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119. Psalm 119

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.

2Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

3They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

4Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

5O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

6Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

7I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

8I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

BETH.

9Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

10With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

12Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.

13With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

14I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

15I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

16I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

GIMEL.

17Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

18Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

19I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

20My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

21Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

22Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.

23Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

24Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.

DALETH.

25My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.

26I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.

27Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.

28My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

29Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.

30I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

31I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame.

32I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

HE.

33Teach me, O Lord, 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 thou me in thy way.

38Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

39Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.

40Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

VAU.

41Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word.

42So shall I have wherewith to answer 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 thy judgments.

44So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.

45And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

46I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

47And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

48My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

ZAIN

49Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

50This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

51The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.

52I remembered thy judgments of old, O Lord; and have comforted myself.

53Horror 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 Lord, in the night, and have kept thy law.

56This I had, because I kept thy precepts.

CHETH.

57 Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words.

58I intreated thy favour 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 keep thy commandments.

61The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.

62At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

63I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

64The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

TETH.

65Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O Lord, according unto thy word.

66Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

67Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

68Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.

69The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

70Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.

71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

72The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.

JOD.

73Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

74They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

75I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

76Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness 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 ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

79Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.

80Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.

CAPH.

81My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

82Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?

83For I am become like a bottle 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, which are not after 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 keep the testimony of thy mouth.

LAMED.

89For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.

90Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

91They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.

92Unless thy law had been my delights, 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.

MEM.

97O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

98Thou through thy commandments hast made 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 ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

101I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

102I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.

103How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

NUN.

105Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

106I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

107I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.

108Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments.

109My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

110The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

111Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

SAMECH.

113I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.

114Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

115Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will 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 I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

118Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.

119Thou puttest 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.

AIN.

121I have done judgment and justice: 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 the word of thy righteousness.

124Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.

125I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.

126 It is time for thee, Lord, 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.

PE.

129Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.

130The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

131I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.

132Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.

133Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

134Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.

135Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.

136Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.

TZADDE.

137Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.

138Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

139My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.

140Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

141I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.

142Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.

143Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.

144The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.

KOPH.

145I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.

146I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.

147I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.

148Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

149Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment.

150They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.

151Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.

152Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

RESH.

153Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.

154Plead my cause, and deliver 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 Lord: quicken me according to thy judgments.

157Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.

158I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.

159Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness.

160Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

SCHIN.

161Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

162I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

163I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.

164Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

165Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

166 Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.

167My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.

168I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.

TAU.

169Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to thy word.

170Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.

171My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.

172My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

173Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.

174I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight.

175Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.

176I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

105. Thy word is a lamp to my feet. In this verse the Psalmist testifies that the Divine Law was his schoolmaster and guide in leading a holy life. He thus, by his own example, prescribes the same rule to us all; and it is highly necessary to observe this rule; for while each of us follows what seems good in his own estimation, we become entangled in inextricable and frightful mazes. The more distinctly to understand his intention, it is to be noted, that the word of God is set in opposition to all human counsels. What the world judges right is often crooked and perverse in the judgment of God, who approves of no other manner of living, than that which is framed according to the rule of his law. It is also to be observed, that David could not have been guided by God’s word, unless he had first renounced the wisdom of the flesh, for it is only when we are brought to do this, that we begin to be of a teachable disposition. But the metaphor which he uses implies something more; namely, that unless the word of God enlighten men’s path, the whole of their life is enveloped in darkness and obscurity, so that they cannot do anything else than miserably wander from the right way; and again, that when we submit ourselves with docility to the teaching of God’s law, we are in no danger of going astray. Were there such obscurity in God’s word, as the Papists foolishly talk about, the commendation with which the prophet here honors the law would be altogether undeserved. Let us, then, be assured that an unerring light is to be found there, provided we open our eyes to behold it. The Apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:19) has more plainly expressed the same sentiment, when he commends the faithful for taking heed to the word of prophecy, “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place.”

