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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Psalms 119

Verses 1-8

Psalms 119

The Saint’s Source of Wisdom

Scripture v. 1-8:

To each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, from (1) aleph Through (22) tau, there are assigned 8 lines to each of the Psalms; and each line of each of the 22 sections begins with the same letter of the Hebrew assigned to the numerical section. Thus every line of section (1) Aleph section begins with "aleph," etc.

The Aleph Section

Verse 1 pronounces a blessing or spiritual prosperity on the "undefiled" perfect or sincere, in "the way;" Then "the way" is defined as the walk of those "who walk in the law, torah, the code of the whole law, of the Lord," as formerly expressed Psalms 1:1-2. In fact, the 119th Psalm has been called an epitome. sermon, an exposition of and on Psalms 1:1-2; Psalms 26:3; Psalms 128:1.

Verse 2 adds that they are blessed, "spiritually prosperous," Psalms 1:3; who "keep his testimonies, and seek him with the whole heart," v. 10,34, as contrasted with the divided heart, affections, or a "double-mind," James 4:8; Deuteronomy 4:19. This is a test of character, Deuteronomy 6:5.

Verse 3 asserts that they who seek Him with the "whole heart," walk in His torah, and keep His testimonies "do not iniquity," lawlessness, as they "walk in his ways." They walk in course of conduct or pattern of life after the spirit, not after the flesh, Romans 8:1; 1 John 3:9. They are not perfect in the flesh or sinless, 1 John 1:8-9; but their life pattern is not of iniquity,See Psalms 1:1-2.

Verse 4 recounts "thou hast commanded us to keep (guard) thy precepts diligently," as a most worthy trust, as a precious jewel wholly committed to us, Psalms 18:30; Exodus 20:6;1 Corinthians 9:27.

Verse 5 exclaims "O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!" That they were strengthened, confirmed, made steadfast, because of human frailty. The Psalmist yearns for Divine help to keep his life regulated by the Law of the Lord, Psalms 78:37; 2 Chronicles 27:6; Exodus 15:26; Romans 12:1-2.

Verse 6 witnesses that "then," regulated in his conduct by the word, "shall I not be ashamed (caused to blush) when I have (hold) respect unto all thy commandments," Isaiah 50:7; Deuteronomy 6:6; Matthew 15:3. Any one lust, held or cherished, Is Incompatible with a Christian profession, James 2:10-11.

Verse 7 pledges that the psalmist will praise the Lord "with uprightness of heart," sincerity, in contrast with lip service, when he shall have learned "thy righteous judgments." To worship God aright men must be taught His absolute holiness of character, reflected in His holy and just laws, v.12,26; John 6:45; Psalms 119:160; Ezra 8:21.

Verse 8 concludes "I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly," or wholly. In chastening, the believer may seem wholly forsaken, but let him be assured that he is not, Psalms 37:24; Psalms 37:28; Hebrews 13:5; See too Exodus 24:7; Psalms 38:21; Psalms 71:9.

Verses 9-16

The Beth Section

Scripture v. 9-16:

Verse 9 inquires from just what source a young man (an immature man) "may cleanse his ways," to avoid bringing further defilement to his life. It is answered "by taking heed thereto according to thy word," Proverbs 1:4; Proverbs 20:11; Psalms 17:4. Though passions of lust in youth are strong, the word of God is the safest source of protection against a life of defeat and regret, as set forth Luke 15:13; 2 Timothy 2:22.

Verse 10 confides "with my whole (honest) heart have I sought thee," a worthy thing, blessed thing for every youth, 2 Chronicles 15:12; 2 Chronicles 15:15; 1 Samuel 7:3; Psalms 78:37; Jeremiah 3:10; Daniel 9:3; Hosea 10:2; Zephaniah 1:5. The psalmist personally, and on behalf of Israel, appealed "O let me not wander (stray) from thy commandments," because of danger lurking for those who do, like a lamb wandering from its shepherd and flock, 2 Chronicles 11:16; Psalms 119:176; Proverbs 21:16.

Verse 11 adds "thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee," because of its restraining power, Through the conscience, the memorex system and monitor of the soul, Romans 2:14-15; Deuteronomy 6:6; Luke 2:51; 1 Samuel 25:29. The word of God, in mind and heart, is the best preservative against sin, Psalms 37:31; Proverbs 7:1.

Verse 12 pronounces a praise blessing on the Lord God, requesting, "teach me thy statutes," or cause me to learn them, I’m teachable," is the idea: "I’m willing and desire to know and keep them," is the spirit expressed Ezra 8:21; 1 Peter 3:15; 2 Peter 3:15.

Verse 13 testifies "with my lips (testimony) have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth," a worthy act of obedient service to God, Psalms 66:16; Psalms 119:46; Acts 1:8. Though he had "hidden His word in his heart," v. 11, he did not keep It there; nor should one do so now, but share it with others, Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Deuteronomy 6:12.

Verse 14 relates the psalmist had rejoiced in God’s testimonies, as much as in all riches, above all accumulated wealth about him, Psalms 4:7; Psalms 19:10; Proverbs 8:18.

Verses 15,16 relate his resolve to meditate in the Lord’s precepts, have respect to His ways, delight in His statutes, and forget not His words, a resolution of high value for all men; For therein is prosperity and great spiritual health and success found, Joshua 1:8; 2 John 1:2.

Verses 17-24

The Gimel Section

Scripture v. 17-24:

Verse 17 appeals for the Lord to "deal bountifully with thy servant," or reward him, according to God’s mercy and grace, not his merit. He adds, "that I may live, and keep thy word;" The keeping of God’s word, not gratification or satisfaction of his own flesh or lust, was the psalmists chief desire, Psalms 36:8; Deuteronomy 32:47; Deuteronomy 26:16; Luke 2:51. Also expressed for Israel, as well as himself, Psalms 116:7; as also, of Paul, Philippians 1:21-22; Philippians 1:24; Psalms 118:17.

