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33

Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes,

and I will observe it to the end.


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33. Teach me, O Jehovah/the way of thy statutes. He again presents the same prayer which he has already frequently done in this psalm, it being of the last importance for us to know that the main thing in our life consists in having God for our governor. The majority of mankind think of anything rather than this, as that which they ought to ask from God. The Holy Spirit, therefore, often inculcates this desire, and we ought always to keep it in mind, that not only the inexperienced and unlearned, but those who have made great progress, may not cease to aspire after farther advancement. And as the Spirit of understanding comes from above, they should seek to be guided by his invisible agency to the proper knowledge of the law.

In the second clause of the verse the prophet points out the particular kind of doctrine of which he treats, that which virtually and effectually tends to renovate the heart of man. Interpreters explain the word עקב, ekeb, two ways. Some would have it to denote wages or reward, and then the Psalmist’s meaning would be: After I have been well instructed, then shall I know that those who apply themselves to the observance of thy law will not labor in vain; and, therefore, for the sake of the reward, I will keep thy commandments, persuaded that thou wilt never disappoint thy servants. Others render it, until the end, because those whom God teaches he teaches successfully, and, at the same time, strengthens them for prosecuting their journey without feeling lassitude or languor by the way, and enables them to persevere with constancy until they arrive at the termination of their course. I am far from supposing that he has no reference to the grace of perseverance. Let my readers, however, consider whether this verse may not be taken simply as the words stand in the original. The preposition until is not expressed by the prophet, who merely says, I will keep the end. “Lord, I have need of constant teaching, that I may not fall short of, but keep my eye continually upon my mark; for thou commandest me to run in thy course, on condition that death alone should be the goal. Unless thou teach me daily, this perseverance will not be found in me. But if thou guide me, I will be constantly upon the watch, and will never turn away my eyes from my end, or aim.” In my version I have inserted the commonly received reading.




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