106. I have sworn, and will perform Here the Psalmist speaks of his own constancy. He had declared a little before, that during the whole course of his life, he had not declined from God’s law, and now he speaks of the purpose of his mind. By the word swear, he intimates that he had solemnly pledged himself to God not to alter his determination. The true manner of keeping God’s law is to receive and embrace what he commands heartily, and, at the same time, uniformly, that our ardor may not forthwith abate, as is often the case. This also is the proper rule of vowing, that we may offer ourselves to God, and dedicate our life to him. It may, however, be asked, whether the prophet’s oath may not be condemned as rash, inasmuch as he presumed to engage to do far more than man’s ability is equal to; for who is able to keep the law? The man, then, it may be alleged, vows rashly, who promises to God a thing which it is beyond his power to accomplish. The answer is obvious: Whenever the faithful vow to Him, they do not look to what they are able to do of themselves, but they depend upon the grace of God, to whom it belongs to perform what he requires from them, in the way of supplying them with strength by his Holy Spirit. When the question is in reference to service to be rendered to God, they cannot vow anything without the Holy Spirit; for, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:5,

Not that are sufficient of ourselves to think anything
as of ourselves.”

But when God stretches forth his hand to us, he bids us be of good courage, and promises that he will never fail us; and this is the source from which the boldness to swear, here spoken of, proceeds. Nor is it any rashness at all, when, confiding in his promises, by which he anticipates us, we, on our part, offer ourselves to his service. The question, however, still remains unsolved; for although the children of God ultimately prove victorious over all temptations by the grace of the Holy Spirit, yet there is always some infirmity about them. But it is to be observed, that the faithful, in making vows and promises, have a respect not only to that article of the covenant, by which God has promised that he will cause us to walk in his commandments, but also to that other article which is, at the same time, added concerning the free forgiveness of their sins, Ezekiel 11:20; 36:27; Psalm 103:13. David, therefore, according to the measure of grace given him, bound himself by oath to keep God’s la encouraged by these words of the prophet,

“I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him,”
Malachi 3:17.

107. I am greatly afflicted, O Jehovah! This verse teaches, that God did not cherish the fathers under the law in his bosom so delicately as not to exercise them with grievous temptations; for the Psalmist declares that he was not afflicted lightly, or in an ordinary degree, but above measure. His prayer to be quickened implies that he was at the point of death. He, however, at the same time, shows, that though he was besieged by death, he yet fainted not, because he leaned upon God — a point worthy of special notice; for though, at the beginning, we may call upon God with much alacrity, yet when the trial increases in severity, our hearts quail, and, in the extremity of fear, our confidence is extinguished. Yet the prophet implores God for grace, not in order to his life being preserved in safety, but in order to his recovering the life he had lost, which indicates both the low condition to which he was reduced, and his continued confidence in God. We must also observe attentively the last part of the clause, according to thy word We will pray coldly, or rather we will not pray at all, if God’s promise does not inspire us with courage in our sorrow and distress. In short, as we have said elsewhere, it is indispensably necessary that we should have this key at hand, in order to our having free access to the throne of grace.

108. O Jehovah! I beseech thee, let the flee-will-offerings of my mouth. This verse may be read in one connected sentence, as well as divided into two members. According to the former view, the sense will be, Receive, e Lord, my sacrifices, to this end, that thou mayest teach me thy commandments. If we prefer dividing the verse into two clauses, then it will consist of two separate prayers; first, a prayer that God would accept the prophet’s sacrifices; and, secondly, a prayer that he would instruct him in the doctrine of the law. I am rather inclined to follow the first opinion. The prophet affirms, as we have seen elsewhere, that nothing was more precious to him than to understand the doctrine of the law. Lord, as if he had said, do thou, according to thy good pleasure, accept the sacrifices which I offer thee; and as my chief desire is, to be instructed aright in thy law, grant that I may be a partaker of this blessing, which I am so anxious to obtain. We should mark all the places in which the knowledge of divine truth is preferred to all the other benefits bestowed upon mankind; and doubtless, since it contains in it the pledge of everlasting salvation, there is good reason why it should be esteemed as an inestimable treasure. Yet the prophet begins at a point remote from this, praying that God would vouchsafe to approve of and accept his services. By the word נדבות, nidboth, I have no doubt he denotes the sacrifices which were called free-will-offerings. I indeed grant that he speaks properly of vows and prayers; but as the chosen people to propitiate God, were wont to offer sacrifices, according as every man had ability, he alludes to that custom which prevailed under the law; even as Hosea (Hosea 14:2) designates the praises of God “the calves of the lips.” It was the design of God, by that ceremony, to testify to the fathers that no prayers were acceptable to him, but those which were joined with sacrifice, that they might always turn their minds to the Mediator. In the first place, he acknowledges that he was unworthy of obtaining any thing by his prayers, and that, if God heard him, it proceeded from his free and unmerited grace. In the second place, he desires that God would be favorable to him in the way of enabling him to profit aright in the doctrine of the law. The verb, רצה ratsah, which he uses: signifies to favor of mere good will. Whence it follows, that there is nothing meritorious in our prayers, and that, whenever God hears them, it is in the exercise of his free goodness.