Verse 18 pleads "open thou mine eyes that 1 may behold (get a vision of) wondrous things out of thy law;" 2 Peter 1:20. He desired a spiritual vision of the meaning of the word and will of God, and asked for it, John 7:17; James 1:5; 2 Kings 6:17.

Verse 19 confesses "I am a stranger in the earth," away from my eternal homeland, "hide (cover) not thy commandments from me." As Israel felt a stranger in Cannan, so should Christians today in this world, and ask for a vision to understand the point of direction of the Divine compass for their lives, as sojourners here on a pilgrimage to glory, Hebrews 11:16; 2 Corinthians 5:1.

Verses 20, 21 , lament "my soul breaketh (is crushed continually) for the longing it hath unto thy judgments at all times," against my enemies, who, Though living wickedly, seem to prosper as the psalmist drew near the dust of death, v. 25; See also "his rebuke of the proud that are cursed," awaiting execution, "which do err (continually) from thy commandments," who shall not go unpunished forever, Exodus 9:17; Exodus 18:11; Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10; See also 2Ch 15;15; Psalms 9:5; Isaiah 17:13; Psalms 10:2.

Verse 22 asks the .Lord to remove or roll away reproach and contempt from him because he has "kept his testimonies," Joshua 5:9; Psalms 39:8. In His honor God heeds such prayers, 1 John 1:8-9.

Verse 23 adds "princes also did sit and speak against me," derided me, "but thy servant did meditate in (digest) thy statutes," v. 161. To be derided is no dishonor, as long as one meditates in and seeks to be doers of the word and will of God. See also Psalms 2:2; Psalms 31:13; Genesis 24:63.

Verse 24 concludes "thy testimonies are (exist as) my delight and my counsellors," or serve as men of my counsel, v. 77, 92, in contrast with the princes (world rulers) who "sit in counsel" against me, v. 23, 47; Deuteronomy 6:17.

Verses 25-32

The Dateth Section

Scripture v. 25-32:

Verse 25 laments "my soul (very life) cleaveth unto the dust. Quicken thou me according to thy word," from the place of the wounded, the afflicted, the dying; "Make me alive with peace and joy," is the idea, Psalms 44:15; Psalms 22:15; Isaiah 26:19; Romans 5:4-5. See also Psalms 71:20; Psalms 80:18; Psalms 143:11; Psalms 119:37.

Verse 26 recounts ’ "I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: Teach me thy statutes;" In prayer he had confidentially committed his whole case of affliction to the Lord, as a sick man to a physician, or a client to his lawyer, Psalms 118:5; Psalms 118:21; Psalms 37:5. He yearns to know the law of the Lord, that he might obey it, 1 Kings 8:36; Psalms 25:4; Psalms 25:8-9; Psalms 27:11; Psalms 86:11; Psalms 143:8-10; Psalms 119:107; Psalms 119:149; Psalms 119:156; Psalms 119:159.

Verse 27 asks to be made to understand the way of the Lord’s precepts, with the pledge, "so shall I talk of thy wondrous works," v. 18; Psalms 145:5-6; Psalms 26:7; Psalms 8:3.

Verse 28 confides "my soul melteth (continually) for heaviness; strengthen thou me according to thy word." In anguish his soul was drooped, due to his suffering, from which he asked for strength, Job 16:20; Numbers 11:15; 2 Samuel 22:40.

Verse 29 appeals for the Lord to remove from him "the way of lying," the way of every unfaithfulness, in which he had not kept the covenant of the Lord, to which he was pledged.

To make sacred pledges of covenants, to God, man, or the church, then break them, is "the way of lying," which every covenant breaker should confess as David did, or this Psalmist; He then asks that God grant him "the law graciously" or to understand it, as a gift of grace, v.27; Hebrews 8:10; See also John 17:17; Proverbs 30:8; Isaiah 44:20; Jeremiah 16:19; Ephesians 4:22-25; 1 John 1:8; 1 John 2:4.

Verse 30 asserts that the Psalmist has chosen the way of truth, the word of the Lord, as his strict rule of conduct, which he has laid out before him, which he has resolved to follow, Joshua 24:15; John 17:17; Psalms 119:160; Psalms 119:173; Isaiah 26:7.

Verse 31 recounts, "I have stuck to thy testimonies," a good thing "to stick to," and he asks the Lord, "put me not to shame," or do not disappoint my hopes for peace and joy; For steadfastness is to be cherished, Joshua 23:8; Deuteronomy 6:17; Psalms 119:6.

Verse 32 concludes "I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shaft enlarge my heart," 1 Kings 4:29; Isaiah 60:5; 2 Corinthians 6:11. The idea is I will serve you better, more expansively, run the race course better, doing your bidding fervently, when you have removed my afflictions, given me joy again, 1 Corinthians 9:24; Galatians 5:7; Philippians 2:16; Philippians 3:12-14.

Verses 33-40

The He Section

Scripture v. 33-40:

Verse 33 requests the Lord to teach the Psalmist his statutes, with the pledge that the Psalmist will keep or guard them to the end, as long as he lived, Matthew 10:22; Revelation 2:26; even as Paul did, 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Verse 34 pleads, "give me (dole out to me) understanding," with the pledge, and I shall keep (guard) thy law, yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart, heartily, sincerely, Proverbs 2:6; James 1:5. His faithfulness to the law of the Lord is pledged to be unceasing, v. 73.

