English Standard Version
I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music.
King James Bible
A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
American Standard Version
I will sing of lovingkindness and justice: Unto thee, O Jehovah, will I sing praises.
A psalm for David himself. Mercy and judgment I will sing to thee, O Lord: I will sing,
English Revised Version
A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing praises.
Webster's Bible Translation
A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: to thee, O LORD, will I sing.
Psalm 101:1 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The vision of the third Sanctus looks into the history of the olden time prior to the kings. In support of the statement that Jahve is a living God, and a God who proves Himself in mercy and in judgment, the poet appeals to three heroes of the olden time, and the events recorded of them. The expression certainly sounds as though it had reference to something belonging to the present time; and Hitzig therefore believes that it must be explained of the three as heavenly intercessors, after the manner of Onias and Jeremiah in the vision 2 Macc. 15:12-14. But apart from this presupposing an active manifestation of life on the part of those who have fallen happily asleep, which is at variance with the ideas of the latest as well as of the earliest Psalms concerning the other world, this interpretation founders upon Psalm 99:7, according to which a celestial discourse of God with the three "in the pillar of cloud" ought also to be supposed. The substantival clauses Psalm 99:6 bear sufficient evident in themselves of being a retrospect, by which the futures that follow are stamped as being the expression of the contemporaneous past. The distribution of the predicates to the three is well conceived. Moses was also a mighty man in prayer, for with his hands uplifted for prayer he obtained the victory for his people over Amalek (Exodus 17:11.), and on another occasion placed himself in the breach, and rescued them from the wrath of God and from destruction (Psalm 106:23; Exodus 32:30-32; cf. also Numbers 12:13); and Samuel, it is true, is only a Levite by descent, but by office in a time of urgent need a priest (cohen), for he sacrifices independently in places where, by reason of the absence of the holy tabernacle with the ark of the covenant, it was not lawful, according to the letter of the law, to offer sacrifices, he builds an altar in Ramah, his residence as judge, and has, in connection with the divine services on the high place (Bama) there, a more than high-priestly position, inasmuch as the people do not begin the sacrificial repasts before he has blessed the sacrifice (1 Samuel 9:13). But the character of a mighty man in prayer is outweighed in the case of Moses by the character of the priest; for he is, so to speak, the proto-priest of Israel, inasmuch as he twice performed priestly acts which laid as it were a foundation for all times to come, viz., the sprinkling of the blood at the ratification of the covenant under Sinai (Exodus 24), and the whole ritual which was a model for the consecrated priesthood, at the consecration of the priests (Leviticus 8). It was he, too, who performed the service in the sanctuary prior to the consecration of the priests: he set the shew-bread in order, prepared the candlestick, and burnt incense upon the golden altar (Exodus 40:22-27). In the case of Samuel, on the other hand, the character of the mediator in the religious services is outweighed by that of the man mighty in prayer: by prayer he obtained Israel the victory of Ebenezer over the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:8.), and confirmed his words of warning with the miraculous sign, that at his calling upon God it would thunder and rain in the midst of a cloudless season (1 Samuel 12:16, cf. Sir. 46:16f.).
The poet designedly says: Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel among His praying ones. This third twelve-line strophe holds good, not only of the three in particular, but of the twelve-tribe nation of priests and praying ones to which they belong. For Psalm 99:7 cannot be meant of the three, since, with the exception of a single instance (Numbers 12:5), it is always Moses only, not Aaron, much less Samuel, with whom God negotiates in such a manner. אליהם refers to the whole people, which is proved by their interest in the divine revelation given by the hand of Moses out of the cloudy pillar (Exodus 33:7.). Nor can Psalm 99:6 therefore be understood of the three exclusively, since there is nothing to indicate the transition from them to the people: crying (קראים, syncopated like חטאים, 1 Samuel 24:11) to Jahve, i.e., as often as they (these priests and praying ones, to whom a Moses, Aaron, and Samuel belong) cried unto Jahve, He answered them-He revealed Himself to this people who had such leaders (choragi), in the cloudy pillar, to those who kept His testimonies and the law which He gave them. A glance at Psalm 99:8 shows that in Israel itself the good and the bad, good and evil, are distinguished. God answered those who could pray to Him with a claim to be answered. Psalm 99:7, is, virtually at least, a relative clause, declaring the prerequisite of a prayer that may be granted. In Psalm 99:8 is added the thought that the history of Israel, in the time of its redemption out of Egypt, is not less a mirror of the righteousness of God than of the pardoning grace of God. If Psalm 99:7-8 are referred entirely to the three, then עלילות and נקם, referred to their sins of infirmity, appear to be too strong expressions. But to take the suffix of עלילותם objectively (ea quae in eos sunt moliti Core et socii ejus), with Symmachus (καὶ ἔκδικος ἐπὶ ταῖς ἐπηρείναις αὐτῶν) and Kimchi, as the ulciscens in omnes adinventiones eorum of the Vulgate is interpreted,
(Note: Vid., Raemdonck in his David propheta cet. 1800: in omnes injurias ipsis illatas, uti patuit in Core cet.)
is to do violence to it. The reference to the people explains it all without any constraint, and even the flight of prayer that comes in here (cf. Micah 7:18). The calling to mind of the generation of the desert, which fell short of the promise, is an earnest admonition for the generation of the present time. The God of Israel is holy in love and in wrath, as He Himself unfolds His Name in Exodus 34:6-7. Hence the poet calls upon his fellow-countrymen to exalt this God, whom they may with pride call their own, i.e., to acknowledge and confess His majesty, and to fall down and worship at (ל cf. אל, Psalm 5:8) the mountain of His holiness, the place of His choice and of His presence.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
I will sing
The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.