Psalms 119:1-88

Psalm 119

1

alef

1 Those whose way is blameless— who walk in the LORD's Instruction—are truly happy!
2 Those who guard God's laws are truly happy! They seek God with all their hearts.
3 They don't even do anything wrong! They walk in God's ways.
4 God, you have ordered that your decrees should be kept most carefully.
5 How I wish my ways were strong when it comes to keeping your statutes!
6 Then I wouldn't be ashamed when I examine all your commandments.
7 I will give thanks to you with a heart that does right as I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes. Please don't leave me all alone!

bet

9 How can young people keep their paths pure? By guarding them according to what you've said.
10 I have sought you with all my heart. Don't let me stray from any of your commandments!
11 I keep your word close, in my heart, so that I won't sin against you.
12 You, LORD, are to be blessed! Teach me your statutes.
13 I will declare out loud all the rules you have spoken.
14 I rejoice in the content of your laws as if I were rejoicing over great wealth.
15 I will think about your precepts and examine all your paths.
16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget what you have said.

gimel

17 Be good to your servant so I can go on living and keeping your word.
18 Open my eyes so I can examine the wonders of your Instruction!
19 I'm an immigrant in the land. Don't hide your commandments from me!
20 I'm worn out by longing every minute for your rules!
21 You rebuke the arrogant, accursed people who stray from your commandments.
22 Take all their insults and contempt away from me because I've kept your laws!
23 Even if rulers gather and scheme against me, your servant will contemplate your statutes!
24 Yes, your laws are my joy— they are my most trusted advisors!

dalet

25 My life is stuck in the dirt. Now make me live again according to your promise!
26 I confessed my ways and you answered me. Now teach me your statutes!
27 Help me understand what your precepts are about so I can contemplate your wondrous works!
28 My spirit sags because of grief. Now raise me up according to your promise!
29 Remove all false ways from me; show mercy to me by means of your Instruction.
30 I've chosen the way of faithfulness; I'm set on your rules.
31 I'm holding tight to your laws, LORD. Please don't let me be put to shame.
32 I run the same path as your commandments because you give my heart insight.

he

33 LORD, teach me what your statutes are about, and I will guard every part of them.
34 Help me understand so I can guard your Instruction and keep it with all my heart.
35 Lead me on the trail of your commandments because that is what I want.
36 Turn my heart to your laws, not to greedy gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things. Make me live by your way.
38 Confirm your promise to your servant— the promise that is for all those who honor you.
39 Remove the insults that I dread because your rules are good.
40 Look how I desire your precepts! Make me live by your righteousness.

waw

41 LORD, let your faithful love come to me— let your salvation come to me according to your promise—
42 so I can have a response for those who mock me because I have trusted in your word!
43 Please don't take your true word out of my mouth, because I have waited for your rules.
44 I will always keep your Instruction, always and forever!
45 I will walk around in wide-open spaces, because I have pursued your precepts.
46 I will talk about your laws before rulers with no shame whatsoever.
47 I will rejoice in your commandments because I love them.
48 I will lift up my hands to your commandments because I love them, and I will contemplate all your statutes.

zayin

49 Remember your promise to your servant, for which you made me wait.
50 My comfort during my suffering is this: your word gives me new life.
51 The arrogant make fun of me to no end, but I haven't deviated from your Instruction.
52 When I remember your ancient rules, I'm comforted, LORD.
53 But I'm seized with anger because of the wicked— because of those who abandon your Instruction.
54 Your statutes have been my songs of praise wherever I lived as an immigrant.
55 LORD, I remember your name at nighttime, and I keep your Instruction.
56 This has been my practice because I guard your precepts.

khet

57 The LORD is my possession. I promise to do what you have said.
58 I've sought your favor with all my heart; have mercy on me according to your word.
59 I've considered my ways and turned my feet back to your laws.
60 I hurry to keep your commandments— I never put it off!
61 Though the wicked have surrounded me with their ropes, I haven't forgotten your Instruction.
62 I get up in the middle of the night to give thanks to you because of your righteous rules.
63 I'm a friend to everyone who honors you and to all who keep your precepts.
64 LORD, the world is full of your faithful love! Teach me your statutes!

tet

65 You have treated your servant well, LORD, according to your promise.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment because I've put my trust in your commandments.
67 Before I suffered, I took the wrong way, but now I do what you say.
68 You are good and you do good. Teach me your statutes!
69 The arrogant cover me with their lies, but I guard your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are unfeeling, like blubber, but I rejoice in your Instruction.
71 My suffering was good for me, because through it I learned your statutes.
72 The Instruction you've given to me is better than thousands of pieces of gold and silver!

