PSALM ONE HUNDRED NINETEEN
Outline
  1. Who to be Like (vv.1-8)
  2. Overcoming Youthful Lust (vv.9-16)
  3. Comfort in Loneliness (vv.17-24)
  4. Holding On (vv.25-32)
  5. Teach Me! (vv.33-40)
  6. Not Ashamed (vv.41-48)
  7. Stability Under Fire (vv.49-56)
  8. Only Way to Have God (vv.57-64)
  9. The Value of Suffering (vv.65-72)
  10. Supporters and Detractors (vv.73-80)
  11. On the Brink of Ruin (vv.81-88)
  12. What is Certain (vv.89-96)
  13. Getting Wiser (vv.97-104)
  14. Determination to Stay the Course (vv.105-112)
  15. Contrast with Evildoers (vv.113-120)
  16. Time for God to Act (vv.121-128)
  17.   Liberation through Truth (vv.129-136)
  18.   The Character of His Commandments (vv.137-144)
  19. Nearness of the One who Matters (vv.145-152)
  20. Reasons for God to Intervene (vv.153-160)
  21. Better than Money (vv.161-168)
  22.   Hear me, Deliver me! (vv.169-176)
INTRODUCTION:
  1. This is the longest chapter in the Bible, in the longest book in the Bible.
  2. Psalm 119 is an acrostic psalm like Pss.111, 112, and others.
  3. It is the most developed example in the OT.
  4. The closest parallel is Lamentations 3, which contains twenty-two strophes of three lines.
  5. In this literary tour de force, eight lines (verses) in each strophe begin with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet (vv.1-8 all begin with a word beginning with the letter Aleph, and so on to Tau, the last letter of the alphabet).
  6. Each verse of the twenty-two strophes corresponds to the successive letters of the alphabet.
  7. The 176 verses are accounted for as follows: 22 X 8 = 176.
  8. The psalm is classified as a wisdom psalm.
  9. The focus of the psalmistís interest is the WOG (Torah). There are eight synonyms for the Mosaic Covenant:
    1. rb'D' dabhar, word; occurring 24X.
    2. jP'v.mi mishepat, judgments/ordinances; 23X.
    3. tWd[ee edhuth, testimony; 23X.
    4. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commandment; 22X.
    5. qxo choq, statute; 21X.
    6. ~ydIWQPi piqqudim, precepts; 21X.
    7. hr'm.ai imerah, word/saying; 19X.
    8. hr'AT torah, law; 25X).
    9. All eight terms occur once in two strophes, heth and yod.
  1. The other strophes exhibit six or seven of the synonyms.
  2. The psalm has a kaleidoscopic patterning with a certain number of motifs being repeated throughout the strophes.
  3. Each strophe has its own distinctive emphasis.
  4. The psalm in not lacking in coherence and progressive movement.
  5. The anonymous author was a young man (v.9; cp. vv.99,100) who had a history of reversionism.
  6. Verses 67 and 176a unequivocally support the position that the author had been in reversionism (Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.; and I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant).
  7. His troubles continued after He had repented, as seen in the much repeated mention of enemies and their persecution of him (vv.23, 42, 51, 61, 78, 84-87, 95, 107, 110, 121-122, 134, 139, 157, 161).
  8. Like other psalms (116 and "Rebound psalms" of David), this one presents a believer in a situation where he has come under major persecution against a background of reversion recovery.
  9. Like David, his sufferings remain after he turned to God.
  10. The historical background for Ps.119 is not known.
  11. This young man finds himself in a situation which is clearly described: he is reproached, oppressed, and persecuted by those who despise the WOG.
  12. He is in imminent danger of death at the hands of powerful men (cf. vv.23, 46, 161).
  13. Throughout the psalm he prays for deliverance based on his newfound zeal for the law of God.
  14. He is a prisoner, as suggested by v.61 (cp. v.83), expecting death (v.109).
Aleph File (a)
Who he Wants to be Like (vv.1-8)

VERSE 1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless ( yrev.a; [interj., ashere, "blessed are"] %r,d'-ymeymit. [adj.m.p.cstr., complete, whole, entire; "blameless", + n.m.s. %r,D,, derek, way]),

Who walk in the law of the LORD ( ~ykil.hoh; [def.art.w/Qal.act.pt., halak, walk] tr;AtB. [prep.w/n.f.s.cstr., torah, law] `hw"hy> [pr.n.]).

VERSE 2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies ( yrev.a; [interj. ashere,] yrec.nO [Qal.act.pt.m.p.cstr. rc;n" natsar, watch, keep, observe] wyt'do[e [n.f.p.cstr.w/3m.s.sf. hd'[e edhah, testimony, witness]),

Who seek Him with all their heart ( `WhWvr>d>yI [Qal.impef.3m.p.w/3m.s.sf. vr;D' darash, seek] ble-lk'B. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. lebh, heart]).

VERSE 3 They also do no unrighteousness ( @a; [conj., also] Wl[]p'-al [neg. + Qal.pf.3m.p. l[;P' pa-al, do] hl'w>[; [n.f.s., hl'w>[; awelah, injustice; "unrighteousness"]);

They walk in His ways ( `Wkl'h' [Qal.pf.3c.p. %l;h' halak, walk] wyk'r'd>Bi [prep.w/n.m.s.w/3m.s.sf. derek, way]).

VERSE 4 You have ordained Your precepts ( hT'a; [pro.2m.s., you] ht'yWIci [Piel.pf.2m.s. hWc tsawah, command, appoint; "ordained"] ^yd,Qupi [n.m.p.w/2m.s.sf. ~ydIWQPi piqqudhim, precept]),

That we should keep them diligently ( rmov.li [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr. rm;v' shamar, keep, guard] `daom. [adv., greatly; "diligently"]).

 

VERSE 5 Oh that my ways may be established ( yl;x]a; [interj., "Oh that!"] yk'r'd> [n.m.p.w/1c.s.sf., derek, way] WnKoyI [Niphil.impf.3m.p. !WK kun, be established, be firm])

To keep Your statutes ( rmov.li [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr. rm;v' shamar, keep, guard] `^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2m.s.sf. qxo choq, statute])!

VERSE 6 Then I shall not be ashamed ( za' [adv., at that time, then] vAbae-al{ [neg. + Qal.impf.1c.s. vwOB bosh, be ashamed])

When I look upon all Your commandments ( `^yt,wOc.mi-lK'-la, [prep. of direction + n.m.s.cstr. + n.f.p.w/2m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commandment]).

VERSE 7 I shall give thanks to You with uprightness of heart ( ^d>Aa [Hiphil.impf.1c.s.w/2m.s.sf. hd;y" yadhah, give thanks] rv,yOB. [prep.w/n.m.s. rv,yO yosher, uprightness] bb'le [n.m.s. lebh, heart]),

When I learn Your righteous judgments ( ydIm.l'B. [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr.w/1c.s.sf. dm;l' lamadh, learn] yjeP.v.mi [n.m.p.cstr. jP'v.mi mishepat, judgment, decision, ordinance] `^q,d>ci [n.m.s.w/2m.s.sf. qd,c, tsedheq, righteousness; "righteous"]).

VERSE 8 I shall keep Your statutes ( rmov.a, [Qal.impf.1c.s. rm;v' shamar, keep] ^yQ,xu-ta, [dir.obj. + n.m.p.w/2m.s.sf. qxo choq, statute, prescribed limit, boundary]);

Do not forsake me utterly ( ynIbez>[;T;-la; [neg. + Qal.impf.2m.s.w/1c.s.sf. bz:[' azabh, leave, forsake] `daom.-d[; [prep. of perpetuity, + adv., greatly; idiom showing magnitude])!

