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Psalm 131


Childlike Trust in theLord
MT Intro
A Song of Ascents,
of David
Simple Trust in the Lord Act of Humble Submission to God's Will and Guidance A Prayer of Humble Trust Childlike Trust
131:1-3 131:1 131:1-2 131:1-3 131:1-3
  131:2 131:3    

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Guide to Good Bible Reading")


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.



 1O 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.
 3O Israel, hope in the Lord
 From this time forth and forever.

131:1 "Lord" This is the covenant name for Israel's Deity. See Special Topic: Names for Deity.

▣ "heart" This is a Hebrew idiom referring to a person. See SPECIAL TOPIC: THE HEART.

▣ "not proud" The psalmist describes his humble attitude toward God in several phrases in Ps. 131:1-2.

1. not proud (lit. "not lifted up") - BDB 146, KB 170, Qal perfect

2. eyes not haughty (lit. "my eyes not raised") - BDB 926, KB 1202, Qal perfect

3. do not involve (lit. "walk," BDB 229, KB 246, Piel perfect) myself in

a. great matters (BDB 152)

b. things too difficult (BDB 810, see Special Topic: Wonderful Things) for me

4. composed my soul - BDB 1000, KB 1436, Piel perfect

5. quieted my soul - BDB 198, KB 226, Poel perfect

Proud and haughty people are the recipients of YHWH's wrath (cf. Ps. 18:27; 101:5; Zeph. 3:11) because it reveals the results of the Fall of Genesis 3. Humility shows the results of a spiritual conversion and acceptance of God's revelation.

There is a real question about what the imagery of #3 means.

1. simply an idiom of humility

2. simply an idiom of dependance

3. someone who does not question God's great acts

4. someone who does not presume on God's power

5. a human who knows his/her place in the scheme of things (cf. Ps. 89:10)


131:2 The psalmist continues to describe his humble attitude by using the imagery of a child.

▣ "soul" This is nephesh (BDB 659), a way, like "heart," of referring to the whole person. See full note at Gen. 35:18 online.

131:3 The psalmist uses his own humble heart and peaceful hope/trust/patience (BDB 403, KB 407, Piel imperative, cf. Ps. 130:5,6,7) to encourage national Israel to the same place.

▣ "From this time forth and forever" This Hebrew idiom uses three words beginning with "ע" (cf. Ps. 113:2; 115:18; 121:8; 125:2).

1. BDB 773 - adverb for current time (i.e., first phrase)

2. BDB 723 III - preposition

3. BDB 761 - noun, 'olam, see Special Topic: Forever ('olam)

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