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In Praise of the Law of the Lord

119 Our Lord, you bless everyone
    who lives right
    and obeys your Law.
You bless all of those
who follow your commands
    from deep in their hearts
    and who never do wrong
    or turn from you.
You have ordered us always
    to obey your teachings;
    I don’t ever want to stray
    from your laws.
Thinking about your commands
    will keep me from doing
    some foolish thing.
I will do right and praise you
    by learning to respect
    your perfect laws.
I will obey all of them!
    Don’t turn your back on me.

Young people can live
a clean life
    by obeying your word.
10 I worship you
    with all my heart.
    Don’t let me walk away
    from your commands.
11 I treasure your word
    above all else;
    it keeps me from sinning
    against you.
12 I praise you, Lord!
    Teach me your laws.
13 With my own mouth,
    I tell others the laws
    that you have spoken.
14 Obeying your instructions
brings as much happiness
    as being rich.
15 I will study your teachings
    and follow your footsteps.
16 I will take pleasure
in your laws
    and remember your words.

17 Treat me with kindness, Lord,
    so that I may live
    and do what you say.
18 Open my mind
    and let me discover
    the wonders of your Law.
19 I live here as a stranger.
    Don’t keep me from knowing
    your commands.
20 What I want most of all
and at all times
    is to honor your laws.
21 You punish those boastful,
worthless nobodies
    who turn
    from your commands.
22 Don’t let them sneer
and insult me
    for following you.
23 I keep thinking about
    your teachings, Lord,
    even if rulers plot
    against me.
24 Your laws are my greatest joy!
    I follow their advice.

25 I am at the point of death.
    Let your teachings
    breathe new life into me.
26 When I told you my troubles,
you answered my prayers.
    Now teach me your laws.
27 Help me to understand
    your teachings,
    and I will think about
    your marvelous deeds.
28 I am overcome with sorrow.
    Encourage me,
    as you have promised to do.
29 Keep me from being deceitful,
    and be kind enough
    to teach me your Law.
30 I am determined to be faithful
    and to respect your laws.
31     I follow your rules, Lord.
    Don’t let me be ashamed.
32 I am eager to learn all
    that you want me to do;
    help me to understand
    more and more.

33 Point out your rules to me,
    and I won’t disobey
    even one of them.
34 Help me to understand your Law;
    I promise to obey it
    with all my heart.
35 Direct me by your commands!
    I love to do what you say.
36 Make me want to obey you,
    rather than to be rich.
37 Take away my foolish desires,
    and let me find life
    by walking with you.
38 I am your servant!
    Do for me what you promised
    to those who worship you.
39 Your wonderful teachings
protect me from the insults
    that I hate so much.
40 I long for your teachings.
    Be true to yourself
    and let me live.

41 Show me your love
and save me, Lord,
    as you have promised.
42 Then I will have an answer
for everyone
    who insults me
    for trusting your word.
43 I rely on your laws!
    Don’t take away my chance
    to speak your truth.
44 I will keep obeying your Law
    forever and ever.
45 I have gained perfect freedom
    by following your teachings,
46     and I trust them so much
    that I tell them to kings.
47 I love your commands!
    They bring me happiness.
48 I love and respect them
    and will keep them in mind.

49 Don’t forget your promise
to me, your servant.
    I depend on it.
50 When I am hurting,
    I find comfort in your promise
    that leads to life.
51 Conceited people sneer at me,
    but I obey your Law.
52 I find true comfort, Lord,
    because your laws have stood
    the test of time.
53 I get furious when evil people
    turn against your Law.
54 No matter where I am,
    your teachings
    fill me with songs.
55 Even in the night
I think about you, Lord,
    and I obey your Law.
56 You have blessed me
    because I have always followed
    your teachings.

57 You, Lord, are my choice,
    and I will obey you.
58 With all my heart
I beg you to be kind to me,
    just as you have promised.
59 I pay careful attention
as you lead me,
    and I follow closely.
60 As soon as you command,
    I do what you say.
61     Evil people may set a trap,
    but I obey your Law.
62 Your laws are so fair
that I wake up
    and praise you
    in the middle of the night.
63 I choose as my friends
everyone who worships you
    and follows your teachings.
64 Our Lord, your love is seen
all over the world.
    Teach me your laws.

