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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Psalms 119

 

 

Verse 1

Probably by Hezekiah. See App-67, Psalms 123:3, and notes below. An Acrostic Psalm (App-63), in which each verse in each of the twenty-two sections commences with the twenty-two successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet: i.e. the first eight begin with Aleph (= A), the second eight with Beth (= B), &c.: making 176 verses in all (i.e. 8 x 22). For the ten words (corresponding with the Ten Commandments) which are characteristic of this Psalm, see App-73.

Blessed = How happy (see App-63.). Here plural = O the great happiness.

way. The first of the ten words. See App-73. The thirteen occurrences of this word in this Psalm are all noted below, as are those of the other nine.

law. The sixth in order of the ten words. See App-73.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.


Verse 2

Blessed. This Psalm, begins with a double Beatitude. See App-63.

keep = guard.

testimonies. The second in order of the ten words. See App-73.


Verse 3

iniquity = perversity. Hebrew. "aval. App-44.


Verse 4

precepts. The third in order of the ten words. See App-73.


Verse 5

statutes. The ninth in order of the ten words. See App-73.


Verse 6

ashamed = put to shame; not shame of conscience.

commandments. The tenth in order of the ten words. See App-73.


Verse 7

praise = give thanks, as in Psalms 92:1, &c.

righteous = righteousness: i.e. judgments of Thy righteousness. The eighth in order of the ten words. See App-73.

judgments. The seventh in order of the ten words. See App-73.


Verse 8

not utterly = not in any wise. Compare Psalms 119:43.


Verse 9

a young man. The writer not necessarily a youth.

way = path. Not the same word as in Psalms 119:1.

By taking = So as to take. Put interrogation at end of the second line instead of the first.

word = the articulate subject-matter of what is said. The tenth in order of the ten words of this Psalm. See note on Psalms 18:30. App-73. Not the same word as in Psalms 119:11. Some codices, with Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "words" (plural)


Verse 11

word = the mode, or purport of what is said. The fifth in order of the ten words of this Psalm. See App-73. Some codices, with one early printed edition, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "words" (plural)

hid = treasured up.

sin. Hebrew. chata". App-44.


Verse 13

lips . . . declared. Figure of speech Paronomasia. App-6: bispatay sipparti.


Verse 16

word. Same word as in Psalms 119:9 (not Psalms 119:11): but some codices, with two early printed editions, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "words" (plural)


Verse 18

Open = Unveil. behold = discern, or see clearly.


Verse 19

stranger = foreigner sojourning.


Verse 20

soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

breaketh for = hath broken owing to. Occurring again only in Lamentations 3:16.

longing = fervent desire; same word as verses: Psalms 119:40, Psalms 119:174, but not Psalms 119:131.


Verse 21

err = go far astray (through wine or passion). Same word as "wander" (Psalms 119:10), and "err" (Psalms 119:118). Hebrew. shagah App-44.


Verse 22

reproach and contempt. Compare Psalms 123:3, Psalms 123:4, confirming Hezekiah"s suggested authorship.


Verse 24

also = nevertheless. See Psalms 129:2.

my counsellors = men (Hebrew. "ish, App-14) of my counsel.


Verse 25

dust. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for the dead, as in Psalms 30:9. Ecclesiastes 12:7.

Quicken . . . me = Give me life, or keep me alive. The first of nine prayers for quickening (Imperative), verses: Psalms 119:37, Psalms 119:40, Psalms 119:88, Psalms 119:107, Psalms 119:149, Psalms 119:154, Psalms 119:156, Psalms 119:159. Twice as a statement of fact, verses: Psalms 119:50, Psalms 119:93.

word. As in Psalms 119:9; but some codices read " words" (plural)


Verse 27

talk = meditate.


Verse 28

melteth = weepeth. Occurs only here. Job 16:20. Ecclesiastes 10:18.

word. As in Psalms 119:9. Some codices read plural; but other codices, with Septuagint and Vulgate, read "by (or in) thy words" (plural)


Verse 30

laid = set.


Verse 31

stuck = cleaved, or adhered.


Verse 32

enlarge my heart = set my heart at liberty, as in Isaiah 60:5. 2 Corinthians 6:11, 2 Corinthians 6:13.


