Psalm 101

Psalm 101 is the 101st psalm from the Book of Psalms.[1] The Latin name is Misericordiam et judicium.[2] It is attributed to David, and provides warnings for the wicked, while explaining the benefits the righteous will reap.[3] In the slightly different numbering system in the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible, and in the Latin Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 100.


1 A Psalm of David.

I will sing of mercy and justice;

To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.

2 I will behave wisely in a [a]perfect way.

Oh, when will You come to me?

I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

3 I will set nothing [b]wicked before my eyes;

I hate the work of those who fall away;

It shall not cling to me.

4 A perverse heart shall depart from me;

I will not know wickedness.

5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor,

Him I will destroy;

The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart,

Him I will not endure.

6 My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land,

That they may dwell with me;

He who walks in a [c]perfect way,

He shall serve me.

7 He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house;

He who tells lies shall not [d]continue in my presence.

8 Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land,

That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord.


David here cuts out to himself and others a pattern both of a good magistrate and a good master of a family; and, if these were careful to discharge the duty of their place, it would contribute very much to a universal reformation.[4]

  • "I will sing of mercy and justice" (verse 1): God's "mercy" and "justice" go together, because when justice pronounces its righteous penalty, mercy may grant relief. As king, David knows that before he could exercise mercy and justice in His kingdom, he had to understand and extol the mercy and justice of God.[5]
  • "I will behave wisely in a perfect way" (verse 2): David determined that his reign would be marked by integrity and godliness, that is, to live a wise and holy life (perfect way), because as he came into a position of greater power, he experienced that power often exposes the flaws of character, if it does not actually help create them.[5]
  • "I will walk within my house with a perfect heart": David's righteous life had to be real in his conduct within his own house, before it could be applied in the courts of his kingdom.[5]
  • "I will set nothing wicked before my eyes" (verses 3–4): One measure of a righteous life was what one chose to set before the eyes, as the lust of the eyes is a significant aspect of the lure of this world (1 John 2:6).[5]
  • "Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor" (verse 5): To lie or speak in an evil way against another is a significant and grievous sin and the worst of it is done secretly, so David was determined to oppose all who did so ("Him I will destroy").[5]
  • "My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land" (verses 6–8): Instead of looking at those who thought themselves better than others, David preferred to look at the faithful, deciding that they would dwell with him.[5]
  • "Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land": David's determination to rule in favor of the godly, made him decide to remove the wicked early on from the city of God.[5]


Catholic ChurchEdit

Since the Middle Ages, this psalm was traditionally performed at the office of matins the Friday,[6] according to the Rule of St. Benedict established in 530.[7]

In the Liturgy of the Hours, Psalm 101 is sung or recited at Lauds on Tuesday of the fourth week.[8]


  1. ^ Commentaires sur les psaumes, d’Hilaire de Poitiers, IVe siècle, Paris, Éditions du Cerf, 2008, collection sources chrétiennes n°515,
  2. ^ "The Psalms (Days 15-21)".
  3. ^ The Artscroll Tehillim page 214
  4. ^ Psalm 101 in Blue Letter Bible.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Psalm 101: A King's Determination to Righteous Rule". Enduring Word. 2016-06-18. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  6. ^ Psautier latin-français du bréviaire monastique, 1938/2003 p. 358.
  7. ^ Règle de saint Benoît, chapitre XVIII, traduction par Prosper Guéranger, (Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression 2007)p. 46.
  8. ^ The main cycle of liturgical prayers takes place over four weeks.

External linksEdit