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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.


Copyright Statement
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. 2013.

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