Verse 33

Teach me = Show, or make me to see.


Verse 37

way. Some codices, with three early printed editions, Aramaean, and Syriac, read "ways" (plural)


Verse 38

Who is devoted to Thy fear. Supply Ellipsis thus: "Which [leadeth to] reverence of Thee"; or, "Which [pertaineth to]", &c.


Verse 39

fear = dread.


Verse 40

in: or by.

righteousness. Hebrew. zedakah. See App-73.


Verse 41

mercies = lovingkindnesses.


Verse 42

wherewith = a word. Hebrew. dabar as in Psalms 119:9. See App-73.

reproacheth. See note on "contempt", Psalms 123:3.

trust in = confide in. Hebrew. batah. App-69.

word. Some codices, with one early printed edition, Aramaean, Septuagint, and Syriac, read "words" (plural)


Verse 44

For ever and ever. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Whole), App-6, for a part: i.e. the rest of his life.


Verse 45

at liberty = at large. Compare Psalms 118:5.


Verse 46

kings. So Hezekiah testified, doubtless, when kings sent presents and embassies to him (2 Chronicles 32:22, 2 Chronicles 32:23). No occasion to suggest a later date for this Psalm.


Verse 47

have loved = love. Septuagint adds "much".


Verse 48

My hands, &c. Hebrew idiom = to swear by, as in Genesis 14:22. Exodus 6:8 (margin) Deuteronomy 32:40. Ezekiel 20:5, Ezekiel 20:6; Ezekiel 36:7. See note on Exodus 17:16.


Verse 49

Upon which. This is supported by the Septuagint and Vulgate. In Deuteronomy 29:25 it is rendered "Because".

caused me to hope. Our hope is based on believing what we have "heard" from God. Compare Hebrews 11:1 with Romans 10:17.


Verse 50

comfort. The word occurs (as a noun) elsewhere only in Job 6:10.

quickened me = kept me alive. See note on Psalms 119:25.

proud = insolent (like Rabshakeh).


Verse 53

Horror = Indignation.

wicked = lawless. Hebrew. rasha".


Verse 54

songs. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6, for the theme of my songs.


Verse 55

name. See note on Psalms 20:1.


Verse 56

This. Supply Ellipsis (App-6) thus: "This [comfort] I had".


Verse 57

The division is better made thus, dispensing with the supposed Ellipsis: I have said "Jehovah is my portion, That I might keep Thy word. "


Verse 58

favour. Hebrew face; put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for what is indicated by it.

merciful = gracious.


Verse 61

robbed = surrounded. Compare Sennacherib"s investment of Hezekiah. See App-67.


Verse 63

companion = fellow of the same party.

fear = revere.


Verse 64

mercy = lovingkindness, or grace.


Verse 67

Before. If we begin this verse with the word "Till", and Psalms 119:71 with ""Tis", then each verse in this section will commence with "T", as it does in the Hebrew.

afflicted = oppressed.

But now. Compare Hebrews 12:6-11, and references there.


Verse 68

good = kind. doest good = actest kindly.


Verse 71

It is. See note on Psalms 119:67.

good = right, or fitting.


Verse 72

gold and silver. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for coins made from these metals.

Jod. This is the small letter referred to in Matthew 5:18.


Verse 73

fashioned = formed. Compare Job 31:15; also Deuteronomy 32:18.


Verse 74

fear = revere.


Verse 75

right = righteousness, as in Psalms 119:7.

afflicted = humbled.


Verse 76

merciful kindness = lovingkindness, or grace.


Verse 77

tender mercies = compassions.

For, &c. This is the ground of his prayer.

delight. Plural as in Psalms 119:92 = great delight.


Verse 78

proud = insolent, or arrogant.

perversely = with falsehood.

without a cause. Compare John 15:25 with Romans 3:24 ("freely").


Verse 79

those that have known. Some codices read "and they shall know".


Verse 80

sound = thorough.


Verse 82

fail. Same word as "fainteth", in Psalms 119:81.


Verse 83

bottle = wine-skin: i.e. black and shrivelled. Compare Job 30:30.


Verse 84

many: i.e. few at the most. Compare Psalms 89:47. 2 Samuel 19:34.

execute judgment = vindicate.