ANALYSIS: VERSES 1-8

  1. The psalmist wants to be like those he describes in vv.1-3.
  2. His recent history has not been in the company of the adjusted (cf. v.67).
  3. Time in reversionism was lost time; he wants to make up for lost time.
  4. The psalm opens with a double beatitude.
  5. "How blessed" is an exclamatory interjection declaring the most favored status of "those whose way is blameless".
  6. Such believers are, from the divine perspective, in the most desirable circumstance that exists.
  7. They are under maximum divine approbation (Prov.11:20b).
  8. God accords them special protection (Prov.13:6a).
  9. "Whose way" refers to their modus vivendi (manner of life) and modus operandi (manner of operation).
  10. Their Ph2 is constantly under the directive will of God, as taught in the doctrines and commandments of Scripture.
  11. For believers in the age of Israel, walking "in the law of Yahweh" (vs. 1b) establishes the "blameless way".
  12. For believers of this dispensation it is attained by walking in "the perfect law of liberty" (Jam.1:25).
  13. On the one hand "blameless" does not mean perfection, but on the other hand it demands a high level of understanding and application of BD.
  14. It requires the absence of glaring deficiencies relative to the CWL.
  15. It is akin to being healthy versus unhealthy in body and mind.
  16. Such a person applies the doctrine of separation (Ps.1:1), practices justice and righteousness (Ps.106:3), delights in the directive will of God (Ps.112:1), applies 1Jn.1:9 (Ps.32:1,2), and acclimates to DD (Job.5:17; Ps.94:12).
  17. Verse 2 emphasizes application and intake of BD as the keys to attaining this state of blessedness.
  18. "Testimonies" is one of the primary synonyms for describing the particulars of the "law of the LORD".
  19. This noun indicates that each and every item bears witness to the character and the viewpoint of the Author of the Torah.
  20. Those "whose way is blameless" also "seek Him with all their heart".
  21. In other words, their MPR is learning the WOG and accepting the reality of it ("the law").
  22. Verses 1 and 2 make it crystal clear that those who are favored by God are those who adhere to the content of the WOG (Prov.11:20 "The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their walk are His delight").
  23. The adjective "blameless" (~ymiT') means: 1) complete, whole, entire, sound; 1a) complete, whole, entire; 1b) whole, sound, healthful; 1c) complete, entire (of time) 1d); sound, wholesome, unimpaired, innocent, having integrity; 1e) what is complete or entirely in accord with truth and fact (neuter adj./subst.).
  24. Such believers are wholly committed to the MPR principle and all it implies.
  25. The psalmist wants to be like these types in the fullest sense.
  26. Verse 3 is an example of antithetical parallelism in Hebrew poetry.
  27. Line 1 of v.3 suggests freedom from debilitating STA activity, not sinless perfection (Eccl.7:20).
  28. Line 2 of v.3 suggests a reasonably high level of engagement in the "ways" of the Lord to insure sustained spiritual growth.
  29. It absolutely requires the application of Rebound.
  30. In v.4 he acknowledges before God the fact that the divine "precepts" (dQuPi piqqud [pik-kood]) arise from the directive will of God.
  31. This noun occurs only in Psalms (25X; all but 3 occur in Ps.119), and is a general term for the requirements God places on His people.
  32. The cognate verb means "to allocate" (paqadh).
  33. God has "ordained" (or "commanded") His "precepts that" believers "should diligently keep them".
  34. The healthy believer is the one who aggressively "keeps/guards" the things learned.
  35. BD does not work if you do not apply it.
  36. Verse 5 is the first of many petitions in this psalm.
  37. He prays that God will bless his desire to apply what he learns in his niche.
  38. He does not want anything to interfere with his desire "to keep" the "statutes" (word which means a boundary).
  39. He knows he will suffer opposition, but he asks that his "ways be established".
  40. This also implies the avoidance of activities and pursuits that interfere with carrying out the directive will of God.
  41. At all times we should aspire to the viewpoint, geographical, and operational wills of God.
  42. In v.6 he draws our attention to one of the blessings that comes with the application of BD.
  43. Namely, that when we are under GAP (v.6b) we are "not ashamed" (v.6a).
  44. Shame is what awaits all those who disregard the divine directives (in time, but especially in Ph3).
  45. He employs another frequent synonym for the contents of the law - "commandments".
  46. In v.7 he vows to "give thanks" for what he learns under GAP.
  47. He employs yet another synonym for the lawís contents in the word "judgments".
  48. This noun has a variety of meanings depending on the context; here the idea is that of a legal decision in jurisprudence.
  49. He acknowledges that the divine "judgments" are "righteous" in accord with the character of the divine judge.
  50. He hopes to offer the sacrifice of the lips "with uprightness of heart" that is the result of the answered petition of v.5.
  51. A high level of application makes Bible class a pleasant experience rather than a painful one.
  52. In v.8a he vows to "keep" the "statutes" right now, and not put it off until later.
  53. Verse 8b is the first hint that he is experiencing a crisis.
  54. The one who has these noble aspirations asks God "not to forsake him utterly".
  55. Even though he had previously forsaken God and God was compelled to abandon him, he asks that God not abandon him to the crisis that is threatening to pre-empt his Ph2.
  56. He recognizes that God has let this crisis that threatens his Ph2 go to the breaking point, but he pleads that God "not forsake him utterly".
 
Beth File (b)
Overcoming Youthful Lust (vv.9-16)

VERSE 9 How can a young man keep his way pure ( hM,B; [prep.w/interrog.pro., "by what means?"] r[;N:-hK,z:y> [Piel.impf.3.m.s. hk;z" zakhar, be clean, keep clean/pure, + n.m.s., na-ar, youth])?

By keeping it according to Your word ( rmov.li [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr. rm;v' shamar, keep] `^r,b'd>Ki [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. rb'D' dabhar, speech, utterance, word]).

VERSE 10 With all my heart I have sought You ( yBili-lk'B. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr., with all, + n.m.s.w/1c.s.sf., lebh, heart] ^yTiv.r;d> [Qal.impf.1c.s.w/2m.s.sf. vr;D' darash, seek]);

Do not let me wander from Your commandments ( ynIGEv.T;-la; [neg. + Hiphil.impf.2.m.s.w/1c.s.sf., shagah, wander, stray] `^yt,wOc.Mimi [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2m.s.sf., mitsewah, commandment]).

VERSE 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart ( ^t,r'm.ai [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hr'm.ai imerah, utterance, word] yTin>p;c' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. !p;c' tsaphan, hide, treasure, store up] yBiliB. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., lebh, heart]),

That I may not sin against You ( ![;m;l. [prep. of purpose] al{ [neg.] `%l'-aj'x/a, [Qal.impf.1c.s. aj'x' chata, sin, + prep.w/2f.s.sf., against You]).

VERSE 12 Blessed are You, O LORD ( %WrB' [Qal.pass.pt.m.s. %r;B' barak, bless] hT'a [pro.2.m.s.] hw"hy> [pr.n.]);

Teach me Your statutes ( nIdeM.l; [Piel.imper.w/1c.sf. dm;l' lamadh, teach] hw"hy [pr.n.] `^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. qxo statute]).

 

VERSE 13 With my lips I have told of ( [yt;p'f.Bi [prep.w/n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf. hp'f' shaphah, lip] yTir>P;si [Piel.pf.1.c.s. rp;s' saphar, recount; "told"])

All the ordinances of Your mouth ( lKo [n.m.s.] `^ypi-yjeP.v.mi [n.m.p.cstr. jP'v.mi mishepat, decision of law; "ordinance", + n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hP, peh, mouth]).

VERSE 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies ( yTif.f; [Qal.pf.1.c.s. fWf shush, exult, rejoice] %r,d,B. [prep.w/n.f.s., derek, way] ^yt,wOd>[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. tWd[e edhuth, testimony]),

As much as in all riches ( l[;K. [prep. + prep., 'As much as'] `!Ah-lK' . [n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.s. hon, wealth]).

VERSE 15 I will meditate on Your precepts ( hx'yfia' [Qal.impf.1.c.s. xy:fi siach, mediate, ponder, reflect] ^yd,QupiB. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. ~ydIWQPi piqqudim, precept])

And regard Your ways ( hj'yBia;w> [conj.w/Hiphil.impf.1.c.s. jb;n" nabhat, look, regard, pay attention to] `^yt,xor>ao [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. xr;ao orach, path, way of living]).

