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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

Testimony

TESTIMONY, TESTIMONIES

These words would need no explanation in their simple sense and meaning, whether as they relate to the Lord's testimony or to man's. Every one cannot but know, that the direct tendency of a testimony is to witness to some certain truth. Thus the whole Bible is a testimony of JEHOVAH'S sovereign will; and the Gospel a special testimony of the riches of his grace in Christ Jesus to the church and people.

But we meet with the word testimonies in the book of the Psalms, in a sense so peculiarly sweet and blessed, that I could not prevail upon myself to pass it by, without calling the reader's attention to it.

If the reader will turn to Psalms 119:1-176 he will find the word testimonies, together with nine other words there evidently placed for the same meaning, which mutually serve to throw a light upon each other. The ten words are—testimonies, way, law, commandments, precepts, word, judgments, truth, (or faithfulness) statutes, and righteousness. And what is very remarkable, one or other of these ten words is in every verse of that Psalm, except one, (as far as my memory helpeth me) namely, Psalms 119:122.

I beg the reader first to inform himself of his very striking circumstance, and then to consider, from the manner and occasion in which the words are applied, what is their obvious sense and meaning. If, for example, we consider the common and general acceptation of the word law, surely the Psalmist David could never be supposed to say, that the law of Moses as a covenant of works was his delight and joy, as he saith the law was in this Psalm, (Psalms 119:72; Psa 119:97, etc.) Had he been looking to his own personal performance of the law of God, the conviction of his manifold breaches of the law would have made him rather tremble. But if the law spoken of in this Psalm be considered with an eye to what the Holy Ghost saith by his servant the apostle, "that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth," (Romans 10:4) —and if Christ himself be the speaker represented by his servant the Psalmist, the whole then is abundantly clear and evident. Jesus might well say, and Jesus alone could say it, "I delight to do thy will O my God, yea thy law is within my heart"—or as the margin renders it, "in the midst of my bowels," (Psalms 40:8) —meaning that it was wrapt up, yea forming his very nature, from the entire holiness of that nature. (See Hebrews 7:26)

In like manner the word testimonies, these had evidently a reference to the table of testimony in the Jewish church. It was before this testimony the omer of manna was placed. (See Exodus 16:33-34) Now, as the whole of this service plainly typified Christ, we cannot be at a loss to discover what is meant under the term of testimonies in this Psalm, when we hear the blessed speaker saying, "Thy testimonies have I taken as mine heritage for ever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart." (Psalms 119:111)

Similar observations might be offered on each of the other words in this Psalm, but these are enough in point. I only desire to add, what may be considered as a key to the whole, that one verse in the middle of the Psalm determines at once to whom the whole refers, and who is the speaker; and the evangelist's application of the words to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ very fully confirms it: "My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words," (Psalms 119:139; Psa 69:9; John 2:17)

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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Testimony'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/pmd/t/testimony.html. London. 1828.

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