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Bible Commentaries

Geneva Study Bible

Psalms 119

Verse 1

ALEPH. Blessed [are] a the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.

(a) Here they are not called blessed who think themselves wise in their own judgment, nor who imagine to themselves a certain holiness, but they whose conversation is without hypocrisy.

Verse 3

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

(b) For they are ruled by God's Spirit and embrace no doctrine but his.

Verse 5

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

(c) David acknowledges his imperfection, desiring God to reform it, that his life may be conformable to God's word.

Verse 7

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

(d) For true religion stands in serving God without hypocrisy.

(e) That is, your precepts, which contain perfect righteousness.

Verse 8

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

(f) He does not refuse to be tried by temptations, but he fears to faint, if God does not help his infirmity in time.

Verse 9

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

(a) Because youth is most given to licentiousness, he chiefly warns them to frame their lives after God's word.

Verse 11

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

(b) If God's word is carved in our hearts, we will be more able to resist the assaults of Satan: and therefore the prophet desires God to instruct him daily more and more in it.

Verse 14

I have c rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as [much as] in all riches.

(c) The prophet does not boast of his virtues, but sets forth an example for others to follow God's word, and leave worldly vanities.

Verse 17

GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, [that] I may a live, and keep thy word.

(a) He shows that we should not desire to live but to serve God, and that we can not serve him correctly unless he opens our eyes and minds.

Verse 19

I [am] a b stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

(b) Seeing man's life in this world is only a passage, what should become of him, if your word were not his guide?

Verse 21

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

(c) In all ages you have plagued all such who maliciously and contemptuously depart from your truth.

Verse 23

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

(d) When the powers of the world gave false sentence against me, your word was a guide and counsellor to teach me what to do, and to comfort me.

Verse 25

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

(a) That is, it is almost brought to the grave and without your word I cannot live.

Verse 26

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

(b) I have confessed my offences and now depend wholly on you.

Verse 28

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

(c) If God did not maintain us by his word, our life would drop away like water.

Verse 29

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

(d) Instruct me in your word, by which my mind may be purged from vanity and taught to obey your will.

Verse 32

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

(e) By this he shows that we can neither choose good, cleave to God's word, nor turn forward in his way, unless he make our hearts large to receive grace, and willing to obey.

Verse 33

HE. Teach a me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it [unto] the end.

(a) He shows that he cannot follow on to the end, unless God teaches him often and leads him forward.

Verse 34

Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with [my] whole b heart.

(b) Not only in outward conversation, but also with inward affection.

Verse 36

Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to c covetousness.

(c) By this, meaning all other vices, because covetousness is the root of all evil.

Verse 37

Turn away mine d eyes from beholding vanity; [and] quicken thou me in thy way.

(d) Meaning, all his senses.

Verse 39

Turn away e my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments [are] good.

(e) Let me not fall to your dishonour but let my heart still delight in your gracious word.

Verse 40

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

(f) Give me strength to continue in your word even to the end.

Verse 41

VAU. Let thy a mercies come also unto me, O LORD, [even] thy salvation, according to thy word.

(a) He shows that God's mercy and love is the first reason for our salvation.

Verse 42

So shall I b have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.

(b) By trusting in God's word he assures himself to be able to confute the slanders of his adversaries.

Verse 45

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

(c) They who simply walk after God's word have no nets to entangle them, while they who do contrary are ever in nets and snares.

Verse 46

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

(d) He shows that the children of God should not permit their fathers glory to be obscured by the vain pomp of princes.

Verse 49

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

(a) Though he feels God's hand still lies on him, yet he rests on his promise, and comforts himself in it.

Verse 51

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

(b) Meaning the wicked who contemn God's word, and tread his religion under foot.

Verse 52

I remembered thy c judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.

(c) That is, the examples, by which you declare yourself to be judge of the world.

Verse 53

d Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

(d) That is, a vehement zeal to your glory and indignation against the wicked.

Verse 54

Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my e pilgrimage.

(e) In the course of this life and sorrowful exit.

Verse 55

I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the f night, and have kept thy law.

(f) Even when others sleep.