VERSE 16 I shall delight in Your statutes ( [v'[]T;v.a, [Hithpael.impf.1.c.s. [['v' sha-a, to be blinded, to stroke; to sport, take delight in, be preoccupied with] ^yt,QoxuB. [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hQ'xu chuqqah, something prescribed, ordinance, statute]);

I shall not forget Your word ( al [neg.] xK;v.a, [Qal.impf.1c.s. xk;v' shakhach, forget] `^r,b'D> [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. rb'D' dabhar, word]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 9 through 16

  1. We learn from this strophe that the psalmist was a young man.
  2. He begins the Beth file by asking God a question and then supplying the answer himself (v.9).
  3. He asks, "How can a young man overcome the STA predilections typical of this age bracket?".
  4. The apostle Paul refers to it as "youthful lusts" in 2Tim.2:22.
  5. Strict adherence to sound doctrine ("Your word") is the sure way to insure that a young man can avoid the pitfalls of youth.
  6. The drive to experience the pleasures of life on the part of the young leads them down paths that are destructive to a truly happy and fulfilling life.
  7. Godís "word" is the way to avoid bad associations and harmful pursuits.
  8. The psalmist woke up at some point in his youth and decided to chart a new course for his life and break with his negative, STA-driven peers.
  9. As we shall see, this made him exceedingly unpopular with his old associates and they began a campaign to destroy him.
  10. In v.10a he affirms before God his new commitment to the paths of righteousness.
  11. He was not wavering in his break for the past but approached his newfound love for doctrine "with all my heart".
  12. In so doing he recognized the ever-present potential of sliding backward according to the inclinations of his lust pattern (v.10b).
  13. He asks God to keep him alert and on the strait and narrow of divine viewpoint.
  14. Before, he had been "arrogant" and careless in his attitude towards the POG (cf. v.21).
  15. The synonym "commandments" denotes the authority behind the WOG.
  16. Each and every commandment is vital to the overall enterprise he has begun.
  17. He now treats Godís "word" like a treasure rather than an afterthought.
  18. And so he places the WOG above all inferior systems of success and happiness.
  19. This enables him to avoid the kind and degree of sinning that brought him into the deep waters of misery and DD.
  20. Concentration of the treasure enables him to sidestep the sin that had neutralized his Ph2.
  21. The study of BD enables us to resist the temptations of the flesh so that we can glorify God and be qualified to receive blessings that would otherwise be withheld from us (cf. 1Jn.2:1).
  22. In v.12a he pauses to extol the One who has given him this fresh start, and petitions the Lord to "teach" him the "statutes" (v.12b).
  23. Throughout the psalm he recognizes the on-going need to be taught, no matter the level of his current understanding.
  24. This should be the prayer of all believers who make a claim to +v.
  25. He them reminds God that he has not been reticent to witness verbally to those around him of the "ordinances" (mishepat) which God has taught him (v.13).
  26. As he learns, he tells others who will listen of the divine viewpoint of life.
  27. Opportunities arose whereby he had a chance to explain his actions and viewpoint.
  28. His life was totally consumed with his newfound love for BD in the same way a person would delight over "riches" (v.14; Qal.pf. indicates his recent +H from BD).
  29. The synonym "testimonies", as the noun suggests, indicates that which bears witness to the character of another.
  30. The teachings and directives of BD mirror the character of their Author.
  31. Actually, BD is infinitely more valuable than categories of human wealth.
  32. It does for those who find it what money could never do, due to its inherent limitations.
  33. Doctrine applied is a source of physical wealth, but physical wealth cannot procure spiritual blessing and deliverance (cp. Prov.3:16; Ps.49).
  34. The noun translated "precepts" (piqqudhim) in v.15a occurs only in Psalms.
  35. Twenty-one of the twenty-four occurrences are in Ps.119 (Pss.19:9; 103:18, 111:7; cp. Ps.119:4, 15, 27, 40, 45, 56, 63, 69, 78, 87, 93, 94, 100, 104, 110, 128, 134, 141, 159, 168, 173).
  36. It denotes that which is necessary to meet any exigency (that which is ample).
  37. The psalmist affirms that he spends time reflecting upon what he has learned (v.15a; cp. vv.23, 48, 78, 97, 148).
  38. This keeps him from being a "forgetful hearer".
  39. It is very important that we spend time reflecting upon the things we have learned.
  40. This is principally done when we are by ourselves.
  41. Line 2 of v.15 is an affirmation that he has followed through with regard to the things he spends time thinking about.
  42. What a man thinks about is what he is (Prov.23:7).
  43. He learns it, he thinks about it, and he does it.
  44. All three steps are necessary so that GAP is not short-circuited.
  45. Godís "ways" (or "paths") are now his ways.
  46. What he now "delights in" he is not apt to "forget" in the face of pressures from within (STA temptation) and from without (persecution; v.16).
  47. In the Beth file he presents a profile of a young man who has totally committed himself to learning, thinking, and applying BD that has brought much inner happiness into his life.
Gimel File (g)
Comfort in Loneliness (vv.17-24)

VERSE 17 Deal bountifully with Your servant ( lmoG> [Qal.imper.2.m.s. lm;G" gamal, reward, deal fully with] ^D>b.[;-l[; [prep., toward, + n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. db,[, ebhedh, servant]),

That I may live and keep Your word ( hy<x.a, [Qal.impf.1.c.s. hyx chayah, live] hr'm.v.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. rm;v' shamar, keep] `^r,b'd> [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. rb'D' dabhar, word]).

VERSE 18 Open my eyes, that I may behold ( yn:y[e-lG: [Piel.imper.2.m.s. hlG galah, uncover; "Open", + n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf. !yI[; ayin, eye] hj'yBia; [conj., "that", w/Hiphil.imper.1.c.s.chort. jbn nabhat, to pay attention, regard])

Wonderful things from Your law ( tAal'p.nI [Niphil.pt.f.p., alP pala, be extraordinary] `^t,r'ATmi [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hr'AT torah, law]).

VERSE 19 I am a stranger in the earth ( ykinOa' [indef.pro.1.p.s., anochi, I] rGE [ger, resident alien, sojourner] #r,a'b' [prep.w/n.f.s. #r,a erets, earth]);

Do not hide Your commandments from me ( rTes.T;-la; [neg. + Hiphil.impf.2.m.s. rt's' sathar, hide, conceal] yNIM,mi [prep.w/1.c.s.sf.] `^yt,wOc.mi [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commandment]).

VERSE 20 My soul is crushed with longing ( yvip.n: [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. vp,n< nephesh, soul] hs'r>G" [Qal.pf.3.f.s., garas, be crushed] hb'a]t;l. [prep.w/n.f.s. hb'a]T; ta-abhah, longing; hapax])

After Your ordinances at all times ( ^yj,P'v.mi-la, [prep., toward; "after", + n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. jP'v.mi mishephat] `t[e-lk'b. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.s. t[e eth, time]).

VERSE 21 You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed ( T'r>[;G" [Qal.pf.2.m.s. r[G ga-ar, rebuke] ~ydIzE [adj.m.p. dzE zedh, arrogant, presumptuous; 13X: Pss.19:14; 119:21, 51, 69, 78, 85, 122; Prov.21:24; Isa.13:11; Jer.43:2; Mal.3:15,19] ~yrIWra] [Qal.pass.pt.m.p. rr;a' arar, curse]),

Who wander from Your commandments ( ~ygIVoh; [Qal.act.pt.m.p. hgv shaghah, go astray] `^yt,wOc.Mimi [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commandment]).

VERSE 22 Take away reproach and contempt from me ( lG: [Qal.imper. llG galal, roll away; "take away"] hP'r>x, [n.f.s. cherepah, reproach] zWbw" [conj.w/n.m.s., buz, contempt] yl;['me [prep, min, w/prep.w/1.c.s.sf]),

For I observe Your testimonies ( yKi [conj.] ^yt,do[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hd'[e edhah, testimony] `yTir>c'n" [Qal.pf. 1.c.s. rcn natsar, guard, observe]).

VERSE 23 Even though princes sit and talk against me ( ~G: [conj.] ~yrIf' [n.m.p. rf; shar, prince] Wbv.y" [Qal.pf.3.c.p. bvy yashabh, sit, abide] WrB'd>nI [Niphil.pf.3.c.p. rbD dabhar, speak] yBi [prep.w/1.c.s.sf.]),

Your servant meditates on Your statutes ( ^D>b.[; [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. db,[, ebhedh, servant] x;yfiy" [Qal.imp.3.m.s. xyf siach, mediate, ponder, contemplate] `^yQ,xuB. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. qxo choq, statute]).

