Psalm 15

Psalm 15[a]

The Righteous: Guests of God

1 A psalm of David.

O Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may abide on your holy mountain?[b]
2 [c]The one who leads a blameless life
and does what is right,
who speaks the truth from the heart
3 and does not slander anyone,
who does not harm a friend
and does not scorn a neighbor,
4 who looks with disdain on the wicked
but honors those who fear the Lord,
who abides by his oath,
no matter what the cost,
5 who does not charge interest on a loan
and refuses to accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never fall.


  1. Psalm 15:1 The psalmist presents a summary of moral conduct in the form of an instruction to those who have access to God at his temple (see Ps 24:3-6; Isa 33:14-16; Mic 6:6-8). He indicates that sanctity of life is necessary for those who wish to approach God and emphasizes the social virtues of justice and charity.
    In praying this psalm, Christians keep in mind that by becoming man the Word has pitched his tent among us (see Jn 1:14), and in his body dwells the fullness of the divinity. In close contact and in profound communion with the body of Jesus, of whom she is the visible extension on earth, the Church constitutes the dwelling of God in the world (see 1 Cor 3:16f).
  2. Psalm 15:1 Holy mountain: an ancient designation for the temple, the place where God dwells upon the earth (see Pss 2:6; 3:5; 43:3; 48:2).
  3. Psalm 15:2 It is not sacrifices or ritual purity but moral righteousness that gives access to the Lord (see the basic covenantal law: Ex 20:1-17; see also Isa 1:10-17; 33:14-16; 58:6-10; Jer 7:2-7; Ezek 18:5-9; Hos 6:6; Am 5:14f, 21-24; Mic 6:6-8; Zec 7:9f; 8:16f). Heart: see note on Ps 4:8. Those who fear the Lord: a frequent expression in the Psalter (see, e.g., Ps 115:11), it refers to those who fear God and live in accordance with his will because of their reverence for him. Later it will take on a technical sense and refer to proselytes to Judaism not yet circumcised (see Acts 2:11; 10:2). Interest on a loan: laws dealing with interest on loans are found in Ex 22:24-27; Lev 25:35-37; Deut 15:7-11; 23:19f. In general, interest for profit was not to be charged to Israelites. Jesus went even further (see Lk 6:34f).

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