Verse 56

g This I had, because I kept thy precepts.

(g) That is, all these benefits.

Verse 57

CHETH. [Thou art] my a portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.

(a) I am persuaded that to keep your law is a heritage and great gain for me.

Verse 59

I thought on my b ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

(b) He shows that no one can embrace the word of God, unless he considers his own imperfections and ways.

Verse 61

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

(c) They have gone about to draw me into their company.

Verse 63

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

(d) Not only in mutual consent, but also with aid and help.

Verse 64

The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: e teach me thy statutes.

(e) For the knowledge of God's word is a singular token of his favour.

Verse 65

TETH. Thou hast dealt a well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.

(a) Having proved by experience that God was true in his promise, he desires that he would increase in him knowledge and judgment.

Verse 67

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

(b) So Jeremiah says, that before the Lord touched him, he was like a calf untamed so that the use of God's rod is to call us home to God.

Verse 70

c Their heart is as fat as grease; [but] I delight in thy law.

(c) Their heart is indurate and hardened, puffed up with prosperity and vain estimation of themselves.

Verse 71

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

(d) He confesses that before he was chastened he was rebellious as man by nature is.

Verse 73

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

(a) Because God does not leave his work that he has begun, he desires a new grace: that is, that he would continue his mercies.

Verse 74

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

(b) When God shows his grace toward any, he testifies to others that he does not fail them who trust in him.

Verse 77

Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may c live: for thy law [is] my delight.

(c) He declares that when he did not feel God's mercies, he was as dead.

Verse 79

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

(d) That is, be comforted by my example.

(e) He shows that there can be no true fear of God without the knowledge of his word.

Verse 81

CAPH. My soul a fainteth for thy salvation: [but] I hope in thy word.

(a) Though my strength fails me, yet my soul groans and sighs, resting still in your word.

Verse 83

For I am become like a b bottle in the smoke; [yet] do I not forget thy statutes.

(b) Like a skin bottle or bladder that is parched in the smoke.

Verse 84

How many [are] the c days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?

(c) How long will you afflict your servant.

Verse 85

The proud have d digged pits for me, which [are] not after thy law.

(d) They have not only oppressed me violently but also craftily conspired against me.

Verse 86

All thy commandments [are] faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; e help thou me.

(e) He assures himself that God will deliver his and destroy such as unjustly persecute them.

Verse 87

They had almost consumed f me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

(f) Finding no help on earth, he lifts up his eyes to heaven.

Verse 89

LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in a heaven.

(a) Because no one should esteem God's word according to the changes of things in this world, he shows that it abides in heaven, and therefore is immutable.

Verse 91

They b continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all [are] thy servants.

(b) Seeing the earth and all creatures remain in that estate in which you have created them, much more your truth remains constant and unchangeable.

Verse 94

I [am] c thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

(c) He proves by effect that he is God's child, because he seeks to understand his word.

Verse 96

I d have seen an end of all perfection: [but] thy commandment [is] exceeding broad.

(d) There is nothing so perfect in earth, but it has an end, only God's word lasts forever.

Verse 97

MEM. O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation a all the day.

(a) He shows that we cannot love God's word unless we exercise ourselves in it and practise it.

Verse 99

I have more b understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies [are] my meditation.

(b) Whoever submits himself only to God's word will not only be safe against the practises of his enemies, but also learn more wisdom than they who profess it, and are men of experience.

Verse 102

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

(c) So then of ourselves we can do nothing, but when God inwardly instructs us with his spirit, we feel his graces sweeter than honey.

Verse 105

NUN. Thy word [is] a a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

(a) Of ourselves we are but darkness and cannot see unless we are lightened with God's Word.

Verse 106

I have b sworn, and I will perform [it], that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

(b) So all the faithful ought to bind themselves to God by a solemn oath and promises to stir up their zeal to embrace God's word.

Verse 108

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

(c) That is, my prayer and thanksgiving which Hosea calls the calves of the lips, (Hosea 14:2).

Verse 109

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

(d) That is, I am in continual danger of my life.

