Bible blog 2334

Continuing my translation with comment of Psalms 90-106

PSALM 101

A Psalm for David

I will sing of lovingkindness and justice;

To you, Yahweh, I will make music.

I will take heed of the wholesome way;

When will it come to me?

I will walk within my house in wholesomeness of heart.

I will not set any idol before my eyes;

I hate every sidetrack into sin;

It will not stick to me.

I will not have a twisted heart,

And will not acknowledge evil.

I will cut off the one who slanders a friend in secret;

I cannot abide proud eyes and a puffed-up heart.

But my eyes will pick out the honest people of the land

To live with me. They shall be my household,

Those who walk in the wholesome way.

No deceiver will dwell in my house

No liar will look me in the eye.

Each day I will reduce the wrongdoers of the land,

Cutting off from Yahweh’s city all who do evil.

Scholars dispute whether this is a “Royal Psalm” spoken as it were by the King; or a “Wisdom Psalm” spoken by a wise and well-established citizen. My translation leaves the issue open, although I prefer the latter. The speaker is committed to the “wholesome way” and looks forward to it being fully evident in his life (when will it come to me?”

In this psalm “eyes” are important as indicating wise or foolish perception:

I will not set any idol before my eyes : idolatry is the worst folly

I cannot abide proud eyes: arrogance skews perception

My eyes will pick out the honest people: wise eyes can see worth

No liar will look me in the eye: a wise person inhibits an evil one

The ability to see clearly and act straightforwardly is the essence of the moral and civic wisdom celebrated by the speaker. Although he / she may not be royal their household is a model of what the nation and its monarch should be. The example of the wise person, under God, reduces the quantity of evil.

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