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Psalm 119 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 119[a]

א (Alef)

119 How blessed are those whose actions are blameless,[b]
who obey[c] the law of the Lord.
How blessed are those who observe his rules,
and seek him with all their heart,
who, moreover, do no wrong,
but follow in his footsteps.[d]
You demand that your precepts
be carefully kept.[e]
If only I were predisposed[f]
to keep your statutes.
Then I would not be ashamed,
if[g] I were focused on[h] all your commands.
I will give you sincere thanks,[i]
when I learn your just regulations.
I will keep your statutes.
Do not completely abandon me.[j]

ב (Bet)

How can a young person[k] maintain a pure life?[l]
By guarding it according to your instructions.[m]
10 With all my heart I seek you.
Do not allow me to stray from your commands.
11 In my heart I store up[n] your words,[o]
so I might not sin against you.
12 You deserve praise,[p] O Lord.
Teach me your statutes.
13 With my lips I proclaim
all the regulations you have revealed.[q]
14 I rejoice in the lifestyle prescribed by your rules[r]
as if[s] they were riches of all kinds.[t]
15 I will meditate on[u] your precepts
and focus on[v] your behavior.[w]
16 I find delight[x] in your statutes;
I do not forget your instructions.[y]

ג (Gimel)

17 Be kind to your servant.
Then I will live[z] and keep[aa] your instructions.[ab]
18 Open[ac] my eyes so I can truly see[ad]
the marvelous things in your law.
19 I am a resident foreigner in this land.[ae]
Do not hide your commands from me.
20 I desperately long to know[af]
your regulations at all times.
21 You reprimand arrogant people.
Those who stray from your commands are doomed.[ag]
22 Spare me[ah] shame and humiliation,
for I observe your rules.
23 Though rulers plot and slander me,[ai]
your servant meditates on your statutes.
24 Yes, I find delight in your rules;
they give me guidance.[aj]

ד (Dalet)

25 I collapse in the dirt.[ak]
Revive me with your word.[al]
26 I told you about my ways[am] and you answered me.
Teach me your statutes.
27 Help me to understand what your precepts mean.[an]
Then I can meditate[ao] on your marvelous teachings.[ap]
28 I collapse[aq] from grief.
Sustain me by your word.[ar]
29 Remove me from the path of deceit.[as]
Graciously give me[at] your law.
30 I choose the path of faithfulness;
I am committed to[au] your regulations.
31 I hold fast[av] to your rules.
O Lord, do not let me be ashamed.
32 I run along the path of your commands,
for you enable me to do so.[aw]

ה (He)

33 Teach me, O Lord, the lifestyle prescribed by your statutes,[ax]
so that I might observe it continually.[ay]
34 Give me understanding so that I might observe your law,
and keep it with all my heart.[az]
35 Guide me[ba] in the path of your commands,
for I delight to walk in it.[bb]
36 Give me a desire for your rules,[bc]
rather than for wealth gained unjustly.[bd]
37 Turn my eyes away from what is worthless.[be]
Revive me with your word.[bf]
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,[bg]
which you made to the one who honors you.[bh]
39 Take away the insults that I dread.[bi]
Indeed,[bj] your regulations are good.
40 Look, I long for your precepts.
Revive me with your deliverance.[bk]

ו (Vav)

41 May I experience your loyal love,[bl] O Lord,
and your deliverance,[bm] as you promised.[bn]
42 Then I will have a reply for the one who insults me,[bo]
for I trust in your word.
43 Do not completely deprive me of a truthful testimony,[bp]
for I await your justice.
44 Then I will keep[bq] your law continually
now and for all time.[br]
45 I will be secure,[bs]
for I seek your precepts.
46 I will speak[bt] about your regulations before kings
and not be ashamed.
47 I will find delight in your commands,
which I love.
48 I will lift my hands to[bu] your commands,
which I love,
and I will meditate on your statutes.

ז (Zayin)

49 Remember your word to your servant,
for you have given me hope.
50 This[bv] is what comforts me in my trouble,
for your promise revives me.[bw]
51 Arrogant people do nothing but scoff at me.[bx]
Yet I do not turn aside from your law.
52 I remember your ancient regulations,[by]
O Lord, and console myself.[bz]
53 Rage takes hold of me because of the wicked,
those who reject your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs[ca]
in the house where I live.[cb]
55 I remember your name during the night, O Lord,
and I will keep[cc] your law.
56 This[cd] has been my practice,
for I observe your precepts.

ח (Khet)

57 The Lord is my source of security.[ce]
I have determined[cf] to follow your instructions.[cg]
58 I seek your favor[ch] with all my heart.
Have mercy on me as you promised.[ci]
59 I consider my actions[cj]
and follow[ck] your rules.
60 I keep your commands eagerly
and without delay.[cl]
61 The ropes of the wicked tighten around[cm] me,
but I do not forget your law.
62 In the middle of the night I arise[cn] to thank you
for your just regulations.
63 I am a friend to all your loyal followers,[co]
and to those who keep your precepts.
64 O Lord, your loyal love fills the earth.
Teach me your statutes!

