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Bible Commentaries

Clarke's Commentary

Psalms 131

Verse 1

The psalmist professes his humility, and the peaceableness of

his disposition and conduct, 1, 2.

Exhorts Israel to hope in God, 3.

Some think that David composed this Psalm as a vindication of himself, when accused by Saul's courtiers that he affected the crown, and was laying schemes and plots to possess himself of it. Others think the Psalm was made during the captivity, and that it contains a fair account of the manner in which the captives behaved themselves, under the domination of their oppressors.

Verse Psalms 131:1. Lord, my heart is not haughty — The principle of pride has no place in my heart; and consequently the high, lofty, and supercilious look does not appear in my eyes. I neither look up, with desire to obtain, to the state of others, nor look down with contempt to the meanness or poverty of those below me. And the whole of my conduct proves this; for I have not exercised myself-walked, in high matters, nor associated myself with the higher ranks of the community, nor in great matters, נפלאות niphlaoth, wonderful or sublime things; too high for me, ממני mimmeni, alien from me, and that do not belong to a person in my sphere and situation in life.

Verse 2

Verse Psalms 131:2. I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child — On the contrary, I have been under the rod of others, and when chastised have not complained; and my silence under my affliction was the fullest proof that I neither murmured nor repined, but received all as coming from the hands of a just God.

My soul is even as a weaned child. — I felt I must forego many conveniences and comforts which I once enjoyed; and these I gave up without repining or demurring.

Verse 3

Verse Psalms 131:3. Let Israel hope in the Lord — Act all as I have done; trust in him who is the God of justice and compassion; and, after you have suffered awhile, he will make bare his arm and deliver you. Short as it is, this is a most instructive Psalm. He who acts as the psalmist did, is never likely to come to mischief, or do any to others.

I. The psalmist, having been accused of proud and haughty conduct, protests his innocence, states his humble thoughts of himself, and the general meekness of his deportment.

II. That his confidence was in God; in him he trusted, and therefore was far from ambition.

III. And by his own example calls on Israel to trust in God as he did.

I. He protests his humility.

1. There was no pride in his heart; and he calls God to witness it: "Lord, my heart is not haughty."

2. There was no arrogance in his carriage: "Nor mine eyes lofty."

3. Nor in his undertakings: "Neither do I exercise myself in great matters." He kept himself within his own bounds and vocation, and meddled not with state affairs.

II. What preserved him from pride was humility. He brought down his desires, and wants, and views to his circumstances.

1. "Surely I have behaved and quieted myself." Have I not given every evidence of my mild and peaceable behaviour? and I certainly never permitted a high thought to rise within me.

2. I acted as the child weaned from his mother. When once deprived of my comforts, and brought into captivity, I submitted to the will of God, and brought down my mind to my circumstances.

III. He proposes his own example of humility and peaceableness for all Israel to follow.

I. "Let Israel hope." Never despair of God's mercy, nor of his gracious providence. The storm will be succeeded by fair and fine weather.

2. "Let Israel hope in the Lord." Never content yourselves with merely supposing that in the course of things these afflictions will wear out. No; look to God, and depend on him, that he may bring them to a happy conclusion.

Remember that he is Jehovah.

1. Wise to plan.

2. Good to purpose.

3. Strong to execute, and will withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly.

4. Trust from henceforth. If you have not begun before, begin now.

5. And do not be weary; trust for ever. Your case can never be out of the reach of God's power and mercy.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 131". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.