yod

73 Your hands have made me and set me in place. Help me understand so I can learn your commandments.
74 Then those who honor you will see me and be glad because I have waited for your promise.
75 LORD, I know that your rules are right and that you rightly made me suffer.
76 Please let your faithful love comfort me, according to what you've said to your servant.
77 Let your compassion come to me so I can live again, because your Instruction is my joy!
78 But let the arrogant be ashamed because they oppressed me with lies— meanwhile, I will be contemplating your precepts!
79 Let the people who honor you come back to me; let those who know your precepts return to me.
80 Let my heart be blameless in your statutes so that I am not put to shame.

kaf

81 My whole being yearns for your saving help! I wait for your promise.
82 My eyes are worn out looking for your word. "When will you comfort me?" I ask,
83 because I've become like a bottle dried up by smoke, though I haven't forgotten your statutes.
84 How much more time does your servant have? When will you bring my oppressors to justice?
85 The arrogant have dug pits for me— those people who act against your Instruction.
86 All your commandments are true, but people harass me for no reason. Help me!
87 They've almost wiped me off the face of the earth! Meanwhile, I haven't abandoned your precepts!
88 Make me live again according to your faithful love so I can keep the law you've given!

Images for Psalms 119:1-88

Psalms 119:1-88 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 119

This psalm is generally thought to be written by David, but when is uncertain; very probably towards the decline of life; and, as some think, for the sake or his son Solomon. It seems to be a collection of observations on the word of God and its precepts, the usefulness and excellency of it, he had made in the course of his life; interspersed with various petitions for the grace of God, to enable him to observe it. The psalm is a very extraordinary one; partly on account of the unusual length of it, it being more than double the length of the longest psalm in the whole book; and partly on account of its curious composition. It consists of twenty two parts, according to the number of the letters in the Hebrew alphabet; the names of which letters stand between each part; and every part consists of eight verses, all of which begin with the same letter: thus, for instance, the first eight verses begin with the letter a, "aleph", and the second eight verses begin with the letter b, "beth", and so on throughout; hence the Masorah calls this psalm the Great Alphabet. This the psalmist did, perhaps to excite attention to what he said, and also to help the memory. And it is observable that there are very few verses in the whole, not more than one or two, but what has something in it concerning the word of God, and its precepts and ordinances; there are nine or ten different words used relative to it, which signify much one and the same thing; as laws, statutes, judgments, testimonies Luther {m} observes, that neither Cicero, nor Virgil, nor Demosthenes, are to be compared with David for eloquence, as we see in the hundred nineteenth Psalm, where he divideth one sense and meaning into twenty two sorts. And it may also be remarked, that there is nothing in it concerning the tabernacle worship, or the rites and ceremonies of the legal dispensation; so that it seems to be calculated for, and is suited to, the word of God, and the ordinances of it, as we now have them in their full perfection: and the design of the whole is to show the fervent affection the psalmist had for the word of God, and to stir up the same in others.

{m} Mensal. Colloqu. c. 32. p. 365.

a, \\ALEPH.--The First Part\\.