ט (Tet)

65 You are good[cp] to your servant,
O Lord, just as you promised.[cq]
66 Teach me proper discernment[cr] and understanding.
For I consider your commands to be reliable.[cs]
67 Before I was afflicted I used to stray off,[ct]
but now I keep your instructions.[cu]
68 You are good and you do good.
Teach me your statutes.
69 Arrogant people smear my reputation with lies,[cv]
but I observe your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are calloused,[cw]
but I find delight in your law.
71 It was good for me to suffer,
so that I might learn your statutes.
72 The law you have revealed is more important to me
than thousands of pieces of gold and silver.[cx]

י (Yod)

73 Your hands made me and formed me.[cy]
Give me understanding so that I might learn[cz] your commands.
74 Your loyal followers will be glad when they see me,[da]
for I find hope in your word.
75 I know, Lord, that your regulations[db] are just.
You disciplined me because of your faithful devotion to me.[dc]
76 May your loyal love console me,
as you promised your servant.[dd]
77 May I experience your compassion,[de] so I might live.
For I find delight in your law.
78 May the arrogant be humiliated, for they have slandered me.[df]
But I meditate on your precepts.
79 May your loyal followers[dg] turn to me,
those who know your rules.
80 May I be fully committed to your statutes,[dh]
so that I might not be ashamed.

כ (Kaf)

81 I desperately long for[di] your deliverance.
I find hope in your word.
82 My eyes grow tired as I wait for your promise to be fulfilled.[dj]
I say,[dk] “When will you comfort me?”
83 For[dl] I am like a wineskin[dm] dried up in smoke.[dn]
I do not forget your statutes.
84 How long must your servant endure this?[do]
When will you judge those who pursue me?
85 The arrogant dig pits to trap me,[dp]
which violates your law.[dq]
86 All your commands are reliable.
I am pursued without reason.[dr] Help me!
87 They have almost destroyed me here on the earth,
but I do not reject your precepts.
88 Revive me with[ds] your loyal love,
that I might keep[dt] the rules you have revealed.[du]

ל (Lamed)

89 O Lord, your instructions endure;
they stand secure in heaven.[dv]
90 You demonstrate your faithfulness to all generations.[dw]
You established the earth and it stood firm.
91 Today they stand firm by your decrees,
for all things are your servants.
92 If I had not found encouragement in your law,[dx]
I would have died in my sorrow.[dy]
93 I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have revived me.
94 I belong to you. Deliver me!
For I seek your precepts.
95 The wicked prepare to kill me,[dz]
yet I concentrate on your rules.
96 I realize that everything has its limits,
but your commands are beyond full comprehension.[ea]

מ (Mem)

97 O how I love your law!
All day long I meditate on it.
98 Your commandments[eb] make me wiser than my enemies,
for I am always aware of them.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your rules.
100 I am more discerning than those older than I,
for I observe your precepts.
101 I stay away[ec] from every evil path,
so that I might keep your instructions.[ed]
102 I do not turn aside from your regulations,
for you teach me.
103 Your words are sweeter
in my mouth than honey![ee]
104 Your precepts give me discernment.
Therefore I hate all deceitful actions.[ef]

נ (Nun)

105 Your word[eg] is a lamp to walk by,
and a light to illumine my path.[eh]
106 I have vowed and solemnly sworn
to keep your just regulations.
107 I am suffering terribly.
O Lord, revive me with your word.[ei]
108 O Lord, please accept the freewill offerings of my praise.[ej]
Teach me your regulations.
109 My life is in continual danger,[ek]
but I do not forget your law.
110 The wicked lay a trap for me,
but I do not wander from your precepts.
111 I claim your rules as my permanent possession,
for they give me joy.[el]
112 I am determined to obey[em] your statutes
at all times, to the very end.

ס (Samek)

113 I hate people with divided loyalties,[en]
but I love your law.
114 You are my hiding place and my shield.
I find hope in your word.
115 Turn away from me, you evil men,
so that I can observe[eo] the commands of my God.[ep]
116 Sustain me as you promised,[eq] so that I will live.[er]
Do not disappoint me.[es]
117 Support me, so that I will be delivered.
Then I will focus[et] on your statutes continually.
118 You despise[eu] all who stray from your statutes,
for such people are deceptive and unreliable.[ev]
119 You remove all the wicked of the earth like slag.[ew]
Therefore I love your rules.[ex]
120 My body[ey] trembles[ez] because I fear you;[fa]
I am afraid of your judgments.

ע (Ayin)

121 I do what is fair and right.[fb]
Do not abandon me to my oppressors.
122 Guarantee the welfare of your servant.[fc]
Do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes grow tired as I wait for your deliverance,[fd]
for your reliable promise to be fulfilled.[fe]
124 Show your servant your loyal love.[ff]
Teach me your statutes.
125 I am your servant. Give me insight,
so that I can understand[fg] your rules.
126 It is time for the Lord to act—
they break your law.
127 For this reason[fh] I love your commands
more than gold, even purest gold.
128 For this reason I carefully follow all your precepts.[fi]
I hate all deceitful actions.[fj]

פ (Pe)

129 Your rules are marvelous.
Therefore I observe them.
130 Your instructions are a doorway through which light shines.[fk]
They give[fl] insight to the untrained.[fm]
131 I open my mouth and pant,
because I long[fn] for your commands.
132 Turn toward me and extend mercy to me,
as you typically do to your loyal followers.[fo]
133 Direct my steps by your word.[fp]
Do not let any sin dominate me.
134 Deliver me[fq] from oppressive men,
so that I can keep[fr] your precepts.
135 Smile[fs] on your servant.
Teach me your statutes!
136 Tears stream down from my eyes,[ft]
because people[fu] do not keep your law.

