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PSALMS (1-24, 26)
Psalm 26:1-5 – Examine Me!
PS26:1 Be my Judge,205
O Yehowah! For I have walked206
in my own integrity,207
and I have trusted208
in Yehowah. I will never vacillate.209
Be my Judge: Or, RSV: vindicate me; RHM: do me justice; HAR: do what is right by me. Compare Psalm 7:8. Not many people would invite
God to judge, test, or examine them. Some are afraid to even take a good look in the mirror for fear what they will discover – or already know. [See notes on James 1:23, 24.]
Walked: Or, conduct myself. The word “walk” is used in both the Hebrew and Christian Bible as a metaphor for conduct or life-style.
Integrity: Or, blamelessness. Compare Proverbs 20:7. The English word “integrity” means complete, unbroken, whole, unimpaired, morally sound, principled,
honest and sincere. The word occurs most often in Psalms and Proverbs.
Trusted: Or, unswerving faith. The
word “trust” is a synonym for faith, belief, conviction. A form occurs over 50 times in the Psalms.
I will never vacillate: Or, slide, fall, falter, waver, wobble. David is consistent. He does not waver or wobble in his conviction. Compare the “indecisive” person in James 1:7, 8.
O Yehowah, and examine me.211
my deepest motivations and inclinations.213
Test me: Or, examine, search, try. The Hebrew is BACHAN [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #974] and is most often rendered “try”
in the KJV. Whether one wants this “test” or not, Psalm 11:4 states that God examines all humanity. Compare a similar request in Psalm 139:23.
Examine me: Or, prove, test; put me to the proof [KNX]. The Hebrew poetic parallel is NACAH [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5254] and often rendered “prove.” Paul makes a similar appeal in 2 Corinthians
13:5 for a self-examination, “Continue to test yourselves if you are in the faith, continue to prove yourselves.” [NCMM]
Test: Or, try, purify, cleanse, examine, assay. The Hebrew TSARAPH [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #6884] which is a word from the smelter and the refinement of gold.
Deepest motivations and inclinations: Or, motives and my mind [HAR], kidneys and heart [NWT], inmost desires and thoughts [KNX]. What is it David is willing to have God examine? Two words in
Hebrew are used. The first one is KILYAH [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #3629, kidneys = seat of emotions and affections]. Thus, the inner most thoughts at the root of motivations. The second word is LEB [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #3820,
heart = inner person, mind, inclinations, resolution, determination]. Thus, David is willing to have his conscience and moral character exposed to God for examination. In other words, “What am I down deep inside, in my inner most being?”
PS26:3 For Your covenant-loyalty214
has been the focus of my eyes,215
and I have conducted myself honestly.216
Covenant-loyalty: Or, lovingkindess, steadfast love [RSV], gracious love [HAR], kindness [YLT]. The Hebrew is CHECED [Strong’s
Exhaustive Concordance #2617, goodness, kindness, loyalty]. David has focused his life on God’s “covenant-loyalty.” That is, God’s own promises and contracts based on genuine love and kindness. If one is to be judged, any person would
prefer a judge of impeccable honesty, fairness, and loyalty to law. David really wants to know what kind of person lies within and we wants “the Judge of all the earth” to make this examination. [Genesis 14]
The focus of my eyes: Or, before mind eyes [KJV], at the forefront of my mind [HAR].
Honestly: Or, I have lived by your principles of truth [HAR].
PS26:4 I have never sat down217
with deceitful persons,218
nor have I ever joined219
Sat down: Or, dwelt with [PBV], sat with [ASV], consort with [RSV], mix with [HAR], not associated with [BER]. David has shunned certain types of people. “Sat down” is poetically paralleled with “joined” or “fellowship.” So David has certain boundaries regarding what kind of people he will associate or fellowship with.
