Psalms 119:57-64

57 You are my portion, LORD; I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, LORD; teach me your decrees.

Psalms 119:57-64 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 119:57-64 In-Context

55 In the night, LORD, I remember your name, that I may keep your law.
56 This has been my practice: I obey your precepts.
57 You are my portion, LORD; I have promised to obey your words.
58 I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
61 Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
63 I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
64 The earth is filled with your love, LORD; teach me your decrees.
65 Do good to your servant according to your word, LORD.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.

Cross References 14

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 32:9; Psalms 16:5; Jeremiah 51:19; Lamentations 3:24
  • 2. ver 17,67,101
  • 3. S Deuteronomy 4:29; S 1 Chronicles 16:11; Psalms 34:4
  • 4. S Genesis 43:29; S Ezra 9:8; 1 Kings 13:6
  • 5. ver 41
  • 6. Joshua 24:14-15; S Psalms 39:1; Luke 15:17-18
  • 7. ver 115
  • 8. ver 83,109,153,176; Psalms 140:5
  • 9. S ver 55; Acts 16:25
  • 10. ver 7
  • 11. Psalms 15:4; Psalms 101:6-7; Psalms 103:11
  • 12. ver 56; Psalms 111:10
  • 13. Psalms 33:5
  • 14. ver 12,108
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