Psalm 131:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A song of ascents. Of David. My heart is not proud, LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.

New Living Translation
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of David. LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don't concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.

English Standard Version
A Song of Ascents. Of David. O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

New American Standard Bible
A Song of Ascents, of David. O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A Davidic song of ascents. LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I do not get involved with things too great or too difficult for me.

International Standard Version
LORD, my heart is not arrogant, nor do I look haughty. I do not aspire to great things, nor concern myself with things beyond my ability.

NET Bible
A song of ascents, by David. O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor do I have a haughty look. I do not have great aspirations, or concern myself with things that are beyond me.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Lord Jehovah, my heart is not lifted up neither are my eyes lifted up, neither have I walked in a pretense of things greater than I.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[A song by David for going up to worship.] O LORD, my heart is not conceited. My eyes do not look down on others. I am not involved in things too big or too difficult for me.

Jubilee Bible 2000
LORD, my heart has not become haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither have I walked in grandeur, nor in wonderful things above and beyond that which pertains to me.

King James 2000 Bible
LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

American King James Version
Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

American Standard Version
Jehovah, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; Neither do I exercise myself in great matters, Or in things too wonderful for me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Lord, my heart is not exalted: nor are my eyes lofty. Neither have I walked in great matters, nor in wonderful things above me.

Darby Bible Translation
{A Song of degrees. Of David.} Jehovah, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great matters, and in things too wonderful for me.

English Revised Version
A Song of Ascents; of David. LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too wonderful for me.

Webster's Bible Translation
A Song of degrees of David. LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

World English Bible
Yahweh, my heart isn't haughty, nor my eyes lofty; nor do I concern myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me.

Young's Literal Translation
A Song of the Ascents, by David. Jehovah, my heart hath not been haughty, Nor have mine eyes been high, Nor have I walked in great things, And in things too wonderful for me.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

131:1-3 The psalmist's humility. Believers encouraged to trust in God. - The psalmist aimed at nothing high or great, but to be content in every condition God allotted. Humble saints cannot think so well of themselves as others think of them. The love of God reigning in the heart, will subdue self-love. Where there is a proud heart, there is commonly a proud look. To know God and our duty, is learning sufficiently high for us. It is our wisdom not to meddle with that which does not belong to us. He was well reconciled to every condition the Lord placed him in. He had been as humble as a little child about the age of weaning, and as far from aiming at high things; as entirely at God's disposal, as the child at the disposal of the mother or nurse. We must become as little children, Mt 18:3. Our hearts are desirous of worldly things, cry for them, and are fond of them; but, by the grace of God, a soul that is made holy, is weaned from these things. The child is cross and fretful while in the weaning; but in a day or two it cares no longer for milk, and it can bear stronger food. Thus does a converted soul quiet itself under the loss of what it loved, and disappointments in what it hoped for, and is easy whatever happens. When our condition is not to our mind, we must bring our mind to our condition; then we are easy to ourselves and all about us; then our souls are as a weaned child. And thus the psalmist recommends confidence in God, to all the Israel of God, from his own experience. It is good to hope, and quietly to wait for the salvation of the Lord under every trial.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Lord, my heart is not haughty; or, "not lifted up" (comp. 2 Chronicles 26:16; 2 Chronicles 32:25). Not unduly elated by the prosperity that thou hast bestowed on me. Nor mine eyes lofty (comp. Psalm 101:5), "Pride," as Hengstenberg says, "has its seat in the heart, and betrays itself especially in the eyes." Neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me; literally, too wonderful (comp. Psalm 139:6, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: it is high: I cannot attain unto it"). The speculative debates of so-called "wise men" concerning the deep things of God's moral government are probably glanced at (see Job 42:3).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Lord, my heart is not haughty,.... The heart of every man is naturally so, and everything in civil life tends to make it more so; as riches and honour, birth and blood, wisdom, knowledge, and learning, strength and beauty, especially where there is a superiority of those to others; and in religious if persons have not the true grace of God, their hearts will be haughty; if they have a notion of the purity of human nature, and the goodness of their hearts, and are pure in their own eyes, and of the power of their free will to do this and the other, and of their perfection in good works, and are full of their own righteousness, and have some external gifts, and some degree of notional knowledge; but if the heart is made truly contrite under a sense of sin, and is melted with discoveries of pardoning love, it will be humble and not haughty: and those have such hearts who have seen the haughtiness of their hearts, and the exceeding sinfulness of sin; their impotency to that which is spiritually good; their imperfection in all they do; the excellency and suitableness of Christ's righteousness, and that all their salvation is of grace, and that grace is entirely free; and the more spiritual knowledge and experience they have, the more humble they are: and this was David's case, and what he here said was no doubt true, since he hated lying; and besides he speaks this in the presence of and to God the searcher of hearts; though he had been anointed by Samuel, and knew that he was to be successor in the kingdom, yet his heart was not elated with it;