VERSE 24 Your testimonies also are my delight ( ^yt,do[e-~G: [conj., also, + n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hd'[e edhah, testimony] y['vu[]v; [n.m.p.w/1c.s.sf. ~y[ivu[]v; sha-ashuim, enjoyment; 9X: Pss.119:24, 77, 92, 143; Prov.8:30]);

They are my counselors ( yven>a; [n.m.p.cstr. vyai ish, man, human being, each; since it is in the plural, the idea is that the psalmist has in mind a number of "testimonies" that are his "counselors"] `ytic'[] [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. hc'[e etsah, counsel]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 17-24

  1. The gimel file brings to our attention the extreme distress and isolation of the psalmist.
  2. In a life-threatening situation, he asks that God "deal bountifully with" (Qal.imper. lm;G", gamal, deal fully) His "servant" (cp. Pss.116:7; 13:6, where those believers were subject to the same pressures).
  3. What he wants is stated in v.17b: namely, preservation and perpetuation of his Ph2 course.
  4. If his enemies prevail, then he cannot "keep" Godís "word" to finish his course with honor.
  5. Throughout the psalm there is his repeated plea for preservation of life as a reward for strict adherence to the WOG (vv.17, 25, 40, 50, 88, 93, 107, 116, 144, 149, 154, 156, 159, 175).
  6. The above verses all contain the Hebrew verb chayah, to live (in Qal and Piel stems).
  7. Only by an extension of life can he "keep" Godís "word" and in so doing qualify for maximum Ph3 reward.
  8. In v. 18 he prays for spiritual enlightenment via GAP.
  9. "Open my eyes" recognizes his dependence upon God to perceive what would otherwise be hidden from him.
  10. He is not content to remain at his present level of perspicacity.
  11. The WOG contains "wonderful/extraordinary things" for those who make the intake of BD their MPR.
  12. Only those who are seekers have the covering removed from their eyes to see things that before were obscured by the natural near-sightedness of those who are negative.
  13. In v.19 he acknowledges the sense of isolation and alienation that all who are enlightened feel - surrounded, as it were, by those who are indifferent and hostile to BD (cp. Heb.11:13).
  14. We who are positive and in tune with what we learn are, in the cosmos, as in a strange land with strange customs and foreign speech.
  15. There is a very real sense in which we do not fit in.
  16. In his isolation, he prays that God would make Himself and His plan all the more apparent to him.
  17. He asks that God "not hide his commandments from" him.
  18. God hides His word from those who do not seek Him with all their heart, preferring the ways of the devilís world.
  19. Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples via parables, and at the same time hid the Plan from those who were not open and positive (Mk.4:10-12).
  20. Truth is obscured to those who will not submit to it as it is made available.
  21. He does not want to be left out with respect to the commandments; he desires maximum insight.
  22. He recognizes how much he needs continual insight to deal with his pressures.
  23. In an alien place surrounded by those who are antagonistic, he expresses his sense of soulish "longing after the ordinances/judgments/rulings".
  24. Isolated from those who are like-minded, he feels all the more the need to be refreshed and enlightened in the spiritual desert in which he finds himself.
  25. He cannot escape the feeling of "longing" to be under GAP.
  26. Wherever he was, he was not in a setting where his positive volition received the support of those around him.
  27. The verb "crushed" indicates crushed to pieces, and points to a state of mind which feels overpowered, even to the point of being crushed with a longing for more and more knowledge of the "ordinances".
  28. This feeling never left him, hence the words "at all times".
  29. This feeling becomes more acute when we are in the company of those who are saturated with human viewpoint.
  30. In v. 21 he affirms what will happen to those who do not take God seriously.
  31. God "does rebuke" all who arrogantly "wander from" the "commandments".
  32. The masses of negative volition face rebuke under temporal judgments and in final judgment.
  33. All who are negative are described as "arrogant" in that they put themselves above the directive will of God.
  34. All who disregard the adjustments to God are "cursed" with eternal loss.
  35. Negative volition "wanders" far afield from the "commandments" that bring life and blessing to those who truly turn to God and break from the evil ways and thoughts.
  36. He was such a person when he arrogantly pursued his own STA interests.
  37. He thought he knew what would bring him the greatest happiness.
  38. Therefore, in v.22 he prays that God would "take away" the "reproach and contempt" that he was under as a reversionist.
  39. People thought well of him, but God had a very different attitude towards his wayward child.
  40. Hebrews 10:38 (quoted from Hab.2:4) expresses in different language what God thinks of a believer who "shrinks back" from following what he had previous confidence in.
  41. Such "arrogant" ones are "cursed".
  42. He wants the "reproach and contempt" lifted based on the fact that he "observes Your testimonies" (v.22b).
  43. With his recent turnaround and the lifting of the divine displeasure, he has come under the disfavor and reproach of certain "princes" (v.23a).
  44. He was somehow connected to men of power within the political structure he had become a part of.
  45. When he turned to God, he began to stand for what was right and this brought him into conflict with his peers.
  46. Apparently he began to speak out against the status quo and was supportive of measures that were in keeping with what he was learning in "bible class".
  47. Men of power within the kingdom were meeting and discussing how they might neutralize him.
  48. He came to know about this clandestine activity and the talk that was directed against him.
  49. By contrast he was formulating his counter strategy, which consisted of private meditation upon the divine "statutes" (v.23b; cp. v.15a).
  50. Intake of doctrine and reflection upon the details enabled him to deal with the intense conflict in his public life that came from his so-called colleagues.
  51. The divine "testimonies" he meditated upon were a source of great "delight", as well as acting as unseen "counselors" on how to deal with the opposition.
  52. The noun "delight" is actually a plural which occurs only here and in vv.77, 92, 143, and Prov.8:30.
  53. His company was not the fellowship of positive, like-minded believers, but was the invisible "counselors" who were at his side when he meditated upon Scripture.
  54. It is of no little interest that v.24b has the m.p. noun for man in the text, namely, ish.
  55. The literal rendering of that line is: "These men, my counselors."
  56. Scripture not only told him what to stand for, but how to go about it, and the support he could expect to have from the Source of the "testimonies".
  57. The gimel file brings us into the conspiracy formed against him because of his stand for the truth.
  58. His sense of isolation and his overpowering compulsion to learn what was as yet hidden to his view was counterbalanced by the great pleasure that learning and reflecting upon doctrine brought into his life.
Daleth File (d)
Holding on (vv.25-32)

VERSE 25 My soul cleaves to the dust ( yvip.n: [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. vp,n< nephesh, soul] hq'b.D' [Qal.pf.3.f.s. qb;D' dabhaq, cling] rp'['l, [prep.w/n.m.s. rp'[' aphar, dust]);

Revive me according to Your word ( ynIYEx; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. hyx chayah, to live; restore {from danger posed from enemies}] `^r,b'd>Ki [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. rb'D' dabhar, word]).

VERSE 26 I have told of my ways, and You have answered me ( yTir>P;si [Piel.pf.1.c.s.rps saphar, recount] yk;r'D> [n.f.p.w/1.c.s.sf. %r,D, derek, way] ynInE[]T;w: [conj.w/Qal.impf.2.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. hn[ anah, answer]);

Teach me Your statutes [ynIdeM.l; ( Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. dm;l' lamadh, teach] `^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. qxo choq, statute {boundary}]).

VERSE 27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts ( ynInEybih] [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. !yB bin, understand, to cause to understand] ^yd,WQPi-%r,D, [n.f.s.cstr. derek, way, + n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. ~ydIWQPi piqqudhim, precept]),

So I will meditate on Your wonders ( hx'yfia'w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. xyf siach, ponder] `^yt,Aal.p.nIB. [prep.w/Niphil.pt.f.pl.w/2.m.s.sf. alP pa-al, be extraordinary; "wonders"]).

VERSE 28 My soul weeps because of grief ( yvip.n: [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. nephesh, soul] hp'l.D' [Qal.pf.3.f.s. @lD dalaph, to drip, leak, weep] hg"WTmi [prep.w/n.f.s. hg"WT tunah, grief, heaviness; 4X:Ps.119:28; Prov.10:1; 14:13; 17:21]);

Strengthen me according to Your word ( ynImeY>q; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. ~wq qum, to establish] `^r,b'd>Ki [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. rb'D' dabhar, word]).

