Psalms 119

1 Alleluia. [Aleph]. Blessed be men without wem in the way; that go in the law of the Lord. (Alleluia. Happy be they whose lives be without blemish, or without fault; who walk in the Law of the Lord.)
2 Blessed be they, that seek his witnessings; and seek him in all the heart. (Happy be they who obey his teachings, or his commands; and who seek him, or obey him, with all their heart.)
3 For they that work wickedness; went not in his ways. (For they who work wickedness, went not in his ways.)
4 Thou hast commanded; that thy behests be kept greatly. (Thou hast commanded, that thy precepts, or thy laws, be diligently kept.)
5 I would that my ways were (ad)dressed; to keep thy justifyings. (I desire that my ways be directed; so that I can obey thy statutes.)
6 Then I shall not be shamed; when I shall behold perfectly in(to) all thy behests. (Then I shall not be shamed, if I fix my eyes on thy commandments.)
7 I shall acknowledge to thee in the (ad)dressing of mine heart; in that that I learned the dooms of thy rightfulnesses. (I shall praise thee with my heart properly directed, when I have learned thy righteous judgements./I shall praise thee with a pure heart, when I have learned thy just decrees.)
8 I shall keep thy justifyings; forsake thou not me on each side. (I shall obey thy statutes; do not thou abandon me on any side/never desert thou me.)
9 [Beth]. In what thing amendeth a young waxing man his way? in keeping thy words. (How may a young man correct his way? by obeying thy words, or thy commands.)
10 In all mine heart I sought thee; put thou me not away from thy behests. (With all my heart I have sought thee; let me not stray from thy commandments.)
11 In mine heart I hid thy speeches; that I do not sin against thee. (I hid thy words in my heart; so that I will not sin against thee.)
12 Lord, thou art blessed; teach thou me thy justifyings. (Lord, blessed art thou; teach thou me thy statutes.)
13 In my lips I have pronounced; all the dooms of thy mouth. (With my lips I have declared, all the judgements, or the laws, from thy mouth.)
14 I delighted in the way of thy witnessings; (as much) as in all riches. (I delighted in the way of thy teachings, or thy commands; as much as in great riches.)
15 I shall be exercised, either busily occupied, in thy behests; and I shall behold thy ways. (I shall think about thy precepts; and I shall study thy ways.)
16 I shall bethink in thy justifyings; I shall not forget thy words. (I shall delight myself in thy statutes; I shall not forget thy words, or thy commands.)
17 [Gimel]. Yield to thy servant; quicken thou me, and I shall keep thy words. (Grant this to thy servant; that thou let me live, and that I obey thy commands.)
18 Lighten thou mine eyes; and I shall behold the marvels of thy law. (Open thou my eyes; and I shall see the marvels, or the wonders, that come forth from thy Law.)
19 I am a comeling in earth; hide thou not thy behests from me. (I am a newcomer, or a stranger, here on earth; hide thou not thy commandments from me.)
20 My soul coveted to desire thy justifyings; in all time. (My soul desireth to know thy judgements; at all times.)
21 Thou blamedest the proud; they be cursed, that bow away from thy behests. (Thou hast rebuked the proud; cursed be they who turn away from thy commandments.)
22 Do thou away from me shame and despising; for I sought thy witnessings. (Do thou away from me all shame and despising; for I have kept thy commands/for I have obeyed thy laws/for I have followed thy teachings.)
23 For why princes sat, and spake against me; but thy servant was exercised in thy justifyings. (For the rulers sit, and speak against me; but thy servant studied, and thought about, thy statutes/but thy servant shall study, and shall think about, thy statutes.)
24 For why and thy witnessings is my thinking; and my counsel is thy justifyings. (For thy teachings, or thy commands, be my delight; and they be my counsellors.)
25 [Daleth]. My soul cleaved to the pavement; quicken thou me by thy word. (My body lieth on the ground/lieth in the dust; grant thou me life according to thy word.)
26 I told out my ways, and thou heardest me; teach thou me thy justifyings. (I told thee all that I had done, and thou heardest me/and thou answeredest me; teach thou me thy statutes.)
27 Learn thou me the way of thy justifyings; and I shall be exercised in thy marvels. (Teach thou me the way of thy precepts; and I shall think about thy marvels, or thy wonders.)
28 My soul napped for, or because of, harm; confirm thou me in thy words. (I was harmed/My body was harmed, and could not sleep; strengthen thou me with thy words.)
29 Remove thou from me the way of wickedness; and in thy law have thou mercy on me. (Remove thou me, or keep me away, from the ways of wickedness; and in thy Law have mercy upon me.)
30 I chose the way of truth; I forgat not thy dooms (I did not forget thy judgements).
31 Lord, I cleaved to thy witnessings; do not thou shame me. (Lord, I have held fast to thy teachings, or thy commands; do not let me be shamed.)
32 I ran the way of thy commandments; when thou alargedest mine heart. (I shall go the way of thy commandments; for thou hast enlarged my heart.)
33 [He]. Lord, set thou to me a law, the way of thy justifyings; and I shall seek it ever[more]. (Lord, set thou thy Law before me, yea, the way of thy statutes; and I shall follow it forevermore.)
34 Give thou understanding to me, and I shall seek thy law; and I shall keep it in all mine heart. (Give thou understanding to me, and I shall follow thy Law; yea, I shall obey it with all my heart.)
35 Lead me forth in the path of thy behests; for I would it. (Lead me forth on the path of thy commandments; for I delight in them/for that is what I desire.)
36 Bow down mine heart into thy witnessings; and not into avarice. (Turn my heart to thy teachings, or thy commands; and not to greed.)
37 Turn thou away mine eyes, that they see not vanity; quicken thou me in thy way. (Turn thou away my eyes from the empty, and the worthless; grant thou me life in thy way.)
38 Ordain thy speech to thy servant; (who is) in thy dread. (Ordain thy word to thy servant; who feareth thee/who hath reverence for thee.)
39 Cut away my shame, which I supposed; for thy dooms be merry. (Turn away the shame, or the rebuke, which I fear; for thy judgements be good.)
40 Lo! I coveted thy commandments; quicken thou me in thine equity. (Lo! I desired to obey thy precepts; grant thou me life in thy righteousness.)
41 [Vau]. And, Lord, thy mercy come [up]on me; thine health come by thy speech. (And, Lord, let thy love come to me; let thy salvation, or thy deliverance, come according to thy word.)
42 And I shall answer a word to men saying shame to me; for I hoped in thy words. (And then I shall answer a word to those shaming me; for I put my trust in thy words.)
43 And take thou not away from my mouth the word of truth utterly; for I hoped above in thy dooms. (And never take away the word of truth from my mouth; for I put my hope in thy judgements, or in thy decrees.)
44 And I shall keep thy law ever[more]; into the world, and into the world of world. (And I shall obey thy Law forevermore; yea, forever and ever.)