Verse 111

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

(e) I esteemed no worldly things, but made your word my inheritance.

Verse 113

SAMECH. I hate a [vain] thoughts: but thy law do I love.

(a) Whoever will embrace God's word correctly must abhor all fantasies and imaginations both of himself and others.

Verse 115

b Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.

(b) And hinder me not to keep the law of the Lord.

Verse 117

c Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

(c) He desires God's continual assistance, lest he should faint in this race, which he had begun.

Verse 118

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

(d) The crafty practises of them who contemn your law will be brought to nothing.

Verse 119

Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth [like] e dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.

(e) Which infected your people, as dross does metal.

Verse 120

My flesh f trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.

(f) Your judgments not only teach me obedience, but cause me to fear, considering my own weakness which fear causes repentance.

Verse 122

a Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.

(a) Put yourself between me and my enemies, as if you were my pledge.

Verse 124

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

(b) He does not boast that he is God's servant, but by this reminds God that as he made him his by his grace, so he would continue his favour toward him.

Verse 126

[It is] c time for [thee], LORD, to work: [for] they have made void thy law.

(c) The prophet shows that when the wicked have brought all things to confusion, and God's word to utter contempt, then it is God's time to help and send remedy.

Verse 128

Therefore I esteem all [thy] precepts [concerning] all [things to be] right; [and] I hate every false d way.

(d) That is, whatever dissents from the purity of your word.

Verse 129

PE. Thy testimonies [are] a wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.

(a) Containing high and secret mysteries, so that I am moved with admiration and reverence.

Verse 130

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

(b) The simple idiots that submit themselves to God have their eyes opened and their minds illuminated, as soon as they begin to read God's word.

Verse 131

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

(c) My zeal toward your word was so great.

Verse 136

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

(d) He shows what should be the zeal of God's children when they see his word contemned.

Verse 138

Thy testimonies [that] thou hast commanded [are] a righteous and very faithful.

(a) We cannot confess God to be righteous, unless we live uprightly and truly as he has commanded.

Verse 141

I [am] c small and despised: [yet] do not I forget thy precepts.

(c) This is the true trial to praise God in adversity.

Verse 144

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

(d) So that the life of man without the knowledge of God is death.

Verse 145

KOPH. I a cried with [my] whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.

(a) He shows that all his affection and whole heart were bent toward God to have help in his dangers.

Verse 148

Mine eyes b prevent the [night] watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

(b) He was more earnest in the study of God's word, than they who kept the watch were in their charge.

Verse 150

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

(c) He shows the nature of the wicked to be to persecute against their conscience.

Verse 152

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

(d) His faith is grounded on God's word, that he would always be at hand when his children are oppressed.

Verse 154

Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy a word.

(a) For without God's promise there is no hope of deliverance.

Verse 156

Great [are] thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy b judgments.

(b) According to your promise made in the law, which because the wicked lack they have no hope of salvation.

Verse 158

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

(c) My zeal consumed me when I saw their malice and contempt for your glory.

Verse 159

Consider how I d love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.

(d) It is a sure sign of our adoption, when we love the Law of God.

Verse 160

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

(e) Since you first promised it, even to the end all your sayings are true.

Verse 161

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

(a) The threatenings and persecutions of princes could not cause me to cease to confess you whom I fear more than men.

Verse 164

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

(b) That is, often and various times.

Verse 165

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

(c) For their conscience assures them that they please you, whereas they who do not love you have the contrary.

Verse 166

LORD, I have d hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.

(d) He shows that we must first have faith before we can work and please God.

Verse 168

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

(e) I had no respect for men, but set you always before my eyes as the judge of my doings.

Verse 169

TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding a according to thy word.

(a) As you have promised to be the schoolmaster to all who depend on you.

Verse 171

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

(b) The word means to pour forth continually.

(c) All his prayer and desire is to profit in the word of God.

Verse 175

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

(d) That is, your provident care over me, and with which you will judge my enemies.

Verse 176

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

(e) Being chased to and fro by my enemies, and having no place to rest in.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 119". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gsb/psalms-119.html. 1599-1645.