World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
You have appointed your decrees in righteousness
and in all faithfulness.
137. O Jehovah! thou art righteous. The Prophet yields to God the praise of righteousness, and also acknowledges that it is to be found in his law. Some understand judgments as referring to those infliction’s by which God chastises the sins of men; but this does not seem so fitly to agree with the scope of the passage. Besides, as the adjective ישר, yashar, translated right, is put in the singular number with the word judgments, the sentence should be explained thus that there is not any one of the judgments of God which is not right. Should we be inclined to take ישר as a substantive, the sense will be almost the same. All men indeed grant that God is righteous; but the Prophet has expressed more than the common sort of men, yea than the whole world, perceive in reference to this subject; for in designating God righteous, he means, that as soon as we depart from Him, we will not find a particle of righteousness anywhere else. When he adds that the evidence and testimony of this righteousness are to be seen in the law, he teaches us that God is robbed of his praise, if we do not subscribe to all his commandments. To the same purpose is the following verse, which declares that God has taught in his law full and perfect righteousness and truth. The adverb, מאד, meod, which signifies greatly, is with more propriety connected with the nouns than with the verb commanded; inasmuch as it was God’s design to exhibit in the law a perfect rule of righteousness. The doctrine of the law is honored with these encomiums, that all of us may learn to derive wisdom from it, and that no man may devise for himself any other standard of rectitude or righteousness than that which is exhibited in the law; a very necessary lesson, since every man would willingly frame for himself a new pattern or standard of righteousness.