צ (Tsade)

137 You are just, O Lord,
and your judgments are fair.
138 The rules you impose are just,[fv]
and absolutely reliable.
139 My zeal[fw] consumes[fx] me,
for my enemies forget your instructions.[fy]
140 Your word is absolutely pure,
and your servant loves it.
141 I am insignificant and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your justice endures,[fz]
and your law is reliable.[ga]
143 Distress and hardship confront[gb] me,
yet I find delight in your commands.
144 Your rules remain just.[gc]
Give me insight so that I can live.[gd]

ק (Qof)

145 I cried out with all my heart, “Answer me, O Lord!
I will observe your statutes.”
146 I cried out to you, “Deliver me,
so that I can keep[ge] your rules.”
147 I am up before dawn crying for help.
I find hope in your word.
148 My eyes anticipate the nighttime hours,
so that I can meditate on your word.
149 Listen to me[gf] because of[gg] your loyal love.
O Lord, revive me, as you typically do.[gh]
150 Those who are eager to do[gi] wrong draw near;
they are far from your law.
151 You are near, O Lord,
and all your commands are reliable.[gj]
152 I learned long ago that
you ordained your rules to last.[gk]

ר (Resh)

153 See my pain and rescue me.
For I do not forget your law.
154 Fight for me[gl] and defend me.[gm]
Revive me with your word.
155 The wicked have no chance for deliverance,[gn]
for they do not seek your statutes.
156 Your compassion is great, O Lord.
Revive me, as you typically do.[go]
157 The enemies who chase me are numerous.[gp]
Yet I do not turn aside from your rules.
158 I take note of the treacherous and despise them,
because they do not keep your instructions.[gq]
159 See how I love your precepts.
O Lord, revive me with your loyal love.
160 Your instructions are totally reliable;
all your just regulations endure.[gr]

שׂ/שׁ (Sin/Shin)

161 Rulers pursue me for no reason,
yet I am more afraid of disobeying your instructions.[gs]
162 I rejoice in your instructions,
like one who finds much plunder.[gt]
163 I hate and despise deceit;
I love your law.
164 Seven times[gu] a day I praise you
because of your just regulations.
165 Those who love your law are completely secure;[gv]
nothing causes them to stumble.[gw]
166 I hope for your deliverance, O Lord,
and I obey[gx] your commands.
167 I keep your rules;
I love them greatly.
168 I keep your precepts and rules,
for you are aware of everything I do.[gy]

ת (Tav)