45 And I went in largeness; for I sought thy commandments. (And I shall walk in freedom; for I have sought out thy commandments.)
46 And I spake of thy witnessings in the sight of kings; and I was not shamed. (And I shall speak of thy teachings, or thy commands, before kings; and I shall not be ashamed.)
47 And I bethought in thy behests; which I loved. (And I delight myself in thy commandments; which I love.)
48 And I raised mine hands to thy commandments, which I loved; and I shall be exercised in thy justifyings. (And I shall raise up my hands to thy commandments, which I love; and I shall think about thy statutes.)
49 [Zain]. Lord, have thou mind on thy word to thy servant (Lord, remember thy word to thy servant); in which word thou hast given hope to me.
50 This comforted me in my lowness; for thy word quickened me. (This comforted me in my time of trouble; for thy word hath given me life.)
51 Proud men did wickedly (to me) by all things; but I bowed not away from thy law. (The proud and the boastful have scorned me in all things; but I have not turned away from thy Law.)
52 Lord, I was mindful of thy dooms from the world; and I was comforted. (Lord, I remember thy judgements of long ago; and I am comforted.)
53 Failing held me; for sinners forsaking thy law. (Anger taketh hold of me; when I think of the sinners who desert thy Law.)
54 Thy justifyings were delightable to me to be sung; in the place of my pilgrimage. (Thy statutes were delightful for me to sing about; here on my pilgrimage.)
55 Lord, I had mind of thy name by night; and I kept thy law. (Lord, I remember thy name in the night; and I obey thy Law.)
56 This thing was made to me; for I sought thy justifyings. (And this is true of me; that I have kept thy precepts/that I have obeyed thy commands.)
57 [Cheth]. Lord, my part; I said to keep thy law. (Lord, thou art my portion; I have said that I would obey thy Law.)
58 I besought thy face in all mine heart; have thou mercy on me by thy speech. (I sought thee out with all my heart; have thou mercy on me according to thy word.)
59 I bethought (on) my ways; and I turned my feet into thy witnessings. (I thought about my ways; and I have turned my feet to follow thy teachings.)
60 I am ready, and I am not troubled; to keep thy commandments. (I am ready, and I have not delayed, to obey thy commandments.)
61 The cords of sinners have embraced me; and I have not forgotten thy law. (The cords of the sinners have entangled me; but I have not forgotten thy Law.)
62 At midnight, I rose to acknowledge to thee; on the dooms of thy justifyings. (At midnight, I rise to give thee thanks/I rise to give thee praise; for all thy righteous judgements.)
63 I am partner of all that dread thee; and keep thy behests. (I am a partner of all who fear thee/I am a friend of all who revere thee; of all who obey thy precepts.)
64 Lord, the earth is full of thy mercy; teach thou me thy justifyings. (Lord, the earth is full of thy love; teach thou me thy statutes.)
65 [Teth]. Lord, thou hast done goodness with thy servant; by thy word. (Lord, thou hast been kind to thy servant; yea, according to thy word.)
66 Teach thou me goodness, and lore, either chastising, and knowing; for I believed to thy behests. (Teach thou me goodness, and knowledge, or discipline; for I trust in thy commandments.)
67 Before that I was made meek, I trespassed; therefore I kept thy speech. (Before that I was punished, I trespassed; but thereafter, I have obeyed thy word.)
68 Thou art good; and in thy goodness teach thou me thy justifyings. (Thou art good, and thou doest good; teach thou me thy statutes.)
69 The wickedness of them that be proud, is multiplied on me; but in all mine heart I shall seek thy behests. (The wicked lies of them, who be proud, be multiplied against me; but I shall follow thy precepts with all my heart.)
70 The heart of them is crudded, either made hard, as milk; but I bethought (on) thy law. (Their hearts be like curdled milk; but I delight in thy Law.)
71 It is good to me, that thou hast made me meek; that I learn thy justifyings. (It was good for me, that thou hast punished me; so that I would learn thy statutes.)
72 The law (out) of thy mouth is better to me; than thousands of gold and silver. (The Law from thy mouth meaneth more to me/is more valuable to me, than a fortune in gold and silver.)
73 [Jod]. Thine hands made me, and formed me; give thou understanding to me, that I learn thy behests. (Thy hands made me, and formed me; now give thou me understanding, so that I can learn thy commandments.)
74 They that dread thee shall see me, and they shall be glad; for I hoped more on thy words. (They who fear thee/They who revere thee, shall be glad when they see me; for I trust in thy words.)
75 Lord, I knew, that thy dooms be equity; and in thy truth thou hast made me meek. (Lord, I know, that thy judgements be just; and that thou hast punished me because of thy faithfulness.)
76 Thy mercy be made, that it comfort me; by thy speech to thy servant. (Let thy love comfort me; yea, according to thy word to thy servant.)
77 Thy merciful doings come to me, and I shall live; for thy law is my thinking. (Let thy mercy come to me, and then I shall live; for thy Law is my delight.)
78 They that be proud be shamed, for unjustly they did wickedness against me; but I shall be exercised in thy behests. (Let they who be proud be shamed, for unjustly, or for no reason, they did wickedly against me; but I shall think about thy precepts.)
79 They that dread thee be turned to me; and they that know thy witnessings. (Let they who fear thee/Let they who revere thee, turn to me; yea, all who know thy teachings.)
80 Mine heart be made unwemmed in thy justifyings; that I be not shamed. (Let my heart obey thy statutes, and be without blemish, or without fault; and so I shall not shamed.)
81 [Caph]. My soul failed into thine health; and I hoped more in thy word. (My soul fainteth waiting for thy salvation, or thy deliverance; but still I trust in thy word.)
82 Mine eyes failed into thy speech; saying, When shalt thou comfort me? (My eyes fail waiting for thy word; and so I ask, When shalt thou comfort me?)
83 For I am made as a bouget, (or a bottle,) in frost; (yet) I have not forgotten thy justifyings. (For I am shriveled up, like a wineskin in the smoke; but I have not forgotten thy statutes.)
84 How many be the days of thy servant; when thou shalt make doom of them that pursue me? (How many days must thy servant wait? when shalt thou bring judgement upon those who persecute me?)
85 Wicked men told to me janglings; but (they be) not as thy law. (The wicked gossiped about me; and they do not obey thy Law.)
86 All thy commandments be truth; wicked men have pursued me, help thou me. (All thy commandments be faithful/be trustworthy, and shall stand forever; the wicked persecute me, help thou me!)
87 Almost they ended me in [the] earth; but I forsook not thy commandments. (Yea, they almost brought me to an end here on the earth; but I did not forsake thy precepts.)
88 By thy mercy quicken thou me; and I shall keep the witnessings of thy mouth. (In thy mercy/In thy love, grant thou me life; so that I can obey the teachings from thy mouth.)
89 [Lamed]. Lord, thy word dwelleth in heaven; [into] without end. (Lord, thy word remaineth, or liveth, in heaven, forever.)