Psalms 119:1-88 In-Context

1 Those whose way is blameless— who walk in the LORD's Instruction—are truly happy!
2 Those who guard God's laws are truly happy! They seek God with all their hearts.
3 They don't even do anything wrong! They walk in God's ways.
4 God, you have ordered that your decrees should be kept most carefully.
5 How I wish my ways were strong when it comes to keeping your statutes!
6 Then I wouldn't be ashamed when I examine all your commandments.
7 I will give thanks to you with a heart that does right as I learn your righteous rules.
8 I will keep your statutes. Please don't leave me all alone!
9 How can young people keep their paths pure? By guarding them according to what you've said.
10 I have sought you with all my heart. Don't let me stray from any of your commandments!
11 I keep your word close, in my heart, so that I won't sin against you.
12 You, LORD, are to be blessed! Teach me your statutes.
13 I will declare out loud all the rules you have spoken.
14 I rejoice in the content of your laws as if I were rejoicing over great wealth.
15 I will think about your precepts and examine all your paths.
16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget what you have said.
17 Be good to your servant so I can go on living and keeping your word.
18 Open my eyes so I can examine the wonders of your Instruction!
19 I'm an immigrant in the land. Don't hide your commandments from me!
20 I'm worn out by longing every minute for your rules!
21 You rebuke the arrogant, accursed people who stray from your commandments.
22 Take all their insults and contempt away from me because I've kept your laws!
23 Even if rulers gather and scheme against me, your servant will contemplate your statutes!
24 Yes, your laws are my joy— they are my most trusted advisors!
25 My life is stuck in the dirt. Now make me live again according to your promise!
26 I confessed my ways and you answered me. Now teach me your statutes!
27 Help me understand what your precepts are about so I can contemplate your wondrous works!
28 My spirit sags because of grief. Now raise me up according to your promise!
29 Remove all false ways from me; show mercy to me by means of your Instruction.
30 I've chosen the way of faithfulness; I'm set on your rules.
31 I'm holding tight to your laws, LORD. Please don't let me be put to shame.
32 I run the same path as your commandments because you give my heart insight.
33 LORD, teach me what your statutes are about, and I will guard every part of them.
34 Help me understand so I can guard your Instruction and keep it with all my heart.
35 Lead me on the trail of your commandments because that is what I want.
36 Turn my heart to your laws, not to greedy gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from looking at worthless things. Make me live by your way.
38 Confirm your promise to your servant— the promise that is for all those who honor you.
39 Remove the insults that I dread because your rules are good.
40 Look how I desire your precepts! Make me live by your righteousness.
41 LORD, let your faithful love come to me— let your salvation come to me according to your promise—
42 so I can have a response for those who mock me because I have trusted in your word!
43 Please don't take your true word out of my mouth, because I have waited for your rules.
44 I will always keep your Instruction, always and forever!
45 I will walk around in wide-open spaces, because I have pursued your precepts.
46 I will talk about your laws before rulers with no shame whatsoever.
47 I will rejoice in your commandments because I love them.
48 I will lift up my hands to your commandments because I love them, and I will contemplate all your statutes.
49 Remember your promise to your servant, for which you made me wait.
50 My comfort during my suffering is this: your word gives me new life.
51 The arrogant make fun of me to no end, but I haven't deviated from your Instruction.
52 When I remember your ancient rules, I'm comforted, LORD.
53 But I'm seized with anger because of the wicked— because of those who abandon your Instruction.
54 Your statutes have been my songs of praise wherever I lived as an immigrant.
55 LORD, I remember your name at nighttime, and I keep your Instruction.
56 This has been my practice because I guard your precepts.
57 The LORD is my possession. I promise to do what you have said.
58 I've sought your favor with all my heart; have mercy on me according to your word.
59 I've considered my ways and turned my feet back to your laws.
60 I hurry to keep your commandments— I never put it off!
61 Though the wicked have surrounded me with their ropes, I haven't forgotten your Instruction.
62 I get up in the middle of the night to give thanks to you because of your righteous rules.
63 I'm a friend to everyone who honors you and to all who keep your precepts.
64 LORD, the world is full of your faithful love! Teach me your statutes!
65 You have treated your servant well, LORD, according to your promise.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment because I've put my trust in your commandments.
67 Before I suffered, I took the wrong way, but now I do what you say.
68 You are good and you do good. Teach me your statutes!
69 The arrogant cover me with their lies, but I guard your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are unfeeling, like blubber, but I rejoice in your Instruction.
71 My suffering was good for me, because through it I learned your statutes.
72 The Instruction you've given to me is better than thousands of pieces of gold and silver!
73 Your hands have made me and set me in place. Help me understand so I can learn your commandments.
74 Then those who honor you will see me and be glad because I have waited for your promise.
75 LORD, I know that your rules are right and that you rightly made me suffer.
76 Please let your faithful love comfort me, according to what you've said to your servant.
77 Let your compassion come to me so I can live again, because your Instruction is my joy!
78 But let the arrogant be ashamed because they oppressed me with lies— meanwhile, I will be contemplating your precepts!
79 Let the people who honor you come back to me; let those who know your precepts return to me.
80 Let my heart be blameless in your statutes so that I am not put to shame.
81 My whole being yearns for your saving help! I wait for your promise.
82 My eyes are worn out looking for your word. "When will you comfort me?" I ask,
83 because I've become like a bottle dried up by smoke, though I haven't forgotten your statutes.
84 How much more time does your servant have? When will you bring my oppressors to justice?
85 The arrogant have dug pits for me— those people who act against your Instruction.
86 All your commandments are true, but people harass me for no reason. Help me!
87 They've almost wiped me off the face of the earth! Meanwhile, I haven't abandoned your precepts!
88 Make me live again according to your faithful love so I can keep the law you've given!
89 Your word, LORD, stands firm in heaven forever!
90 Your faithfulness extends from one generation to the next! You set the earth firmly in place, and it is still there.
91 Your rules endure to this day because everything serves you.
92 If your Instruction hadn't been my delight, I would have died because of my suffering.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Ps 119 is an alphabetic acrostic poem (cf Pss 9–10, 111) in Heb, with each line of Heb within the marked sections beginning with the same letter of the alphabet.
  • [b]. LXX
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