169 Listen to my cry for help,[gz] O Lord.
Give me insight by your word.
170 Listen to my appeal for mercy.[ha]
Deliver me, as you promised.[hb]
171 May praise flow freely from my lips,
for you teach me your statutes.
172 May my tongue sing about your instructions,[hc]
for all your commands are just.
173 May your hand help me,
for I choose to obey[hd] your precepts.
174 I long for your deliverance, O Lord;
I find delight in your law.
175 May I[he] live and praise you.
May your regulations help me.[hf]
176 I have wandered off like a lost sheep.[hg]
Come looking for your servant,
for I do not forget your commands.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 119:1 tn The psalmist celebrates God’s law and the guidance it provides his people. He expresses his desire to know God’s law thoroughly so that he might experience the blessings that come to those who obey it. This lengthy psalm exhibits an elaborate acrostic pattern. The psalm is divided into twenty-two sections (corresponding to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet), each of which is comprised of eight verses. Each of the verses in the first section (vv. 1-8) begins with the letter alef (א), the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This pattern continues throughout the psalm as each new section highlights a successive letter of the alphabet. Each verse in section two (vv. 9-16) begins with the second letter of the alphabet, each verse in section three (vv. 17-24) with the third letter, etc. This rigid pattern creates a sense of order and completeness and may have facilitated memorization.
  2. Psalm 119:1 tn Heb “[Oh] the happiness of those who are blameless of way.”
  3. Psalm 119:1 tn Heb “walk in.”
  4. Psalm 119:3 tn Heb “walk in his ways.”
  5. Psalm 119:4 tn Heb “you, you commanded your precepts, to keep, very much.”
  6. Psalm 119:5 tn Heb “if only my ways were established.”
  7. Psalm 119:6 tn Or “when.”
  8. Psalm 119:6 tn Heb “I gaze at.”
  9. Psalm 119:7 tn Heb “I will give you thanks with an upright heart.”
  10. Psalm 119:8 tn Heb “do not abandon me to excess.” For other uses of the phrase עַד מְאֹד (ʿad meʾod, “to excess”), see Ps 38:6, 8.
  11. Psalm 119:9 tn Heb “young man.” Hebrew wisdom literature often assumes and reflects the male-oriented perspective of ancient Israelite society. The principle of the psalm is certainly applicable to all people, regardless of their gender or age. To facilitate modern application, the gender specific “young man” has been translated with the more neutral “young person.”
  12. Psalm 119:9 tn Heb “purify his path.”
  13. Psalm 119:9 tn Heb “by keeping according to your word.” Many medieval Hebrew mss as well as the LXX read the plural, “your words.”
  14. Psalm 119:11 tn Or “hide.”
  15. Psalm 119:11 tn Heb “your word.” Some medieval Hebrew mss as well as the LXX read the plural, “your words.”
  16. Psalm 119:12 tn Heb “[are] blessed.”
  17. Psalm 119:13 tn Heb “of your mouth.”
  18. Psalm 119:14 tn Heb “in the way of your rules.”
  19. Psalm 119:14 tn Heb “as upon,” meaning “as if” (see 2 Chr 32:19).
  20. Psalm 119:14 tn Heb “all wealth.” The phrase refers to all kinds of wealth and riches. See Prov 1:13; 6:31; 24:4; Ezek 27:12, 18.
  21. Psalm 119:15 tn The cohortative verbal forms in this verse express the psalmist’s resolve.
  22. Psalm 119:15 tn Heb “gaze [at].”
  23. Psalm 119:15 tn Heb “ways” (referring figuratively to God’s behavior here).
  24. Psalm 119:16 tn The imperfects in this verse emphasize the attitude the psalmist maintains toward God’s law. Another option is to translate with the future tense, “I will find delight…I will not forget.”
  25. Psalm 119:16 tn Heb “your word.” Many medieval Hebrew mss as well as the LXX read the plural here.
  26. Psalm 119:17 tn The prefixed verbal form is probably a cohortative indicating purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  27. Psalm 119:17 tn The cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the imperative that begins the verse.
  28. Psalm 119:17 tn Heb “your word.” Many medieval Hebrew mss as well as several ancient versions read the plural here.
  29. Psalm 119:18 tn Heb “uncover.” The verb form גַּל (gal) is an apocopated Piel imperative from גָּלָה (galah, see GKC 214 §75.cc).
  30. Psalm 119:18 tn The cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  31. Psalm 119:19 sn Heb This metaphor probably derives from Lev 25:23, which uses the terms גֵּר (ger, “resident foreigner”) and תּוֹשָׁב; (toshav, “resident/temporary settler”). Lev 25:23 emphasizes that Israel would be a guest on God’s land. They were attached to the Lord’s household; they did not own the land. Cf. also Ps 39:12 and Gen 23:4.
  32. Psalm 119:20 tn Heb “my soul languishes for longing for.”
  33. Psalm 119:21 tn Heb “accursed.” The traditional punctuation of the Hebrew text takes “accursed” with the previous line (“arrogant, accursed ones”), but it is preferable to take it with the second line as the predicate of the statement.
  34. Psalm 119:22 tn Heb “roll away from upon me.” Some derive the imperatival form גַּל (gal) from גָּלָה (galah, “uncover,” as in v. 18), but here the form is from גָּלַל (galal, “roll”; see Josh 5:9, where חֶרְפָּה [kherpah, “shame; reproach”] also appears as object of the verb). Some, following the lead of a Dead Sea scroll (11QPsa), emend the form to גֹּל (gol).