109. My soul is continually in my hand. He declares, that no calamities, afflictions, or dangers, which he had experienced: had withdrawn him from the service of God, and the observance of his law. To bear his soul in his hand, is equivalent to his being in danger of his life, so that the soul was, as it were abandoned to the wind. Thus Job, (Job 13:14,) when he pines in his miseries: and is looking for death every moment, and dreading it, complains that his soul was in his hand; as if he had said, It is plucked from its own dwelling-place: and is under the dominion of death. 434434     This proverbial expression occurs in several other places of Scripture, in all of which it undoubtedly signifies, that the life of the person who employs it is in danger; as in Judges 12:3, “And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon;” 1 Samuel 19:5, “He put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistines;” and 1 Samuel 28:21, “And the woman came unto Saul, and said, I have put my life in my hand.” Phillips thus explains the figure: “We are accustomed to say, that an affair is in a person’s hands when the management and issue of it rest entirely with him, and so we speak when that affair is the life or death of an individual. Hence, similarly, when the Hebrews spoke of a person’s life being in his own hands, they might mean, that the preservation of his life was entirely with him, that he was destitute of all external assistance, and that consequently his life was in danger. This is particularly the case with military men, who, as they fight bravely, or otherwise, may preserve or lose their lives: so Jephthah, as appears from the passages above cited.” The figure may, however, be taken from the circumstance, that what a man carries openly in his hand is in danger of taking, or of being snatched away by violence. “The LXX. have changed the person of the pronoun, ἐν ταῖς χερσι σου; in thy hands; as also the Syriac. It is probable that these ancient interpreters did not understand the phrase, and so expressed it according to what they thought might be the original reading, thus affording a very obvious sense. Augustine says, that many MSS. in his time had the second person. However, no such MSS. are known now, and there is no doubt whatever of the correctness of the present text. The Psalmist states that, though his life was in danger, yet he did not forget God’s law.” — Ibid This form of expression is therefore unhappily wrested to an absurd meaning by ignorant people, who understand the prophet as intimating, that it was in his own power to govern his life as he pleased. So far from intending to convey such an idea, by this circumstance he commends his own piety, declaring, that although he was tossed among shipwrecks, and death in a hundred forms hovered before his eyes, so that he could not rest in security for a single moment, yet he had not cast from him the love and study of the Divine law. Here, again, it is well to notice the severe and arduous conflicts by which the fathers, under the law, were tried, that dangers and fears may not frighten us, or, by the weariness they produce, deprive us of courage, and thus prevent the remembrance of the Divine law from remaining impressed on our hearts.

110. The wicked have laid a snare for me The meaning of this verse is similar to that of the preceding. The prophet shows more definitely in what respect he carried his life in his hand; namely, because, being hemmed in on all sides by the snares of the wicked, he saw scarcely any hope of life. We have previously observed how difficult it is to avoid wandering from the ways of the Lord, when our enemies, by their subtle arts, endeavor to effect our destruction. The depraved desire of our fallen nature incites us to retaliate, nor do we see any way of preserving our life, unless we employ the same arts by which they assail us; and we persuade ourselves that it is lawful for us to howl among wolves. Such being the ease, we ought, with the more attention, to meditate upon this doctrine, That, when the wicked environ and besiege us by their wiles, the best thing we can do is to follow whither God calls us, and to attempt nothing but what is agreeable to his will.