Verse 85

Which, &c. = "[Men] who are not", &c.

after = according to.


Verse 86

faithful = faithfulness.

wrongfully. See note on "perversely", Psalms 119:78.


Verse 87

almost = soon. See note on "almost" (Proverbs 5:14).

consumed = made an end of.


Verse 89

For ever, O LORD. Supply Ellipsis (App-6), "For ever [art Thou], O Jehovah [For ever] Thy Word", &c.

settled = standeth fast, as the earth: i.e. endureth for ever (Psalms 102:12, Psalms 102:26. Isaiah 40:8. Luke 16:17. 1 Peter 1:25). So Christ, the Living Word (John 12:34).


Verse 90

abideth = standeth, as in Psalms 119:91.


Verse 91

They: i.e. heaven and earth.

continue = stand, as in Psalms 119:90.

this day = [to] this day, or to-day.

ordinances = regulations. Hebrew. mishpat. The seventh of the ten words. App-73. Compare Psalms 119:132.

all. With Art. = the whole [universe].


Verse 94

sought = inquired into, or studied. Compare Psalms 105:4.


Verse 96

all perfection = an end, or limit to all things. Compare Job 26:10; Job 28:3.

Thy commandment, &c. = spacious exceedingly [are] Thy commandments: i.e. including all (as opposed to "end").

they are = it [is]: i.e. the Law containing the commandments.


Verse 99

than all my teachers. Because Divinely taught Divine wisdom.


Verse 100

ancients = elders, or the aged ones.


Verse 101

evil. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.

way. Including religious way, in the sense of Acts 9:2; Acts 19:9, Acts 19:23; Acts 24:14. Compare Acts 16:17; Acts 18:26; especially in Psalms 119:104.

word. Same word as in Psalms 119:9. Some codices, with one early printed edition, with Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "words" (plural)


Verse 102

departed = swerved.

taught = directed.


Verse 103

sweet = smooth, or agreeable. Not the same word as in Psalms 19:10.


Verse 105

lamp: or lantern, for light on the path for the feet; not merely a light for the eyes (Psalms 19:8).


Verse 106

I will perform it. Some codices, with seven early printed editions, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "I have performed it"; but some codices, with four early printed editions (1 in margin), read "and will perform it".


Verse 109

in my hand. An idiom for great danger. Compare Judges 12:3. 1 Samuel 19:5; 1 Samuel 28:21. Job 13:14.


Verse 110

erred = to err from the paths of virtue and piety. Hebrew. ta"ah; not the same word as in verses: Psalms 119:21, Psalms 119:118.


Verse 113

thoughts = divided or doubting thoughts. Same root as 1 Kings 18:21 (compare James 1:8); or, them that are of double mind.


Verse 114

hiding place. Compare Psalms 32:7; Psalms 91:1. shield. Compare Psalms 84:9, and note. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. App-6.


Verse 115

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4. But "my God" implies Jehovah.


Verse 116

live. See note || on p. 827.


Verse 117

and I shall be safe = so shall I be saved.

have respect unto. Aram, and Syriac read "find dear delight in". Septuagint reads "shall meditate".


Verse 118

trodden down: or set at naught.


Verse 119

Thou puttest away. Septuagint and Vulg, read "I have accounted".


Verse 120

My flesh trembleth: or, My flesh creeps (as we say). Compare Job 4:15, i.e. at the judgment executed on the wicked.


Verse 121

justice = righteousness. Same word as in Psalms 119:7.


Verse 122

proud = arrogant. This is the only verse in this Psalm which has not one of the "ten words", unless we may include the Living Word Himself, Who is the "surety" for His people. See note on Proverbs 11:15, and compare Hebrews 7:22. See App-73.


Verse 124

mercy = lovingkindness, or grace.


Verse 126

to work: i.e. to intervene.


Verse 129

wonderful. Same root as in verses: Psalms 119:18, Psalms 119:27.

keep = keep safely.


Verse 130

entrance = doorway; which was always an open way for the light, in the absence of windows.

simple = sincere, as opposed to crafty.


Verse 131

I longed. An Aramaic word (ya"ab). Occurs only here. Weaker than in verses: Psalms 119:20, Psalms 119:40, Psalms 119:174.


Verse 132

merciful = gracious.