  35. Psalm 119:23 tn Heb “though rulers sit, about me they talk together.” (For another example of the Niphal of דָּבַר (davar) used with a suffixed form of the preposition ב (bet), see Ezek 33:30.)
  36. Psalm 119:24 tn Heb “men of my counsel.” That is, God’s rules are like advisers to the psalmist, for they teach him how to live in a godly manner that refutes the accusations of his enemies.
  37. Psalm 119:25 tn Heb “my soul clings to the dirt.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “being; soul”) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).
  38. Psalm 119:25 tn Heb “according to your word.” Many medieval Hebrew mss read the plural “your words.”
  39. Psalm 119:26 tn Heb “my ways I proclaimed.”
  40. Psalm 119:27 tn Heb “the way of your precepts make me understand.”
  41. Psalm 119:27 tn The cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  42. Psalm 119:27 tn Heb “your amazing things,” which refers here to the teachings of the law (see v. 18).
  43. Psalm 119:28 tn Some translate “my soul weeps,” taking the verb דָלַף (dalaf) from a root meaning “to drip; to drop” (BDB 196 s.v. דֶּלַף). On the basis of cognate evidence from Arabic and Akkadian, HALOT 223 s.v. II דלף proposes a homonymic root here, meaning “be sleepless.” Following L. C. Allen (Psalms 101-150 [WBC], 127, 135) the translation assumes that the verb is cognate with Ugaritic dlp, “to collapse; to crumple” in CTA 2 iv. 17, 26. See G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 44, 144.
  44. Psalm 119:28 tn Heb “according to your word.” Many medieval Hebrew mss read the plural “your words.”
  45. Psalm 119:29 tn The “path of deceit” refers to a lifestyle characterized by deceit and disloyalty to God. It stands in contrast to the “way of faithfulness” in v. 30.
  46. Psalm 119:29 tn Heb “be gracious to me.” The verb is used metonymically here for “graciously giving” the law. (See Gen 33:5, where Jacob uses this verb in describing how God had graciously given him children.)
  47. Psalm 119:30 tn BDB 1000-1001 s.v. I שָׁוָה derives the verb from the first homonym listed, meaning “to agree with; to be like; to resemble.” It here means (in the Piel stem) “to be accounted suitable,” which in turn would mean by metonymy “to accept; to be committed to.” Some prefer to derive the verb from a homonym meaning “to place; to set,” but in this case an elliptical prepositional phrase must be understood, “I place your regulations [before me]” (see Ps 16:8).
  48. Psalm 119:31 tn Or “cling to.”
  49. Psalm 119:32 tn Heb “for you make wide my heart.” The “heart” is viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s volition and understanding. The Lord gives the psalmist the desire and moral understanding that are foundational to the willing obedience depicted metaphorically in the preceding line. In Isa 60:5 the expression “your heart will be wide” means “your heart will swell with pride,” but here the nuance appears to be different.
  50. Psalm 119:33 tn Heb “the way of your statutes.”
  51. Psalm 119:33 tn Heb “and I will keep it to the end.” The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative. The Hebrew term עֵקֶב (ʿeqev) is understood to mean “end” here. Another option is to take עֵקֶב as meaning “reward” here (see Ps 19:11) and to translate, “so that I might observe it and be rewarded.”
  52. Psalm 119:34 tn The two prefixed verbal forms with vav (ו) conjunctive indicate purpose/result after the introductory imperative.
  53. Psalm 119:35 tn Or “make me walk.”
  54. Psalm 119:35 tn Heb “for in it I delight.”
  55. Psalm 119:36 tn Heb “turn my heart to your rules.”
  56. Psalm 119:36 tn Heb “and not unjust gain.”
  57. Psalm 119:37 tn Heb “Make my eyes pass by from looking at what is worthless.”
  58. Psalm 119:37 tn Heb “by your word.”
  59. Psalm 119:38 tn Heb “word.”
  60. Psalm 119:38 tn Heb “which [is] for your fear,” that is, the promise made to those who exhibit fear of God.
  61. Psalm 119:39 tn Heb “my reproach that I fear.”
  62. Psalm 119:39 tn Or “for.”
  63. Psalm 119:40 tn Or “righteousness.”
  64. Psalm 119:41 tn Heb “and may your loyal love come to me.”
  65. Psalm 119:41 tn Or “salvation” (so many English versions).
  66. Psalm 119:41 tn Heb “according to your word.”
  67. Psalm 119:42 tn Heb “and I will answer [the] one who insults me a word.” The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the jussive (see v. 41).
  68. Psalm 119:43 tn Heb “do not snatch from my mouth a word of truth to excess.” The psalmist wants to be able to give a reliable testimony about the Lord’s loyal love (vv. 41-42), but if God does not intervene, the psalmist will be deprived of doing so, for the evidence of such love (i.e., deliverance) will be lacking.
  69. Psalm 119:44 tn The cohortative verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the negated jussive (see v. 43).
  70. Psalm 119:44 tn Or “forever and ever.”
  71. Psalm 119:45 tn Heb “and I will walk about in a wide place.” The cohortative with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive gives a further consequence of the anticipated positive divine response (see vv. 43-44). Another option is to take the cohortative as expressing the psalmist’s request. In this case one could translate, “and please give me security.”
  72. Psalm 119:46 tn The series of four cohortatives with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive in vv. 46-48 list further consequences of the anticipated positive divine response to the request made in v. 43.
