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119. Psalm 119

1Blessed are they that are aperfect in the way,

Who walk in the law of Jehovah.

2Blessed are they that keep his testimonies,

That seek him with the whole heart.

3Yea, they do no unrighteousness;

They walk in his ways.

4Thou hast commanded us thy precepts,

That we should observe them diligently.

5Oh that my ways were established

To observe thy statutes!

6Then shall I not be put to shame,

When I have respect unto all thy commandments.

7I will give thanks unto thee with uprightness of heart,

When I learn thy righteous judgments.

8I will observe thy statutes:

Oh forsake me not utterly.


9Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way?

By taking heed thereto according to thy word.

10With my whole heart have I sought thee:

Oh let me not wander from thy commandments.

11Thy word have I laid up in my heart,

That I might not sin against thee.

12Blessed art thou, O Jehovah:

Teach me thy statutes.

13With my lips have I declared

All the ordinances of thy mouth.

14I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies,

As much as in all riches.

15I will meditate on thy precepts,

And have respect unto thy ways.

16I will delight myself in thy statutes:

I will not forget thy word.


17Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live;

So will I observe thy word.

18Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold

Wondrous things out of thy law.

19I am a sojourner in the earth:

Hide not thy commandments from me.

20My soul breaketh for the longing

That it hath unto thine ordinances at all times.

21Thou hast rebuked the proud athat are cursed,

That do wander from thy commandments.

22Take away from me reproach and contempt;

For I have kept thy testimonies.

23Princes also sat and talked against me;

But thy servant did meditate on thy statutes.

24Thy testimonies also are my delight

And amy counsellors.


25My soul cleaveth unto the dust:

Quicken thou me according to thy word.

26I declared my ways, and thou answeredst me:

Teach me thy statutes.

27Make me to understand the way of thy precepts:

So shall I meditate on thy wondrous works.

28My soul amelteth for heaviness:

Strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

29Remove from me the way of falsehood;

And grant me thy law graciously.

30I have chosen the way of faithfulness:

Thine ordinances have I set before me.

31I cleave unto thy testimonies:

O Jehovah, put me not to shame.

32I will run the way of thy commandments,

When thou shalt enlarge my heart.


33Teach me, O Jehovah, the way of thy statutes;

And I shall keep it unto the end.

34Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law;

Yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

35Make me to go in the path of thy commandments;

For therein do I delight.

36Incline my heart unto thy testimonies,

And not to covetousness.

37Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity,

And quicken me in thy ways.

38Confirm unto thy servant thy word,

aWhich is in order unto the fear of thee.

39Turn away my reproach whereof I am afraid;

For thine ordinances are good.

40Behold, I have longed after thy precepts:

Quicken me in thy righteousness.


41Let thy lovingkindnesses also come unto me, O Jehovah,

Even thy salvation, according to thy word.

42So shall I have an answer for him that reproacheth me;

For I trust in thy word.

43And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth;

For I have hoped in thine ordinances.

44So shall I observe thy law continually

For ever and ever.

45And I shall walk at liberty;

For I have sought thy precepts.

46I will also speak of thy testimonies before kings,

And shall not be put to shame.

47And I will delight myself in thy commandments,

Which I have loved.

48I will lift up my hands also unto thy commandments, which I have loved;

And I will meditate on thy statutes.


49Remember the word unto thy servant,

Because thou hast made me to hope.

50This is my comfort in my affliction;

aFor thy word hath quickened me.

51The proud have had me greatly in derision:

Yet have I not swerved from thy law.

52I have remembered thine ordinances of old, O Jehovah,

And have comforted myself.

53 aHot indignation hath taken hold upon me,

Because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

54Thy statutes have been my songs

In the house of my pilgrimage.

55I have remembered thy name, O Jehovah, in the night,

And have observed thy law.

56This I have had,

aBecause I have kept thy precepts.


57 aJehovah is my portion:

I have said that I would observe thy words.

58I entreated thy favor with my whole heart:

Be merciful unto me according to thy word.

59I thought on my ways,

And turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

60I made haste, and delayed not,

To observe thy commandments.