65 I am your servant, Lord,
and you have kept your promise
    to treat me with kindness.
66 Give me wisdom and good sense.
    I trust your commands.
67 Once you corrected me
for not obeying you,
    but now I obey.
68 You are kindhearted,
and you do good things,
    so teach me your laws.
69 My reputation is being ruined
    by conceited liars,
    but with all my heart
    I follow your teachings.
70 Those liars have no sense,
    but I find happiness
    in your Law.
71 When you corrected me,
    it did me good
    because it taught me
    to study your laws.
72 I would rather obey you
    than to have a thousand pieces
    of silver and gold.

73 You created me
    and put me together.
Make me wise enough to learn
    what you have commanded.
74 Your worshipers will see me,
    and they will be glad
    that I trust your word.
75 Your decisions are correct,
    and you were right
    to punish me.
76 I serve you, Lord.
Comfort me with your love,
    just as you have promised.
77 I love to obey your Law!
    Have mercy and let me live.
78 Put down those proud people
    who hurt me with their lies,
    because I have chosen
    to study your teachings.
79 Let your worshipers come to me,
    so they will learn
    to obey your rules.
80 Let me truly respect your laws,
    so I won’t be ashamed.

81 I long for you to rescue me!
    Your word is my only hope.
82 I am worn out from waiting
for you to keep your word.
    When will you have mercy?
83 My life is wasting away
    like a dried-up wineskin,[a]
    but I have not forgotten
    your teachings.
84 I am your servant!
    How long must I suffer?
    When will you punish
    those troublemakers?
85 Those proud people reject
    your teachings,
    and they dig pits
    for me to fall in.
86 Your laws can be trusted!
    Protect me from cruel liars.
87 They have almost killed me,
    but I have been faithful
    to your teachings.
88 Show that you love me
    and let me live,
    so that I may obey all
    of your commands.

89 Our Lord, you are eternal!
    Your word will last as long
    as the heavens.[b]
90 You remain faithful
    in every generation,
    and the earth you created
    will keep standing firm.
91 All things are your servants,
    and the laws you made
    are still in effect today.
92 If I had not found happiness
in obeying your Law,
    I would have died in misery.
93 I won’t ever forget
    your teachings,
    because you give me new life
    by following them.
94 I belong to you,
and I have respected your laws,
    so keep me safe.
95 Brutal enemies are waiting
to ambush and destroy me,
    but I obey your rules.
96 Nothing is completely perfect,
    except your teachings.

97 I deeply love your Law!
    I think about it all day.
98 Your laws never leave my mind,
    and they make me much wiser
    than my enemies.
99 Thinking about your teachings
    gives me better understanding
    than my teachers,
100 and obeying your laws
makes me wiser
    than those
    who have lived a long time.
101 I obey your word
    instead of following a way
    that leads to trouble.
102 You have been my teacher,
    and I won’t reject
    your instructions.
103 Your teachings are sweeter
    than honey.
104     They give me understanding
    and make me hate all lies.

105 Your word is a lamp
that gives light
    wherever I walk.
106 Your laws are fair,
    and I have given my word
    to respect them all.
107 I am in terrible pain!
Save me, Lord,
    as you said you would.
108 Accept my offerings of praise
    and teach me your laws.
109 I never forget your teachings,
    although my life is always
    in danger.
110 Some merciless people
    are trying to trap me,
    but I never turn my back
    on your teachings.
111 They will always be
my most prized possession
    and my source of joy.
112 I have made up my mind
to obey your laws forever,
    no matter what.

113 I hate anyone
whose loyalty is divided,
    but I love your Law.
114 You are my place of safety
and my shield.
    Your word is my only hope.

115 All of you worthless people,
    get away from me!
    I am determined to obey
    the commands of my God.

116 Be true to your word, Lord.
    Keep me alive and strong;
    don’t let me be ashamed
    because of my hope.
117 Keep me safe and secure,
    so that I will always
    respect your laws.
118 You reject all deceitful liars
    because they refuse
    your teachings.
119 As far as you are concerned,
all evil people are[c] garbage,
    and so I follow your rules.
120 I tremble all over
when I think of you
    and the way you judge.

