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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 101

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-8

Title. A psalm of David. All the Versions agree with the Hebrew in this title.

Psalms 101:3 . I hate the work of them that turn aside; a Hebrew phrase for apostasy to idolatry. Instead of going up to Zion, they turned aside to some heathen feast.

Psalms 101:4 . A froward heart; a heart proud, swelling, and insatiable.

Psalms 101:7 . He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house. A good purpose, though David could never carry it into full effect.

Psalms 101:8 . I will early destroy all the wicked, all public and notorious offenders. When justice was administered in a summary way, there was no need to keep culprits long in suspense. Men who commit daring crimes must fairly meet the bar of justice, and no lenity should be shown but what is consistent with public safety.


Here is instruction for princes, for nobles, and heads of houses; yea, for the humblest cottager. David as head of a house and a kingdom, here sings of mercy and of judgment.

Personal piety is the basis of family religion, and of public spirit in acting a noble part for God. Hence when David had formed a resolution to govern and reign according to the divine pleasure, he seeks the Lord’s presence: Oh when wilt thou come unto me into my heart, and into my house, as thou comest into thy sanctuary. Pious vows and holy purposes all fail without the divine aid, and without a constant reliance on that aid.

David would do nothing in his house to hinder his prayers. He would do no wicked thing, for he hated turning aside from the good way. An immoral professor, unhappy in his temper, selfish in bargains, and careless in conscience, is seldom made a blessing to his family. His reproofs are delivered in a wrong spirit, and his devotion is tarnished by the recollection of his faults. Hence when servants see a master’s faults, his best way is to let them see a sincere heart in the fruits of his repentance. Piety forms a household establishment with a view to please God. The froward, churlish or crafty, David would dismiss, or keep them at a distance; the artful slanderer he would expel; the proud and haughty he would check and humble. What wise and noble purposes. Bad servants make a house unhappy, and teach children their wicked ways. But David had a double task; he had a house and a court; and the conversion of courtiers is no easy work. Rigour sometimes makes hypocrites. Ahithophel took sweet counsel with David about religion; but God unmasked his wickedness, and drove him to despair. David, so far as he knew, would select the faithful of the land, and make piety the first qualification both in a minister and a servant. He who would end with God will always find it safest to begin with God. He would dismiss that servant, whether high or low, who should commit a fraud, or cover a crime with falsehood. A fine purpose; and he really did dismiss Joab, his cousin and his general, for the affair of Abner; though he yielded to restore him again.

David would make haste to purify his city and country, as well as his house. He would execute judgment on criminals: and that magistrate who boldly acts for God, without respect of persons or fear of consequences, is accounted the father and friend of his country.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 101". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/psalms-101.html. 1835.
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