many temptations to a contrary course, the inflexible virtues which were needful for peace, for happiness, and for success in domestic life. That I may cut off - By discountenancing them; by punishing them if they are guilty. All wicked doers - All violators of law. From the city of the Lord - From Jerusalem, the place where God dwelt, and which was sacred to his service. See Psa_46:4, note; Psa_48:2, note; Psa_48:8, note. Happy is the man at the head of a family - happy is the magistrate - who adopts for himself, and who faithfully carries out the principles laid down by the author of this psalm - divinely inspired to adopt such rules for himself, and to suggest them for others in all ages.

2. Clarke, “I will early destroy - I will take the first opportunity of destroying all the wicked of the land. I will purify my court, purge Jerusalem, and cleanse the whole land of every abomination and abominable person; so that the city of my God, where holiness alone should dwell, shall indeed become the Holy City; that the state may be made prosperous, and the people happy. Such an administration must have been a good one, where such pious caution was used in choosing all the officers of the state.

3. Gill, “I will early destroy all the wicked of the land, Of the land of Israel,

signifying that he would make a general reformation throughout the kingdom; that as soon as wicked men were discovered in any part of the land, he would cut them off, would take the first opportunity of punishing them as the law directs: or he would do it "in morning" (s), as in the Hebrew text; that is, every morning, constantly and continually;

4. Henry, “His resolution to extend his zeal to the reformation of the city and country, as well as of the court (Psa_101:8): “I will early destroy all the wicked of the land, all that are discovered and convicted; the law shall have its course against them.” He would do his utmost to destroy all the wicked, so that there might be none left that were

notoriously wicked. He would do it early; he would lose no time and spare no pains; he would be forward and zealous in promoting the reformation of manners and suppression of vice; and those must rise betimes that will do anything to purpose in the work. That which he aimed at was not only the securing of his own government and the peace of the country, but the honour of God in the purity of his church, That I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord. Not Jerusalem only, but the whole land, was the city of the Lord; so is the gospel-church. It is the interest of the city of the Lord to be purged from wicked doers, who both blemish it and weaken it; and it is therefore the duty of all to do what they can, in their places, towards so good a work, and to be zealously affected in it. The day is coming when the Son of David shall cut off all wicked doers from the new Jerusalem, for there shall not enter into it any that do iniquity.

5. Jamison, “will early — or, “diligently.”
city of the Lord — or, “holy place” (Psa_48:2), where wicked men shall not be tolerated.

6. K&D, “ when Jahve shall have taken up His abode in Jerusalem, will he destroy all

ִ ‫ר‬in Psa_119:119), i.e., incorrigibly wicked ones, wherever he may meet evil-doers (‫שׁ ְ ע ֵ י‬ as them upon the earth, in order that all workers of evil may be rooted out of the royal city, which is now become the city of Jahve.

7. SPURGEON, "Ver. 8. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land. At the very outset of his government he would promptly deal out justice to the worthless, he would leave them no rest, but make them leave their wickedness or feel the lash of the law. The righteous magistrate "beareth not the sword in vain." To favour sin is to discourage virtue; undue leniency to the bad is unkindness to the good. When our Lord comes in judgment, this verse will be fulfilled on a large scale; till then he sinks the judge in the Saviour, and bids men leave their sins and find pardon. Under the gospel we also are bidden to suffer long, and to be kind, even to the unthankful and the evil; but the office of the magistrate is of another kind, and he must have a sterner eye to justice than would be proper in private persons. Is he not to be a terror to evil doers? That I may cut off all the wicked doers from the city of the Lord. Jerusalem was to be a holy city, and the psalmist meant to be doubly careful in purging it from ungodly men. Judgment must begin at the house of God. Jesus reserves his scourge of small cords for sinners inside the temple. How pure ought the church to be, and how diligently should all those who hold office therein labour to keep out and chase out men of unclean lives. Honourable offices involve serious responsibilities; to trifle with them will bring our own souls into guilt, and injure beyond calculation the souls of others. Lord, come to us, that we, in our several positions in life, may walk before thee with perfect hearts. 8. TREASURY OF DAVID, "Ver. 8. —That I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD. As the kingdom of David was only a faint image of the kingdom of Christ, we ought to set Christ before our view; who, although he may bear with many hypocrites, yet as he will be the judge of the world, will at length call them all to on account, and separate the sheep from the goats. And if it seems to us that he tarries too long, we should

