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Psalm 119

The Great Psalm on the Law of the Lord[a]

Aleph: Blessed Are the Blameless

How blessed are those who are blameless in their way,
who walk in the law[b] of the Lord.
How blessed are those who keep[c] his testimonies.
With all their heart they seek him.
Indeed, they do no wrong.
They walk in his ways.
You have commanded that your precepts[d] be kept completely.
If only my ways were unwavering in keeping your statutes![e]
Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
I will thank you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous judgments.[f]
I will keep your statutes.
Do not abandon me completely.

Bet: Hidden in My Heart

How can a young man keep his path pure?
By guarding it with your words.[g]
10 With all my heart I seek you.
Do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your sayings[h] in my heart,
    so that I may not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord!
Teach me your statutes.
13 With my lips I tell about all the judgments
    that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in the way that is taught by your testimonies
    as much as I delight in all riches.
15 I will meditate on your precepts,
and I will consider your paths.
16 In your statutes I delight.
I will not forget your words.

Gimel: Open My Eyes

17 Reward your servant.
Then I will live, and I will keep your words.
18 Uncover my eyes, and I will behold wonders from your law.
19 I am an alien on earth.
Do not hide your commandments from me.
20 My soul is overwhelmed by desire for your judgments at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed,
those who stray from your commandments.
22 Remove scorn and contempt from me,
for I guard your testimonies.
23 Though officials sit together and speak against me,
your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24 Yes, your testimonies are my delights.
They are my advisors.

Dalet: A Changed Heart

25 My soul[i] is stuck in the dust.
Revive my life according to your words.
26 I told you about my ways and you answered me.
Teach me your statutes.
27 Make me understand the meaning of your precepts.
Then I will meditate on your wonders.
28 My soul melts with sorrow.
By your words make me stand firm.
29 Turn me away from false ways,
and be gracious to me through your law.
30 I have chosen the way of truth.
I accept[j] your judgments.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord.
Do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run the way of your commandments,
for you have strengthened my heart.[k]

He: That You May Be Feared

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.
Then I will guard it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I will guard your law.
I will keep it with all my heart.
35 Make me walk on the path of your commandments,
for I take pleasure in it.
36 Direct my heart toward your testimonies
and not toward material gain.
37 Keep my eyes from looking at worthless things.
Give me life according to your ways.[l]
38 Confirm your sayings to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away my disgrace which I dread,
for your judgments are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
Give me life in your righteousness.

Vav: Speak Before Kings

41 So let your mercies come to me, O Lord,
and let your salvation come according to your sayings.
42 Then I will give an answer to those who insult me,
    because I trust in your words.
43 But do not tear away the word of truth from my mouth,
    because I wait confidently for your judgments.
44 Then I will continually keep your law forever and ever.
45 Then I will walk around freely,
because I have sought your precepts.
46 Then I will speak of your testimonies before kings,
and I will not be put to shame.
47 For I delight in your commandments, which I love.
48 I lift up my hands to your commandments, which I love,
and I meditate on your statutes.

Zayin: Comfort in Suffering

49 Remember your word to your servant,
because you have given me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my suffering:
that your saying gives me life.
51 The arrogant mock me constantly,
but I do not fall away from your law.
52 I remember your judgments from of old, Lord,
and I comfort myself with them.
53 Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who forsake your laws.
54 Your statutes are songs for me in the house where I am staying.
55 I remember your name during the night, O Lord,
and I will keep your laws.
56 This I have done: I guard your precepts.

Ḥet: I Will Not Forget

57 You are my portion, O Lord.
I said I would keep your words.
58 I have sought your favor with all my heart.
Be gracious to me according to your sayings.
59 I have considered my ways,[m]
and I have turned my feet to your testimonies.
60 I will hurry. I will not delay.
I will keep your commandments.
61 The ropes of the wicked bind me,
but I do not forget your law.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous judgments.
63 I am a companion to all who fear you,
that is, to all who keep your precepts.
64 Your mercy, Lord, fills the earth.
Teach me your statutes.

