Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.

law of the Lord. The “law” (Hebrew torah) is the primary name for the Old Testament Scriptures as a whole, especially the Pentateuch. Of the eight different words used for the Scriptures in this remarkable psalm—the longest chapter in the Bible—“law” occurs most frequently. The psalm is an acrostic poem, with twenty-two stanzas, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The verses all begin with a particular letter in each verse of the stanza (aleph in the first stanza, beth in the second stanza). This structure is clearly intended to stress the literal (letter-by-letter, word-by-word) divine origin of the Scriptures (compare Christ's testimony in Matthew 5:18). Practically every one of the 176 verses of the psalm uses one of these eight words in reference to the Scriptures. Six verses, however, do not (Psalm 119:3, 37, 90, 91, 122, 132). This may suggest the tendency of man (often identified with the number six, as falling short of seven, the number of completeness—Revelation 13:18) to corrupt or dilute the Scriptures. On the other hand, six verses (Psalm 119:16, 43, 48, 160, 168, 172) contain two such references, so that the total number remains 176, equal to the number of verses. The whole psalm begins with a promise of blessing to those who study, believe and obey the Word of God!

Psalm 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

testimonies. “Testimonies” is in Hebrew edah or eduth, the second of the eight words used in Psalm 119 for the Scriptures.

Psalm 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

his ways. This is the first of the six verses in Psalm 119 with no specific mention of the Scriptures. Perhaps this suggests that the “young man” (Psalm 119:9), immediately after learning of promised blessing through the Bible, still thinks he can obey God without daily attention to the Word, but this is a mistake.

Psalm 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

precepts. “Precepts” is Hebrew piqqudim, the third word for the Scriptures.

Psalm 119:5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

statutes. “Statutes” is Hebrew chuqqah or choe, the fourth word.

Psalm 119:6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

commandments. “Commandments” is Hebrew mitzvah, the fifth word.

Psalm 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

judgments. “Judgments” is Hebrew mishpat, the sixth word.

Psalm 119:8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

O forsake me not. After his confident assertion that he could keep all God's statutes, testimonies, and precepts, walking in His law, respecting His commandments, and learning His judgments, it is as though he suddenly realizes he simply cannot do all this, and therefore, right at the end of his first stanza, he cries out for God's mercy!


Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

thy word. The second stanza begins with an earnest desire for cleansing, a cleansing that can only be applied through God's Word (Ephesians 5:26). Appropriately the answer comes through the Hebrew word dabar, translated simply as “word;” dabar is by far the most frequently used word for “Word” in the Scriptures, especially for “the Word of the Lord.” Note its first use in Genesis 15:1.

Psalm 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

not wander. With far less self-confidence than before his cleansing through the Word, the young man realizes his deep dependence on the Lord, on prayer, and on the Word, calling out for strength not to “wander” away from God's written will.

Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

hid in mine heart. How vitally important it is to memorize Scripture, hiding God's Word in both heart and mind, if we are to have daily victory over sin in our lives. Here the “young man” uses the eighth and final word for the Scriptures in this psalm, Hebrew imrah, again translated simply by “word,” thus emphasizing not just a concept or thought but the very words of God.

Psalm 119:12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 119:13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

Psalm 119:14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

Psalm 119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

Psalm 119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

thy word. This is the eighth (and last) verse of the psalmist's second stanza, again emphasizing the “Word” (dabar). The same word is again used in the first verse of the succeeding stanza. The reason why each stanza has eight lines is here becoming evident, for the Word of God is not only the Scriptures but also is Christ Himself (John 1:1-3, 14). “Eight” is the number after “seven,” the number of completeness, so it always suggests a new beginning, and is especially associated with Jesus Christ in His resurrection on the “eighth” day. It is noteworthy that there are eight combinations of His name found in the New Testament (“Lord,” “Jesus,” “Christ,” “Lord Jesus,” “Lord Jesus Christ,” “Jesus Christ,” “Christ Jesus,” and “Lord Christ”). The gematria (numerical value of the Greek letters) in “Jesus” is 888, whereas that of the antichrist will be 666. The gematria of “Lord” is 800 and of “Christ” is “8 x 185.” All combinations are multiples of “8.”


Psalm 119:17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

that I may live. Again dabar (“word”) is used, and associated, quite significantly, with “living.” As the number of “new life,” through the “living Word,” the number “eight” is impressed in the whole structure of Psalm 119, each stanza consisting of eight verses. It is noteworthy that there were eight individuals (not including Christ and those raised with Him at His resurrection) who were raised from the dead, as recorded in Scripture: three in the Old Testament (1 Kings 17:22; 2 Kings 4:34, 35; 2 Kings 13:21), three by Christ (Matthew 9:24, 25; Luke 7:15; John 11:44), one through Peter (Acts 9:40-41), and one through Paul (Acts 20:9-12). Dabar (“word”) in this psalm seems associated mainly with cleansing and new life (Psalm 119:9, 17), imrah (“word”) with victory over sin (Psalm 119:11).

Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

wondrous things. Here “law” is used for the second time (first in Psalm 119:1), and again refers to the whole Old Testament and from our perspective to the whole Bible. The adjective “wondrous” is often applied to God's mighty miracles, in Egypt and other places. This would indicate that there are many evidences of supernatural inspiration and divine origin that can be gleaned from the Scriptures, if only one's spiritual eyes are open to see them as we search the Scriptures.

Psalm 119:19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

Psalm 119:20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

Psalm 119:21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

Psalm 119:22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.

Psalm 119:23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

Psalm 119:24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.


Psalm 119:25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.

quicken thou me. Revival (that is, “life again”) is associated with the Word. Rather than considering Psalm 119 as a random collection of pithy sayings about the Scriptures, one might think of it as a life-long diary of the young man who wrote it, beginning with his cleansing through the Word (Psalm 119:9), continuing on through all phases of his life in the Lord, and ending in old age when he again thrusts himself on God's grace, anxiously longing for his full salvation when he meets the Lord (Psalm 119:174). Each stanza might represent a specific phase in his life-long pilgrimage, and his relation to the Scriptures. Each phase of one's life in the Lord may have one major theme but with overtones from other phases. Perhaps the following could be seen as the major themes of the respective stanzas, all from the perspective of continued application of the Scriptures.

1. Conviction

2. Regeneration

3. Nurture

4. Confession

5. Restoration

6. Testimony

7. Comfort

8. Fellowshipn

9. Chastisement

10. Submission

11. Persecution

12. Sovereignty

13. Understanding

14. Guidance

15. Protection

16. Obedience

17. Victory

18. Truth

19. Trust

20. Deliverance

21. Peace

22. Salvation

Psalm 119:26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 119:27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.

Psalm 119:28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

according unto thy word. Note the tremendous resources available to the believer in God's Word. It is strengthening (Psalm 119:28), quickening (Psalm 119:50), everlasting (Psalm 119:89), sweetening (Psalm 119:103), guiding (Psalm 119:105), protecting (Psalm 119:114), enlightening (Psalm 119:130), purifying (Psalm 119:140), and truth-telling (Psalm 119:160), among many others!

Psalm 119:29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.

Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

Psalm 119:31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.

Psalm 119:32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.


Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Psalm 119:35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

do I delight. The Word and its commands are not a burden, but a delight, to the redeemed saint. Note also Psalm 119:47, 77, 92, 143, and 174.

Psalm 119:36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Psalm 119:37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

Psalm 119:38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

Psalm 119:39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.

Psalm 119:40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.


Psalm 119:41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.

Psalm 119:42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.

wherewith to answer. Note 1 Peter 3:15; Colossians 4:6. We who would be witnesses for Christ must be ready to “give an answer”—sometimes even before those who are powerful in learning or influence (Psalm 119:46)—and God's Word has the answer.

Psalm 119:43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.

Psalm 119:44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.

Psalm 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.

Psalm 119:46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.

Psalm 119:47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

Psalm 119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.


Psalm 119:49 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

Psalm 119:51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.

Psalm 119:52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.

Psalm 119:53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

Psalm 119:54 Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

Psalm 119:55 I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.

in the night. The Word of God is the greatest comfort of all in times of great difficulty or sorrow (See also Psalm 119:62).

Psalm 119:56 This I had, because I kept thy precepts.


Psalm 119:57 Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.

Psalm 119:58 I entreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.

Psalm 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

Psalm 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

Psalm 119:61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.

Psalm 119:62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

companion of all them. True fellowship is found with those who believe and seek to obey the Word of God, regardless of sectarian differences.

Psalm 119:64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.


Psalm 119:65 Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.

Psalm 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

Psalm 119:68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 119:69 The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

Psalm 119:70 Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.

Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Psalm 119:72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.


Psalm 119:73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

Psalm 119:74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.

Psalm 119:75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

I know. When affliction comes in a believer's life, he can know that God has a good reason, whether or not he can understand it at the time. Romans 8:28 is always true.

Psalm 119:76 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.

Psalm 119:77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.

law is my delight. Many feel that God's law is harsh and burdensome, but it should instead be a delight. The 119th psalm contains at least twenty-five specific testimonies to the benefits of the law (e.g., Psalm 119:18, 165). The law cannot save, for none (but Christ) can keep it perfectly, but He has redeemed us from its curse (Galatians 3:13), and we can now rejoice in its blessings.

Psalm 119:78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.

Psalm 119:79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.

Psalm 119:80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.


Psalm 119:81 My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.

Psalm 119:82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?

Psalm 119:83 For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

bottle in the smoke. The “bottle” is a wineskin, rendered stiff and cracked in the smoke, and thus of little use.

Psalm 119:84 How many are the days of thy servant? when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?