Verse 35 adds "make me to go (or cause me to go) in the path of thy commandments, for therein do I delight." He has willed to obey God’s law, then asks for power to do what is the desire and resolve of his heart, John 7:17; Matthew 11:28-30; 1 John 5:3.

Verse 36 petitions the Lord to incline or turn the Psalmist’s heart to His testimonies (to respect them) and not to covetousness, selfishness, or greed, the King-cause of all deeds of sin, Ezekiel 33:31; Mark 7:21; Lu 1215; 1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5. Love for God and love for gain can not each reign supremely in the same heart; One will supplant, replace the other as King, or Lord of the soul, Matthew 6:24; 1 John 2:15-17; 1 Timothy 6:17; Luke 8:14. God gives the covetous over to their own chosen idol, to their own destruction, Romans 1:24.

Verse 37 appeals "turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; And quicken thou me in thy ways," of holiness and righteousness. He asks that God cause him to turn from vain ways of deceit and idolatry, for no peace and happiness is found away from the living God; Our safety is in avoiding temptation, Matthew 5:28-29; Matthew 6:22-23; Proverbs 23:31.

Verse 38 asks God to establish His word of promise to his servant David, who was devoted to the fear of the Lord, 2 Samuel 7:25; 1 Kings 2:4; 1 Kings 8:25; Luke 1:32-33; Psalms 19:9.

Verse 39 adds "turn away (aside) my reproach which I fear; for thy judgments are good," or ideal, not destructive, but corrective, as chastening to His own people, 1 Corinthians 11:31-32.

Verse 40 concludes "behold (take note) I have longed after thy precepts; Quicken me in thy righteousness," out of my afflictions, my weakness, my battle with death, as you save those who trust in and call upon you; The longing, seeking after the word and will of God, leads to salvation and committed service to God, John 7:17; Acts 9:5-6.

Verses 41-48

The Vau Section

Scripture v. 41-48:

Verses 41,42 is a prayer that God’s mercies, even his salvation or deliverance from his enemies, may come to the psalmist forthwith, that he might have such a liberation from his trials and afflictions to offer as a testimony to those who reproach or deride him, Luke 1:78; Psalms 25:2; Psalms 26:1; This prayer of faith was based on his testimony, "for I trust in thy word," a safe source of trust, Psalms 2:12.

Verses 43, 44 appeal to the Lord to grant his salvation request by a true, liberal deliverance from his enemies, his main source of hope of stopping the mouths of those who reproached him; otherwise, if he were not delivered by Divine judgment upon his reproachers, his resolute deliverance testimony would be taken out of his mouth. He had rested his hope in God’s judgments against those who derided him. For such a liberation vindication he was fervently resolved to keep God’s law and offer praise and gratitude to God for ever and ever, Joshua 1:8.

Verses 45, 46 continue his promise "to walk at liberty," at large, without captive bands or bounds, for he sought to keep God’s precepts, as a "free man," yet a voluntary servant steward of God, John 8:32; Romans 8:2; Galatians 5:1; Galatians 5:13; James 1:25; James 2:12; 1 Peter 3:16. He added that he would "speak of thy testimonies also before kings," without shame of blushing, Matthew 10:18; Acts 26:1-2. It is their adversaries who shall be. put to shame, not the liberated, Romans 8:15; John 8:36; 2 Timothy 1:7; Psalms 138:1. See too Acts 4:14; Acts 6:10.

Verses 47, 48 recount these things the psalmist fervently resolved to do: a) to delight himself in the Lord’s commandments; b) to lift up his hands of service and obedience to them, to surrender to their biddings, and c) to meditate in (digest, be nourished) in His statutes, which he vows that he has come to love: Because he loved God who gave them, Psalms 28:2; Psalms 134:2; Genesis 14:22; Genesis 41:44; Hebrews 12:12. As a beggar lifts up his hands to say, "my life needs help," will you help? so must the man of faith lift up his hands to the God of the word who has promised, Philippians 4:19.

Verses 49-56

The Zain Section

Scripture v. 49-56:

Verses 49, 50 recount the psalmist’s request that the Lord remember the word (of promise) upon which his servant, He, had been caused to lean in faith and hope, v. 38,74,76,81,147. Verse 50 adds "This is (exists as) my comfort in my affliction, for thy word (of salvation) hath quickened me," given me a lively hope and assurance, v. 65,93; See also Psalms 27:13; Psalms 28:7; Psalms 42:8; Psalms 42:11; Jeremiah 15:16; Hebrews 6:17-19; Hebrews 12:11-12.

Verse 51, 52 assert that Though the proud (haughty) had held the psalmist in derision, greatly, yet he had not declined, deviated, or turned away from the Law of the Lord, Psalms 123:3-4; Jeremiah 20:7; Luke 16:14; Luke 23:35; See also his fidelity, as described Job 23:11; Psalms 44:18; Isaiah 38:3; Isaiah 42:4; Acts 20:23-24; Hebrews 12:1. He added that having remembered the judgments of God of old (from former years) he comforted himself with trust in the goodness and faithfulness of God, Proverbs 3:3-5.

Verse 53 declares that horror (astonishment) had taken hold on the psalmist because of the wicked who had forsaken the law of their God, much as Ezra was when he saw the Hebrew people had mingled with and intermarried the heathen and embraced their idol.

Verse 54 adds "thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage," as a sojourner, with my citizenship in heaven, v. 19; Job 5:10; Acts 16:25; Psalms 149:5.

Verses 55, 56 certify that the psalmist had remembered the name of the Lord and kept His law, even in the night of his darkest afflictions. This faith and hope and song he had, because he kept His precepts, that give great reward, Deuteronomy 17:19; Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 6:25; Psalms 63:6; Psalms 42:8.

