Add parallel Print Page Options

Psalm 15[a]

The Righteous Israelite

(A)A psalm of David.

I

Lord, who may abide in your tent?[b]
    Who may dwell on your holy mountain?

II

Whoever walks without blame,(B)
    doing what is right,
    speaking truth from the heart;
Who does not slander with his tongue,
    does no harm to a friend,
    never defames a neighbor;
Who disdains the wicked,
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
    Who keeps an oath despite the cost,
    lends no money at interest,[c]
    accepts no bribe against the innocent.(C)

III

Whoever acts like this
    shall never be shaken.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 15 The Psalm records a liturgical scrutiny at the entrance to the Temple court (cf. Ps 24:3–6; Is 33:14b–16). The Israelite wishing to be admitted had to ask the Temple official what conduct was appropriate to God’s precincts. Note the emphasis on virtues relating to one’s neighbor.
  2. 15:1 Your tent: the Temple could be referred to as “tent” (Ps 61:5; Is 33:20), a reference to the tent of the wilderness period and the tent of David (2 Sm 6:17; 7:2), predecessors of the Temple. Holy mountain: a venerable designation of the divine abode (Ps 2:6; 3:5; 43:3; 48:2, etc.).
  3. 15:5 Lends no money at interest: lending money in the Old Testament was often seen as assistance to the poor in their distress, not as an investment; making money off the poor by charging interest was thus forbidden (Ex 22:24; Lv 25:36–37; Dt 23:20).

II

Who may go up the mountain of the Lord?(A)
    Who can stand in his holy place?
[a]“The clean of hand and pure of heart,
    who has not given his soul to useless things,
    what is vain.
He will receive blessings from the Lord,
    and justice from his saving God.

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. 24:4–5 Lit., “the one whose hands are clean.” The singular is used for the entire class of worshipers.

[a]With what shall I come before the Lord,
    and bow before God most high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?(A)
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with myriad streams of oil?
[b] Shall I give my firstborn for my crime,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
[c]You have been told, O mortal, what is good,
    and what the Lord requires of you:
Only to do justice and to love goodness,
    and to walk humbly with your God.(B)

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. 6:6–8 These verses continue the previous unit (6:1–5), the dialogue between the Lord and the people in the pattern of a trial. The Lord has initiated proceedings against them, and they ask how to re-establish the broken relationship with God (vv. 6–7), and are given an answer (v. 8). The form of the passage borrows from a priestly liturgical pattern. When worshipers came to the temple, they inquired of the priest concerning the appropriate offering or sacrifice, and the priest answered them (see Ps 15; 24; Is 1:10–17; Am 5:21–24).
  2. 6:7 The questions reach their climax with the possibility of child sacrifice, a practice known in antiquity (cf. 2 Kgs 16:3; 21:6).
  3. 6:8 To do justice refers to human behavior in relationship to others. To love goodness refers to the kind of love and concern which is at the heart of the covenant between the Lord and Israel; it is persistently faithful. To walk humbly with your God means to listen carefully to the revealed will of God.

Bible Gateway Sponsors