61The cords of the wicked have wrapped me round;

But I have not forgotten thy law.

62At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee

Because of thy righteous ordinances.

63I am a companion of all them that fear thee,

And of them that observe thy precepts.

64The earth, O Jehovah, is full of thy lovingkindness:

Teach me thy statutes.


65Thou hast dealt well with thy servant,

O Jehovah, according unto thy word.

66Teach me good judgment and knowledge;

For I have believed in thy commandments.

67Before I was afflicted I went astray;

But now I observe thy word.

68Thou art good, and doest good;

Teach me thy statutes.

69The proud have forged a lie against me:

With my whole heart will I keep thy precepts.

70Their heart is as fat as grease;

But I delight in thy law.

71It is good for me that I have been afflicted;

That I may learn thy statutes.

72The law of thy mouth is better unto me

Than thousands of gold and silver.


73Thy hands have made me and afashioned me:

Give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

74They that fear thee shall see me and be glad,

Because I have hoped in thy word.

75I know, O Jehovah, that thy judgments are righteous,

And that in faithfulness thou hast afflicted me.

76Let, I pray thee, thy lovingkindness be for my comfort,

According to thy word unto thy servant.

77Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live;

For thy law is my delight.

78Let the proud be put to shame;

For they have overthrown me awrongfully:

But I will meditate on thy precepts.

79Let those that fear thee turn unto me;

aAnd they shall know thy testimonies.

80Let my heart be perfect in thy statutes,

That I be not put to shame.


81My soul fainteth for thy salvation;

But I hope in thy word.

82Mine eyes fail for thy word,

While I say, When wilt thou comfort me?

83For I am become like a wine-skin in the smoke;

Yet do I not forget thy statutes.

84How many are the days of thy servant?

When wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?

85The proud have digged pits for me,

Who are not according to thy law.

86All thy commandments are faithful:

They persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.

87They had almost consumed me upon earth;

But I forsook not thy precepts.


88Quicken me after thy lovingkindness;

So shall I observe the testimony of thy mouth.

89For ever, O Jehovah,

Thy word is settled in heaven.

90Thy faithfulness is unto all generations:

Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

91 aThey abide this day according to thine ordinances;

For all things are thy servants.

92Unless thy law had been my delight,

I should then have perished in mine affliction.

93I will never forget thy precepts;

For with them thou hast quickened me.

94I am thine, save me;

For I have sought thy precepts.

95The wicked have waited for me, to destroy me;

But I will consider thy testimonies.


96I have seen an end of all perfection;

But thy commandment is exceeding broad.

97Oh how love I thy law!

It is my meditation all the day.

98 aThy commandments make me wiser than mine enemies;

For they are ever with me.

99I have more understanding than all my teachers;

For thy testimonies are my meditation.

100I understand more than the aged,

Because I have kept thy precepts.

101I have refrained my feet from every evil way,

That I might observe thy word.

102I have not turned aside from thine ordinances;

For thou hast taught me.

103How sweet are thy words unto my ataste!

Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104Through thy precepts I get understanding:

Therefore I hate every false way.


105Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,

And light unto my path.

106I have sworn, and have confirmed it,

That I will observe thy righteous ordinances.

107I am afflicted very much:

Quicken me, O Jehovah, according unto thy word.

108Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill-offerings of my mouth, O Jehovah,

And teach me thine ordinances.

109My soul is continually in my hand;

Yet do I not forget thy law.

110The wicked have laid a snare for me;

Yet have I not gone astray from thy precepts.

111Thy testimonies have I taken as a heritage for ever;

For they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes

For ever, even unto the end.


113I hate them that are of a double mind;

But thy law do I love.

114Thou art my hiding-place and my shield:

I hope in thy word.

115Depart from me, ye evil-doers,

That I may keep the commandments of my God.

116Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live;

And let me not be ashamed of my hope.

117Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe,

And shall have respect unto thy statutes continually.

118Thou hast set at nought all them that err from thy statutes;

For their deceit is afalsehood.

119Thou aputtest away all the wicked of the earth like dross:

Therefore I love thy testimonies.

120My flesh trembleth for fear of thee;

And I am afraid of thy judgments.


