Psalm 101:3
I will set no wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not stick to me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) I will set no. . . . . —Mark the wisdom of the

resolve in a despotic monarch, who has only to speak to effect whatever he has looked on with desire.

Wicked thing.Thing (or, word) of Belial. (See Note on Psalm 41:8.)

I hate the work of them that turn aside.—Or, I hate the doing of false things, according as we take the word in the concrete or abstract.

It shall not cleave to me.—Such conduct shall not be mine.

Psalm 101:3-4. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes — Namely, to look upon it with approbation, or design to practise, countenance, or tolerate it. If any ungodly or unjust thing be suggested to me, whatsoever specious pretences it may be covered with, as some reason of state or worldly advantage, I will cast it out of my mind and thoughts with abhorrence, so far will I be from putting it in execution. I hate the work of them that turn aside — From God, and from his laws. It shall not cleave to me —

Namely, such work, or the contagion of such examples. I will neither imitate nor endure such works nor such workers. A froward heart — A man of a corrupt mind and wicked life; shall depart from me — Shall be turned out of my court, lest he should infect the rest of my family, or be injurious, or an occasion of offence to my people. I will not know a wicked person — I will not own nor countenance such a one, but will keep all such at a distance.101:1-8 David's vow and profession of godliness. - In this psalm we have David declaring how he intended to regulate his household, and to govern his kingdom, that he might stop wickedness, and encourage godliness. It is also applicable to private families, and is the householder's psalm. It teaches all that have any power, whether more or less, to use it so as to be a terror to evil-doers, and a praise to them that do well. The chosen subject of the psalm is God's mercy and judgment. The Lord's providences concerning his people are commonly mixed; mercy and judgment. God has set the one over against the other, both to do good, like showers and sunshine. When, in his providence, he exercises us with the mixture of mercy and judgment, we must make suitable acknowledgments to him for both. Family mercies and family afflictions are both calls to family religion. Those who are in public stations are not thereby excused from care in governing their families; they are the more concerned to set a good example of ruling their own houses well. Whenever a man has a house of his own, let him seek to have God to dwell with him; and those may expect his presence, who walk with a perfect heart, in a perfect way. David resolves to practise no evil himself. He further resolves not to keep bad servants, nor to employ those about him that are wicked. He will not admit them into his family, lest they spread the infection of sin. A froward heart, one that delights to be cross and perverse, is not fit for society, the bond of which is Christian love. Nor will he countenance slanderers, those who take pleasure in wounding their neighbour's reputation. Also, God resists the proud, and false, deceitful people, who scruple not to tell lies, or commit frauds. Let every one be zealous and diligent to reform his own heart and ways, and to do this early; ever mindful of that future, most awful morning, when the King of righteousness shall cut off all wicked doers from the heavenly Jerusalem.I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes - That is, I will propose no wicked thing to be done; I will have no such object in view; I will employ no one to do that which is wrong. The margin, as the Hebrew, is, "thing of Belial." See the notes at Psalm 41:8. It here means that which is worthless, bad, wicked. He would have no wicked aim; he would not look upon a wicked thing for a moment, or with the least favor.

I hate the work of them that turn aside - All their doings, motives, plans. The word rendered "turn aside" means to turn out of the way; out of the right path: Wanderers - transgressors - those who leave the path of truth and honesty.

It shall not cleave to me - I will have nothing to do with it. It shall not he allowed to attach itself to me. A wicked plan or purpose is thus represented as having a tendency to fasten itself on a man, or to "stick to him" - as pitch, or wax, as a "burn" does.

3. set … eyes—as an example to be approved and followed.

no wicked thing—literally, "word," plan or purpose of Belial (Ps 41:8).

work of … aside—apostates.

not cleave to me—I will not be implicated in it (compare Ps 1:1-3).

Before mine eyes, to wit, to look upon it with deliberation and design, or with desire and delight, as this phrase here and elsewhere implies. If any ungodly or unjust thing shall be suggested to me, whatsoever specious pretences it may be covered with, as reason of state or worldly advantage, I will cast it out of my mind and thoughts, it, horrency; so far will I be from putting it in execution.

That turn aside from God, and from his laws.

It shall cleave to me, to wit, such work, or the contagion of such examples. I will neither imitate nor endure such works, nor such workers. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes, Either the eyes of the body, which are the inlets of lust and are easily caught with objects that inflame the heart, and should be turned aside from beholding vanity; or the eyes of the mind; so the Targum,

"I will not propose to my heart;''

or, as Kimchi,

"in my thought'',

that is, I will not set up an evil thing in my imagination, to dwell upon in my thoughts, and take delight and pleasure in meditating upon it; or set it before me, to imitate as a pattern, to work by, and copy after: Christ did not so; he set the Lord always before him, Psalm 16:8, not anything of Belial (k) or Satan, as the phrase here may be rendered; no, he always bid Satan, or anything of his, be gone, and get behind him, Matthew 4:10.