VERSE 29 Remove the false way from me ( rseh' [Hiphil.imper. rws sur, to turn aside; cause to turn aside, remove, take away] rq,v,-%r,D, [n.f.s. derek, way, + n.m.s. sheqer, lie, falsehood] yNIM,mi [prep w/1c.s.sf., "from me"]),

And graciously grant me Your law ( ^t.r'Atw> [conj.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. torah, law] `ynINEx' [Qal.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. !nx chanan, be gracious]).

VERSE 30 I have chosen the faithful way ( yTir>x'b' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. rxB bachar, choose] hn"Wma/-%r,D, [n.f.s. derek, way, + n.f.s. hn"Wma/ emunah, fidelity, faithfulness]);

I have placed Your ordinances before me ( ^yj,P'v.mi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. jP'v.mi mishepat, judgment, ordinance] `ytiyWIvi [Piel.pf.1.c.s. hwv shawah, set, place]).

 

VERSE 31 I cling to Your testimonies ( yTiq.b;D' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. qbD dabhaq, cling] ^yt,wOd>[eb. [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. tWd[e edhuth, testimony]);

LORD, do not put me to shame ( hw"hy> [pr.n.] `ynIveybiT.-la; [neg. + Hiphil.imper. 2.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. vwB bosh, be ashamed; put to shame])!

VERSE 32 I shall run the way of Your commandments ( #Wra' [Qal.impf.1.c.s. #wr rutz, run] ^yt,wOc.mi-%r,D, [n.f.s. derek, way + n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commandment]),

For You will enlarge my heart ( yKi [conj.] byxir>t; [Hiphil.impf.2.m.s. bxr rachabh, to make large, enlarge] `yBili [n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. lebh, heart]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 25-32

  1. The daleth file begins with his lament regarding the jeopardy he is in due to those who want him out of the way.
  2. "My soul cleaves to the dust" is an expression underscoring how desperate his situation has become vis-a-vis his enemies (v.25a).
  3. Apart From God, he has no hope of survival; all he has to look forward to is the return of his flesh to dust if God doesnít act.
  4. Therefore, in v.25b he asks God to "Preserve him alive".
  5. This is the Piel imperative of the verb "to live" (chayah), and is mistranslated "Revive me".
  6. The basis for this hoped-for deliverance is seen in the words "according to Your word".
  7. He has initiated the process whereby God is bound to deliver him.
  8. The words "I have told of Your ways and You have answered me" is an allusion to his "rebound prayer" (v.26a).
  9. In that prayer he fully recounted all his folly while in reversionism, and God answered him with forgiveness and insight.
  10. He goes on to ask God to "teach" him the "statutes" (v.26b).
  11. He makes this request throughout the psalm numerous times.
  12. In v.27 he asks God to "make him understand the way of Your precepts": that is, give him more than just a rudimentary understanding of the things God has ordained.
  13. With knowledge he wants real understanding so he can apply these things properly to his niche (cp. Prov.4:7).
  14. He does not want to apply in clumsy or extreme fashion.
  15. In v.27b he declares his obligation to "meditate/ponder on" the divine "wonders".
  16. BD is extraordinary, as seen in the term "wonders" (cp. v.18b where the same Niphil participle feminine plural of pa-al is used to describe the contents of the law).
  17. A part of the wonder of it all is to learn how God rewards those who line up with the contents of the law.
  18. The Law of Moses taught through type the wonderful plan of salvation.
  19. The psalmist speaks to God of his on going "grief" (literally, "heaviness").
  20. His "soul weeps" is a reference to the inner lupe (sorrow) that he has for his past misdeeds while in reversionism.
  21. Therefore, he prays that God would encourage him from what he learns under GAP (v.28b).
  22. To be encouraged is to be strengthened.
  23. This will offset the tremendous lupe of soul that he comes under as he faces the consequences of his past.
  24. In v.29 he prays that God will "remove the false way from" him.
  25. He desires that all connection with that approach to life will fade in the rear-view mirror.
  26. He wants no part in the things that brought him into the deep waters of reversionism.
  27. He had lived a lie and he wanted no part in that kind of life.
  28. When you sincerely pray for God to "remove the false way" from you He will honor that prayer, but the near-term fall-out in your life will not be pleasant.
  29. He appeals to grace ("graciously grant") to provide him with a life under doctrine ("Your law"; v.29b).
  30. He affirms that he has indeed made a complete break with his past modus vivendi and operandi (v.30a).
  31. He now follows "the faithful way" instead of the "false way".
  32. He made the choice based on the positive volition that surfaced when he finally came to grips with the enormity of his sins and crimes.
  33. Having made the choice he now "places" the divine "ordinances/judgments/rulings" before" him as he faces the onslaught of his old friends (v.30b).
  34. He now "cleaves" to his only life-line, the divine "testimonies", his reliable counselors (v.24).
  35. Even though his soul cleaves to the dust, indicating his desperate circumstances, he will "cleave" to the one thing they cannot take away from him, BD.
  36. He prays that his trust in the WOG will not be in vain, and that God will vindicate his +v in the midst of all his detractors (v.31b).
  37. He leaves it all to God as to the how and when of his vindication before those who hate him.
  38. The only running he will do is in the direction of application of the things he is learning (v.32a).
  39. He no longer caters to people; his chief concern is the implementation of the "commandments".
  40. "I shall run" indicates that he will not procrastinate when it comes to application of doctrine, come what may.
  41. In v.32b he demonstrates that he walks by faith, apart from which it is not possible to please God.
  42. He has faith that God will do for him what he has asked in vv.12b, 18a, and 26b (cp. vv.33, 64, 108, 124, 135, 171, etc.).
  43. The "enlarged heart" is a reference to the expanded doctrinal frames of reference that is the result of the intensification of the intake of BD.
  44. The daleth file sees him under the isolation and lupe associated with reversion recovery and the focus of his only hope, the specifics of doctrine through which he places his hope for future vindication.
He File (h)
Teach Me! Preserve Me! (vv.33-40)

VERSE 33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes ( ynIreAh [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. hry yarah, teach] hw"hy> [pr.n.] %r,D, [n.f.s. derek, way] ^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. choq, statute {parameters}]),

And I shall observe it to the end ( hN"r,C.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s.w/3.f.s.sf. rcn natsar, guard] `bq,[e [adj.m.s. aeqebh, consequence, end {of Ph 2}]).

VERSE 34 Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law ( ynInEybih] [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. !yB bin, discern, understand] hr'C.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1/c.s. rcn natsar, keep, observe] ^t,r'At [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law])

And keep it with all my heart ( hN"r,m.v.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. w/3.f.s.sf. rmv shamar, keep, guard] `ble-lk'b. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.s., lebh, heart]).

VERSE 35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments ( ynIkeyrId>h; [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. %rD darakh, tread, march; "walk"] bytin>Bi [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. bytin" nathibh, beaten path; 5X: Job.18:10; 41:24; Pss.78:50; 119:35] ^yt,wOc.mi [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commandment]),

For I delight in it ( Ab-yKi [conj. + prep.w/3.m.s.sf., "in it"] `yTic.p'x' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. #px chaphats, take pleasure in]).

VERSE 36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies ( yBili-jh; [Hiphil.imper. hjn natah, stretch out; "Incline", + n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., lebh, heart] ^yt,wOd>[e-la, [prep. + n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. tWd[e edhuth, testimony])

And not to dishonest gain ( la;w> [conj.w/neg.] `[c;B'-la, [prep.w/n.m.s. betsa, profit, unjust gain]).

VERSE 37 Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity ( rbe[]h; [Hiphil.imper. rb[ abhar, to pass over; to cause to pass over/by] eyn:y[e [n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf. !yI[; ayin, eye] tAar>me [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr. har ra-ah, see] aw>v' shawa, emptiness, vanity]),

And revive me in Your ways ( ^k,r'd>Bi [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. derek, way] `ynIYEx; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. hyx chayah, to live; restore]).