121I have done justice and righteousness:

Leave me not to mine oppressors.

122Be surety for thy servant for good:

Let not the proud oppress me.

123Mine eyes fail for thy salvation,

And for thy righteous word.

124Deal with thy servant according unto thy lovingkindness,

And teach me thy statutes.

125I am thy servant; give me understanding,

That I may know thy testimonies.

126It is time for Jehovah to work;

For they have made void thy law.

127Therefore I love thy commandments

Above gold, yea, above fine gold.

128Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right;

And I hate every false way.


129Thy testimonies are wonderful;

Therefore doth my soul keep them.

130The opening of thy words giveth light;

It giveth understanding unto the simple.

131I opened wide my mouth, and panted;

For I longed for thy commandments.

132Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me,

As thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.

133Establish my footsteps in thy word;

And let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

134Redeem me from the oppression of man:

So will I observe thy precepts.

135Make thy face to shine upon thy servant;

And teach me thy statutes.

136Streams of water run down mine eyes,

Because they observe not thy law.


137Righteous art thou, O Jehovah,

And upright aare thy judgments.

138Thou hast commanded thy testimonies in righteousness

And very faithfulness.

139My zeal hath aconsumed me,

Because mine adversaries have forgotten thy words.

140Thy word is very apure;

Therefore thy servant loveth it.

141I am small and despised;

Yet do I not forget thy precepts.

142Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,

And thy law is truth.

143Trouble and anguish have ataken hold on me;

Yet thy commandments are my delight.

144Thy testimonies are righteous for ever:

Give me understanding, and I shall live.


145I have called with my whole heart; answer me, O Jehovah:

I will keep thy statutes.

146I have called unto thee; save me,

And I shall observe thy testimonies.

147I anticipated the dawning of the morning, and cried:

I hoped in thy words.

148Mine eyes anticipated the night-watches,

That I might meditate on thy word.

149Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness:

Quicken me, O Jehovah, aaccording to thine ordinances.

150They draw nigh athat follow after wickedness;

They are far from thy law.

151Thou art nigh, O Jehovah;

And all thy commandments are truth.

152Of old have I known from thy testimonies,

That thou hast founded them for ever.


153Consider mine affliction, and deliver me;

For I do not forget thy law.

154Plead thou my cause, and redeem me:

Quicken me according to thy word.

155Salvation is far from the wicked;

For they seek not thy statutes.

156Great are thy tender mercies, O Jehovah:

Quicken me according to thine ordinances.

157Many are my persecutors and mine adversaries;

Yet have I not swerved from thy testimonies.

158I beheld the treacherous, and awas grieved,

Because they observe not thy word.

159Consider how I love thy precepts:

Quicken me, O Jehovah, according to thy lovingkindness.

160The sum of thy word is truth;

And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.


161Princes have persecuted me without a cause;

But my heart standeth in awe of thy words.

162I rejoice at thy word,

As one that findeth great spoil.

163I hate and abhor falsehood;

But thy law do I love.

164Seven times a day do I praise thee,

Because of thy righteous ordinances.

165Great peace have they that love thy law;

And they have no occasion of stumbling.

166I have hoped for thy salvation, O Jehovah,

And have done thy commandments.

167My soul hath observed thy testimonies;

And I love them exceedingly.

168I have observed thy precepts and thy testimonies;

For all my ways are before thee.


169Let my cry come near before thee, O Jehovah:

Give me understanding according to thy word.

170Let my supplication come before thee:

Deliver me according to thy word.

171Let my lips utter praise;

For thou teachest me thy statutes.

172Let my tongue sing of thy word;

For all thy commandments are righteousness.

173Let thy hand be ready to help me;

For I have chosen thy precepts.

174I have longed for thy salvation, O Jehovah;

And thy law is my delight.

175Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee;

And let thine ordinances help me.

176I have gone astray like a lost sheep;

Seek thy servant;

For I do not forget thy commandments.