90 Thy truth dwelleth in generation, and into generation; thou hast founded the earth, and it dwelleth. (Thy faithfulness remaineth for all generations; thou hast founded the earth, and it still remaineth.)
91 The day lasteth continually by thy ordinance(s); for all things serve to thee. (All things continue to this day according to thy ordinances; for all things serve thee./Thy ordinances, or thy decrees, continue to this day; for all things serve thee.)
92 But for thy law was my thinking; then peradventure I had perished in my lowness. (If thy Law had not been my delight; then I would have perished in my time of trouble.)
93 [Into] Without end I shall not forget thy justifyings; for in those thou hast quickened me. (I shall never forget thy precepts; for through them thou hast given me life.)
94 I am thine, make thou me safe; for I have sought thy justifyings. (I am thine, save thou me; for I have sought out thy precepts.)
95 Sinners abode me, for to lose me; I understood thy witnessings. (The sinners have waited for me, to destroy me; but I shall think about thy teachings.)
96 I saw the end of all end; thy commandment is full large. (I have seen the end of the end/I have seen that all things must end; but thy commandment shall go on forever.)
97 [Mem]. Lord, how loved I thy law; all day it is my thinking. (Lord, how I love thy Law! I think about it all day long.)
98 Above mine enemies thou madest me prudent by thy commandment; for it is to me [into] without end. (By thy commandments, thou hast made me more prudent than all my enemies; for thy commandments shall be with me forever.)
99 I understood over all men teaching me; for thy witnessings is my thinking. (I have more understanding than all those who teach me; because I think about thy teachings.)
100 I understood above eld men; for I sought thy commandments. (I have more understanding than the old men, that is, the elders; because I have kept thy precepts.)
101 I forbade my feet from all evil way; that I keep thy words (so that I obey thy commands).
102 I bowed not from thy dooms; for thou hast set law to me. (I turned not away from thy judgements; for thou thyself hast taught me.)
103 Thy speeches be full sweet to my cheeks; above honey to my mouth. (Thy words be exceedingly sweet to my taste; yea, sweeter in my mouth than honey.)
104 I understood of thy behests; therefore I hated all the ways of wickedness. (I gained understanding through thy precepts; and now I hate all wicked ways.)
105 [Nun]. Thy word is a lantern to my feet; and (a) light to my paths.
106 I swore, and purposed steadfastly; to keep the dooms of thy rightfulness. (I swore, and steadfastly purposed, to obey thy righteous judgements.)
107 I am made low by all things; Lord, quicken thou me by thy word. (I am brought down so very low, that is, I am greatly afflicted; Lord, grant thou me life according to thy word.)
108 Lord, make thou well pleasing the willful things of my mouth; and teach thou me thy dooms. (Lord, accept thou the willing offerings, or the tributes, from my mouth; and teach thou me thy judgements.)
109 My soul is ever[more] in mine hands; and I forgat not thy law. (My life is in my hands forevermore/My life is always in my hands; yet I never forget thy Law.)
110 Sinners setted a snare to me; and I erred not from thy commandments. (Sinners set a snare for me; but I did not stray from thy precepts.)
111 I purchased thy witnessings by heritage [into] without end; for those be the full joying of mine heart. (Thy teachings be my inheritance forever; yea, they be the full out joy of my heart.)
112 I bowed mine heart to do thy justifyings [into] without end; for reward. (I committed my heart to follow thy statutes; for they be my reward forever/for they shall be my reward until the day I die.)
113 [Samech]. I hated wicked men; and I loved thy law. (I hate the wicked; but I love thy Law.)
114 Thou art mine helper, and mine up-taker; and I hoped more in thy word. (Thou art my helper, and my defender; I put my hope in thy word.)
115 Ye wicked men, bow away from me; and I shall seek the commandments of my God. (All ye wicked people, go away from me; so that I can obey my God's commandments.)
116 Up-take thou me by thy word, and I shall live; and shame thou not me for mine abiding. (Lift up thou me/Strengthen thou me according to thy word, so that I may live; and do not let me be shamed for trusting in thee.)
117 Help thou me, and I shall be safe; and I shall bethink ever[more] in thy justifyings. (Help thou me, and I shall be saved; and I shall think about thy statutes forevermore.)
118 Thou hast forsaken all men going away from thy dooms; for the thought of them is unjust. (Thou hast abandoned all who stray, or who go away, from thy statutes; for their thoughts be not just, or proper.)
119 I areckoned all the sinners of earth (to be) breakers of the law; therefore I loved thy witnessings. (Thou reckonest all the wicked of the earth to be but drit, or dirt; and so I love thy teachings.)
120 Nail thou my flesh with thy dread; for I dreaded of thy dooms. (My flesh shaketh in fear of thee; because I fear thy judgements/because I revere thy justice.)
121 [Ain]. I did doom and rightwiseness; betake thou not me to them that falsely challenge me. (I did what is just and right; so do not thou deliver me up to those who will oppress me.)
122 Take up thy servant into goodness; they that be proud challenge not me. (Yea, protect thy servant; let not those who be proud oppress me.)
123 Mine eyes failed into thine health; and into the speech of thy rightfulness. (My eyes fail looking for thy salvation, or for thy deliverance; and for the word of thy righteousness.)
124 Do thou with thy servant after thy mercy; and teach thou me thy justifyings. (Do thou with thy servant according to thy love; and teach thou me thy statutes.)
125 I am thy servant; give thou understanding to me, that I know thy witnessings (so that I can know thy teachings).
126 Lord, it is time to do; they have destroyed thy law. (Lord, it is time to act; for they have destroyed thy Law.)
127 Therefore I loved thy commandments; more than gold and topaz. (Truly I love thy commandments; yea, more than gold and topaz.)
128 Therefore I was (ad)dressed to all thy behests; I hated all wicked way. (And so I am directed, or guided, by all thy precepts; and I hate all wicked ways.)
129 [Pe]. Lord, thy witnessings be wonderful; therefore my soul sought those. (Lord, thy teachings be wonderful; and so my soul gladly keepeth them/and so I gladly obey them.)
130 Declaring of thy words lighteneth; and it giveth understanding to meek men. (The declaring, or the exposition, of thy words bringeth light, or enlightenment; and it giveth understanding even to the simple, or the untaught.)
131 I opened my mouth, and drew the spirit (and drew my breath, yea, I panted); for I desired thy commandments.
132 Behold thou on me, and have mercy on me; by the doom of them that love thy name. (Look thou upon me, and have mercy on me; as thou hast decreed thou shalt do, for those who love thy name.)
133 (Ad)dress thou my goings by thy speech; that all unrightfulness have not lordship on me. (Direct thou my ways according to thy word; and do not let any unrighteousness have lordship, or rule, over me.)
