Psalms 119:129-136

129 Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.
132 Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
134 Redeem me from human oppression, that I may obey your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant and teach me your decrees.
136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.

Psalms 119:129-136 Meaning and Commentary


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\\.

Cross References 17

  • 1. ver 18
  • 2. ver 22,S 88
  • 3. S ver 105; Proverbs 6:23
  • 4. S Psalms 19:7
  • 5. Psalms 42:1
  • 6. S ver 20
  • 7. S Psalms 6:4
  • 8. S 2 Samuel 24:14; S Psalms 9:13; Psalms 25:16; Psalms 106:4
  • 9. S Psalms 5:11
  • 10. ver 9; Psalms 17:5
  • 11. S ver 11; S Romans 6:16; Psalms 19:13; Romans 6:12
  • 12. S ver 122; Psalms 142:6; Luke 1:74
  • 13. S ver 56,S 88
  • 14. S Numbers 6:25; Psalms 4:6; Psalms 67:1; Psalms 80:3
  • 15. ver 12
  • 16. Psalms 6:6; Isaiah 22:4; Jeremiah 9:1,18; Jeremiah 13:17; Jeremiah 14:17; Lamentations 1:16; Lamentations 3:48
  • 17. ver 158; Psalms 106:25; Isaiah 42:24; Ezekiel 9:4
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