Deceitful persons: Or, vain, false, deceptive. David has learned who these are because they have given evidence of such deceitfulness. These exist within the Christian Church also and disciples of the Nazarene are warned against such persons. [2 Corinthians 11:13, 14]
Joined: Or, go in with [KJV], fellowship [PBV], associate [HAR], fellowship [BER]. David does not associate or fellowship with certain types of persons. Paul warned of the same thing within the Christian Church. [1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18]
Pretenders: Or, dissemblers [KJV], deceitful [PBV], hypocrites [HAR]. David has learned to recognize the two-faced hypocrite. The Hebrew is ‘ALAM [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5956] and infers a person who conceals or hides what they truly are. [James 3:17]
PS26:5 I have hated the church221
of harmful persons,222
and I would never sit with223
Church: Or, congregation [KJV], company [HAR], convocation [RHM]. The Hebrew is QAHAL [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #6951] and suggests an assembly for religious purposes, or an organized body. The Greek [LXX] is ECCLESIAN [ecclesia]. Even in a religious or worshipful environment David exercises caution and refuses to associate and fellowship with deceitful hypocrites.
Harmful persons: Or, evildoers [KJV], criminals HAR], sinners [TAY]. Evil or wickedness is almost always harmful or hurtful of others. Certainly the height of such is murder or manslaughter. Such persons “have no everlasting life remaining in them,” John warns, and according to him this can involve just hate. [1 John 3:15]
Sit with: Or, go in with [KJV], fellowship [PBV], consort with [RSV], associate with [HAR], fellowship with [HAR].
Lawless persons: Or, wicked [KJV], reprobates [AAT]. Persons who are habitually sinners against humans and God.
Psalm 26:6-12 – Promises
PS26:6 I will wash my hands in purity,225
and so I will parade around Your altar,226
I will wash my hands in purity: Or, innocency [KJV], pureness [RHM], innocence [JB]. David now begins to make some promises about
his future conduct. Compare his repentant heart in Psalm 51. No matter the degree of sin, God welcomes the repentant heart that makes serious efforts to change. This attitude is encouraged by John, “Now every person with this hope purifies themselves
exactly as the Son is pure.” [1 John 3:3 NCMM]
Your altar: David has in mind that altar within the courtyard of the Mosaic tabernacle where sacrifices ascended to God. The Christian Church has its own “altar” around which Christians worship God. [Hebrews 13:10]
PS26:7 [I will] sing loudly227
all Your wonders.
Sing loudly: Or, publish [KJV], giving voice [NAB].
Retell: Or, recount [RHM]. Like Paul later, David’s faith moves him to speak about the focus of his life. [2 Corinthians 4:12, 13]
Yehowah, I have loved229
the refuge of Your House, even the very location of Your glorious dwelling.
I have loved: Or, adore [HAR]. David is God-centered and His worship is a focus of his life. All else is secondary. He loves to worship
his God and he loves to be present where such worship is taking place.
PS26:9 Do not eliminate my soul230
along with sinners,231
nor my life with the blood-guilty.
Do not eliminate my soul: Or, gather not my soul [KJV], sweep me not away [RSV], share not the fate [JB]. A text indicating soul mortality out of over 120 occurrences.
Sinners: Here “sinners” are poetically paralleled with the blood-guilty.
PS26:10 Their hands are filled with intrigue,232
and their right hand is filled with bribes.
Intrigue: Or, mischief [KJV], evil devices [RSV], crime [DEW], stained with outrage [MOF], soiled with villainy [HAR], stained with
guilt [JB]. These sinners or blood-guilty persons are further paralleled with intrigue and bribery.
PS26:11 But I will walk in integrity.233
Redeem me and show me favor.
I will walk in integrity: The Hebrew word here for “integrity” is TOM [Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #8537] and
suggest someone who is completely upright and totally honest, virtuous, honorable, moral, principled, and good.
PS26:12 I will take my stance on solid ground,234
and among those at church235
I will bless Yehowah.
I will take my stance on solid ground: Or, stands on level ground [RSV], sure ground [KNX]. David is not wobbly
or unsteady, but stands on the solid ground of sure faith and deep love. He is sure-footed and not indecisive. [James 1:7, 8]
Those at church: Or, in the congregations [KJV], assemblies [DEW], where his people gather [KNX], meetings of the people [BAS]. The Greek [LXX] is ECCLESIAIS [ecclesia]. Despite his shunning of those described above within the Ecclesia, David continues
to seek out honest and true worshippers of God. Paul gives a similar caution to Timothy at 2 Timothy 2:20-22; 3:5.