134 Again-buy thou me from the false challenges of men; that I keep thy behests. (Save thou me from those who would oppress me; so that I can obey thy precepts.)
135 Lighten thy face on thy servant; and teach thou me thy justifyings. (Let thy face shine upon thy servant; and teach thou me thy statutes.)
136 Mine eyes led forth the outgoings of waters; for they kept not thy law. (My eyes stream with tears; because of those who do not obey thy Law.)
137 [Tzaddi]. Lord, thou art just; and thy doom is rightful. (Lord, thou art just; and thy judgements, or thy decrees, be righteous.)
138 Thou hast commanded rightfulness, thy witnessings; and thy truth greatly to be kept. (The teachings that thou hast commanded be right, and true; and greatly to be obeyed.)
139 My fervent love made me to be melted, either languished; for mine enemies forgat thy words. (My fervent love for thee made me feel greatly distressed; because my enemies did not obey thy words.)
140 Thy speech is set afire; and thy servant loved it. (Thy word is tried by fire; and thy servant loveth it.)
141 I am young, and despised; I forgat not thy justifyings. (I am young and despised; but I do not forget thy precepts.)
142 Lord, thy rightfulness is rightfulness [into] without end; and thy law is truth. (Lord, thy righteousness is righteousness forever; and thy Law is true forever/and thy Law is the truth forever.)
143 Tribulation and anguish have found me; thy behests is my thinking. (Though trouble and anguish have found me; thy commandments still be my delight.)
144 Thy witnessings is equity [into] without end (Thy teachings be just forever); give thou understanding to me, and I shall live.
145 [Koph]. I cried in all mine heart, Lord, hear thou me; I shall seek thy justifyings. (I cried with all my heart, O Lord, please answer me; for I shall follow thy statutes.)
146 I cried to thee, make thou me safe; that I keep thy commandments. (I cried to thee, save thou me; so that I can keep thy commandments/and I shall obey thy commandments.)
147 I before came in ripeness, and I cried; I hoped above on thy words. (I came before thee in the morning; I have great hope in thy words.)
148 Mine eyes before came to thee full early; that I should bethink (on) thy speeches. (My eyes be open through the night/I lie awake all night; so that I can think about thy words.)
149 Lord, hear thou my voice by thy mercy; and quicken thou me by thy doom. (Lord, hear thou me in thy mercy; and grant thou me life according to thy judgement./Lord, hear thou me in thy love; and grant thou me life by thy decree.)
150 They that pursue me nighed to wickedness; forsooth they be made far from thy law. (They who pursue me approach near to wickedness; and they be made far from thy Law./They who wickedly pursue me come near to me; but they be made far from thy Law.)
151 Lord, thou art nigh; and all thy ways be truth. (Lord, thou art near; and all thy commandments be true.)
152 In the beginning I knew of thy witnessings; for thou hast founded those [into] without end. (Long ago I knew of thy teachings; for thou hast founded them to last forever.)
153 [Resh]. See thou my meekness, and deliver thou me; for I forgat not thy law. (See thou my troubles, and save thou me; for I have not forgotten thy Law.)
154 Deem thou my doom, and again-buy thou me; quicken me for thy speech. (Judge thou my case, and buy thou me back, that is, rescue me; yea, grant thou me life according to thy word, or thy promise.)
155 Health is far from sinners; for they sought not thy justifyings. (Salvation is far from sinners; for they did not search out thy statutes/for they do not obey thy laws.)
156 Lord, thy mercies be many; quicken thou me by thy doom. (Lord, thy constant love is great; grant thou me life according to thy judgement./Lord, thy mercy is great; grant thou me life by thy decree.)
157 They be many that pursue me, and do tribulation to me; I bowed not away from thy witnessings. (There be many who persecute me, and give me trouble; but I have not turned away from thy teachings.)
158 I saw breakers of the law, and I was melted, either languished; for they kept not thy speeches. (I saw the law-breakers, and I was greatly distressed; for they did not obey thy words, or thy commands.)
159 Lord, see thou, for I loved thy commandments; quicken thou me in thy mercy. (Lord, see thou, how I love thy precepts; grant thou me life according to thy love.)
160 The beginning of thy word is truth; all the dooms of thy rightwiseness be [into] without end. (The beginning of thy word is truth; and all thy righteous judgements be forever.)
161 [Schin]. Princes pursued me without cause; and my heart dreaded of thy words. (The rulers persecuted me for no reason; but my heart is in awe of thy words.)
162 I shall be glad on thy speeches; as he that findeth many spoils. (I shall be glad, or rejoice, in thy words; yea, like he who findeth much prey.)
163 I hated and loathed wickedness; forsooth I loved thy law. (I hate and loathe all lies; but I love thy Law.)
164 I said praisings to thee seven times in the day; on the dooms of thy rightfulness. (Seven times a day I praise thee; for thy righteous judgements/for thy rightful decrees.)
165 Much peace is to them that love thy law; and no cause of stumbling is to them. (There is much peace for those who love thy Law; and they have no reason to slip, or to stumble.)
166 Lord, I abode thine health; and I loved thy behests. (Lord, I wait for thy salvation, or thy deliverance; and I follow thy commandments.)
167 My soul kept thy witnessings; and loved those greatly. (I obey thy teachings; and I love them so very much.)
168 I kept thy commandments, and thy witnessings; for all my ways be in thy sight. (I obey thy precepts, and thy teachings; and all my ways be before thee.)
169 [Tau]. Lord, my beseeching come nigh in thy sight; by thy speech give thou understanding to me. (Lord, let my plea come before thee; give thou me understanding of thy word/give thou me understanding according to thy word.)
170 Mine asking enter into thy sight; by thy speech deliver thou me. (Let my asking come before thee; save thou me according to thy word.)
171 My lips shall tell out an hymn; when thou hast taught me thy justifyings. (My lips shall tell out thy praises/My lips shall praise thee; because thou hast taught me thy statutes.)
172 My tongue shall pronounce thy speech; for why all thy commandments be equity. (My tongue shall tell out thy word; for all thy commandments be just, or fair.)
173 Thine hand be made, that it save me; for I have chosen thy behests. (Let thy hand swiftly save me; for I have chosen thy precepts.)
174 Lord, I coveted thine health; and thy law is my thinking. (Lord, I desire thy salvation, or thy deliverance; and thy Law is my delight.)
175 My soul shall live, and it shall praise thee; and thy dooms shall help me. (Let me live, and I shall praise thee; and let thy judgements help me/and let thy decrees guide me.)
176 I erred as a sheep that perished; Lord, seek thy servant, for I forgat not thy commandments. (I have wandered about like a lost sheep; Lord, search for thy servant, for I have not forgotten thy commandments.)