Tet: It Is Good to Be Afflicted

65 You have done good for your servant, O Lord,
    according to your words.
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
67 Before I was afflicted I strayed,
but now I keep your saying.
68 You are good, and you do good.
Teach me your statutes.
69 The arrogant have smeared me with lies.
I guard your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their calloused hearts[n] feel nothing,
but I delight in your law.
71 It was good for me that I was afflicted,
so that I might learn your statutes.
72 Better for me is the law from your mouth
    than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

Yod: Those Who Fear You

73 Your hands made me and established me.
Give me understanding.
Then I will learn your commandments.
74 May those who fear you see me and rejoice,
because I wait confidently for your word.
75 I know, Lord, that your judgments are righteous.
In faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76 Please let your mercy be my comfort,
    according to your saying to your servant.
77 Let your abundant compassion come to me that I may live,
because your law is my delight.
78 Let the arrogant be put to shame,
because they have wronged me with lies.
As for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79 Let those who fear you turn to me,
and those who know your testimonies.
80 Let my heart be blameless regarding your statutes,
so that I may not be put to shame.

Kaph: A Wineskin in the Smoke

81 My soul is worn out, as I wait for your salvation.
I wait confidently for your word.
82 My eyes are worn out, as I look for your sayings.
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your statutes.
84 How many days does your servant have?
When will you inflict judgment on my persecutors?
85 The arrogant dig pits for me.
This is against your laws.
86 All your commandments are trustworthy.
The arrogant persecute me wrongfully. Help me.
87 They almost put an end to me here on earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88 Give me life according to your mercy,
and I will obey the testimony from your mouth.

Lamed: Your Commands Have No Limits

89 To eternity, O Lord, your word is fixed firmly in the heavens.
90 For generation after generation, your faithfulness remains.
You established the earth, and it stands.
91 As for your judgments, they stand to this day,
because all things are your servants.
92 Unless your law had been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93 To eternity I will not forget your precepts,
because by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours. Save me,
because I have sought your precepts.
95 The wicked are lying in wait for me to kill me,
but I will ponder your testimonies.
96 I see a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment has no limits.

Mem: Sweeter Than Honey

97 How I love your laws!
I meditate on them all day long.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
because it is always with me.
99 I have more wisdom than all my teachers,
because your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I have more understanding than the elders,
    because I guard your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet off every evil path
    in order to keep your words.
102 I have not turned from your judgments,
    because you yourself have instructed me.
103 How sweet are your sayings to my taste,
    sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 From your precepts I gain understanding.
    Therefore, I hate every false road.

Nun: A Lamp for My Feet

105 Your words are a lamp for my feet
    and a light for my path.
106 I have sworn and affirmed
    that I will keep your righteous judgments.
107 I have suffered much.
    Lord, give me life according to your words.
108 Lord, please accept the willing praise from my mouth,
    and teach me your judgments.
109 I take my life in my hands constantly,
    but I will not forget your law.
110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
    but I have not wandered from your precepts.
111 I have inherited your testimonies forever.
    Yes, they are the joy of my heart.
112 I turn my heart to do your statutes,
    forever, right to the end.

Samekh: Get Away From Me, You Evildoers

113 I hate the doubleminded, but I love your law.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield.
    I wait confidently for your word.
115 Get away from me, you evildoers,
    so that I may guard the commandments of my God!
116 Sustain me according to your sayings, and I will live.
    Do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
117 Hold me up, and I will be saved.
    Then I will always have regard for your statutes.
118 You reject all who stray from your statutes,
    because their deceitfulness is built on a lie.[o]
119 You discard all the wicked of the earth like slag.
    Therefore, I love your testimonies.
120 My flesh trembles because I am afraid of you,
    because I fear your judgments.

Ayin: It Is Time to Act

121 I have carried out what is just and right.
    Do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Guarantee good for your servant.
    Do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes wear out,
    as I watch for your salvation and your righteousness.
124 Deal with your servant according to your mercy,
    and teach me your statutes.
125 I am your servant. Give me discernment,
    so that I may know your testimonies.
126 Lord, it is time to do something!
    They have broken your laws.
127 Because I love your commandments more than gold,
    more than pure gold,
128 because I value everything in all your precepts,
    I hate every wrong road.

Pe: Streams of Tears

129 Your testimonies are wonders.
    That is why my soul guards them.
130 The doorway to your words lets in light.
    It gives understanding to the inexperienced.
131 I open wide my mouth and I gasp,
    because I long for your commandments.
132 Turn to me and give me grace.
    This is your judgment for those who love your name.[p]
133 Keep my footsteps steady by your sayings,
    and do not let any evil rule over me.
134 Redeem me from oppressive people,
    and I will keep your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant,
    and teach me your statutes.
136 Streams of water run down from my eyes,
    because they do not keep your laws.