think of that morning which will suddenly dawn, that all filthiness being purged away, true purity may shine forth. —John Calvin. Ver. 8. —Early. From some incidental notices of Scripture (2 Samuel 15:2, Psalms 101:8, Jeremiah 21:12), it has been inferred that judges ordinarily held their sessions in the morning. In a climate like that of Palestine, such a custom would be natural and convenient. It is doubtful, however, whether this passage expresses anything more than the promptness and zeal which a righteous judge exercises in the discharge of his duty. — E.P. Barrows, in "Biblical Geography and Antiquities". Ver. 8. —The holy vow "to destroy all the wicked of the lands": and to "cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord, "must begin at our own hearts as his sanctuary, the temple of the Holy Ghost. —Alfred Edersheim. 9. CALVIN, " Early will I destroy all the wicked of the land The Psalmist at length concludes by asserting, that he will endeavor to the utmost of his power to purge the land from infamous and wicked persons. He affirms that he will do this early; for if princes are supine and slothful, they will never seasonably remedy the evils which exist. They must therefore oppose the beginnings of evil. The judge, however, must take care not to yield to the influence of anger, nor must he act precipitately and without consideration. The original word for early is in the plural number, (it being properly at the mornings,) which denotes unremitted exertion. It were not enough that a judge should punish the wicked sharply and severely in one or two instances: he must continue perseveringly in that duty. By this word is condemned the slothfulness of princes, when, upon seeing wicked men daringly break forth into the commission of crime, they connive at them from day to day, either through fear or an ill-regulated lenity. Let kings and magistrates then remember, that they are armed with the sword, that they may promptly and unflinchingly execute the judgments of God. David, it is true, could not purge the land from all defilements, however courageously he might have applied himself to the task. This he did not expect to be able to do. He only promises, that without respect of persons he will show himself an impartial judge, in cutting off all the wicked. Timidity often hinders judges from repressing with sufficient rigor the wicked when they exalt themselves. It is consequently necessary for them to be endued with a spirit of invincible fortitude, that relying upon Divine aid, they may perform the duties of the office with which they are invested. Moreover, ambition and favor sometimes render them pliant, so that they do not always punish offenses alike, where this ought to be done. Hence we learn that the strictness, which is not carried to excess, is highly pleasing to God; and, on the other hand, that he does not approve of the cruel kindness which gives loose reins to the wicked; as, indeed, there cannot be a greater encouragement to sin than for offenses to be allowed to pass unpunished. What Solomon says should therefore be remembered, (Proverbs 17:15) “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.” What David adds, That I may cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of God, is also emphatic. If even heathen kings are commanded in common to punish crimes, David well knew that he was under obligations of a more sacred kind to do so, since the charge of the Church of God had been committed to him. And certainly if those who hold a situation so honorable do not exert themselves to the

utmost of their power to remove all defilements, they are chargeable with polluting as much as in them lies the sanctuary of God; and they not only act unfaithfully towards men by betraying their welfare, but also commit high treason against God himself. Now as the kingdom of David was only a faint image of the kingdom of Christ, we, ought to set Christ before our view; who, although he may bear with many hypocrites, yet as he will be the judge of the world, will at length call them all to an account, and separate the sheep from the goats. And if it seems to us that he tarries too long, we should think of that morning which will suddenly dawn, that all filthiness being purged away, true purity may shine forth.

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