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Psalms 119 Commentary

Chapter 119

The general scope and design of this psalm is to magnify the Divine law, and make it honourable. There are ten words by which Divine revelation is called in this psalm, and each expresses what God expects from us, and what we may expect from him. 1. God's law; this is enacted by him as our Sovereign. 2. His way; this is the rule of his providence. 3. His testimonies; they are solemnly declared to the world. 4. His commandments; given with authority. 5. His precepts; not left as indifferent matters to us. 6. His word, or saying; it is the declaration of his mind. 7. His judgments; framed in infinite wisdom. 8. His righteousness; it is the rule and standard of what is right. 9. His statutes; they are always binding. 10. His truth or faithfulness; it is eternal truth, it shall endure for ever.

Verses 1-8 This psalm may be considered as the statement of a believer's experience. As far as our views, desires, and affections agree with what is here expressed, they come from the influences of the Holy Spirit, and no further. The pardoning mercy of God in Christ, is the only source of a sinner's happiness. And those are most happy, who are preserved most free from the defilement of sin, who simply believe God's testimonies, and depend on his promises. If the heart be divided between him and the world, it is evil. But the saints carefully avoid all sin; they are conscious of much evil that clogs them in the ways of God, but not of that wickedness which draws them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at them out of those ways. The tempter would make men think they are at liberty to follow the word of God or not, as they please. But the desire and prayer of a good man agree with the will and command of God. If a man expects by obedience in one thing to purchase indulgence for disobedience in others, his hypocrisy will be detected; if he is not ashamed in this world, everlasting shame will be his portion. The psalmist coveted to learn the laws of God, to give God the glory. And believers see that if God forsakes them, the temper will be too hard for them.