Verses 57-64

The Cheth Section

Scripture v. 57-64:

Verses 57, 58 express that the psalmist trusted in the Lord as "his portion," having pledged that he would keep or guard the words of the Lord, as a fixed heart resolve or commitment, no matter what the world should do, Psalms 16:5; Psalms 73:26; La 3:24; Jeremiah 10:16. He related that he had entreated the Lord’s favor (face) with his "whole heart." In humility and earnestness he prayed "be merciful to me according to thy word," as promised, Exodus 33:19; Job 11:19.

Verses 59, 60 witness "I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies," as a penitent prodigal wanderer, Luke 15:17-18; Revelation 2:5; La 3:40; Joel 2:13. He added, "I made haste and delayed not to keep thy commandments," like Zacchaeus, not like Felix, and certain Athenians, Luke 19:5-6; Acts 24:25; Acts 17:32.

Verses 61, 62 assert that Though the bands (companies) of the wicked had robbed the psalmist, he had not forgotten the law of the Lord; And he added that he would arise at midnight (when robbers strike) to give thanks of gratitude to the Lord for His righteous judgments that also frequently fall at midnight, when men least expected them, v. 55; Acts 16:25; Exodus 11:4; Exodus 12:29; Job 34:20; Job 35:10; Psalms 42:8; Mark 1:35; Luke 12:20.

Verses 63, 64 recount the psalmist’s testimony that he is a companion (fellow) of all those who feared the Lord and kept His precepts, a noble fellowship; Praise God, a man is known by his company that he keeps! Amos 3:3; Matthew 3:16-17.
Verse 64 concludes "the earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy; teach me thy statutes," as you fill the earth with mercy, that I may share it with others, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Psalms 33:5; Psalms 104:13; Psalms 145:9.

Verses 65-72

The Teth Section

Scripture v. 65-72:

Verses 65, 66 declare that the Lord has dealt well with His psalmist servant, in harmony with his word of promise, Joshua 1:8. He adds, "teach me (I’m teachable) good judgment and knowledge: For I have believed thy commandments;" He longed to have experimental understanding of both God’s threats and promises, Psalms 34:8; Psalms 27:13; Psalms 31:19.

Verses 67, 68 recount "before I was afflicted (chastened) I went astray, but now have I kept thy word," even as Israel had done, Deuteronomy 32:15; Jeremiah 31:18-19; Hosea 2:6-7; Hosea 5:15; Hosea 6:1; Hebrews 12:11; Revelation 3:19. He added that the Lord was good and did good, two grand, Divine attributes, Acts 14:17; Acts 10:38; He called on God to teach him His statutes, Exodus 33:18-19; Exodus 34:6; Psalms 106:1; Psalms 107:1; Psalms 145:7; Psalms 145:9; Matthew 5:45; Matthew 19:17.

Verses 69, 70 assert that, Though the proud had forged lies against the psalmist, he was, firmly resolved, at heart, to keep the Lord’s’ precepts, Job 13:4; Ezra 4:11-16; See v. 21, 51, also. Verse 70 declares that the heart of the proud forgers of lies is "as fat as grease," obese, fat, stupid, and insensible about spiritual things; yet this man of God declared "I delight (find pleasure) in thy law," Deuteronomy 32:15; Romans 1:28; Psalms 17:10; Psalms 73:7; Isaiah 6:10; Acts 28:27.

Verse 71 acknowledges "It is good (ideal) for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn (experimentally) thy statutes," v. 67,75; Hebrews 12:10; John 15:2; Job 5:6.

Verse 72 concludes "the law of thy mouth is better (of more benefit) to me than thousands of gold and silver," a thing all men should learn, v. 127; Psalms 19:10; Proverbs 8:10.

Verses 73-80

The Jod Section

Scripture v. 73-80:

Verses 73, 74 confess that the Lord has made and fashioned the psalmist, has a priority claim on his life; He then asks the Lord for understanding (for help) that he may learn the Lord’s commandments, Job 10:4; Psalms 100:3; Psalms 139:14.

He pledged to cause (hose who observe his Ids to be glad and fear the Lord; Because he had put his hope in the Lord, found it a rewarding experience before them, Psalms 34:2; Psalms 52:6; Malachi 3:16; See also Deuteronomy 22:6; Deuteronomy 32:15; Isaiah 44:2.

Verses 75, 76 further acknowledge that the judgments of the Lord are right and that God had afflicted the psalmist justly, to justify His Divine character, Genesis 18:25; Romans 3:4; Psalms 25:10; Psalms 89:30-33; Hebrews 12:10; Revelation 3:19; 1 Corinthians 11:32; 1 Peter 4:19; Leviticus 26:41.
Verse 76 petitions the Lord to let His merciful kindness come to be for the psalmist’s comfort, according to Divine promise, Psalms 17:7; Psalms 71:21; 1 Kings 8:56.

Verses 77, 78 exhort the Lord to permit his "tender mercies" to come to the comfort of the psalmist, that he might live (be revived), because he delighted in the law of the Lord, v.17,24; Deuteronomy 21:8; Psalms 123:3; Deuteronomy 32:47.

He too asks that the proud, wicked be brought to shame, because they dealt perversely against the psalmist, without a defensible cause, v. 85; He added that he would keep on meditating in the Lord’s precepts, finding spiritual nourishment there, Psalms 25:3; Psalms 40:4; Isaiah 26:11; Genesis 24:63.

Verses 79, 80 ask God to permit or cause those who feared the Lord and had known his testimonies to be turned to the psalmist, to join in an holy cause of obedience with him, v.63. Verse 80 concludes "let (or cause) my heart (to) be sound (or perfect, mature) in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed," v. 6, before you, O God, or before men, Genesis 17:1; Deuteronomy 5:29. See also 2 Chronicles 15:17; Proverbs 4:23; John 1:47.

