Psalm 15:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the LORD; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind;

King James Bible
In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

Darby Bible Translation
In whose eyes the depraved person is contemned, and who honoureth them that fear Jehovah; who, if he have sworn to his own hurt, changeth it not;

World English Bible
In whose eyes a vile man is despised, but who honors those who fear Yahweh; he who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and doesn't change;

Young's Literal Translation
Despised in his eyes is a rejected one, And those fearing Jehovah he doth honour. He hath sworn to suffer evil, and changeth not;

Psalm 15:4 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

In whose eves a vile person is contemned -

7. This man judges of others by their conduct; he tries no man's heart. He knows men only by the fruits they bear; and thus he gains knowledge of the principle from which they proceed. A vile person, נמאס nimas, the reprobate, one abandoned to sin; is despised, נבזה nibzeh, is loathsome, as if he were covered with the elephantiasis or leprosy, for so the word implies. He may be rich, he may be learned, he may be a great man and honorable with his master, in high offices in the state; but if he be a spiritual leper, an infidel, a profligate, the righteous man must despise him, and hold him, because he is an enemy to God and to man, in sovereign contempt. If he be in power, he will not treat him as if worthy of his dignity; while he respects the office he will detest the man. And this is quite right; for the popular odium should ever be pointed against vice.

Aben Ezra gives a curious turn to this clause, which he translates thus: "He is mean and contemptible in his own eyes;" and it is certain that the original, נבזה בעיניו נמאס nibzeh beeynaiv nimas, will bear this translation. His paraphrase on it is beautiful: "A pious man, whatever good he may have done, and however concordant to the Divine law he may have walked, considers all this of no worth, compared with what it was his duty to do for the glory of his Creator." A sentiment very like that of our Lord, Luke 17:10 : "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do."

Taken in this sense, the words intimate, that the man who is truly pious, who is a proper member of the Church militant, and is going straight to the Church triumphant, is truly humble; he knows he has nothing but what he has received, he has no merit, he trusts not in himself, but in the living God. He renounces his own righteousness, and trusts in the eternal mercy of God through the infinitely meritorious atonement made by Jesus Christ. The language of his heart is: -

"I loathe myself when God I see,And into nothing fall;

Content that thou exalted be,And Christ be all in all."

He honoureth them that fear the Lord -

8. This cause is a proof, however just the sentiment, that Aben Ezra has mistaken the meaning of the preceding clause. The truly pious man, while he has in contempt the honorable and right honorable profligate, yet honors them that fear the Lord, though found in the most abject poverty; though, with Job, on the dunghill, or, with Lazarus, covered with sores at the rich man's gate. Character is the object of his attention; persons and circumstances are of minor importance.

The fear of the Lord is often taken for the whole of religion; and sometimes for that reverence which a man feels for the ma jesty and holiness of God, that induces him to hate and depart from evil. Here it may signify the lowest degree of religion, repentance whereby we forsake sin.

Sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not -

9. If at any time he have bound himself by a solemn engagement to do so and so, and he finds afterwards that to keep his oath will be greatly to his damage; yet such reverence has he for God and for truth that he will not change, be the consequences what they may. He is faithful also to his promises; his bare word will bind him equally with an oath. He that will not be honest without an oath will not be honest with one.

The Hebrew might be thus translated: "He sweareth to afflict himself, and does not change;" and thus the Chaldee has rendered this clause. He has promised to the Lord to keep his body under, and bring it into subjection; to deny himself that he may not pamper the flesh, and have the more to give to the poor.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

a vile

Psalm 101:4 A fraudulent heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

2 Kings 3:13,14 And Elisha said to the king of Israel, What have I to do with you? get you to the prophets of your father...

Esther 3:2 And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him...

Job 32:21,22 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles to man...

Isaiah 32:5,6 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful...

Daniel 5:17 Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let your gifts be to yourself, and give your rewards to another...

Acts 24:2,3,25 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by you we enjoy great quietness...

