Psalm 15:4

4 who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the LORD; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind;

Read Psalm 15:4 Using Other Translations

In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the LORD, and keep their promises even when it hurts.

What does Psalm 15:4 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 15:4

In whose eyes a vile person is contemned
A "vile" man is a very wicked, profligate, and abandoned creature, one that is to every good work reprobate; and such sometimes are in high places, ( Psalms 12:8 ) ( Daniel 11:21 ) ; and are greatly caressed and esteemed by the men of the world; but then, as they are an abomination to God, they should be despised by his people, let them be what they will as to their riches, honours, and wisdom among men; as Haman was by Mordecai, ( Esther 3:2 ) ; and Ahab by Elisha, ( 2 Kings 3:14 ) ; and such who keep company with, and express a delight and pleasure in such sort of persons, ought by no means to have a place in the house of God. Some understand this of a good man being "despised in his own eyes", as it may be rendered F6; on account of his vileness, and the imperfection of his obedience, and as expressive of his great humility, esteeming others better than himself; and who renounces himself, and is rejected by himself, having a very mean opinion of himself; which is the sense of the Targum, Aben Ezra, and Kimchi; and which is no bad sense, though the former is countenanced by what follows;

but he honoureth them that fear the Lord;
who have the covenant grace of fear wrought in their hearts, and serve the Lord with reverence and godly fear; that is, who are truly religious and godly persons; these such who are fit members of the church of Christ love heartily, esteem of highly, and honour them by thinking and speaking well of them, and behaving with great respect and decency to them; see ( Romans 12:10 ) ;

[he that] sweareth to [his own] hurt, and changeth not;
having taken a solemn oath, so sacred is it with him, and such a regard has he to the name of God, by whom he swears, that though it is to his civil loss and detriment, yet he will not break it and depart from it, but punctually observe it: some render it, "he that swears to his neighbour, and changeth not" F7; he that is just to his word, faithful to his promises, that exactly fulfils all the obligations he lays himself under unto others; he that is honest and upright in all his dealings. The Jewish writers interpret this clause of a man's vowing and swearing to afflict himself by fasting, which, though it is to the emaciating of his body, yet he strictly observes his vow or oath; but this is foreign from the scope of the place: it might be rendered, "he that swears to do evil, and does not recompense or perform" F8, it being better to break through such an oath than to keep it; see ( Leviticus 5:4 ) .


F6 (wynyeb hzbn) "qui despicit se in oculis suis", so some in Vatablus; "ille est despectus in propriis oculis, reprobatus", Gussetius, p. 453.
F7 (erhl) (tw plhsion autou) , Sept. "proximo suo", V. L. Sic. Syr. Ar. Aethiop.
F8 So Ainsworth.
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