Verses 81-88

The Caph Section

Scripture v. 81-88:

Verses 81, 82 relate the psalmist’s word that his soul-life continually fainted, longed for the salvation (freedom or liberty) of the Lord, but he held on to hope, in God’s word of promised deliverance, not giving up, v. 123, Psalms 42:1; Psalms 73:26; Psalms 84:2. He added his eyes failed for the fulfillment of his word of promised deliverance, saying "when wilt thou comfort me?" Job 31:16; Deuteronomy 28:32; Psalms 69:3; Isaiah 38:11.

Verses 83, 84 add that he had come to be "like a bottle in the smoke, His skin was like a shriveled wine bottle, dried in the smoke, yet he did not forget the statutes of the Lord, Psalms 102:3-4; Psalms 31:4; Proverbs 17:22; Job 30:30. Like Job, he asked God to send judgment speedily on his foes, because of the brevity of his own life as God’s servant, Psalms 39:4; Psalms 89:47-48; Psalms 7:6; Revelation 6:10. See also Job 7:6-21; Job 9:25; Job 16:22.

Verses 85, 86 assert that all God’s commandments are faithful (trustworthy), yet the proud had persecuted the psalmist wickedly, digging pits, laying snares against him, out of harmony with the law of the Lord, v.21, 78. From this entrapment state he cried, "help thou me," come to my rescue; Treachery is against the law of God; The breakers shall be punished, Psalms 35:7; Psalms 7:15; Psalms 35:19; Psalms 38:19.

Verse 87 acknowledges "they (the proud) had almost consumed me upon the earth, but 1 forsook not (deserted not) thy precepts;" Though a small remnant only was left in Israel, a seed did keep on trusting, hoping, John 1:11-12; Luke 1:32.

Verse 88 intercedes "Quicken me (make me to live, be revived) after thy loving kindness, so shall I keep thy testimonies," to will and to do His commandments, John 7:17; Philippians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 8:12; Romans 12:1-2.

Verses 89-96

The Lamed Section

Scripture v. 89-96:

Verse 89 asserts that the word of the Lord is settled in heaven, for ever. This means that it exists of heaven’s inspiration, is true, and unchangeable, forever, as certified repeatedly, Psalms 119:160; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 3:13.

Verses 90, 91 declare that the faithfulness (fidelity, trustworthiness) of God is to all generations, so that He established the earth, and it abides continuously according to, in harmony with, His ordinances for all earth’s creatures, Isaiah 48:13; Jeremiah 33:25. All created creatures above, upon, and beneath the earth are declared to be His servants; Psalms 148:5-6.

Verses 92, 93 acknowledge that God’s law had been the delight or pleasure of the psalmist, without which he would have perished in his afflictions, v. 24; Romans 15:4. He pledged that he, therefore, would never forget His precepts, by which the Lord had quickened him or given him meaning and purpose in life, v. 50.

Verses 94, 95 assert "I am thine (belong to you), save me, for I have sought thy precepts," as a way of life, Psalms 86:2; Hosea 2:7; Hosea 2:16; Acts 27:23. He added, "The wicked, (proud, deriders) have waited for me to destroy me," (by entrapment), Psalms 56:6; "But I will consider thy testimonies," as true, trustworthy, as the 3 Hebrew children and Daniel did, Daniel 1:8; Daniel 1:20; Daniel 3:16-18.

Verse 96 concludes "I have seen (recognized) an end (purpose) of all perfection: But thy commandment is exceeding broad." No human thing is so complete, revealing the past, present, and future in a definitive degree of perfection, accuracy, or trustworthiness, as God’s Word, Psalms 119:160; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Verses 97-104

The Mem Section

Scripture v. 97-104:

Verse 97 exclaims, "O how love I thy law! It is (exists as) my meditation (my nourishment) all the day," a sustaining source of spiritual strength, Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:2.

Verse 98 declares that the Lord has caused the psalmist to be wiser than his enemies, Through His commandments that were ever (always with) or before him; Isaiah 48:17; Luke 16:18; Psalms 116:6; By these commandments he was "wise unto salvation," 2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Timothy 3:17.

Verses 99, 100, add, "I have more understanding (comprehend more) than all my teachers, sages (who teach, but give themselves to politics, science, and economics). For thy testimonies are (exist as) my meditation, my spiritual food, 2 Timothy 3:15; He continued, "I understand more than the ancients," the elders who were considered depositories or libraries of knowledge, because he obeyed the precepts or laws of the Lord, a thing 1) His enemies, 2) His teachers, and 3) the ancients failed to do, as related 1 Kings 12:6; 1 Kings 12:15; Job 12:12; Job 15:9-10; Job 28:28; Job 32:7; James 1:22.

Verses 101, 102 assert that the psalmist had refrained (held back) his feet from every (kind of) evil (wicked) way, that he might keep the word of the Lord, adding, "I have not departed (strayed) from thy judgments: For thou hast taught me," inwardly by the spirit, Hosea 11:3; Isaiah 54:13; Jeremiah 31:34; See also Proverbs 1:15; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 55:7; Jeremiah 2:36; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Titus 2:11;1 Peter 2:1.

Verse 103 witnesses, "How sweet (wholesome) are thy words unto my taste (my spiritual palate), yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Psalms 19:10; Proverbs 6:23; Proverbs 8:11. The word of God is sweet for man’s bitter hours, all sufficient, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Job 12:11; Job 34:3.

Verse 104 concludes "Through thy precepts I get understanding: Therefore I hate (abhor) every false way," ways of deceit, v.29; James 1:5. For "The fear of the Lord is (exists as) the beginning (the aleph or alpha) of knowledge, Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 1:29.