  73. Psalm 119:48 tn Lifting the hands is often associated with prayer (Pss 28:2; 63:4; Lam 2:19). (1) Because praying to God’s law borders on the extreme, some prefer to emend the text to “I lift up my hands to you,” eliminating “your commands, which I love” as dittographic. In this view these words were accidentally repeated from the previous verse. (2) However, it is possible that the psalmist closely associates the law with God himself because he views the law as the expression of the divine will. (3) Another option is that “lifting the hands” does not refer to prayer here, but to the psalmist’s desire to receive and appropriate the law. (4) Still others understand this to be an action praising God’s commands (so NCV; cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).
  74. Psalm 119:50 tn The demonstrative “this” refers back to the hope just mentioned or forward to the statement in the second line concerning the promise’s power to revive. See the note on the word “me” at the end of the verse for further discussion.
  75. Psalm 119:50 tn The hope generated by the promise (see v. 49b) brings comfort because (note “for” at the beginning of the line) the promise revives the psalmist’s spirits. Another option is to take כִּי (ki) at the beginning of the second line in the sense of “that,” in which case “this” refers to the promise’s power to revive.
  76. Psalm 119:51 tn Heb “scoff at me to excess.”
  77. Psalm 119:52 tn Heb “I remember your regulations from of old.” The prepositional phrase “from of old” apparently modifies “your regulations,” alluding to the fact that God revealed them to Israel in the distant past. Another option is to understand the prepositional phrase as modifying the verb, in which case one might translate, “I have long remembered your regulations.”
  78. Psalm 119:52 tn Or “find comfort.”
  79. Psalm 119:54 tn Heb “songs were your statutes to me.”
  80. Psalm 119:54 tn Heb “in the house of my dwelling place.” Some take the Hebrew noun מָגוֹר (magor) in the sense of “temporary abode,” and see this as a reference to the psalmist’s status as a resident foreigner (see v. 19). But the noun can refer to a dwelling place in general (see Ps 55:15).
  81. Psalm 119:55 tn The cohortative verbal form expresses the psalmist’s resolve to obey the law.
  82. Psalm 119:56 tn Heb “this has been to me.” The demonstrative “this” (1) refers back to the practices mentioned in vv. 54-55, or (2) looks forward to the statement in the second line, in which case the כִּי (ki) at the beginning of the second line should be translated “that.”
  83. Psalm 119:57 tn Heb “my portion [is] the Lord.” The psalmist compares the Lord to landed property, which was foundational to economic stability in ancient Israel (see Ps 16:5).
  84. Psalm 119:57 tn Heb “I said.”
  85. Psalm 119:57 tn Heb “to keep your words” (see v. 9).
  86. Psalm 119:58 tn Heb “I appease your face.”
  87. Psalm 119:58 tn Heb “according to your word.”
  88. Psalm 119:59 tn Heb “my ways.”
  89. Psalm 119:59 tn Heb “and I turn my feet toward.”
  90. Psalm 119:60 tn Heb “I hurry and I do not delay to keep your commands.”
  91. Psalm 119:61 tn Heb “surround.”
  92. Psalm 119:62 tn The psalmist uses an imperfect verbal form to emphasize that this is his continuing practice.
  93. Psalm 119:63 tn Heb “to all who fear you.”
  94. Psalm 119:65 tn Heb “do good.”
  95. Psalm 119:65 tn Heb “according to your word.”
  96. Psalm 119:66 tn Heb “goodness of taste.” Here “taste” refers to moral and ethical discernment.
  97. Psalm 119:66 tn Heb “for I believe in your commands.”
  98. Psalm 119:67 tn Heb “before I suffered, I was straying off.”
  99. Psalm 119:67 tn Heb “your word.”
  100. Psalm 119:69 tn Heb “smear over me a lie.”
  101. Psalm 119:70 tn Heb “their heart is insensitive like fat.”
  102. Psalm 119:72 tn Heb “better to me [is] the law of your mouth than thousands of gold and silver.”
  103. Psalm 119:73 tn Heb “made me and established me.” The two verbs also appear together in Deut 32:6, where God, compared to a father, is said to have “made and established” Israel.
  104. Psalm 119:73 tn The cohortative verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  105. Psalm 119:74 tn Heb “those who fear you will see me and rejoice.”
  106. Psalm 119:75 tn In this context (note the second line) the Hebrew term מִשְׁפָּטִים (mishpatim), which so often refers to the regulations of God’s law elsewhere in this psalm, may refer instead to his decisions or disciplinary judgment.
  107. Psalm 119:75 tn Heb “and [in] faithfulness you afflicted me.”
  108. Psalm 119:76 tn Heb “according to your word to your servant.”
  109. Psalm 119:77 tn Heb “and may your compassion come to me.”
  110. Psalm 119:78 tn Heb “for [with] falsehood they have denied me justice.”
  111. Psalm 119:79 tn Heb “those who fear you.”
  112. Psalm 119:80 tn Heb “may my heart be complete in your statutes.”
  113. Psalm 119:81 tn Heb “my soul pines for.” See Ps 84:2.
  114. Psalm 119:82 tn Heb “my eyes fail for your word.” The psalmist has intently kept his eyes open, looking for God to intervene, but now his eyes are watery and bloodshot, impairing his vision. See Ps 69:3.
  115. Psalm 119:82 tn Heb “saying.”
  116. Psalm 119:83 tn Or “even though.”
  117. Psalm 119:83 tn The Hebrew word נֹאד (noʾd, “leather container”) refers to a container made from animal skin which is used to hold wine or milk (see Josh 9:4, 13; Judg 4:19; 1 Sam 16:20).
