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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Psalms 131

 

 

Verses 1-3

Psalm 131

Introduction - Scholars generally agree that the songs of ascent were read or sung when the children of Israel were gathered together.

Psalm 131:1 (A Song of degrees of David.) LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

Psalm 131:1Word Study on "degrees" - Strong says the Hebrew word "ma'alah" ( מַעֲלָה) (H 4609) literally means, "elevations," and in book of Psalm it means, "a climatic progression." Strong says this word is derived from the Hebrew verb "‘alah" ( עָלָה) (H 5927), which means "to ascend." This noun occurs 45 times in the Old Testament Scriptures and is often translated "steps," as in 1 Kings 10:19. In 2 Kings 20:9-11 "ma'alah" ( מַעֲלָה) is translated "degrees," referring to the ten steps the shadow regressed on the king's sundial.

Psalm 131:1"neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me" - Comments- This would be like seeking the limelight or being know-it-all person ( Romans 12:16).

Romans 12:16, "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits."

Psalm 131:1Comments- David refers to his heart, his eyes, and his activities in Psalm 131:1, which reflects the three-fold make-up of man: spirit, soul and body. Brandon Cash says David is essentially saying, "God, I am not you." He suggests this phrase in Psalm 131is limited to God's majesty. 121] David is saying he will not try to do what only God can do in his time ( Psalm 71:19; Psalm 106:21-22).

121] Brandon Cash, "Hurry Up and Wait," Evangelical Homiletics Society 2007 Conference, Talbot School of Theology, La Mirada, California, 12October 2007.

Psalm 71:19, "Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!"

Psalm 106:21-22, "They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea."

Psalm 131:1 — — Scripture Reference- Note a similar verse:

1 Peter 5:5-6, "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:"

Psalm 131:2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.

Psalm 131:2Comments- In Psalm 131:2 David is saying that that he has calmed his soul, he is at rest. He is content and resting as a child in his mother's arms. To lean on the arm of flesh is not rest, but to lean on the everlasting arms is truly rest ( Isaiah 30:15).

Isaiah 30:15, "For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not."

Note a similar verse in 1 Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."

Psalm 131:3 Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.

 


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These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Psalms 131:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/psalms-131.html. 2013.

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Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
the Second Week after Epiphany
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