nor mine eyes lofty; or "lifted up" (l), they were lifted up to God in prayer often, out not above his fellow creatures; he behaved himself humbly as well as wisely in Saul's court, where he was raised to great dignity, which gained him the affections of the court, and of all Israel; but there are too many whose eyes are lofty, and their eyelids lifted up, who disdain to look upon those that are inferior to them, as the rich on the poor, the Pharisee on the publican; see Proverbs 30:13. This is the character of antichrist, that his look is more stout than his fellows, and is abominable in the sight of God, even a proud look as well as a proud heart, Proverbs 6:17. But this was not David's case; as he could not bear this in others he would not suffer it in himself, Psalm 101:5;

neither do I exercise myself in great matters; or, "walk" (m) in them; these were not the subject of his employment and conversation; he did many great things, in killing the lion and the bear that came into his father's flock; in slaying Goliath with a sling and stone only; in leading out the armies of Israel, and slaying his ten thousands; and he exercised himself in the great things of the law, which he was careful to observe, and studied the great things of the Gospel, which he had the highest esteem of, and desired to understand; but he did not seek human greatness, or the great things of this world, for himself; he had no ambitious views, or was desirous of the kingdom he was anointed to, before the proper time; see 1 Samuel 18:18;

or in things too high for me: or "too wonderful" (n); see Job 42:3. He contemplated the wonderful make and frame of his body, the texture, symmetry, and use of each of its parts; he observed the wonderful providences of God towards him ever since he had a being; and particularly he took notice of the wonderful love of God to him, and remembered and talked of, and declared, the wonderful works of grace and redemption; but not things above his capacity, out of his reach, and which are secret, or not clearly revealed: and such things we should be content to be ignorant of, or not to have adequate ideas of, or be capable of accounting for; as the being and perfections of God, particularly his immensity and eternity; the mode of subsisting of the Persons in the Godhead; the generation of the Son and procession of the Spirit; the incarnation of Christ, and the union of the two natures in him; present providences, unsearchable and past finding out; and future things, especially the times and seasons of them; see Psalm 139:6.

(l) "elati", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, &c. (m) "ambulavi", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Cocceius, &c. (n) "in mirabilibus prae me", Montanus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.

The Treasury of David

1 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.

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.

