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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).

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