Verses 9-16 To original corruption all have added actual sin. The ruin of the young is either living by no rule at all, or choosing false rules: let them walk by Scripture rules. To doubt of our own wisdom and strength, and to depend upon God, proves the purpose of holiness is sincere. God's word is treasure worth laying up, and there is no laying it up safe but in our hearts, that we may oppose God's precepts to the dominion of sin, his promises to its allurements, and his threatenings to its violence. Let this be our plea with Him to teach us his statutes, that, being partakers of his holiness, we may also partake of his blessedness. And those whose hearts are fed with the bread of life, should with their lips feed many. In the way of God's commandments there is the unsearchable riches of Christ. But we do not meditate on God's precepts to good purpose, unless our good thoughts produce good works. I will not only think of thy statutes, but do them with delight. And it will be well to try the sincerity of our obedience by tracing the spring of it; the reality of our love by cheerfulness in appointed duties.

Verses 17-24 If God deals in strict justice with us, we all perish. We ought to spend our lives in his service; we shall find true life in keeping his word. Those that would see the wondrous things of God's law and gospel, must beg him to give them understanding, by the light of his Spirit. Believers feel themselves strangers on earth; they fear missing their way, and losing comfort by erring from God's commandments. Every sanctified soul hungers after the word of God, as food which there is no living without. There is something of pride at the bottom of every wilful sin. God can silence lying lips; reproach and contempt may humble and do us good, and then they shall be removed. Do we find the weight of the cross is above that we are able to bear? He that bore it for us will enable us to bear it; upheld by him we cannot sink. It is sad when those who should protect the innocent, are their betrayers. The psalmist went on in duty, and he found comfort in the word of God. The comforts of the word of God are most pleasant to a gracious soul, when other comforts are made bitter; and those that would have God's testimonies to be their delight, must be advised by them. May the Lord direct us in exercising repentance of sin, and faith in Christ.

Verses 25-32 While the souls of the children of this world cleave to the earth as their portion, the children of light are greatly burdened, because of the remains of carnal affections in their hearts. It is unspeakable comfort to a gracious soul, to think with what tenderness all its complaints are received by a gracious God. We can talk of the wonders of redeeming love, when we understand the way of God's precepts, and walk in that way. The penitent melts in sorrow for sin: even the patient spirit may melt in the sense of affliction, it is then its interest to pour out its soul before God. The way of lying means all false ways by which men deceive themselves and others, or are deceived by Satan and his instruments. Those who know and love the law of the Lord, desire to know it more, and love it better. The way of serious godliness is the way of truth; the only true way to happiness: we must always have actual regard to it. Those who stick to the word of God, may in faith expect and pray for acceptance with God. Lord, never leave me to do that by which I shall shame myself, and do not thou reject my services. Those that are going to heaven, should still press forward. God, by his Spirit, enlarges the hearts of his people when he gives them wisdom. The believer prays to be set free from sin.

Verses 33-40 Teach me thy statutes, not the mere words, but the way of applying them to myself. God, by his Spirit, gives a right understanding. But the Spirit of revelation in the word will not suffice, unless we have the Spirit of wisdom in the heart. God puts his Spirit within us, causing us to walk in his statutes. The sin here prayed against is covetousness. Those that would have the love of God rooted in them, must get the love of the world rooted out; for the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Quicken me in thy way; to redeem time, and to do every duty with liveliness of spirit. Beholding vanity deadens us, and slackens our pace; a traveller must not stand gazing upon every object that presents itself to his view. The promises of God's word greatly relate to the preservation of the true believer. When Satan has drawn a child of God into worldly compliances, he will reproach him with the falls into which he led him. Victory must come from the cross of Christ. When we enjoy the sweetness of God's precepts, it will make us long for more acquaintance with them. And where God has wrought to will, he will work to do.

Verses 41-48 Lord, I have by faith thy mercies in view; let me by prayer prevail to obtain them. And when the salvation of the saints is completed, it will plainly appear that it was not in vain to trust in God's word. We need to pray that we may never be afraid or ashamed to own God's truths and ways before men. And the psalmist resolves to keep God's law, in a constant course of obedience, without backsliding. The service of sin is slavery; the service of God is liberty. There is no full happiness, or perfect liberty, but in keeping God's law. We must never be ashamed or afraid to own our religion. The more delight we take in the service of God, the nearer we come to perfection. Not only consent to his law as good, but take pleasure in it as good for us. Let me put forth all the strength I have, to do it. Something of this mind of Christ is in every true disciple.

Verses 49-56 Those that make God's promises their portion, may with humble boldness make them their plea. He that by his Spirit works faith in us, will work for us. The word of God speaks comfort in affliction. If, through grace, it makes us holy, there is enough in it to make us easy, in all conditions. Let us be certain we have the Divine law for what we believe, and then let not scoffers prevail upon us to decline from it. God's judgments of old comfort and encourage us, for he is still the same. Sin is horrible in the eyes of all that are sanctified. Ere long the believer will be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. In the mean time, the statutes of the Lord supply subjects for grateful praise. In the season of affliction, and in the silent hours of the night, he remembers the name of the Lord, and is stirred up to keep the law. All who have made religion the first thing, will own that they have been unspeakable gainers by it.

Verses 57-64 True believers take the Lord for the portion of their inheritance, and nothing less will satisfy them. The psalmist prayed with his whole heart, knowing how to value the blessing he prayed for: he desired the mercy promised, and depended on the promise for it. He turned from by-paths, and returned to God's testimonies. He delayed not. It behoves sinners to hasten to escape; and the believer will be equally in haste to glorify God. No care or grief should take away God's word out of our minds, or hinder the comfort it bestows. There is no situation on earth in which a believer has not cause to be thankful. Let us feel ashamed that others are more willing to keep from sleep to spend the time in sinful pleasures, than we are to praise God. And we should be more earnest in prayer, that our hearts may be filled with his mercy, grace, and peace.

