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 119:129-176

Pe - the 17th part

129  Thy statutes, Lord, are wonderful,
        my soul them keeps with care.
130  The entrance of thy words gives light,
        makes wise who simple are.

131  My mouth I have wide opened,
        and panted earnestly,
     While after thy commandements
        I longed exceedingly.

132  Look on me, Lord, and merciful
        do thou unto me prove,
     As thou art wont to do to those
        thy name who truly love.

133  O let my footsteps in thy word
        aright still ordered be:
      Let no iniquity obtain
         dominion over me.

134  From man's oppression save thou me;
        so keep thy laws I will.
135  Thy face make on thy servant shine;
        teach me thy statutes still.

136  Rivers of waters from mine eyes
        did run down, when I saw
     How wicked men run on in sin,
        and do not keep thy law.

Tzaddi - the 18th part

137  O Lord, thou art most righteous;
        thy judgments are upright.
138  Thy testimonies thou command'st
        most faithful are and right.

139  My zeal hath ev'n consumed me,
        because mine enemies
     Thy holy words forgotten have,
        and do thy laws despise.

140  Thy word's most pure, therefore on it
        thy servant's love is set.
141  Small, and despised I am, yet I
        thy precepts not forget.

142  Thy righteousness is righteousness
        which ever doth endure:
     Thy holy law, Lord, also is
        the very truth most pure.

143  Trouble and anguish have me found,
        and taken hold on me:
     Yet in my trouble my delight
        thy just commandements be.

144  Eternal righteousness is in
        thy testimonies all:
     Lord, to me understanding give,
        and ever live I shall.

Koph - the 19th part

145  With my whole heart I cried, Lord, hear;
        I will thy word obey.
146  I cried to thee; save me, and I
        will keep thy laws alway.

147  I of the morning did prevent
        the dawning, and did cry:
     For all mine expectation
        did on thy word rely.

148  Mine eyes did timeously prevent
        the watches of the night,
     That in thy word with careful mind
        then meditate I might.

149  After thy loving-kindness hear
        my voice, that calls on thee:
     According to thy judgment, Lord,
        revive and quicken me.

150  Who follow mischief they draw nigh;
        they from thy law are far:
151  But thou art near, Lord; most firm truth
        all thy commandements are.

152  As for thy testimonies all,
        of old this have I tried,
     That thou hast surely founded them
        for ever to abide.

Resh - the 20th part

153  Consider mine affliction,
        in safety do me set:
     Deliver me, O Lord, for I
        thy law do not forget.

154  After thy word revive thou me:
        save me, and plead my cause.
155  Salvation is from sinners far;
        for they seek not thy laws.

156  O Lord, both great and manifold
        thy tender mercies be:
     According to thy judgments just,
        revive and quicken me.

157  My persecutors many are,
        and foes that do combine;
     Yet from thy testimonies pure
        my heart doth not decline.

158  I saw transgressors, and was grieved;
        for they keep not thy word.
159  See how I love thy law! as thou
        art kind, me quicken, Lord.

160  From the beginning all thy word
        hath been most true and sure:
     Thy righteous judgments ev'ry one
        for evermore endure.

Schin - the 21st part

161  Princes have persecuted me,
        although no cause they saw:
     But still of thy most holy word
        my heart doth stand in awe.

162  I at thy word rejoice, as one
        of spoil that finds great store.
163  Thy law I love; but lying all
        I hate and do abhor.

164  Sev'n times a-day it is my care
        to give due praise to thee;
     Because of all thy judgments, Lord,
        which righteous ever be.

165  Great peace have they who love thy law;
        offence they shall have none.
166  I hoped for thy salvation, Lord,
        and thy commands have done.

167  My soul thy testimonies pure
        observed carefully;
     On them my heart is set, and them
        I love exceedingly.

168  Thy testimonies and thy laws
        I kept with special care;
     For all my works and ways each one
        before thee open are.

Tau - the 22nd part

169  O let my earnest pray'r and cry
        come near before thee, Lord:
     Give understanding unto me,
        according to thy word.

170  Let my request before thee come:
        after thy word me free.
171  My lips shall utter praise, when thou
        hast taught thy laws to me.

172  My tongue of thy most blessed word
        shall speak, and it confess;
     Because all thy commandements
        are perfect righteousness.

173  Let thy strong hand make help to me:
        thy precepts are my choice.
174  I longed for thy salvation, Lord,
        and in thy law rejoice.

175  O let my soul live, and it shall
        give praises unto thee;
     And let thy judgments gracious
        be helpful unto me.

176  I, like a lost sheep, went astray;
        thy servant seek, and find:
     For thy commands I suffered not
        to slip out of my mind.


Recommended Tunes

St Paul (Verses 161 - 168)


London New (Verses 137 - 144)


St Kilda (Verses 153-160)


Culross (Verses 145-152)