James 2:1-9 My brothers, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons...


Psalm 16:3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.

Psalm 101:6 My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear you, and of them that keep your precepts.

Matthew 12:49,50 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brothers!...

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brothers. He that loves not his brother stays in death.


Joshua 9:18-20 And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel...

Judges 11:35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! you have brought me very low...

2 Samuel 21:1,2 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered...

Matthew 5:33 Again, you have heard that it has been said by them of old time, You shall not forswear yourself...

Question of the Division of Life into the Active and the Contemplative
I. May Life be fittingly divided into the Active and the Contemplative? S. Augustine, De Consensu Evangelistarum, I., iv. 8 " Tractatus, cxxiv. 5, in Joannem II. Is this division of Life into the Active and the Contemplative a sufficient one? S. Augustine, Of the Trinity, I., viii. 17 I May Life be fittingly divided into the Active and the Contemplative? S. Gregory the Great says[291]: "There are two kinds of lives in which Almighty God instructs us by His Sacred Word--namely, the active and
St. Thomas Aquinas—On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

Thus Then what is Written, "The Mouth that Lieth...
31. Thus then what is written, "The mouth that lieth, slayeth the soul;" [2351] of what mouth it speaketh, is the question. For in general when the Scripture speaks of the mouth, it signifies the very seat of our conception [2352] in the heart, where is approved and decreed whatever also by the voice, when we speak the truth, is uttered: so that he lieth with the heart who approveth a lie; yet that man may possibly not lie with the heart, who uttereth other than is in his mind, in such sort that
St. Augustine—On Lying

Question Lxxxi of the virtue of Religion
I. Does the Virtue of Religion Direct a Man To God Alone? S. Augustine, sermon, cccxxxiv. 3 " on Psalm lxxvi. 32 sermon, cccxi. 14-15 II. Is Religion a Virtue? III. Is Religion One Virtue? IV. Is Religion a Special Virtue Distinct From Others? V. Is Religion One of the Theological Virtues? VI. Is Religion To Be Preferred To the Other Moral Virtues? VII. Has Religion, Or Latria, Any External Acts? S. Augustine, of Care for the Dead, V. VIII. Is Religion the Same As Sanctity? Cardinal Cajetan,
St. Thomas Aquinas—On Prayer and The Contemplative Life

Rules to be Observed in Singing of Psalms.
1. Beware of singing divine psalms for an ordinary recreation, as do men of impure spirits, who sing holy psalms intermingled with profane ballads: They are God's word: take them not in thy mouth in vain. 2. Remember to sing David's psalms with David's spirit (Matt. xxii. 43.) 3. Practise St. Paul's rule--"I will sing with the spirit, but I will sing with the understanding also." (1 Cor. xiv. 15.) 4. As you sing uncover your heads (1 Cor. xi. 4), and behave yourselves in comely reverence as in the
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Cross References
Acts 28:10
They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.

Judges 11:35
When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, "Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break."

Psalm 24:4
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.

Jump to Previous
Approval Change Changeth Contemned Despised Evil Eyes Fear Fearing Gives Honoreth Honors Honour Honoureth Hurt Hurts Keeps Lord's Oath Rejected Reprobate Suffer Sweareth Swears Sworn Turning Vile
Jump to Next
Approval Change Changeth Contemned Despised Evil Eyes Fear Fearing Gives Honoreth Honors Honour Honoureth Hurt Hurts Keeps Lord's Oath Rejected Reprobate Suffer Sweareth Swears Sworn Turning Vile
Psalm 15:4 NIV
Psalm 15:4 NLT
Psalm 15:4 ESV
Psalm 15:4 NASB
Psalm 15:4 KJV

Psalm 15:4 Bible Apps
Psalm 15:4 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 15:4 Chinese Bible
Psalm 15:4 French Bible
Psalm 15:4 German Bible

Psalm 15:4 Commentaries

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.

Bible Hub
Psalm 15:3
Top of Page
Top of Page