As Thou usest to do = According to Thy ordinance. Hebrew. mishpat. The seventh in order of the "ten words" (App-73). So rendered in Psalms 119:91.

name. See note on Psalms 20:1.


Verse 133

Order = Direct, or guide.

in = by. Some codices, with one early printed edition, Septuagint, and Vulgate, read "according to".

iniquity. Hebrew "aven. App-44.


Verse 134

Deliver: i.e. by power. Hebrew. padah. See notes on Exodus 6:6 with Exodus 13:13. Not the same word as verses: Psalms 119:153, Psalms 119:154, Psalms 119:170. man. Hebrew. "adam. App-14.


Verse 136

Rivers of waters. Hebrew. palgey-mayim. See note on Proverbs 21:1. Eng. idiom = Floods of tears.


Verse 137

Righteous, &c. See Psalms 119:7. See also Revelation 16:5, Revelation 16:7.


Verse 138

righteous and very faithful = righteousness and faithfulness.


Verse 140

very pure = refined.


Verse 141

small = insignificant. Compare Judges 6:15.


Verse 142

is the truth = is truth (no Art.) Compare John 17:17.


Verse 143

taken hold. Figure of speech Prosopopoeia. App-6.


Verse 145

cried = called [unto Thee], as in Psalms 119:146.

hear = answer.


Verse 146

cried = called. Figure of speech Anaphora. App-6.


Verse 147

prevented = anticipated, or forestalled.

dawning. A Homonym. Hebrew. nephesh. See note on 1 Samuel 30:17. Authorized Version and Revised Version correctly render it here, and in Job 7:4; though not in 1 Samuel 30:17. Job 24:15.

word. Same as in Psalms 119:11; but some codices, with Septuagint and Vulgate, read "words" (plural)


Verse 148

prevent = anticipate, or forestall.

watches. See App-51.


Verse 149

Hear. Emphatic = O do hear.


Verse 150

after mischief. Some codices, with Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "after me maliciously".


Verse 153

deliver. Twenty-five Hebrew words so rendered. Here, halaz = rescue (with a gentle hand); not the same word as in verses: Psalms 119:134, Psalms 119:154, Psalms 119:170.


Verse 154

deliver. Hebrew. ga"al = redeem. See notes on Exodus 6:6 with Exodus 13:13, Not the same word as in verses: Psalms 119:134, Psalms 119:153, Psalms 119:170.


Verse 156

tender mercies = compassions.


Verse 157

enemies = adversaries: i.e. those who hem me in.


Verse 158

transgressors. Hebrew. bagad = traitors, or treacherous men.

was grieved = loathed myself: i.e. seeing the same tendencies in myself. Compare Job 42:6.


Verse 160

beginning. Hebrew. r"osh = head. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Part), App-6, for the whole (including the beginning, and "every one", as in next line) = sum and substance, word and words (Jeremiah 15:16. John 17:8, John 17:14); rendered "sum" in Psalms 139:17.


Verse 161

Princes = Rulers.

word. Same word as in Psalms 119:9. Some codices, with Septuagint and Vulgate, read "words" (plural)


Verse 162

word. Same word as in Psalms 119:11. Some codices with Septuagint and Vulgate, read "words" (plural)


Verse 163

lying = falsehood = what is false; especially false religion and idolatry.


Verse 164

Seven times. Not a "round" number, but the number of spiritual perfection. See App-10.


Verse 165

peace. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Part), App-6, for every blessing connected with peace.

offend them = make them stumble.


Verse 170

Deliver = Rescue. Hebrew. nazal, to pluck out of the hands of an enemy; recover. Not the same word as in verses: Psalms 119:134, Psalms 119:153, Psalms 119:154.


Verse 171

utter = pour forth or bubble over with. Compare Proverbs 15:2; Proverbs 18:4.


Verse 172

speak of. Hebrew respond with. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species), App-6, for all kinds of speaking or singing; hence = praise.


Verse 173

hand. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia (App-6); "hand" put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for power exercised by it.


Verse 175

it shall praise Thee. Refers to Isaiah 38:20.

help me. Refers to Isaiah 37:33-36.


Verse 176

lost = perishing. Compare Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 119:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-119.html. 1909-1922.

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Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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