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176. I have wandered like a lost sheep. He is not to be understood as here confessing his sins, — an opinion erroneously held by many, — as if he had been drawn into the trails of Satan; for this is inconsistent with the second clause, in which he denies that he had forgotten God’s law. It is a poor solution of this difficulty to say, that:, previous to the time of his calling, he was a wandering sheep, but that from the time of his calling he was devoted to godliness — or that in straying he was withheld by some godly affection from utterly casting off the fear of God; for the same time is undoubtedly referred to in both clauses. Again it is easy to gather, that the two clauses of this verse ought to be connected together by although, or notwithstanding, or some other such particle, as the Latins call adversative, 3939     “En apres, il est facile de recueillir, que les deux membres de ce propos se doyvent lier ensemble par Combien, ou Ja soit, ou quelque autre telle partieule que les Latins appellent adversative.” — Fr. as if the Prophet had said, Although I have wandered about like a lost sheep, yet I have not forgotten the law of God. His meaning, I conceive, is, that he wandered, because, being chased by the force and violence of his enemies, he transported himself from place to place in great fear, in quest of retreats in which he might hide himself. We know for certain, that David was so hunted that in his exile he could nowhere find a secure place. This similitude would therefore very properly apply to him, because, although driven away and hunted after by his persecutors, he yet never turned aside from the law of God. Moreover, as the wolves pursued him everywhere, he prays God to bring him back and give him a place of safety and tranquillity, that he may at length cease from any longer wandering hither and thither, and being as a vagabond. 4040     “A ce qu’a la fin il cesse de plus tracasser ca et la et estre comme vagabond.” — Fr. He had a very good ground for believing that he would be heard in the fact, that although provoked by manifold wrongs he yet never swerved from the fear of God — a statement which, however, ought to be referred rather to the general course of his life than to particular acts. Although when he fell into adultery he continued for a time in a state of insensibility, yet it cannot be denied that in his adversities he was restrained by a holy patience, so as to persevere in following after righteousness. 4141     Before leaving this divine poem, to the close of which we halve now arrived, there are a few remarks which may be suggested upon a review of the whole. In the first place, it is worthy of observation, that its alphabetical structure has been so completely preserved, that not one of the initial letters in it has been lost, notwithstanding its length and great antiquity, being older by many ages than any of the celebrated writings of Greece and Rome. In the second place, the wonderful perfection and yet connection of its various parts is also deserving of attention. Wherever we begin we seem to be at the commencement, and wherever we stop the sense is complete; and yet the poem does not consist of detached sentences, but is a whole consisting of many parts, all of which seem necessary to its perfection. In the third place, the numerous apparent repetitions which occur in it ought not to excite the prejudice of the reader. Although the frequent recurrence of the same words may not have an effect altogether agreeable upon fastidious ears, yet these words are so connected with others, as to bring out new meanings and to suggest new trains of thought. Hence the intelligent and pious student, instead of finding the sentences tautological, will discover new sentiments welling out to preserve his attention and to keep alive the flame of devotion. Walford, after observing that some readers may think this poem singularly marked by frequent repetitions, adds — “It is not my intention to write an essay on this theme; and I shall therefore briefly say, that the implicitly of ancient writings is one of their greatest charms. If the repetitions of Psalm 119 create in it a blemish, it is one which the royal author of it shares in common with the most illustrious poet of Pagan antiquity; and that if simplicity and repetition are to be objected against David’s Ode, the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey will hardly escape condemnation.” In fine, the attentive reader must have observed the striking manner in which this composition exhibits the workings of genuine godliness in the regenerated soul. “I know of no part of the Holy Scriptures,” remarks that eminent man, Jonathan Edwards, “where the nature and evidences of true and sincere godliness are so fully and largely insisted on and delineated as in Psalm 119. The Psalmist declares his design in the first verses of the Psalm, keeps his eye on it all along, and pursues it to the end. The excellency of holiness is represented as the immediate object of a spiritual taste and delight. God’s law — that grand expression and emanation of the holiness of God’s nature and prescription of holiness to the creature — is all along represented as the great object of the love, the complacence, and the rejoicing of the gracious nature, which prizes God’s commands ‘above gold, yea, the finest gold,’ and to which they are ‘sweeter than honey and the honey-comb.’” — Edwards on the Religious Affections, part 3 section 3.