Psalms – Chapter 131

Modest David

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Psalm 131 is an extremely short Psalm of only 3 verses.

A Song of Ascents by David.

David tells G-d that his heart was not arrogant and his eyes were not ambitious. He did not pursue things that were beyond him. (This could either mean in physical accomplishments or in esoteric areas of Torah study.) David says he calmed his soul like a mother calms a toddler. He concludes by once again instructing his people to place their hope in G-d forevermore.

Various commentators give numerous examples of David’s humility, alluded to in this Psalm. He didn’t become arrogant after being anointed king, nor after conquering Goliath. After the rebellion of Avshalom, when he was restored to the throne, he didn’t take the opportunity to avenge himself on Shimei ben Gera, who kicked him when he was down. When the Ark was returned to Jerusalem, he overlooked his own honor in order to dance with unbridled joy. The Talmud in Brachos (4a) says that even though he was the king and a scholar, David always consulted with his teacher before rendering a decision. There are many such examples.

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