Verses 105-112

The Nun Section

Scripture v. 105-112:

Verse 105 sets forth the idea that the word of the Lord is a guide for dark hours, like a lamp or candle light to guide the footsteps of God’s people, as He did Israel by a pillar of cloud by day and firelight by night, Through all her dark days, Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19; Exodus 14:19-20; Exodus 14:24; 1 Timothy 2:15.

Verses 106, 107 witness that the psalmist had sworn and was determined to perform his promise, that he would keep, guard, or respect God’s righteous judgments, a thing all men should also do, Nehemiah 10:29; Even as Israel had sworn Exodus 19:8; Exodus 24:3; Exodus 24:7; Ezekiel 11:9; Ezekiel 11:20; 2 Corinthians 3:5; James 1:22.
Verse 107 calls on the Lord to quicken or revive the psalmist from his affliction, according to His word of honor and integrity, as he obeyed Him, Leviticus 18:5; Deuteronomy 6:24.

Verses 108, 109 call on the Lord to accept the freewill offering of the psalmist’s mouth, his prayers and praise and teach him (Through it all) His judgments, Hosea 14:2; Hebrews 13:15. He adds that Though his soul (life) is continually in his hand (in danger), yet he did not forget, or neglect the law of the Lord, faint, or fall out, Judges 12:3; 1 Samuel 19:5; Job 13:14.

Verse 110 asserts that Though his enemies had laid a snare for him the psalmist did not err (turn away) from the Lord’s precepts, v.109; See also v. 10,21.

Verses 111, 112 disclose that the psalmist had taken hold on the Lord’s statutes, as an heritage to follow and obey forever, to perform them with all his heart, as a source of rejoicing, always, even to the end of his life, a noble resolve, John 7:17; Deuteronomy 33:4. His word is a compass for the sea and wilderness of life and a trustworthy road map to glory, with many danger and detour markers along the way. Blessed are all who seek to obey and follow it, Isaiah 54:17; Romans 2:14-16; Colossians 1:12; Hebrews 9:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 15:14; John 14:15;1 John 5:3.

Verses 113-120

The Samech Section

Scripture v. 113-120:

Verse 113 expresses the psalmist’s hatred of "vain thoughts," empty speculations, hypothesis, or cloudy imaginations, that are adverse to the word of truth, James 1:8; 1 Kings 18:21; Genesis 6:5. but he loved (held affectionately) to the law of the lord.

Verse 114 adds, "Thou art my hiding place (security resort) and my shield: I hope in thy word," confidently, with faith, as also expressed Psalms 32:7; Psalms 91:1; Isaiah 32:2.

Verse 115 addresses evil doers, asking them to depart, turn away from the psalmist, for he said, "I will (am resolved) to keep the commandments of my God," a noble resolve, John 7:17; 2 Corinthians 8:12. He would not be seduced by the doers of evil, bids them leave him alone, "get gone," Psalms 6:8; Psalms 139:19; Matthew 7:23; Matthew 25:41.

Verse 116 calls on God to uphold (support) him according to His word, that he might live, revive, and survive the afflictions he was enduring. He added, "and let me not be ashamed of my hope," in you and in your word, Psalms 25:2; Romans 5:5; Romans 9:33; Romans 10:11.

Verses 117, 118 begin, "Hold thou me up (sustain me) and I shall be safe," and have or hold respect "to thy statutes continually," uninterruptedly, Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalms 17:5; Psalms 71:6; John 10:28; Romans 14:4. The psalmist continues, "Thou hast trodden down (in judgment) all them that err from thy statutes: For their deceit is falsehood," v. 21; Isaiah 29:14.

Verse 119 states that the psalmist loved the testimonies of the Lord because He put away all the wicked of the earth, overthrew them in judgment, "like dross," or refuse, separating the righteous and the wicked, Ezekiel 22:18-19; Isaiah 1:25; Malachi 3:2-3; Jeremiah 6:30; Matthew 3:12.

Verse 120 concludes that the psalmist’s flesh continually trembled for respectful fear of the Lord; For he feared his judgments, as charged, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Habakkuk 3:2; Habakkuk 3:16; 1 Chronicles 13:12; Ezekiel 27:35.

Verses 121-128

The Ain Section

Scripture v. 121-128:

Verses 121,122 recount the psalmist’s declaration that he has done judgment and justice, lived above any indictable charges of injustice from his enemies; Therefore he asks that the Lord not leave him to be oppressed by them. He appeals to the Lord, "Be surety (a bond of security) for thy servant for good. Let not the proud (arrogant) oppress me," Genesis 43:9; Isaiah 38:14; Hebrews 7:22. See also Job 17:3; Deuteronomy 6:24; Deuteronomy 10:13; Deuteronomy 30:9.

Verses 123, 124 plead for the Lord to deal with His servant the psalmist, according to His mercies and teach him His statutes, as often repeated, as he declared that he was teachable, ready to learn, v.12; He added that his eyes fail (to see) the salvation promised him and Israel by the Lord, and for the word of His righteousness, which ensured fulfillment of His promises, v. 121; Psalms 109:21.

Verses 125, 126 relate the psalmist’s request that the Lord give him understanding (as a matter of grace, not debt) that he might know the meaning of the testimonies of the Lord, Psalms 116:16; He added that it was time for the Lord to do it, right away, for his enemies had made His law to appear as void or meaningless, by their oppression of His people, v. 121,123; Psalms 22:31; Psalms 52:9; Isaiah 44:23; Romans 2:12-16.