3 Let Israel hope in the Lord from henceforth and for ever.

Psalm 131:1

"Lord, my heart is not haughty." The Psalm deals with the Lord, and is a solitary colloquy with him, not a discourse before men. We have a sufficient audience when we speak with the Lord, and we may say to him many things which were not proper for the ears of men. The holy man makes his appeal to Jehovah, who alone knows the heart' a man should be slow to do this upon any matter, for the Lord is not to be trifled with; and when anyone ventures on such an appeal he should be sure of his case. He begins with his heart, for that is the centre of our nature, and if pride be there it defiles everything; just as mire in the spring causes mud in all the streams. It is a grand thing for a man to know his own heart so as to be able to speak before the Lord about it. It is beyond all things deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it? Who can know it unless taught by the Spirit of God? It is a still greater thing if, upon searching himself thoroughly, a man can solemnly protest unto the Omniscient One that his heart is not haughty. that is to say, neither proud in his opinion of himself, contemptuous to others, nor self-righteous before the Lord; neither boastful of the past, proud of the present, nor ambitious for the future. "Nor mine eyes lofty." What the heart desires the eyes look for. Where the desires run the glances usually follow. This holy man felt that he did not seek after elevated places where he might gratify his self-esteem, neither did he look down upon others as being his inferiors. A proud look the Lord hates; and in this all men are agreed with him; yea, even the proud themselves hate haughtiness in the gestures of others. Lofty eyes are so generally hateful that haughty men have been known to avoid the manners natural to the proud in order to escape the ill-will of their fellows. The pride which apes humility always takes care to cast its eyes downward, since every man's consciousness tells him that contemptuous glances are the sure ensigns of a boastful spirit. In Psalm 121:1-8. David lifted up his eyes to the hills; but here he declares that they were not lifted up in any other sense. When the heart is right, and the eyes are right, the whole man is on the road to a healthy and happy condition. Let us take care that we do not use the language of this Psalm unless, indeed, it be true as to ourselves; for there is no worse pride than that which claims humility when it does not possess it.

"Neither do I exercise myself in great matters." As a private man he did not usurp the power of the king or devise plots against him: he minded his own business, and left others to mind theirs. As a thoughtful man he did not pry into things unrevealed; he was not speculative, self-conceited or opinionated. As a secular person he did not thrust himself into the priesthood as Saul had done before him, and as Uzziah did after him. It is well so to exercise ourselves unto godliness that we know our true sphere, and diligently keep to it. Many through wishing to be great have failed to be good: they were not content to adorn the lowly stations which the Lord appointed them, and so they have rushed at grandeur and power; and found destruction where they looked for honour. "Or in things too high for me." High things may suit others who are of greater stature, and yet they may be quite unfit for us. A man does well to know his own size. Ascertaining his own capacity, he will be foolish if he aims at that which is beyond his reach, straining himself, and thus injuring himself. Such is the vanity of many men that if a work be within their range they despise it, and think it beneath them: the only service which they are willing to undertake is that to which they have never been called, and for which they are by no means qualified. What a haughty heart must he have who will not serve God at all unless he may be trusted with five talents at the least! His looks are indeed lofty who disdains to be a light among his poor friends and neighbours here below, but demands to be created a star of the first magnitude to shine among the upper ranks, and to be admired by gazing crowds. It is just on God's part that those who wish to be everything should end in being nothing. It is a righteous retribution from God when every matter turns out to be too great for the man who would only handle great matters, and every thing proves to be too high for the man who exercised himself in things too high for him. Lord, make us lowly, keep us lowly, fix us for ever in lowliness. Help us to be in such a case that the confession of this verse may come from our lips as a truthful utterance which we dare make before the Judge of all the earth.

Psalm 131:2

"Surely I have behaved and quieted myself." The original bears somewhat of the form of an oath, and therefore our translators exhibited great judgment in introducing the word "surely"; it is not a literal version, but it correctly gives the meaning. The Psalmist had been upon his best behaviour, and had smoothed down the roughnesses of his self-will; by holy effort he had mastered his own spirit, so that towards God he was not rebellious, even as towards man he was not haughty. It is no easy thing to quiet yourself: sooner may a man calm the sea, or rule the wind, or tame a tiger, than quiet himself. We are clamorous, uneasy, petulant; and nothing but grace can make us quiet under afflictions, irritations, and disappointments. "As a child that is weaned of his mother." He had become as subdued and content as a child whose weaning is fully accomplished. The Easterns put off the time of weaning far later than we do, and we may conclude that the process grows none the easier by being postponed. At last there must be an end to the suckling period, and then a battle begins: the child is denied his comfort, and therefore frets and worries, flies into pets, or sinks into sulks. It is lacing its first great sorrow, and it is in sore distress. Yet time brings not only alleviations, but the ending of the conflict; the boy ere long is quite content to find his nourishment at the table with his brothers, and he feels no lingering wish to return to those dear fountains from which he once sustained his life. He is no longer angry with his mother, but buries his head in that very bosom after which he pined so grievously: he is weaned on his mother rather than from her.

