A pilgrim and stranger guided day and night by the Law of the Lord

If psalm 117 is the shortest, this is the longest. It is unusual in many respects. It is divided into twenty-two sections, so being commensurate with the Hebrew alphabet. Each section is prefixed with the respective letter of the alphabet, as also is the beginning of each verse in every section. It is thought that this facilitated easier memorising for the Jewish children.

Another peculiar feature is, that apart from two verses all the rest contain a synonym for the Word of God. So there is reference to testimonies, judgments, statutes, precepts, etc. The whole psalm describes devotion to, and persuasion of, the Word of God as containing all the principles of true religion and practice. Without it we have no light to our path, nor lamp for our feet; and by it, as with the book of Proverbs, there is given divine wisdom for conducting ourselves in all circumstances of life. One has written of v. 174, “Religion will decay or flourish as it (the Law) is our duty or delight.”


Psalm 119:81-128

Caph - the 11th part

 81  My soul for thy salvation faints;
        yet I thy word believe.
 82  Mine eyes fail for thy word: I say,
        When wilt thou comfort give?

 83  For like a bottle I'm become,
        that in the smoke is set:
     I'm black, and parched with grief; yet I
        thy statutes not forget.

 84  How many are thy servant's days?
        when wilt thou execute
     Just judgment on these wicked men
        that do me persecute?

 85  The proud have digged pits for me,
        which is against thy laws.
 86  Thy words all faithful are: help me,
        pursued without a cause.

 87  They so consumed me, that on earth
        my life they scarce did leave:
     Thy precepts yet forsook I not,
        but close to them did cleave.

 88  After thy loving-kindness, Lord,
        me quicken, and preserve:
     The testimony of thy mouth
        so shall I still observe.

Lamed - the 12th part

 89  Thy word for ever is, O Lord,
        in heaven settled fast;
 90  Unto all generations
        thy faithfulness doth last:

     The earth thou hast established,
        and it abides by thee.
 91  This day they stand as thou ordain'dst;
        for all thy servants be.

 92  Unless in thy most perfect law
        my soul delights had found,
     I should have perished, when as
        my troubles did abound.

 93  Thy precepts I will ne'er forget;
        they quick'ning to me brought.
 94  Lord, I am thine; O save thou me:
        thy precepts I have sought.

 95  For me the wicked have laid wait,
        me seeking to destroy:
     But I thy testimonies true
        consider will with joy.

 96  An end of all perfection
        here have I seen, O God:
     But as for thy commandment,
        it is exceeding broad.

Mem - the 13th part

 97  O how love I thy law! it is
        my study all the day:
 98  It makes me wiser than my foes;
        for it doth with me stay.

 99  Than all my teachers now I have
        more understanding far;
     Because my meditation
        thy testimonies are.

100  In understanding I excel
        those that are ancients;
     For I endeavored to keep
        all thy commandements.

101  My feet from each ill way I stayed,
        that I may keep thy word.
102  I from thy judgments have not swerved;
        for thou hast taught me, Lord.

103   How sweet unto my taste, O Lord,
          are all thy words of truth!
      Yea, I do find them sweeter far
          than honey to my mouth.

104  I through thy precepts, that are pure,
        do understanding get;
     I therefore ev'ry way that's false
        with all my heart do hate

Nun - the 14th part

105  Thy word is to my feet a lamp,
        and to my path a light.
106  I sworn have, and I will perform,
        to keep thy judgments right.

107  I am with sore affliction
        ev'n overwhelmed, O Lord:
     In mercy raise and quicken me,
        according to thy word.

108  The free-will-off 'rings of my mouth
        accept, I thee beseech:
     And unto me thy servant, Lord,
        thy judgments clearly teach.

109  Though still my soul be in my hand,
        thy laws I'll not forget.
110  I erred not from them, though for me
        the wicked snares did set.

111  I of thy testimonies have
        above all things made choice,
     To be my heritage for aye;
        for they my heart rejoice.

112  I carefully inclined have
        my heart still to attend;
     That I thy statutes may perform
        alway unto the end.

Samech - the 15th part

113  I hate the thoughts of vanity,
        but love thy law do I.
114  My shield and hiding-place thou art:
        I on thy word rely.

115  All ye that evil-doers are
        from me depart away;
     For the commandements of my God
        I purpose to obey.

116  According to thy faithful word
        uphold and stablish me,
     That I may live, and of my hope
        ashamed never be.

117  Hold thou me up, so shall I be
        in peace and safety still;
     And to thy statutes have respect
        continually I will.

118  Thou tread'st down all that love to stray;
        false their deceit doth prove.
119  Lewd men, like dross, away thou putt'st;
        therefore thy law I love.

120  For fear of thee my very flesh
        doth tremble, all dismayed;
     And of thy righteous judgments, Lord,
        my soul is much afraid.

Ain - the 16th part

121  To all men I have judgment done,
        performing justice right;
     Then let me not be left unto
        my fierce oppressors' might.

122  For good unto thy servant, Lord,
        thy servant's surety be:
     From the oppression of the proud
        do thou deliver me.

123  Mine eyes do fail with looking long
        for thy salvation,
     The word of thy pure righteousness
        while I do wait upon.

124  In mercy with thy servant deal,
        thy laws me teach and show.
125  I am thy servant, wisdom give,
        that I thy laws may know.

126  'Tis time thou work, Lord; for they have
        made void thy law divine.
127  Therefore thy precepts more I love
        than gold, yea, gold most fine.

128  Concerning all things thy commands
        all right I judge therefore;
     And ev'ry false and wicked way
        I perfectly abhor.

 


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