Tsadhe: My Zeal for the Word

137 You are righteous, O Lord,
    and your judgments are right.
138 You have commanded your testimonies.
    They are righteous and very trustworthy.
139 My zeal wears me out,
    because my foes forget your words.
140 Your saying has been thoroughly refined,
    and your servant loves it.
141 I am insignificant and despised,
    but I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever,
    and your law is truth.
143 Distress and anguish have found me,
    but your commandments are my delights.
144 Your testimonies are right forever.
    Give me understanding, and I will live.

Qoph: I Will Obey

145 I call with all my heart.
    Answer me, O Lord.
    I will guard your statutes.
146 I call to you. Save me,
    and I will keep your testimonies.
147 I get up before dawn, and I cry for help.
    I wait confidently for your word.
148 My eyes look forward to the night watches
    when I can meditate on your sayings.
149 Hear my voice according to your mercy.
    Lord, give me life based on your judgments.
150 Those who pursue evil plans are near,
    but they are far from your law.
151 You are near, O Lord,
    and all your commandments are truth.
152 Long ago I knew from your testimonies
    that you established them to endure forever.

Resh: I Have Not Forgotten

153 See my affliction and deliver me,
    because I have not forgotten your law.
154 Argue my case and redeem me.
    Give me life according to your saying.
155 Salvation is far away from the wicked,
    because they do not pursue your statutes.
156 Your compassions are many, O Lord.
    Give me life according to your judgments.
157 Many are my persecutors and my foes,
    but I have not turned from your testimonies.
158 I look at the hypocrites and I loathe them,
    because they do not keep your saying.
159 See how I love your precepts.
    Lord, according to your mercy, give me life.
160 The sum of your word is truth.
    All your righteous judgment is eternal.

Sin/Shin: I Wait for Salvation

161 Officials persecute me without cause,
    but my heart trembles at your word.
162 I rejoice over your sayings,
    like one who finds much plunder.
163 I hate and detest falsehood,
    but I love your law.
164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous judgments.
165 Great peace belongs to those who love your law,
    and nothing is a stumbling block for them.
166 I wait for your salvation, O Lord,
    and I obey your commandments.
167 My soul keeps your testimonies.
    I love them greatly.
168 I keep your precepts and your testimonies,
    because all my ways are before you.

Tav: Seek Your Servant

169 May my loud cry come before you, Lord.
    Give me understanding through your word.
170 May my plea for mercy come before you.
    Deliver me according to your saying.
171 May my lips overflow with praise,
    because you teach me your statutes.
172 May my tongue sing of your saying,
    because all your commandments are righteousness.
173 May your hand be ready to help me,
    because I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O Lord,
    and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
    and may your judgments help me.
176 I have strayed like a perishing sheep.
    Seek your servant,
    because I have not forgotten your commandments.


  1. Psalm 119:1 Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, is a lengthy meditation on the characteristics and blessings of God’s Word. God’s Word is praised 176 times (22 × 8). Eight different names for God’s Word appear repeatedly throughout the psalm (laws, testimonies, precepts, statutes, commands, judgments, words, sayings). Though many of these terms sound like legal terms, they are all names for God’s whole Word. Each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet is represented by an eight-line stanza. All eight lines of each stanza begin with the appropriate Hebrew letter. The letter names are listed in the stanza headings.
  2. Psalm 119:1 Law in the Old Testament is often used in a wide sense as a name for God’s whole Word. It may refer to teaching of various kinds.
  3. Psalm 119:2 Or guard
  4. Psalm 119:4 Or regulations or rules
  5. Psalm 119:5 Or instructions
  6. Psalm 119:7 Or rulings or ordinances
  7. Psalm 119:9 Or word. In this psalm there are many textual variants between singular and plural forms of word. The translation does not note them all.
  8. Psalm 119:11 Or message. Many translate this as promise, but it is the common Hebrew root for say. Sometimes, of course, God’s sayings are promises.
  9. Psalm 119:25 In the Old Testament my soul is a more emotional way of saying I or me.
  10. Psalm 119:30 Or I set before me
  11. Psalm 119:32 Or you increased my understanding or you motivated me. Literally you made my heart wide.
  12. Psalm 119:37 A few Hebrew manuscripts have your word. Without this alteration there is no name of the Word in this verse.
  13. Psalm 119:59 In these and other verses of the psalm it is sometimes uncertain whether the Hebrew verb forms refer to past actions, present attitudes, or future intentions.
  14. Psalm 119:70 Literally their fat hearts
  15. Psalm 119:118 Or is useless
  16. Psalm 119:132 Some translations take the Hebrew word mishpat, translated as judgment above, to mean this is your usual way to deal with those who love your name, but if this is done, there is no name for God’s Word in this verse.

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