The King's Song

Psalm 101

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 101

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Gordon Churchyard

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Jesus said, "First look for the place where God is king. Do the good things that he does". (Matthew 6:33)

Psalm 101

(This is) a psalm of David.

v1   I will sing to you, *LORD.
  I will sing about your kind love and *justice.

v2   I will be careful.
  Then nobody can say that I have done wrong.
  When will you (*LORD) come to me?
  Where I rule, I will do nothing that is wrong.

v3   I will not let any *wicked people be with me.
  I really do not like what *wicked people do.
  They will not come near to me.

v4   People with *wicked ideas will be far from me.
  I will not mix with them.

v5   I will destroy anyone that says bad things about people *in secret.
  I will send away people that have *proud eyes and hearts.

v6   My eyes will look at people who obey (the *LORD).
  They will be with me (in my work).
  My servants will be people that do nothing wrong.

v7   People that are not honest will not stay with me.
  People that do not say what is true will not remain with me.

v8   Every morning I will destroy people that are *wicked in (my) country.
  Nobody that is *wicked will remain in the city of the *LORD.

The Story of Psalm 101

Psalms 93 and 95-99 are royal psalms. "Royal" means "as a king", and in these psalms it is God that is the king. But there are other psalms about the kings of Israel and Judah. They include Psalms 2, 18, 20 and 21, 45, 71 and 101. We could also call these "royal psalms". Each of these psalms is about something different. For example:

    Psalm 2 is about the king (of Israel) ruling over his enemies.

    Psalms 20 and 21 are about the king going to war and coming home.

    Psalm 45 is about the king getting married.

Psalm 101 is about the king ruling in his own country. Many Bible students think that it is what the king said when he became king. It was a promise that he made to God and his people. We do not know which king wrote the psalm. Maybe it was David. Maybe it was a king that ruled after David. He called himself "David" because he was David's son, grandson, or grandson's son, and so on. In other words, he was someone in David's family.

In the psalm, the king says two things:

    he will sing about God, and Godís kind love and justice (God is kind and fair);

    he himself will try to be as kind and fair as God is. He will not let bad men work with him.

What Psalm 101 means

There are two important *Hebrew words in this psalm. Hebrew is the language that the king spoke. He wrote the psalm in Hebrew. The words are:

    tam (or tamim) in verse 2 (twice) and again in verse 6. I have translated it "do nothing wrong", or words that mean the same.

    aynaim in verses 3, 5, 6 and 7. It means "eyes". In verse 3, I have translated it "with me", because it means "I will not let wicked (very bad) people be before my eyes". Also, in verse 7, "remain with me" is "stay before my eyes". The word "before" means "in front of".

Why are these two words important? Because David (or any other king) wanted to be as kind and fair as God is, (verse 1). In other words, he wanted nobody to say that he (the king) had done wrong. To use another word, nobody could blame him for doing anything bad. In the psalm, the name of God is always LORD. This is a special name that his servants used. They agreed that they would love and obey him. Then he would protect them (stop people hurting them).

David wanted to be kind and fair. But he wanted the people in his government to be kind and fair also. So *wicked people could not be in that government. They could not be "in his eyes", or where he could see them.

Other notes:

Verse 1: "Kind love" is a special Bible word. It is the love that God has for his people. It means that he will not stop loving them. "Justice" is a word that means "being fair".

Verse 5: "In secret" means "in a secret place", so few people know about it. The people David (or the king) did not like had *wicked ideas. They talked about these ideas where only a few people could hear them. Also, they had proud eyes and hearts. "Proud" means that you "think that you are more important than you really are". A proud heart thought this. Proud eyes looked at other people as if only the proud eyes were important.

Verse 8: "Every morning" suggests that each day David judged bad people. Judged means "decided whether they were bad or not". If they were bad, David destroyed them. The word "destroy" in verses 5 and 9 in *Hebrew really means "made quiet". This may mean that he asked his servants to kill them. Or just to stop them talking. We do not know. But they did not stay "in the city of the *LORD", which was Jerusalem.

Something to do

1.  Pray for your government, that it will be honest. Pray that it will do what God wants it to do.

If you think that this is not possible, read Psalms 93, and 95-99 again. God was king then, and he is still king! One day, he will answer what you pray.

2.  Be as David. Do not have bad people as your friends.

3.  Learn to say Psalm 101:1 by heart. This means that you can say it without looking at the words.

 

© 2001-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

June 2002

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