Verses 65-72 However God has dealt with us, he has dealt with us better than we deserve; and all in love, and for our good. Many have knowledge, but little judgment; those who have both, are fortified against the snares of Satan, and furnished for the service of God. We are most apt to wander from God, when we are easy in the world. We should leave our concerns to the disposal of God, seeing we know not what is good for us. Lord, thou art our bountiful Benefactor; incline our hearts to faith and obedience. The psalmist will go on in his duty with constancy and resolution. The proud are full of the world, and its wealth and pleasures; these make them senseless, secure, and stupid. God visits his people with affliction, that they may learn his statutes. Not only God's promises, but even his law, his percepts, though hard to ungodly men, are desirable, and profitable, because they lead us with safety and delight unto eternal life.

Verses 73-80 God made us to serve him, and enjoy him; but by sin we have made ourselves unfit to serve him, and to enjoy him. We ought, therefore, continually to beseech him, by his Holy Spirit, to give us understanding. The comforts some have in God, should be matter of joy to others. But it is easy to own, that God's judgments are right, until it comes to be our own case. All supports under affliction must come from mercy and compassion. The mercies of God are tender mercies; the mercies of a father, the compassion of a mother to her son. They come to us when we are not able to go to them. Causeless reproach does not hurt, and should not move us. The psalmist could go on in the way of his duty, and find comfort in it. He valued the good will of saints, and was desirous to keep up his communion with them. Soundness of heart signifies sincerity in dependence on God, and devotedness to him.

Verses 81-88 The psalmist sought deliverance from his sins, his foes, and his fears. Hope deferred made him faint; his eyes failed by looking out for this expected salvation. But when the eyes fail, yet faith must not. His affliction was great. He was become like a leathern bottle, which, if hung up in the smoke, is dried and shrivelled up. We must ever be mindful of God's statutes. The days of the believer's mourning shall be ended; they are but for a moment, compared with eternal happiness. His enemies used craft as well as power for his ruin, in contempt of the law of God. The commandments of God are true and faithful guides in the path of peace and safety. We may best expect help from God when, like our Master, we do well and suffer for it. Wicked men may almost consume the believer upon earth, but he would sooner forsake all than forsake the word of the Lord. We should depend upon the grace of God for strength to do every good work. The surest token of God's good-will toward us, is his good work in us.

Verses 89-96 The settling of God's word in heaven, is opposed to the changes and revolutions of the earth. And the engagements of God's covenant are established more firmly than the earth itself. All the creatures answer the ends of their creation: shall man, who alone is endued with reason, be the only unprofitable burden of the earth? We may make the Bible a pleasant companion at any time. But the word, without the grace of God, would not quicken us. See the best help for bad memories, namely, good affections; and though the exact words be lost, if the meaning remain, that is well. I am thine, not my own, not the world's; save me from sin, save me from ruin. The Lord will keep the man in peace, whose mind is stayed on him. It is poor perfection which one sees and end of. Such are all things in this world, which pass for perfections. The glory of man is but as the flower of the grass. The psalmist had seen the fulness of the word of God, and its sufficiency. The word of the Lord reaches to all cases, to all times. It will take us from all confidence in man, or in our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness. Thus shall we seek comfort and happiness from Christ alone.

Verses 97-104 What we love, we love to think of. All true wisdom is from God. A good man carries his Bible with him, if not in his hands, yet in his head and in his heart. By meditation on God's testimonies we understand more than our teachers, when we understand our own hearts. The written word is a more sure guide to heaven, than all the fathers, the teachers, and ancients of the church. We cannot, with any comfort or boldness, attend God in holy duties, while under guilt, or in any by-way. It was Divine grace in his heart, that enabled the psalmist to receive these instructions. The soul has its tastes as well as the body. Our relish for the word of God will be greatest, when that for the world and the flesh is least. The way of sin is a wrong way; and the more understanding we get by the precepts of God, the more rooted will be our hatred of sin; and the more ready we are in the Scriptures, the better furnished we are with answers to temptation.

Verses 105-112 The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit, as a light to direct us in the choice of our way, and the steps we take in that way. The keeping of God's commands here meant, was that of a sinner under a dispensation of mercy, of a believer having part in the covenant of grace. The psalmist is often afflicted; but with longing desires to become more holy, offers up daily prayers for quickening grace. We cannot offer any thing to God, that he will accept but what he is pleased to teach us to do. To have our soul or life continually in our hands, implies constant danger of life; yet he did not forget God's promises nor his precepts. Numberless are the snares laid by the wicked; and happy is that servant of God, whom they have not caused to err from his Master's precepts. Heavenly treasures are a heritage for ever; all the saints accept them as such, therefore they can be content with little of this world. We must look for comfort only in the way of duty, and that duty must be done. A good man, by the grace of God, brings his heart to his work, then it is done well.

Verses 113-120 Here is a dread of the risings of sin, and the first beginnings of it. The more we love the law of God, the more watchful we shall be, lest vain thoughts draw us from what we love. Would we make progress in keeping God's commands, we must be separate from evil-doers. The believer could not live without the grace of God; but, supported by his hand, his spiritual life shall be maintained. Our holy security is grounded on Divine supports. All departure from God's statutes is error, and will prove fatal. Their cunning is falsehood. There is a day coming which will put the wicked into everlasting fire, the fit place for the dross. See what comes of sin Surely we who fall so low in devout affections, should fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into heavenly rest, any of us should be found to come short of it, ( Hebrews 4:1 ) .

Verses 121-128 Happy is the man, who, acting upon gospel principles, does justice to all around. Christ our Surety, having paid our debt and ransom, secures all the blessings of salvation to every true believer. The psalmist expects the word of God's righteousness, and no other salvation than what is secured by that word, which cannot fall to the ground. We deserve no favour form God; we are most easy when we cast ourselves upon God's mercy, and refer ourselves to it. If any man resolve to do God's will as his servant, he shall be made to know his testimonies. We must do what we can for the support of religion, and, after all, must beg of God to take the work into his own hands. It is hypocrisy to say we love God's commandments more than our worldly interests. The way of sin is a false way, being directly contrary to God's precepts, which are right: those that love and esteem God's law, hate sin, and will not be reconciled to it.

