Verse 10. More to be desired are they than fine gold, yea, than much fine gold. Bible truth is enriching to the soul in the highest degree; the metaphor is one which gathers force as it is brought out; -- gold -- fine gold -- much fine gold; it is good, better, best, and therefore it is not only to be desired with a miser's avidity, but with more than that. As spiritual treasure is more noble than mere material wealth, so should it be desired and sought after with greater eagerness. Men speak of solid gold, but what is so solid as solid truth? For love of gold pleasure is forsworn, ease renounced, and life endangered; shall we not be ready to do as much for love of truth?
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Trapp says, "Old people are all for profit, the young for pleasure; here's gold for the one, yea, the finest gold in great quantity; here's honey for the other, yea, live honey dropping from the comb." The pleasures arising from a right understanding of the divine testimonies are of the most delightful order; earthly enjoyments are utterly contemptible, if compared with them. The sweetest joys, yea, the sweetest of the sweetest falls to his portion who has God's truth to be his heritage.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 7-11. See Psalms on "Psalms 19:7" for further information.
Verse 10. Sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Love the word written. Psalms 119:97 . "Oh, how love I thy law!" "Lord," said Augustine, "let the holy Scriptures be my chaste delight." Chrysostom compares the Scripture to a garden, every truth is a fragrant flower, which we should wear, not on our bosom, but in our heart. David counted the word "sweeter than honey and the honeycomb." There is that in Scripture which may breed delight. It shows us the way to riches: Deuteronomy 28:5 Proverbs 3:10 ; to long life: Psalms 34:12 ; to a kingdom: Heb 12:28. Well, then, may we count those the sweetest hours which are spent in reading the holy Scriptures; well may we say with the prophet ( Jeremiah 15:16 ), "Thy words were found and I did eat them; and they were the joy and rejoicing of my heart." Thomas Watson.
Verse 10. Sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. There is no difference made amongst us between the delicacy of honey in the comb and that which is separated from it. From the information of Dr. Halle, concerning the diet of the Moors of Barbary, we learn that they esteem honey a very wholesome breakfast, "and the most delicious that which is in the comb with the young bees in it, before they come out of their cases, whilst they still look milk white." (Miscellanea Curiosa vol. 3. pg 382.) The distinction made by the psalmist is then perfectly just and conformable to custom and practice, at least of more modern, and probably, equally so of ancient times. Samuel Burder, A.M., in "Oriental Customs," 1812.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 10. Two arguments for loving God's statutes -- Profit and Pleasure.
Verse 10. The inexpressible delights of meditation on Scripture.