I hate the work of them that turn aside; from God, and from his law; from the paths of religion, truth, and virtue; and from the Gospel, and a profession of it; such are not fit for the kingdom of God, and in these God and Christ have no pleasure, Hebrews 10:38,

it shall not cleave to me; neither the wicked thing, or thing of Belial, nor the work of apostasy; that is, he would have no familiarity nor fellowship with it; not come near it, nor connive at it, but hate and abhor it: the Jews said, an evil disease, or a thing of Belial, "cleaveth fast unto him", Psalm 41:8, but they were mistaken.

(k) "verbum Belijahal", Montanus; so Cocceius, Gejerus, Ainsworth.

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate {c} the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

(c) He shows that magistrates do not do their duties, unless they are enemies to all vice.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. I will set no base thing before mine eyes (R.V.), as an aim to be accomplished, or an example to be imitated. Lit. matter of belial, i.e. worthlessness. Cp. Deuteronomy 15:9.

the work of them that turn aside] Or, more probably, the practice of depravities.

it shall not cleave to me] “If it seized on him unawares, he would shake it off as an accursed thing; Deuteronomy 13:17” (Kay).Verse 3. - I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes; or, no base thing (Revised Version); "no villainous thing" (Cheyne, Kay); comp. Deuteronomy 15:9. I will set before me nothing of this kind, "as an object either of imitation or of attainment." I hate the work of them that turn aside; literally, the doing of acts that swerve; i.e. "that depart from the right way." It shall not cleave to me. If such a thing "seized on him unawares, he would shake it off as a thing accursed" (Kay); comp. Deuteronomy 13:17. The call in Psalm 100:1 sounds like Psalm 98:4; Psalm 66:1. כּל־הארץ are all lands, or rather all men belonging to the earth's population. The first verse, without any parallelism and in so far monostichic, is like the signal for a blowing of the trumpets. Instead of "serve Jahve with gladness (בּשׂמחה)," it is expressed in Psalm 2:11, "serve Jahve with fear (בּיראה)." Fear and joy do not exclude one another. Fear becomes the exalted Lord, and the holy gravity of His requirements; joy becomes the gracious Lord, and His blessed service. The summons to manifest this joy in a religious, festive manner springs up out of an all-hopeful, world-embracing love, and this love is the spontaneous result of living faith in the promise that all tribes of the earth shall be blessed in the seed of Abraham, and in the prophecies in which this promise is unfolded. דּעוּ (as in Psalm 4:4) Theodoret well interprets δι ̓ αὐτῶν μάθετε τῶν πραγμάτων. They are to know from facts of outward and inward experience that Jahve is God: He hath made us, and not we ourselves. Thus runs the Chethξb, which the lxx follows, αὐτὸς ἔποήσεν ἡμᾶς καὶ οὐχ ἡμεῖς (as also the Syriac and Vulgate); but Symmachus (like Rashi), contrary to all possibilities of language, renders αὐτὸς ἐποίησεν ἡμᾶς οὐκ ὄντας. Even the Midrash (Bereshith Rabba, ch. c. init.) finds in this confession the reverse of the arrogant words in the mouth of Pharaoh: "I myself have made myself" (Ezekiel 29:3). The Ker, on the other hand, reads לו,

(Note: According to the reckoning of the Masora, there are fifteen passages in the Old Testament in which לא is written and לו is read, viz., Exodus 21:8; Leviticus 11:21; Leviticus 25:30; 1 Samuel 2:3; 2 Samuel 16:18; 2 Kings 8:10; Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 63:9; Psalm 100:3; Psalm 139:16; Job 13:15 cf. the note there, Psalm 41:4; Proverbs 19:7; Proverbs 26:2; Ezra 4:2. Because doubtful, Isaiah 49:5; 1 Chronicles 11:20 are not reckoned with these.)

which the Targum, Jerome, and Saadia follow and render: et ipsius nos sumus. Hengstenberg calls this Ker quite unsuitable and bad; and Hupfeld, on the other hand, calls the Chethb an "unspeakable insipidity." But in reality both readings accord with the context, and it is clear that they are both in harmony with Scripture. Many a one has drawn balsamic consolation from the words ipse fecit nos et non ipsi nos; e.g., Melancthon when disconsolately sorrowful over the body of his son in Dresden on the 12th July 1559. But in ipse fecit nos et ipsius nos sumus there is also a rich mine of comfort and of admonition, for the Creator of also the Owner, His heart clings to His creature, and the creature owes itself entirely to Him, without whom it would not have had a being, and would not continue in being. Since, however, the parallel passage, Psalm 95:7, favours ולו rather than ולא; since, further, ולא ,reh is the easier reading, inasmuch as הוּא leads one to expect that an antithesis will follow (Hitzig); and since the "His people and the sheep of His pasture" that follows is a more natural continuation of a preceding ולו אנחנו than that it should be attached as a predicative object to עשׂנוּ over a parenthetical ולא אנחנו: the Ker decidedly maintains the preference. In connection with both readings, עשׂה has a sense related to the history of redemption, as in 1 Samuel 12:6. Israel is Jahve's work (מעשׂה), Isaiah 29:23; Isaiah 60:21, cf. Deuteronomy 32:6, Deuteronomy 32:15, not merely as a people, but as the people of God, who were kept in view even in the calling of Abram.

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