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Psalms 101:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[A Psalm of David.]] I will sing of lovingkindness and justice: Unto thee, O Jehovah, will I sing praises.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[A Psalm of David.]] I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[A Psalm of David.]] I will sing of lovingkindness and justice, To You, O LORD, I will sing praises.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[A Psalm of David.]] I will sing of mercy and judgment: to thee, O LORD, will I sing.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[A Psalm of David.]] I will sing of loving-kindness and judgment: unto thee, Jehovah, will I sing psalms.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[David's. A Melody.]] Of lovingkindness and of justice, will I sing! Unto thee, O Yahweh, will I touch the strings!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— A Psalm of David. Kindness and judgment I sing, To Thee, O Jehovah, I sing praise.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— A psalm for David himself. Mercy and judgment I will sing to thee, O Lord: I will sing,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[A Psalme of Dauid.]] I will sing of Mercie and Iudgement: vnto thee, O LORD, wil I sing.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[A Psalm of David.]] I will sing to thee, O Lord, of mercy and judgment; I will sing a psalm,
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[A Psalm of Dawid.]] I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Yahweh, will I sing.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[A Psalm 4210
{4210} Prime
מִזְמוֹר
mizmowr
{miz-more'}
From H2167; properly instrumental music; by implication a poem set to notes.
of Dwi דָּוִד.]] 1732
{1732} Prime
דָּוִד
David
{daw-veed'}
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
I will sing 7891
{7891} Prime
שִׁיר
shiyr
{sheer}
The second form being the original form, used in (1 Samuel 18:6); a primitive root (rather identical with H7788 through the idea of strolling minstrelsy); to sing.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
of mercy 2617
{2617} Prime
חֶסֶד
checed
{kheh'-sed}
From H2616; kindness; by implication (towards God) piety; rarely (by opprobrium) reproof, or (subjectively) beauty.
and judgment: 4941
{4941} Prime
מִשְׁפָּט
mishpat
{mish-pawt'}
From H8199; properly a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or (particularly) divine law, individual or collectively), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; abstractly justice, including a particular right, or privilege (statutory or customary), or even a style.
unto thee, O Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
will I sing. 2167
{2167} Prime
זָמַר
zamar
{zaw-mar'}
A primitive root (perhaps identical with H2168 through the idea of striking with the fingers); properly to touch the strings or parts of a musical instrument, that is, play upon it; to make music, accompanied by the voice; hence to celebrate in song and music.
z8762
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 101:1

_ _ Psalms 101:1-8. 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.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 101:1-8

_ _ 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 (Psalms 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. Family-mercies 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.

_ _ II. The general resolution David took up to conduct himself carefully and conscientiously in his court, Psalms 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, 1 Timothy 3:4. When David had his hands full of public affairs, yet he returned to bless his house, 2 Samuel 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 (1 Samuel 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.

_ _ III. His particular resolution to practise no evil himself (Psalms 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, Isaiah 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, 1. 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 (Psalms 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.” 2. With slanderers, and those who take a pleasure in wounding their neighbour's reputation secretly (Psalms 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, Proverbs 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. 4. With false deceitful people, that scruple not to tell lies, or commit frauds (Psalms 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, Revelation 22:15.

_ _ V. His resolution to put those in trust under him that were honest and good (Psalms 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 (1 Samuel 8:16), but David for their goodness.

_ _ VI. His resolution to extend his zeal to the reformation of the city and country, as well as of the court (Psalms 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.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 101:1

I will sing — I will praise thee, O Lord, for thy mercy and justice, which thou hast so eminently discovered in the government of the world, and of thy people; and I will make it my care to imitate thee herein.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 101:1

"A Psalm of David." I will (a) sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.

(a) David considers what manner of King he would be, when God would place him in the throne, promising openly, that he would be merciful and just.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
I will sing:

Psalms 89:1 [[Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite.]] I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
Psalms 97:8 Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.
Psalms 103:6-8 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. ... The LORD [is] merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
Psalms 136:10-22 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy [endureth] for ever: ... [Even] an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.
Romans 9:15-18 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. ... Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.
Romans 9:22-23 [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: ... And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Romans 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in [his] goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
Revelation 15:3-4 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. ... Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
Revelation 19:1-3 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: ... And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

unto thee:

Psalms 71:22-23 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, [even] thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. ... My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed.
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