  118. Psalm 119:83 tn Heb “in the smoke.”
  119. Psalm 119:84 tn Heb “How long are the days of your servant?”
  120. Psalm 119:85 tn Heb “for me.”
  121. Psalm 119:85 tn Heb “which [is] not according to your law.”
  122. Psalm 119:86 sn God’s commands are a reliable guide to right and wrong. By keeping them the psalmist is doing what is right, yet he is still persecuted.
  123. Psalm 119:88 tn Heb “according to.”
  124. Psalm 119:88 tn The cohortative verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  125. Psalm 119:88 tn Heb “of your mouth.”
  126. Psalm 119:89 tn Heb “Forever, O Lord, your word stands firm in heaven,” or “Forever, O Lord, [is] your word; it stands firm in heaven.” The translation assumes that “your word” refers here to the body of divine instructions contained in the law (note the frequent references to the law in vv. 92-96). See vv. 9, 16-17, 57, 101, 105, 130, 139 and 160-61. The reference in v. 86 to God’s law being faithful favors this interpretation. Another option is that “your word” refers to God’s assuring word of promise, mentioned in vv. 25, 28, 42, 65, 74, 81, 107, 114, 147 and 169. In this case one might translate, “O Lord, your promise is reliable, it stands firm in heaven.”
  127. Psalm 119:90 tn Heb “to a generation and a generation [is] your faithfulness.”
  128. Psalm 119:92 tn Heb “if your law had not been my delight.”
  129. Psalm 119:92 tn Or “my suffering.”
  130. Psalm 119:95 tn Heb “the wicked wait for me to kill me.”
  131. Psalm 119:96 tn Heb “to every perfection I have seen an end, your command is very wide.” God’s law is beyond full comprehension, which is why the psalmist continually studies it (vv. 95, 97).
  132. Psalm 119:98 tn The plural form needs to be revocalized as a singular in order to agree with the preceding singular verb and the singular pronoun in the next line. The Lord’s “command” refers here to the law (see Ps 19:8).
  133. Psalm 119:101 tn Heb “I hold back my feet.”
  134. Psalm 119:101 tn Heb “your word.” Many medieval Hebrew mss read the plural.
  135. Psalm 119:103 tn Heb “How smooth they are to my palate, your word, more than honey to my mouth.” A few medieval Hebrew mss, as well as several other ancient witnesses, read the plural “your words,” which can then be understood as the subject of the plural verb “they are smooth.”
  136. Psalm 119:104 tn Heb “every false path.”
  137. Psalm 119:105 tn Many medieval Hebrew mss read the plural (“words”).
  138. Psalm 119:105 tn Heb “[is] a lamp for my foot and a light for my path.”
  139. Psalm 119:107 tn Heb “according to your word.”
  140. Psalm 119:108 tn Heb “of my mouth.”
  141. Psalm 119:109 tn Heb “my life [is] in my hands continually.”
  142. Psalm 119:111 tn Heb “for the joy of my heart [are] they.”
  143. Psalm 119:112 tn Heb “I turn my heart to do.”
  144. Psalm 119:113 tn Heb “divided ones.” The word occurs only here; it appears to be derived from a verbal root, attested in Arabic, meaning “to split” (see HALOT 762 s.v. *סֵעֵף). Since the psalmist is emphasizing his unswerving allegiance to God and his law, the term probably refers to those who lack such loyalty. The translation is similar to that suggested by L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 131.
  145. Psalm 119:115 tn The cohortative verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  146. Psalm 119:115 tn The psalmist has already declared that he observes God’s commands despite persecution, so here the idea must be “so that I might observe the commands of my God unhindered by threats.”
  147. Psalm 119:116 tn Heb “according to your word.”
  148. Psalm 119:116 tn The prefixed verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  149. Psalm 119:116 tn Heb “do not make me ashamed of my hope.” After the Hebrew verb בּוֹשׁ (bosh, “to be ashamed”) the preposition מִן (min, “from”) often introduces the reason for shame.
  150. Psalm 119:117 tn Or “and that I might focus.” The two cohortatives with vav (ו) conjunctive indicate purpose/result after the imperative at the beginning of the verse.
  151. Psalm 119:118 tn The Hebrew verb סָלָה (salah, “to disdain”) occurs only here and in Lam 1:15. Cognate usage in Aramaic and Akkadian, as well as Lam 1:15, suggest it may have a concrete nuance of “to throw away.”
  152. Psalm 119:118 tn Heb “for their deceit [is] falsehood.”
  153. Psalm 119:119 sn Traditionally “dross” (so KJV, ASV, NIV). The metaphor comes from metallurgy; “slag” is the substance left over after the metallic ore has been refined.
  154. Psalm 119:119 sn As he explains in the next verse, the psalmist’s fear of judgment motivates him to obey God’s rules.
  155. Psalm 119:120 tn Heb “my flesh.”
  156. Psalm 119:120 tn The Hebrew verb סָמַר (samar, “to tremble”) occurs only here and in Job 4:15.
  157. Psalm 119:120 tn Heb “from fear of you.” The pronominal suffix on the noun is an objective genitive.
  158. Psalm 119:121 tn Heb “do justice and righteousness.”
  159. Psalm 119:122 tn Heb “be surety for your servant for good.”
  160. Psalm 119:123 tn Heb “my eyes fail for your deliverance.” The psalmist has intently kept his eyes open, looking for God to intervene, but now his eyes are watery and bloodshot, impairing his vision. See the similar phrase in v. 82.
  161. Psalm 119:123 tn Heb “and for the word of your faithfulness.”
  162. Psalm 119:124 tn Heb “do with your servant according to your loyal love.”