Psalm 119:85 The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law.

Psalm 119:86 All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me.

Psalm 119:87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

Psalm 119:88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.


Psalm 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

settled in heaven. This powerful verse, stressing the eternal origin and eternal duration of God's Word, begins the second half of Psalm 119.

Psalm 119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

the earth, and it abideth. God created the earth after He had settled His Word, and then undertook the work of sustaining it, as well as His Word, forever.

Psalm 119:91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.

thine ordinances. This is one of the six verses in the psalm with no explicit reference to the Scriptures. However, it does refer to the “ordinances” of the creation (compare Job 38:33) which, like all God's judgments (same word, mishpat) abide forever, as His servants.

Psalm 119:92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.

Psalm 119:93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

Psalm 119:94 I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.

Psalm 119:95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.

Psalm 119:96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.


Psalm 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

how love I thy law. This testimony of the psalmist should convict us today. He had only small portions of the Scriptures to study, much of which were portions that many modern Christians don't bother to read at all, whereas we have God's complete revelation. Yet he loved the Scriptures so much that he continually meditated on them!

Psalm 119:98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.

Psalm 119:99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

more understanding. An ordinary layman who is diligent in the Scriptures has more real understanding of truth than the enemies of God (Psalm 119:98), those who teach the unlearned (Psalm 119:99), and the ancient sages (Psalm 119:100) who do not know God's Word.

meditation. Such meditation on the true history and meaning of life, as found in the Bible, will indeed yield more true wisdom than can be obtained in modern education, as it is very much influenced by the false philosophy of evolutionary humanism.

Psalm 119:100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

Psalm 119:101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

Psalm 119:102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.

Psalm 119:103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Psalm 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.


Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

light unto my path. The illuminating truth of the Scriptures is often compared to light for the pathway (Psalm 119:130; Proverbs 6:23; 2 Peter 1:19; etc.)

Psalm 119:106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

Psalm 119:107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.

Psalm 119:108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.

Psalm 119:109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

Psalm 119:110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

Psalm 119:111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

heritage for ever. Note how often the psalmist stresses the eternal verity of God's words (Psalm 119:89, 111, 144, 152, 160, etc.).

Psalm 119:112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.


Psalm 119:113 I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.

Psalm 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Psalm 119:115 Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.

Psalm 119:116 Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope.

Psalm 119:117 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe: and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

Psalm 119:118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.

Psalm 119:119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.

Psalm 119:120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.


Psalm 119:121 I have done judgment and justice: leave me not to mine oppressors.

Psalm 119:122 Be surety for thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.

Psalm 119:123 Mine eyes fail for thy salvation, and for the word of thy righteousness.

Psalm 119:124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 119:125 I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.

Psalm 119:126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.

Psalm 119:127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold.

Psalm 119:128 Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.

all thy precepts. Every Scripture is true and right without exception, and we should hate every teaching which suggests otherwise!


Psalm 119:129 Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.

Psalm 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

entrance of thy words. See note on Psalm 119:105.

Psalm 119:131 I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.

Psalm 119:132 Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.

Psalm 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

Psalm 119:134 Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.

Psalm 119:135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 119:136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.


Psalm 119:137 Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.

Psalm 119:138 Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.

Psalm 119:139 My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.

Psalm 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

Psalm 119:141 I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts.

Psalm 119:142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.

Psalm 119:143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.

Psalm 119:144 The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.


Psalm 119:145 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O LORD: I will keep thy statutes.

Psalm 119:146 I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.

Psalm 119:147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.

prevented. See note on Job 3:12.

Psalm 119:148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

Psalm 119:149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O LORD, quicken me according to thy judgment.

Psalm 119:150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.

Psalm 119:151 Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.

Psalm 119:152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.

founded them for ever. See note on Psalm 119:111.


Psalm 119:153 Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.

Psalm 119:154 Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.

Psalm 119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.

Psalm 119:156 Great are thy tender mercies, O LORD: quicken me according to thy judgments.

Psalm 119:157 Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.

Psalm 119:158 I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.

Psalm 119:159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.

Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.

true from the beginning. The psalmist thus affirms that even the Creation account of the Bible, specifically the first chapter of Genesis, describing events before there were any witnesses to record them (except God Himself!), is absolutely true.


Psalm 119:161 Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.

Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.

Psalm 119:163 I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.

Psalm 119:164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

Psalm 119:166 LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.

Psalm 119:167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.

Psalm 119:168 I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.


Psalm 119:169 Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.

Psalm 119:170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.

Psalm 119:171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.

Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

Psalm 119:173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.

Psalm 119:174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight.

for thy salvation. At the end of his long testimony, the psalmist expresses his deep longing for the completion of his “salvation.” The Hebrew word yeshua could be rendered “Jesus.” By inspiration, he was thus praying for the coming of the Savior, who would fulfill all the Scriptures that had been his lifelong delight.

Psalm 119:175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.

Psalm 119:176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.