Verse 127 assets, "I love thy commandments above (more than) gold, yea, above fine gold," a ,well placed love, in the excellence of the Law, Psalms 19:10; Proverbs 3:13-18; Proverbs 8:11; Proverbs 16:16; Matthew 13:45-46; Ephesians 3:8.

Verse 128 concludes "therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right," as also certified Psalms 119:160; He added that he hated every false, devious, or dishonest way, that is sin; One is to obey all that apply to Him, Matthew 5:17-19; James 1:22.

Verses 129-136

The Pe Section

Scripture v. 129-136:

Verses 129, 130 declare that the testimonies of the Lord are wonderful (full of wonder), an occasion for the psalmist’s soul to keep or guard them; They were wonderful because: 1) God was their author; 2) truth their content; and 3) salvation for all men their end of purpose, Isaiah 64:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10. He added "The entrance of thy words giveth (continually gives) light. ft gives understanding to the simple, those who accept it for face value, Psalms 19:7; Proverbs 1:4; 2 Peter 1:19.

Verses 131, 132 relate, "I opened my mouth and panted; for I longed for thy commandments," to satisfy my spiritual thirst, and my hungry soul, v. 20; Job 29:23; Psalms 42:1. He added, "look thou upon me and be merciful unto me," adding further, as you once did in the past to those who loved your name, as all godly do, Genesis 40:13; Exodus 4:31; Exodus 21:9; 1 Samuel 1:11; 2 Samuel 16:12; Psalms 51:1; Psalms 106:4; 2 Kings 11:14; Ezra 3:4.

Verse 133 appeals "order (direct) my steps in thy word; and let not any iniquity have dominion (jurisdiction, a slavebond) over me, "John 8:34; Romans 6:16; Romans 6:20; 2 Peter 2:19; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Verse 134 continues, "deliver (set me free) from the oppression of man: So will I keep thy precepts," as a testimony before them, no longer hindered by them, Luke 1:74.

Verse 135 adds "make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me, (help me to understand) thy statutes," showing thy favor to me and my people, and thy people Israel, Psalms 4:6; Psalms 80:3; Psalms 80:7; Numbers 6:25.

Verse 136 concludes "rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law," as custodian and trustees who have turned traitor to your law. The psalmist was grieved and wept not only because of Israel’s disobedience to God’s law, but also their enmity toward him, La 3:48; Jeremiah 9:1; Jeremiah 13:17; Jeremiah 14:17; Ezekiel 9:4; Philippians 3:18.

Verses 137-144

The Tzaddl Section

Scripture v. 137-144:

Verses 137, 138 assert that the Lord is righteous in His character and that His judgments and testimonies that He has mandated are upright, righteous, and truly faithful, as certified Ezra 9:15; Nehemiah 9:33; Jeremiah 12:1; Daniel 9:7. See also Deuteronomy 32:4. Their promised blessings are sure to be fulfilled, as well as their curses, v.86; Psalms 93:5.

Verses 139, 140 declare that the psalmist’s zeal had consumed him, or cut him off, because his enemies had forgotten the words of the Lord, willfully, by acting as if they did not even remember them, Psalms 69:9. He added, "thy word is very pure, as refined gold or silver, therefore thy servant loveth it," as without dross or any error, Psalms 12:6; Psalms 18:30; Psalms 119:160.

Verses 141, 142 witness, "I am small and despised (before and by the world); yet do I not forget thy precepts;" To be righteous, Though small before the world, is to be great before God, Proverbs 15:16; Amos 7:2; Luke 1:15; 1 Corinthians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 8:9; James 2:5. The psalmist added, "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth, v. 151," therefore it can not prove false to its promises, Psalms 19:9; John 17:17; Ephesians 1:13.

Verse 143 laments "trouble and anguish have taken hold on (enslaved) me," adding "yet thy commandments are my delight," Though anguish and trouble have hounded me like a dog tracking a wild beast, tit it catches it: Psalms 116:3; Exodus 18:8.

Verse 144 concludes "the righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting," (without end). He added "give me (dole out to me, of thy grace) understanding, and I shall live," survive with spiritual life, v. 34,73,142,169. For His testimonies are true, sure, to those who trust in them, Proverbs 3:35.

Verses 145-152

The Koph Section

Scripture v. 145-152:

Verses 145, 146 are the prayer of an earnest believing servant of God, for help in the midst of affliction, as he cried to the Lord to save him, set him free from his pain and sorrows. He cried to the Lord with his "whole heart," (earnestly) pledging that when saved or delivered from his trouble he would keep the statutes and testimonies of the Lord, v. 10. Such effectual, fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much, James 5:16.

Verses 147, 148 relate that this psalmist "prevented (went before) the dawning of the morning," to cry to the Lord, because he had "hoped" or trusted in His, word for answered prayer. He added "Mine eyes prevent the night watches," or awake (before the night watchmen come), "that I might keep thy word," which was his earnest desire, v. 74; Psalms 88:13; Psalms 95:2; Psalms 63:6; Psalms 77:14; La 2:19. Early rising for prayer is a noble habit that our Lord observed, Luke 6:12.

Verse 149 pleads for the Lord to hear or give heed to his voice and quicken or revive him, "according to" or in harmony, with his loving kindness and judgment, his just character of dealing with both the godly and ungodly, v. 156,175.

Verses 150, 151 state that the nearer the mischief workers draw to the psalmist servant of God for premeditated evil, the further they were from God’s law. He added, "Thou art near, (to me) O Lord, and all thy commandments are true," or trustworthy, can be trusted, v. 142, even all their warnings and promises, Psalms 145:18; Deuteronomy 4:7; Matthew 1:23; Jeremiah 23:23; See also Psalms 46:1; Psalms 75:1; Psalms 139:2.

