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Bible Commentaries

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms

Psalms 131

Verses 1-3

Psalms 131:1-3:

V. 1, 2. David was accused by his brethren, as an aspiring man, who was actuated by pride and ambition in the services which he performed ; and by Saul as aiming to dethrone him and usurp the kingdom. (Marg. Ref. b.) But he could appeal to God, that he should have been well satisfied in privacy and obscurity, and in the meaner occupations of a shepherd ; without intermeddling with affairs of state, or other " matters too " high " orwonderful " for him." (Note, Psalms 139:4-6.) Indeed he had learned to be as indifferent about such worldly advantages, as the weaned child becomes to the milk, when it has learned to relish other nutriment. ’ Committing ’ myself unto thy care, and depending on thy providence, ’ as a child that is newly weaned doth upon its mother 5 ’ just so do I silence my natural desires, and am content to ’ be disposed of as thou pleasest.’ Bp. Patrick. ’ A child ’ newly weaned mourneth, because of the favourite aliment ’ which is withdrawn from him, but depending absolutely ’ on the mother for every thing, he learns to acquiesce in ’ her treatment of him, and quietly to accept what it ’ shall please her to give.’ Bp. Home. (Notes, Matthew 18:1-4.) The clause rendered, " Surely I have," is literally, " If I have not," That is, ’ Then let mine enemies prevail against me.’ (Note, Psalms 7:3-5.) 1 have behaved and quieted myself. (2) " I have composed and stilled my " soul." (Notes, Psalms 39:1-4. Psalms 42:4; Psalms 5:11. Luke 21:12-19; Luke 5:19. John 14:1.)

V. 3. ( And let all good men, in like manner, modestly ’ place their confidence and hope in the Lord, ... and choose ’ rather to be depressed, than by any undue means raise ’ themselves to greatness and honour.’ Bp. Patrick.


The proud man is insolent in his deportment, and despises mean persons, situations, and occupations ; he is vain-glorious and ambitious, aspiring after great connexions and important employments, engaging in deep schemes and speculations, and courting observation and applause. But he, who is conscious of his unworthiness and insufficiency, is satisfied in a low situation, and with any honest employment ; and reluctantly leaves an obscure station, to exercise himself in great matters which appear too high for so mean a person. The grace of God also teaches the believer quiet submission to humbling dispensations, and indifference about worldly acquisitions ; so that, having acquired a relish for heavenly things, his soul is weaned even from those objects to which he once was most addicted ; at least he is aiming to attain, and is praying for, this happy frame of spirit. Yet appearances may be air tinst him. The Lord may call him forth, and make it his duty, to engage in important and publirk undertakings ; and his zeal and love may be censured as ambition and ostentation, by rivals or enemies, or even by misjudging friends: but his appeal will be made to the heart-searching God, aim sometimes this may be done even before his accusers. Genuine humility in the highest stations in society, or in the church, will appear by teachableness, patience under delays and contradictions, persevering benevolence, a determination to use no unhallowed means, and a quiet spirit under reproaches and unjust suspicions. Thus did the lowly Jesus pursue his heavenly path. He was accused of claiming honours, which it was supposed did not belong to him, and on this accusation he was condemned to death : but his resurrection and exaltation completely refuted the malignant calumny. Of him David was the type ; and every one of his disciples must copy his example of humility, of heavenly-mindedness, of active love, and of patience under the cross, and unmerited slander : and let all such Israelites " hope in the Lord," under every reproach and affliction, " from henceforth and for ever."

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Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 131". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.