Verses 129-136 The wonders of redeeming love will fix the heart in adoration of them. The Scriptures show us what we were, what we are, and what we shall be. They show us the mercy and the justice of the Lord, the joys of heaven, and the pains of hell. Thus they give to the simple, in a few days, understanding of those matters, which philosophers for ages sought in vain. The believer, wearied with the cares of life and his conflicts with sin, pants for the consolations conveyed to him by means of the sacred word. And every one may pray, Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. We must beg that the Holy Spirit would order our steps. The dominion of sin is to be dreaded and prayed against by every one. The oppression of men is often more than flesh and blood can bear; and He who knoweth our frame, will not refuse to remove it in answer to the prayers of his people. Whatever obscurity may appear as to the faith of the Old Testament believers, their confidence at the throne of grace can only be explained by their having obtained more distinct views of gospel privileges, through the sacrifices and services of their law, than is generally imagined. Go to the same place, plead the name and merits of Jesus, and you will not, you cannot plead in vain. Commonly, where there is a gracious heart, there is a weeping eye. Accept, O Lord, the tears our blessed Redeemer shed in the days of his flesh, for us who should weep for our brethren or ourselves.

Verses 137-144 God never did, and never can do wrong to any. The promises are faithfully performed by Him that made them. Zeal against sin should constrain us to do what we can against it, at least to do more in religion ourselves. Our love to the word of God is evidence of our love to God, because it is designed to make us partake his holiness. Men's real excellency always makes them low in their own eyes. When we are small and despised, we have the more need to remember God's precepts, that we may have them to support us. The law of God is the truth, the standard of holiness, the rule of happiness; but the obedience of Christ alone justifies the believer. Sorrows are often the lot of saints in this vale of tears; they are in heaviness through manifold temptations. There are delights in the word of God, which the saints often most sweetly enjoy when in trouble and anguish. This is life eternal, to know God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, ( John 17:3 ) . May we live the life of faith and grace here, and be removed to the life of glory hereafter.

Verses 145-152 Supplications with the whole heart are presented only by those who desire God's salvation, and who love his commandments. Whither should the child go but to his father? Save me from my sins, my corruptions, my temptations, all the hinderances in my way, that I may keep thy testimonies. Christians who enjoy health, should not suffer the early hours of the morning to glide away unimproved. Hope in God's word encourages us to continue in prayer. It is better to take time from sleep, than not to find time for prayer. We have access to God at all hours; and if our first thoughts in the morning are of God, they will help to keep us in his fear all the day long. Make me lively and cheerful. God knows what we need and what is good for us, and will quicken us. If we are employed in God's service, we need not fear those who try to set themselves as far as they can out of the reach of the convictions and commands of his law. When trouble is near, God is near. He is never far to seek. All his commandments are truth. And God's promises will be performed. All that ever trusted in God have found him faithful.

Verses 153-160 The closer we cleave to the word of God, both as our rule and as our stay, the more assurance we have of deliverance. Christ is the Advocate of his people, their Redeemer. Those who were quickened by his Spirit and grace, when they were dead in trespasses and sins, often need to have the work of grace revived in them, according to the word of promise. The wicked not only do not God's statutes, but they do not even seek them. They flatter themselves that they are going to heaven; but the longer they persist in sin, the further it is from them. God's mercies are tender; they are a fountain that can never be exhausted. The psalmist begs for God's reviving, quickening grace. A man, steady in the way of his duty, though he may have many enemies, needs to fear none. Those that hate sin truly, hate it as sin, as a transgression of the law of God, and a breaking of his word. Our obedience is only pleasing to God, and pleasant to ourselves, when it comes from a principle of love. All, in every age, who receive God's word in faith and love, find every saying in it faithful.

Verses 161-168 Those whose hearts stand in awe of God's word, will rather endure the wrath of man, than break the law of God. By the word of God we are unspeakable gainers. Every man hates to have a lie told him, but we should more hate telling a lie; by the latter we give an affront to God. The more we see the beauty of truth, the more we shall see the hateful deformity of a lie. We are to praise God even for afflictions; through grace we get good from them. Those that love the world have great vexation, for it does not answer what they expect; those that love God's word have great peace, for it outdoes what they expect. Those in whom this holy love reigns, will not perplex themselves with needless scruples, or take offence at their brethren. A good hope of salvation will engage the heart in doing the commandments. And our love to the word of God must subdue our lusts, and root out carnal affections: we must make heart work of it, or we make nothing of it. We must keep the commandments of God by obedience to them, and his promises by reliance on them. God's eye is on us at all times; this should make us very careful to keep his commandments.

Verses 169-176 The psalmist desired grace and strength to lift up his prayers, and that the Lord would receive and notice them. He desired to know more of God in Christ; to know more of the doctrines of the word, and the duties of religion. He had a deep sense of unworthiness, and holy fear that his prayer should not come before God; Lord, what I pray for is, what thou hast promised. We have learned nothing to purpose, if we have not learned to praise God. We should always make the word of God the rule of our discourse, so as never to transgress it by sinful speaking, or sinful silence. His own hands are not sufficient, nor can any creature lend him help; therefore he looks up to God, that the hand that had made him may help him. He had made religion his deliberate choice. There is an eternal salvation all the saints long for, and therefore they pray that God would help their way to it. Let thy judgments help me; let all ordinances and all providences, (both are God's judgments,) further me in glorifying God; let them help me for that work. He often looks back with shame and gratitude to his lost estate. He still prays for the tender care of Him who purchased his flock with his own blood, that he may receive from him the gift of eternal life. Seek me, that is, Find me; for God never seeks in vain. Turn me, and I shall be turned. Let this psalm be a touchstone by which to try our hearts, and our lives. Do our hearts, cleansed in Christ's blood, make these prayers, resolutions and confessions our own? Is God's word the standard of our faith, and the law of our practice? Do we use it as pleas with Christ for what we need? Happy those who live in such delightful exercises.

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.