VERSE 38 Establish Your word to Your servant ( ~qeh' [Hiphil.imper. ~wq qum, to rise; cause to rise, establish] ^t,r'm.ai [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hr'm.ai imerah, utterance, speech, word, communication] ^D>b.[;l. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf db,[, ebhedh, servant]),

As which produces reverence for You ( rv,a] [rel.pro., "As that which"] `^t,a'r>yIl. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. ha'r> re-ah, fear, respect]).

VERSE 39 Turn away my reproach which I dread ( rbe[]h; [Hiphil.imper. rb[ abhar, pass over/by; cause to pass by] ytiP'r>x, [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. hP'r>x, cherpah, reproach] rv,a] [rel.pro.] yTir>gOy" [Qal.pf.1c.s. rgy yaghor, dread]),

For Your ordinances are good ( yKi [conj.] ^yj,P'v.mi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. jP'v.mi mishepat, judgment, ordinance] `~ybiAj [adj.m.p. bAj tobh, good]).

VERSE 40 Behold, I long for Your precepts ( hNEhi [interj.] yTib.a;T' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. baT ta-abh, to long for; 3X: Pss.119:40; 119:174; Amos.6:8] ^yd,Qupil. [prep.w/n.m.p.cstr. w/2.m.s.sf. ~ydIWQPi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudhim, precept; 24X: Pss.19:9; 103:18; 111:7; 119:4, 15, 27, 40, 45, 56, 63, 69, 78, 87, 93, 94, 100, 104, 110, 128, 134, 141, 159, 168, 173]);

Revive me through Your righteousness ( ^t.q'd>ciB. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hq'd'c. tsedhaqah, righteousness] `ynIYEx; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. hyx chayah, live; revive, preserve alive]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 33-40

  1. The he file concerns itself with an overwhelming desire on the part of the psalmist to continue to advance his thinking in the details of the law, and the preservation of his life under the onlsaught of the wicked.
  2. The strophe begins with "Teach me" and ends with "Preserve me alive".
  3. He wants his life to be in the mainstream of the "statutes" (v.33a).
  4. He promises to "observe it (i.e. "the way of Your statutes") to the end" of Ph2 (v.33b).
  5. The petition "Give me understanding" occurs 6X in the psalm and is causative.
  6. He asks God to do whatever it takes to make him into the complete opposite of what he was in reversionism.
  7. Only with real insight into the particulars can he fulfill his desire "to observe Your law" (v.34a).
  8. His desire is to adhere to doctrine at the highest level (v.34b), which is a goal that is clearly attainable and commanded in the Torah (cf. Deut.6:1-9).
  9. He continues this vein of petition in v.35a where he asks God to "Make me walk in the path of Your commandments".
  10. The particular noun for "path" means a beaten path.
  11. Again, the idea is to enable him to implement in Ph2 the "commandments" found throughout the Torah.
  12. This petition is that God will supply every incentive and every corrective so he can fulfill the great commandment to love God with all his heart.
  13. In v.35b he tells God that this is not a chore for him, but something he "delights in".
  14. But he does need help both to learn correctly the body of doctrine and then to apply it at the optimum level.
  15. In v.36a he continues with this line of petitioning, asking God to make him an eager learner.
  16. "Incline my heart to Your testimonies" is realized where the believer is what is referred to as a "quick study".
  17. V.36b hints at his previous STA predilection: namely, monetary gain.
  18. The men he was in league with were greedy and corrupt.
  19. They had no compunction in causing harm to others, using their power to take by deceit, robbery, and extortion what wasnít theirs.
  20. This, then, is the "false way" alluded to in v.29a.
  21. This class of men are prevalent in civilization and are the envy of those who are consumed by monetary and power lust (other vv. where this particular noun occurs: 1Sam.8:3; Job.22:3; Prov.1:19; 15:27; 28:16; Isa.33:15; Jer.6:13; 8:10; Ezek.22:27; Hab.2:9; Mal.3:14).
  22. He wants to overcome the common STA predilection of "looking at vanity" (v.37a).
  23. He wants to arrive at a level of growth that "all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life" does not turn his head away from the consistent application of BD (cf. 1Jn.2:16).
  24. The reason is that the things that are seen are temporal and the things that are unseen but real are eternal (1Jn.2:17; cp. 2Cor.4:18; 1Cor.7:31).
  25. Rather, he wants to be preserved alive so he can end his Ph2 with distinction by adhering to Godís "ways" (v.37b).
  26. In v.38 he petitions that God would make the reality of His "word" (imerah) so much a part of him that he is occupied with what God thinks of Him and not what is important to STA-driven cosmic types.
  27. BD produces "reverence/respect/fear/awe" of the One who is perfect in attributes and Who will vindicate the adjusted.
  28. He wants to line up in the big things and in the little things (cf. Mt.5:19).
  29. In v.39a he asks God to "turn away my reproach which" he "dreads".
  30. The reproach he speaks of is not the reproach of his enemies, but the reproach of God which he was under while in reversionism.
  31. This same petition is found in v.22a, and as in that verse the key to lifting the deserved reproach of righteousness is in the doing of Godís "ordinances" (v.39b; cp. 22b).
  32. Here he acknowledges the intrinsic "good" of the divine "ordinances".
  33. The divine decisions or judgments are good inasmuch as it is well with those who steadfastly adhere to them in time.
  34. The file ends with an impassioned plea ("Behold") to the fact that he "longs for" those things which are necessary to full spiritual health and well being (v.40a).
  35. He is not a casual seeker who turns to God when in a jam, but someone with an all-out quest to get it together.
  36. Based on this fact (v.40a), he can ask for God to "preserve him alive" based on the immutable attribute of +R (v.40b).
  37. He bases his request upon the stringency of divine righteousness by which He maintains His order of grace, both as to its promises and its responsibilities.
  38. This request comes from one who has separated from his past vanity with all its attendant criminality (vv.36b & 37a).
  39. Query: What happened to turn this man away from the evil he and his associates were into?
  40. Possibility: He directly observed something so heinous and repressive that it sickened him and turned his life around.
Waw File (w)
Not Ashamed (vv.41-48)

VERSE 41 May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD ( ^d,s'x] [n.m.p. w/2.m.s.sf. chesed, loyalty] ynIauboywI [conj.w/Qal.impf.3.m.p.w/1.p.s.sf. awOB bo, come] hw"hy> [pr.n.]),

Your salvation according to Your word ( ^t.['WvT. [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. h['WvT. teshu-ah, salvation, deliverance] `^t,r'm.aiK. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hr'm.ai imerah, utterance, communication, word]);

VERSE 42 So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me ( hn<[/a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. hn"[' anah, reply] ypir>xo [Qal.act.pt.w/1.c.s.sf. @r;x' charaph, reproach] rb'd' dabhar, word; "for him"; or "reproachful word"]),

For I trust in Your word ( yTix.j;b'-yKi [conj. + Qal.pf.1.c.s. xj;B' batach, trust] `^r,b'd>Bi [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. rb'D' dabhar, word]).

VERSE 43 And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth ( lCeT;-la;w> [conj.w/neg. + Hiphil.impf.2.m.s. lc;n" natsal, snatch away] yPimi [prep.w/n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. hP, peh, mouth] daom.-d[; [prep. + adv., "utterly"] rm,a/-rb;d> [n.m.s.cstr. rb'D' dabhar, word, + n.f.s. tm,a/ emeth, truth; "word of truth"]),

For I wait for Your ordinances ( yKi [conj.] ^j,P'v.mil. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. jP'v.mi miwhepat, judgment, ordinance] `yTil.x' [Piel.pf.1.c.s. lxy yalach, wait, hope]).

VERSE 44 So I will keep Your law continually ( hr'm.v.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.imper.1.c.s. rm'v' shamar, keep] ^t.r'At [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hr'AT torah, law] dymit' [adv., continually]),

Forever and ever ( `d[,w" ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s, olam, w/conj.w/adv., adh, ever]).

VERSE 45 And I will walk at liberty ( hk'L.h;t.a,w> [conj.w/Hithpael.impf.1.c.s. %lh halakh, walk; to walk around] hb'x'r>b' [def.art.w/prep.w/n.f.s. bx'r' rachabh, broad, wide; "liberty"; cp. at vv.32,96]),

For I seek Your precepts ( yKi [conj.] ^yd,Qupi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. ~ydIWQPi piqqudhim, precept] `yTiv.r'd' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. vrD darash, seek]).