  163. Psalm 119:125 tn or “know.” The cohortative verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  164. Psalm 119:127 tn “For this reason” connects logically with the statement made in v. 126. Because the judgment the psalmist fears (see vv. 119-120) is imminent, he remains loyal to God’s law.
  165. Psalm 119:128 tn Heb “for this reason all the precepts of everything I regard as right.” The phrase “precepts of everything” is odd. It is preferable to take the כ (kaf) on כֹּל (kol, “everything) with the preceding form as a pronominal suffix, “your precepts,” and the ל (lamed) with the following verb as an emphatic particle. See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 138.
  166. Psalm 119:128 tn Heb “every false path.”
  167. Psalm 119:130 tn Heb “the doorway of your words gives light.” God’s “words” refer here to the instructions in his law (see vv. 9, 57).
  168. Psalm 119:130 tn Heb “it [i.e., the doorway] gives.”
  169. Psalm 119:130 tn Or “the [morally] naive,” that is, the one who is young and still in the process of learning right from wrong and distinguishing wisdom from folly. See Pss 19:7; 116:6.
  170. Psalm 119:131 tn The verb occurs only here in the OT.
  171. Psalm 119:132 tn Heb “according to custom toward the lovers of your name.” The “lovers of” God’s “name” are the Lord’s loyal followers. See Pss 5:11; 69:36; Isa 56:6.
  172. Psalm 119:133 tn God’s “word” refers here to his law (see v. 11).
  173. Psalm 119:134 tn Or “redeem me.”
  174. Psalm 119:134 tn The cohortative verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  175. Psalm 119:135 tn Heb “cause your face to shine.”
  176. Psalm 119:136 tn Heb “[with] flowing streams my eyes go down.”
  177. Psalm 119:136 tn Heb “they”; even though somewhat generic, the referent (people) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  178. Psalm 119:138 tn Heb “you commanded [in] justice your rules.”
  179. Psalm 119:139 tn or “zeal.”
  180. Psalm 119:139 tn Heb “destroys,” in a hyperbolic sense.
  181. Psalm 119:139 tn Heb “your words.”
  182. Psalm 119:142 tn Heb “your justice [is] justice forever.”
  183. Psalm 119:142 tn Or “truth.”
  184. Psalm 119:143 tn Heb “find.”
  185. Psalm 119:144 tn Heb “just are your rules forever.”
  186. Psalm 119:144 tn The cohortative verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  187. Psalm 119:146 tn The cohortative verbal form with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding imperative.
  188. Psalm 119:149 tn Heb “my voice.”
  189. Psalm 119:149 tn Heb “according to.”
  190. Psalm 119:149 tn Heb “according to your custom.”
  191. Psalm 119:150 tn Heb “those who pursue.”
  192. Psalm 119:151 tn Or “truth.”
  193. Psalm 119:152 tn Heb “long ago I knew concerning your rules, that forever you established them.” See v. 89 for the same idea. The translation assumes that the preposition מִן (min) prefixed to “your rules” introduces the object of the verb יָדַע (yadaʿ), as in 1 Sam 23:23. Another option is that the preposition indicates source, in which case one might translate, “Long ago I realized from your rules that forever you established them” (cf. NIV, NRSV).
  194. Psalm 119:154 tn Or “argue my case.”
  195. Psalm 119:154 tn Heb “and redeem me.” The verb “redeem” casts the Lord in the role of a leader who protects members of his extended family in times of need and crisis (see Ps 19:14).
  196. Psalm 119:155 tn Heb “far from the wicked [is] deliverance.”
  197. Psalm 119:156 tn Heb “according to your customs.”
  198. Psalm 119:157 tn Heb “many [are] those who chase me and my enemies.”
  199. Psalm 119:158 tn Heb “your word.”
  200. Psalm 119:160 tn Heb “the head of your word is truth, and forever [is] all your just regulation.” The term “head” is used here of the “sum total” of God’s instructions.
  201. Psalm 119:161 tn Heb “and because of your instructions my heart trembles.” The psalmist’s healthy “fear” of the consequences of violating God’s instructions motivates him to obey them. See v. 120.
  202. Psalm 119:162 tn Heb “like one who finds great plunder.” See Judg 5:30. The image is that of a victorious warrior who finds a large amount of plunder on the field of battle.
  203. Psalm 119:164 tn The number “seven” is use rhetorically to suggest thoroughness.
  204. Psalm 119:165 tn Heb “great peace [is] to the lovers of your law.”
  205. Psalm 119:165 tn Heb “and there is no stumbling to them.”
  206. Psalm 119:166 tn Heb “do.”
  207. Psalm 119:168 tn Heb “for all my ways [are] before you.”
  208. Psalm 119:169 tn Heb “may my cry approach before you.”
  209. Psalm 119:170 tn Heb “may my appeal for mercy come before you.”
  210. Psalm 119:170 tn Heb “according to your speech.”
  211. Psalm 119:172 tn Heb “your word.”
  212. Psalm 119:173 tn The words “to obey” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarity.
  213. Psalm 119:175 tn Heb “my life.”
  214. Psalm 119:175 tn God’s regulations will “help” the psalmist by giving him moral and ethical guidance.
  215. Psalm 119:176 tn Heb “I stray like a lost sheep.” It is possible that the point of the metaphor is vulnerability: The psalmist, who is threatened by his enemies, feels as vulnerable as a straying, lost sheep. This would not suggest, however, that he has wandered from God’s path (see the second half of the verse, as well as v. 110).
New English Translation (NET)

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