Verse 152 witnesses that the godly psalmist servant of the Lord had known or realized "of old," even eternity, that the testimonies of the Lord were founded forever, v. 89, as eternal principles of right and wrong, Luke 21:23.

Verses 153-160

The Resh Section

Scripture v. 153-160:

Verses 153, 154 appeal to the Lord to consider the psalmist’s affliction and deliver or free him from it, on the grounds that he did not forget His law, La 5:1; 2:20. See also Exodus 3:7; Nehemiah 9:32; Psalms 9:13; Psalms 13:3; Psalms 25:9. He added, "plead my cause, deliver me, quicken me," in keeping with your covenant of promise, even as David prayed, and as Israel shall yet pray, 1 Samuel 24:15; Micah 7:9; Psalms 35:1.

Verses 155, 156 assert that "salvation is far (off, away from) the wicked," for they did not seek (to know or do) His statutes, as related Job 5:4; Ephesians 2:17. The psalmist implored, "quicken (or revive me) according to thy judgments," on the basis of thy "great or many tender mercies, O Lord," v. 149; La 3:22,23.

Verse 157 declares that Though the godly psalmist’s persecutors and enemies were many, yet he did not decline, deviate, or depart from allegiance to the testimonies of the Lord, as admonished v. 51; Psalms 44:18; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9.

Verse 158 relates that he observed the treacherous transgressors and was grieved because they were unfaithful to their covenanted duty to their neighbors, as well as to God, v. 136. They dishonored the law of God, as surely as they oppressed, persecuted the psalmist, Ezra 9:4.

Verse 159 asks the Lord to consider how the godly psalmist loved His precepts and quicken or revive him on the basis of His loving kindness, expressed v. 88.

Verse 160 concludes a lofty climax, "thy word is true from the beginning," seven words every man, woman, and child should be taught, memorize, repeat, believe, and act upon, around the world. He adds "and every one of thy righteous judgments (all are righteous) endureth forever, "by which all men should live and all shall one day be judged;" To believe and obey it is soul saving; To reject it is souldamning, forever, Numbers 26:2; Numbers 31:26; Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Revelation 20:12.

Verses 161-168

The Schin Section

Scripture v. 161-168:

Verses 161, 162 declare that princes (civil rulers) had persecuted the godly psalmist, "without a cause," as Saul and his party did David, yet he asserted, "my heart standeth (continually) in awe of thy word," of its truth, its believability, and its durability, v. 160, as expressed 1 Samuel 24:11; 1 Samuel 24:14; 1 Samuel 26:18; John 15:25; Matthew 10:28; 1 Peter 3:14-15; Luke 12:5. He added, "I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil," for in it is great profit, Matthew 13:44; Revelation 1:3.

Verses 163, 164 continue "I hate and abhor lying," (deception) "But thy law do I love," above the deceivers, cheats, and vanities of life, v. 29; Ephesians 4:22-25. For "Seven times a day (the number of perfection) do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments," in all that He does, v.147,148.

Verse 165 certifies "great peace have they (possess they) which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them," or cause them to stumble, faint, or fall out, Proverbs 3:2; Isaiah 32:17; 1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9; Romans 1:16; Isaiah 8:14-15.

Verse 166 adds "Lord I have hoped for (believed in) thy salvation, and done thy commandments," v. 174; Even as Jacob witnessed on his death bed, Genesis 49:18.

Verses 167, 168 relate that the godly psalmist had loved and kept the precepts and testimonies of the Lord with exceeding earnestness, adding, "For all my ways are before thee," of which both he and the Lord were aware, as attested, Genesis 17:1; Job 34:21; Psalms 44:20; Psalms 44:24; Psalms 73:23; Psalms 90:8; Proverbs 5:21; Hebrews 4:13; Revelation 2:23.

Verses 169-176

The Tau Section

Scripture v. 169-176:

Verses 169, 170 appeal to the Lord to let the earnest prayer-cry and supplication of the godly psalmist come up very near to Him. He asked that he be helped to, understand the will of God, according to His word; And that he be delivered from his afflictions in keeping with its promises, v. 25,65,107. He never gave up in faith and prayer perseverance, Luke 18:1; Psalms 90:12-15; Psalms 6:9; Psalms 17:1.

Verses 171, 172 pledge that the psalmist’s lips and tongue will utter praise and witness His Word, when the Lord has experimentally taught him His statutes, adding, "For all thy commandments (mandates) are righteous," a universal truth, regarding Israel, the church, all believers, unbelievers, and the world, Psalms 19:2; Psalms 78:2; Psalms 51:15; Psalms 107:2; Psalms 119:160; Psalms 147:7; Mark 16:15; John 15:16; John 15:27; Acts 1:8; Psalms 126:5-6; Revelation 2:10.

Verses 173, 174 appeal to the Lord for help, because he had longed for the extended hand (the offer) of His salvation; Because he had chosen the Lord’s precepts and law as his delight, as Joshua did, Joshua 24:15; Joshua 24:22; and as all men should, Proverbs 1:29; Luke 10:42.

Verse 175 pleads "Let my soul live (me survive)" and "It shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me," aid or support me, v. 49,156. He asked that both his natural and spiritual life be saved, for praise, honor, and glory to the Lord, 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Verse 176 concludes "I have gone astray," (wandered), like a careless lost sheep; "Seek thy servant," I am your property, belong to you as Shepherd; he added, "For I do not forget thy commandments," even in my wanderings, for they both accuse and comfort me, Luke 15:4. He can not recover himself, but asks "bleats" for the Shepherd Lord to come; and He does, Psalms 23. O how men should praise the Shepherd God, Jehovah, the Lord.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 119". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/psalms-119.html. 1985.