VERSE 46 I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings ( hr'B.d;a]w: [conj. w/Piel.impf.1.c.s. rbD dabhar, speak] ^yt,do[eb. [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hd'[e edhah, testimony] dg<n< [prep., what is conspicuous, before] ~ykil'm. [n.m.p., melekh, king]),

And shall not be ashamed ( al{w> [conj.w/neg.] `vAbae [Qal.impf.1.c.s. vwB bosh, be ashamed]).

VERSE 47 I shall delight in Your commandments ( [v;[]T;v.a,w> [conj. w/Hithpael.impf.1.c.s. [['v' sha-a, take delight in] ^yt,wOc.miB. [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commandments],

Which I love ( rv,a] [rel.pro.] `yTib.h'a' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. bha ahabh, love]).

VERSE 48 And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments ( yP;k;-aF'a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. afn nasha, lift, up, + n.f.dual.w/2.m.s.sf. @K; kaph, palm, hand] ^yt,wOc.mi-la, [prep. + n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, command.]),

Which I love ( rv,a] [rel.pro.] yTib.h'a' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. bha ahabh, love]);

And I will meditate on Your statutes ( hx'yfia'w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. xyf shiach, ponder, reflect, meditate, think about] `^yQ,xub. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. qxo choq, statute {boundary}]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 41-48

  1. He opens the waw file by appealing to chesed, which stressed divine loyalty to the Mosaic Covenant (cp. Ex.34:6,7).
  2. He asks that it "come" to him in his time of need (v.41a).
  3. God could not do any less for him as a now-faithful member of the community of positive Israelites.
  4. The covenant promised forgiveness and renewal to any and all who turned away from evil (Ex.34:7).
  5. "Come to me" is a plea to come to his aid as he suffers the consequences of making a stand for the WOG.
  6. In v.41b he specifies what it is he is asking for - deliverance ("salvation") from those who are trying to neutralize him.
  7. Deliverance "according to" Godís "word" is what he wants, and what he eventually got.
  8. God can do no less than what He has promised.
  9. As he faces the false accusations of his accusers, he prays for the grace of a fearless and complete defense based on truth.
  10. V.42a seems to point to an upcoming trial of some sort at which he will need to "have an answer for him who reproaches me".
  11. God has promised to give us the words on such occasions and tells us not to spend time planning what we will say (Lk.12:11,12).
  12. His deliverance depends in part on his ability to give a verbal defense (vv.41,42).
  13. The deliverance desired in v.41 is related to the encounter anticipated in v.42.
  14. He is innocent of the charges brought against him (v.69), and so he does not want to be frustrated when he is called upon to respond.
  15. He bases his claim for deliverance in his upcoming trial on the fact he "trusts in" the WOG (v.42b).
  16. He does not trust in men or even in his own abilities to win the day, but on Godís ability to turn the occasion in his favor.
  17. In v.43 he continues to petition God not to let him be put in a situation where he is for any reason unable to witness for the "word of truth".
  18. To "take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth" would be to face total frustration in the hearing that is designed to convict him of things that are rigged against him.
  19. Even an innocent person can be completely frustrated and intimidated.
  20. As things progress, he intends to "wait for" Godís "ordinances" (v.43b).
  21. To wait for his helpers, the divine judgments, is the same thing as waiting for God.
  22. Truth will be brought into his frame of reference by God the HS, and based on this he will speak.
  23. In vv.44-478 we have a series of future imperfects ("I will/shall").
  24. In these verses he declares what it is he is willing to do and strives to do by the grace of God.
  25. First and foremost is his declaration that he "will keep" the Torah from this time forward ("continually"), and "forever and ever" (v.44).
  26. This affirmation is made frequently throughout the psalm.
  27. Next, in v.45, follows his declaration to "walk at liberty".
  28. This means that he will courageously follow doctrine and will not allow himself to be intimidated by circumstances.
  29. Truth sets us free if we will follow its lead (Jn.8:32; Gal.5:1,13).
  30. We do not need to be enslaved by human viewpoint, STA lusts, and the demands of those who are at odds with Godís plan (Rom.8:12).
  31. We who adhere to BD possess true freedom/liberty (2Cor.3:17; Gal.2:4; Jam.1:25; 2:12).
  32. The psalmist now knows a freedom he did not have when he was enslaved to the ISTA and to the corruption of the system he was in.
  33. The divine "precepts" provide him with true liberty (and protection).
  34. The pursuit of liberty is keyed to seeking the divine precepts (v.45b).
  35. Whatever men are allowed to do cannot override the liberty that is within.
  36. He has no real reason to fear, as God is in control and he follows the commandments.
  37. Let them say and do what they will; he is fully a part of something that is infinitely better and will prevail over the pride and glitz of the cosmos.
  38. The liberty that the cosmos often glories in is really enslavement to the STA and will result in eternal shame and loss.
  39. In v.46 he anticipates the privilege to witness doctrine "before kings".
  40. He recognizes that once he has overcome the crisis at hand he will be in a position to "speak" about the divine "testimonies" in the presence of heads of state.
  41. His niche was such that he would have this opportunity (cp. Mt. 10:18; Acts.26:1,2).
  42. He would not allow himself to be intimidated by those who occupied the highest offices (v.46b).
  43. To be ashamed of BD in the presence of anybody is to deny Christ.
  44. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel in the presence of Greek philosophical sophistication or Roman imperialism (Rom.1:16).
  45. Remember, all men are but flesh in whom God has placed the spark of life (Isa.2:22; Ps.76:12).
  46. Ultimately they do not reject your witness but God, who will bring them into judgment (Jn.12:48).
  47. Do not fear their reproach/ridicule (Isa.51:7).
  48. At all times he will "delight in" Godís "commandments" which he "loves" (v.47).
  49. He will not be concerned with what men think, as God will vindicate his faith and devotion.
  50. By telling God what he will do, he binds himself to a commitment or vow.
  51. In v.48a he promises to "lift up" his "hands"/palms in a bold gesture, signifying both the Source of, and the total dependence on, the "commandments".
  52. Verse 48b repeats from v.47b and demonstrates his utter delight with the things of doctrine.
  53. Verse 48c declares his intention to be absorbed in the object of his love by quiet reflection upon the specifics of the Torah and all that pertains thereto.
  54. The waw file brings us to a confrontation with those who are out to get him in a setting that has official overtones.
  55. In this file he speaks to his intention to faithfully bear witness to the truth and to continue to do so, both privately and publicly, into the indefinite future.
  56. Any attitude that falls short of his example is unworthy of both the Source and the object of his love.
Zayin File (z)
Stability Under Fire (vv.49-56)

VERSE 49 Remember the word to Your servant ( rb'D'-rkoz> [Qal.imper. rkz zakhar, remember, + n.m.s. dabhar, word] ^D,b.[;l. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant]),

In which You have made me hope ( l[; [prep.] rv,a] [rel.pro.] `ynIT'l.x;yI [Piel.pf.2m.s. w/1.c.s.sf. lxy yachal, wait, hope]).

VERSE 50 This is my comfort in my affliction ( tazO [indef.pro.] ytim'x'n< [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hm'x'n< nechamah, comfort] yyIn>['b. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. ynI[\ ani, affliction]),

That Your word has revived me ( yKi [conj.] ^t.r'm.ai [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hr'm.ai imerah, utterance, word] `ynIt.Y"xi [Piel.pf.3.f.s. w/1.c.s.sf. hyx chayah, preserve alive]).

VERSE 51 The arrogant utterly deride me ( ~ydIzE [adj.m.p. dzE zedh, arrogant] daom.-d[; [prep. + adv., "utterly"] ynIcuylih/ [Hiphil.pf.3.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf. #yl litz, scorn, deride]),

Yet I do not turn aside from Your law ( ^t.r'ATmi [prep.w/n.f.s. w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law] al [neg.] `ytiyjin" [Qal.pf.1.c.s. hjn natah, stretch, turn aside]).

VERSE 52 I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O LORD ( yTir>k; [Qal.pf.1.c.s. rkz zakhar, remember] ^yj,P'v.mi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. jP'v.mi mishephat, judgment] ~l'A[me [prep.w/n.m.s. olam, ever] hw"hy> [pr.n.]),

And comfort myself ( `~x'n<t.a,w" [conj.w/Hithpael.impf.1.c.s. ~xn nacham, comfort]).