121 I did what was fair and right!
    Don’t hand me over to those
    who want to mistreat me.
122 Take good care of me,
    your servant,
    and don’t let me be harmed
    by those conceited people.
123 My eyes are weary from waiting
    to see you keep your promise
    to come and save me.
124 Show your love for me,
your servant,
    and teach me your laws.
125 I serve you,
so let me understand
    your teachings.
126     Do something, Lord!
    They have broken your Law.
127 Your laws mean more to me
    than the finest gold.
128 I follow all of your commands,[d]
    but I hate anyone
    who leads me astray.

129 Your teachings are wonderful,
    and I respect them all.
130 Understanding your word
brings light
    to the minds
    of ordinary people.
131 I honestly want to know
    everything you teach.
132 Think about me and be kind,
    just as you are to everyone
    who loves your name.
133 Keep your promise
and don’t let me stumble
    or let sin control my life.
134 Protect me from abuse,
    so I can obey your laws.
135     Smile on me, your servant,
    and teach me your laws.
136 When anyone disobeys you,
    my eyes overflow with tears.

137 Our Lord, you always do right,
    and your decisions are fair.
138 All of your teachings are true
    and trustworthy.
139 It upsets me greatly
    when my enemies neglect
    your teachings.
140 Your word to me, your servant,
is like pure gold;
    I treasure what you say.
141 Everyone calls me a nobody,
    but I remember your laws.
142     You will always do right,
    and your teachings are true.
143 I am in deep distress,
    but I love your teachings.
144 Your rules are always fair.
    Help me to understand them
    and live.

145 I pray to you, Lord!
Please answer me.
    I promise to obey your laws.
146     I beg you to save me,
    so I can follow your rules.
147 Even before sunrise,
    I pray for your help,
    and I put my hope
    in what you have said.
148 I lie awake at night,
    thinking of your promises.
149 Show that you love me, Lord,
    and answer my prayer.
    Please do the right thing
    and save my life.
150 People who disobey your Law
have made evil plans
    and want to hurt me,
151 but you are with me,
    and all of your commands
    can be trusted.
152 From studying your laws,
    I found out long ago
    that you made them
    to last forever.

153 I have not forgotten your Law!
    Look at the trouble I am in,
    and rescue me.
154 Be my defender and protector!
    Keep your promise
    and save my life.
155 Evil people won’t obey you,
    and so they have no hope
    of being saved.
156 You are merciful, Lord!
    Please do the right thing
    and save my life.
157 I have a lot of brutal enemies,
    but still I never turn
    from your laws.
158 All of those unfaithful people
who refuse to obey you
    are disgusting to me.
159 Remember how I love your laws,
    and show your love for me
    by keeping me safe.
160 All you say can be trusted;
    your teachings are true
    and will last forever.

161 Rulers are cruel to me
    for no reason.
But with all my heart
    I respect your words,
162     because they bring happiness
    like treasures taken in war.
163 I can’t stand liars,
    but I love your Law.
164 I praise you seven times a day
    because your laws are fair.
165 You give peace of mind
to all who love your Law.
    Nothing can make them fall.
166 You are my only hope
for being saved, Lord,
    and I do all you command.
167 I love and obey your laws
    with all my heart.
168 You know everything I do.
    You know I respect every law
    you have given.

169 Please, Lord, hear my prayer
and give me the understanding
    that comes from your word.
170 Listen to my concerns
and keep me safe,
    just as you have promised.
171 If you will teach me your laws,
I will praise you 172 and sing
    about your promise,
    because all of your teachings
    are what they ought to be.
173 Be ready to protect me
    because I have chosen
    to obey your laws.
174 I am waiting for you
to save me, Lord.
    Your Law makes me happy.
175 Keep me alive,
    so I can praise you,
    and let me find help
    in your teachings.
176 I am your servant,
    but I have wandered away
    like a lost sheep.
Please come after me,
    because I have not forgotten
    your teachings.

Footnotes

  1. 119.83 a dried-up wineskin: The Hebrew text has “a wineskin in the smoke.” In ancient times bags were made from animal skins to hold wine, but when the bags dried up they cracked and could no longer be used.
  2. 119.89 Our. . . heavens: Or “Our Lord, your word is eternal. It will last as long as the heavens.”
  3. 119.119 As far as. . . are: A few Hebrew manuscripts and ancient translations. Most Hebrew manuscripts have “You get rid of evil people as if they were.”
  4. 119.128 I. . . commands: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

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