111. I have thy testimonies as an inheritance for ever. He again confirms the sentiment, which cannot be too often repeated, That the law of God was more precious to him than all the pleasures, riches, and possessions, of the world. I have said, that it is not in vain that these things are so often repeated; for we see how violently the men of the world boil to gratify their unruly lusts, with what multiplied anxieties they are agitated, while they are unceasingly coveting innumerable objects; and, in the meantime, scarcely one in a hundred is, in a moderate degree, aiming to apply his mind to the study of the Divine law. The prophet, then, to stir us up by his own example, asserts, that he took such pleasure in God’s, testimonies as to esteem nothing more precious. It is love only which leads us to set a value on any object; and, therefore, it is requisite, in order to our observing the Divine law with the reverence due to it, that we begin with this delight in it. It is not wonderful, if God’s testimonies convey to our minds a joy, which, causing us to reject and despise all other things, holds our affections fast bound to them. What can be sweeter than to have heaven opened to us, that we may come freely into the presence of God, when, adopting us to be his children, he pardons our sins? What can be more desirable than to hear that he is so pacified towards us, as to take upon himself the care of our life? This I have thought good to observe briefly, that we might not think it strange to find David rejoicing so greatly in God’s law. The similitude of inheritance is of frequent occurrence in the Scriptures; and we apply the designation of inheritance to that which we hold in the highest estimation, so that we are contented to be deprived of all other things, provided we retain the safe and full possession of that one thing. Accordingly, the prophet intimates, that whatever good things he had obtained he accounted them as adventitious, and that the truths revealed in God’s word alone were to him as an inheritance. Without the Divine word all other things were in his estimation as nothing; so that he could willingly leave to others, riches, honors, comforts, and pleasures, provided he possessed this incomparable treasure. It is not meant to say that he; altogether despised the temporal benefits which God bestows, but his mind was not bound fast to them.

112. I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes. In this verse he describes the right observance of the law, which consists in Our cheerfully and heartily preparing ourselves for doing what the law commands. Slavish and constrained obedience differs little from rebellion. The prophet, therefore, in order briefly to define what it is to serve God, asserts, that he applied not only his hands, eyes, or feet, to the keeping of the law, but that he began with the affection of the heart. Instead of the verb incline, the verb extend might with propriety be employed; but I am inclined to rest in the more generally received interpretation, which is, that he devoted himself with sincere affection of heart to the observance of the law. This inclination of the heart is oppose to the wandering lusts which rise up against God, and drag us any where rather than incline us to a virtuous life. The attempt of the Papists to defend from this passage their doctrine of free will is mere trifling. They infer from the words of the prophet, that it is in the power of man to bend his own heart in whatever way he pleases. But the answer is easy. The prophet does not here boast of what he had done by his own strength, for he now repeats the very same word which he had employed before, when he said, Incline my heart to these testimonies. If that prayer was not feigned, he doubtless acknowledged by it that it was the peculiar work of the Holy Spirit to incline and frame our hearts to God. But it is no new thing for that to be ascribed to us which God works in us: Paul’s statement to this effect is very plain,

“It is God who worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasures” (Philippians 2:13.)

When the prophet says of himself that he inclined his heart, he does not separate his own endeavor from the grace of the Holy Spirit, by whose inspiration he has previously declared that the whole was done. At the same time, he distinguishes the constancy of his pious affection from the transient favor of others. Thus, that he might not fail in the midst of his course, or even go backward, he affirms that he had resolved to continue in the same course during the whole of his life. The word עקב, ekeb, to the end, in my opinion, is added to the word לעולם, leolam, for ever, by way of exposition; and to show us that he struggled manfully against all obstacles and difficulties, that they might not break his constancy; for no man perseveres in the service of God without arduous exertions. Some take the word as denoting a reward; 435435     Thus, in the Arabic, it is, “on account of an eternal reward;” that is, the reward of grace promised to all the faithful. According to this view, the Psalmist would have a respect to the end and reward of faith and holy obedience. See Hebrews 11:26; 1 Peter 1:8, 9. As, however, the Psalmist, like all true believers, did not embrace and obey the law of God, only or chiefly from the hope of reward, but was chiefly attracted to obedience by love to God, and the intrinsic excellence of the law, others prefer reading “the reward is eternal.” but this seems too foreign to the design of the passage.


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