"My soul doth like a weanling rest,

I cease to weep;

So mother's lap, though dried her breast,

Can lull to sleep."

To the weaned child his mother is his comfort though she has denied him comfort. It is a blessed mark of growth out of spiritual infancy when we can forego the joys which once appeared to be essential, and can find our solace in him who denies them to us: then we behave manfully, and every childish complaint is hushed. If the Lord removes our dearest delight we bow to his will without a murmuring thought; in fact, we find a delight in giving up our delight. This is no spontaneous fruit of nature, but a well-tended product of divine grace: it grows out of humility and lowliness, and it is the stern upon which peace blooms as a fair flower. "My soul is even as a weaned child"; or it may be read, "as a weaned child on me my soul," as if his soul leaned upon him in mute submission, neither boasting nor complaining. It is not every child of God who arrives at this weanedness speedily. Some are sucklings when they ought to be fathers; others are hard to wean, and cry, and fight, and rage against their heavenly parent's discipline. When we think ourselves safely through the weaning, we sadly discover that the old appetites are rather wounded than slain, and we begin crying again for the breasts which we had given up, It is easy to begin shouting before we are out of the wood, and no doubt hundreds have sung this Psalm long before they have understood it. Blessed are those afflictions which subdue our affections, which wean us from self-sufficiency, which educate us into Christian manliness, which teach us to love God not merely when he comforts us, but even when he tries us. Well might the sacred poet repeat his figure of the weaned child; it is worthy of admiration and imitation; it is doubly desirable and difficult of attainment. Such weanedness from self springs from the gentle humility declared in Psalm 131:1, and partly accounts for its existence. If pride is gone, submission will be sure to follow; and, on the other hand, if pride is to be driven out, self must also be vanquished.

Psalm 131:3

continued...

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

PSALM 131

Ps 131:1-3. This Psalm, while expressive of David's pious feelings on assuming the royal office, teaches the humble, submissive temper of a true child of God.

1. eyes lofty—a sign of pride (Ps 18:27).

exercise myself—literally, "walk in," or "meddle with."

Psalm 131:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
I have Stilled My Soul
1A Song of Ascents, of David. O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. 2Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.…
Cross References
Romans 12:16
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

2 Samuel 22:28
You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.

Ezra 3:11
With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.

Job 42:3
You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

Psalm 101:5
Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.

Psalm 139:6
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Proverbs 30:13
those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful;

Isaiah 2:12
The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled),

Isaiah 5:15
So people will be brought low and everyone humbled, the eyes of the arrogant humbled.

Jeremiah 45:5
Should you then seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.'"

Zephaniah 3:11
On that day you, Jerusalem, will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from you your arrogant boasters. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill.
Treasury of Scripture

Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

A Song of Degrees. Some think that this Psalm was composed by David when accused by Saul and his courtiers that he affected the crown; though others refer it to the time of the captivity; and consider it as containing a fair account of the manner in which the captives behaved themselves.

Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

Psalm 124:1 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;

Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!

my heart

Numbers 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were on …

Deuteronomy 17:20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brothers, and that he turn …

1 Samuel 16:13,18,22 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the middle …

1 Samuel 17:15,28,29 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem…

1 Samuel 18:23 And Saul's servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David …

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in …

Acts 20:19 Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many tears, …

1 Thessalonians 2:6,7,10 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when …

neither

Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds…

Jeremiah 17:16 As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow you: …

Jeremiah 45:5 And seek you great things for yourself? seek them not: for, behold, …

Amos 7:14,15 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither …

Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but …

exercise. Heb. walk
high for me. Heb. wonderful for me

Psalm 139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it.

Job 42:3 Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? therefore have I …

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! …

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