VERSE 53 Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked ( hp'['l.z: [n.f.s., zale-aphah, burning heat; 3X: Pss.11:6; 119:53; Lam.5:10] ynIt.z:x'a] [Qal.pf.3.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. zxa achaz, grasp, seize] ~y[iv'r>me [prep.w/adj.m.p. [v'r' rasha, wicked]),

Who forsake Your law ( ybez>[o [Qal.pt.m.p. bz[ azabh, leave] `^t,r'AT [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. torah, law]).

VERSE 54 Your statutes are my songs ( ^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. qxo choq, statute] yli-Wyh' [Qal.pf.3.c.p. hyh hayah, be, + prep.w/1.c.s.sf.] Armiz> [n.m.p.rymiz" zamir, song, psalm])

In the house of my pilgrimage ( tybeB. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. tyIB; bayith, house] `yr'Wgm. [n.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf. rWgm' maghur, temporary residence; cp. Gen.17:8; 28:4; 36:7; 37:1; 47:9; Ex.6:4]).

VERSE 55 O LORD, I remember Your name in the night ( hw"hy> [pr.n.] yTir>k;z" [Qal.pf.1c.s. rkz zakhar, remember] ^m.vi [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. shem, name] hl'y>L;b; [prep.w/n.m.s. hl'y>l; layelah, night]),

And keep Your law ( hr'm.v.a,w" [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. rmv shamar, keep] `^t,r'AT [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. torah, law]).

VERSE 56 This has become mine ( tazO [demon.pro.] yLi-ht'y>h' [Qal.pf.3.f.s., hayah, + prep.w/1.c.s.s.f., "mine"]),

That I observe Your precepts ( yKi [conj.] ^yd,Qupi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. ~ydIWQPi piqqudhim, precept] `yTir>c'n" [Qal.pf.1.c.s. rcn natsar, observe]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 49-56

  1. In the zayin file he speaks to God of his unwavering adherence to the WOG in the face of the vicious verbal maligning he is the object of.
  2. He begins by asking God to "remember the word" of promise with respect to those who remain loyal under the onslaught of the wicked (v.49a).
  3. God has promised in the Torah never to forsake the righteous who are persecuted for their faith (Deut.31:6; cp. Heb.13:5,6; Ps.118:6).
  4. Those who adhere to "the word" under fire are promised divine support.
  5. Godís word has become his hope amidst all the verbal attacks that he is under (v.49b).
  6. God "has made him hope" in it because of his exposure to Scripture.
  7. With the testing come the promises that we are expected to claim.
  8. Also with the testing comes the "comfort" he needs.
  9. The comfort that helps sustain him is the fact that he has not perished (v.50).
  10. The WOG has preserved him alive in the crisis because God has responded to his response to doctrine (v.51).
  11. His repentance and all-out intake and application of the commandments "has preserved him alive".
  12. His "affliction" is his undeserved sufferings from the source of people.
  13. For the second time in the psalm he labels his enemies as the "arrogant".
  14. Arrogant people are people who are negative, putting themselves above the POG.
  15. By "utterly deride" he means an all-out assault upon his character ("utterly" at vv.8, 43, 51).
  16. High level application of BD results in affliction in the Angelic Conflict (2Tim.3:12).
  17. In spite of the verbal assault, he is not intimidated as he "does not turn aside from" the Torah.
  18. At every turn he credits his advantages to his total commitment to the law.
  19. He fortifies himself against the assault as he "remembers" the eternal "ordinances"/rulings/ judgments (v.52).
  20. "From of old" indicates their antiquity, imperishability, and incorruptibility.
  21. The WOG is as ancient as God is and it is upheld by Godís perfect essence.
  22. Divine wisdom predates all Godís works (Prov.8:22-31).
  23. As God is, so is His word (Ps.90:2).
  24. Even though Scripture was revealed through men during the period of the formation of the Canon, it has always been a part of the divine will.
  25. As he reflects upon the "ordinances" he "comforts" himself, knowing that what he believes and applies will reward his patient endurance beyond all comparison (v.52b).
  26. God the HS brings peace, comfort, and joy to the heart of those who remember what they have learned and applied.
  27. The derision of man cannot take that away.
  28. Verse 53 presents a quite different soulish response to the WOG vis-a-vis "the wicked".
  29. The noun "burning indignation" means "raging heat" and occurs 3X: Pss.11:6; 119:53; Lam.5:10.
  30. Here it refers to intense emotional anger when he thinks about the wholesale violation of the "law" on the part of those he was in league with.
  31. God exhibits the same attitude towards those who "forsake" His +R (cp. Pss.69:24; 78:49; Isa.30:7; Nah.1:6; Zeph.3:8).
  32. God has indignation every day (Ps.7:11).
  33. His indignation is directed toward the believer under heavy DD (Ps.38:3).
  34. Godís indignation is directed against apostate Israel (Pss.85:4; 102:12; Jer.10:10; 21:5; 32:37; Lam.2:6; Ezek.21:31; 22:24; 22:31).
  35. It is used of His wrath against the nations (Isa.34:2; Jer.50:13, 25).
  36. It is a technical synonym for the Tribulation (Isa.26:20; Dan.8:19; 11:36; Nah.1:6; Hab.3:12).
  37. It is technical for eternal condemnation (Rom.2:8).
  38. And it is used of the intermediate agents of Godís wrath (Isa.10:5;13:5).
  39. Here and in 2Cor.7:11 it is used of the righteous indignation believers regularly have toward those who demonstrate maximum disregard for Godís ways.
  40. There were those occasions when the psalmist was "seized" with the most intense feelings of anger when contemplating the activities of "the wicked".
  41. Jesus came under this emotion when confronted with the traffickers in the Temple (Mt.21:12) and in his "woes" against the ruling religious classes (Mt.23).
  42. This is a normal reaction on the part of the righteous when confronted with the gross evil of their times.
  43. His attitude towards the entrenched attitudes and practices of the ruling class was anything but tolerant and accommodating.
  44. He detested those people and was on occasion "seized" involuntarily with the divine perspective.
  45. In v.54 he moves to a more tranquil state of mind.
  46. The "statutes" are his "songs" which refresh and lighten the hardships of his "pilgrimage".
  47. The "statutes" are like favorite songs in his spiritual isolation.
  48. The psalmist calls his earthly life "the house of my pilgrimage", which follows the thought expressed in v.19.
  49. This attitude is not confined to times of extreme affliction and persecution, but is an attitude that follows all who are aware to the brevity of life and their alienation from the devilís world (cp. 2Chr.29:15).
  50. This feeling of not belonging to the status quo is very strong in those who are fully adjusted to the WOG and who are looking for an abiding and better country (Heb.11:13).
  51. A place of pilgrimage is but a temporary place in which the pilgrim finds himself.
  52. The specifics of doctrine become our songs in the place where we are aliens and strangers.
  53. The intake of BD is a taste of the good things to come (Heb.6:5).
  54. Suffering especially brings this sense of not belonging to the surface.
  55. When the night closes in and there is the tendency to be afraid, he "remembers" Godís matchless "name"/reputation (v.55a).
  56. He reviews Godís perfect attributes and surpassing deeds, which spurs him to "keep" the Torah (v.55b).
  57. Contemplation of Who and What God is helps us in time of distress to stick with the imperatives and viewpoint of Scripture.
  58. The final line in the zayin file (v.56) begins with the demonstrative pronoun zoth - "This".
  59. It is followed by the Qal Perfect of the "to be" verb, hayah.
  60. Next comes the preposition with the 1.c.s.sf., translated "mine".
  61. Line 2 of vs.56 tells us what it is that he has that is so special.
  62. He has, in the midst of all his isolation and alienation, the greatest thing that anyone could be in possession of: the observation of the divine "precepts".
  63. It is really the only thing that matters.
  64. It is the ultimate gift which a person gives himself, with Godís help.
  65. The zayin file stresses his stability in the midst of verbal assault and alienation from those who hate God.
Heth File (x)
Only Way to Have God (vv.57-64)

VERSE 57 The LORD is my portion ( hw"hy> [pr.n.] yqil.x, [n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. ql,xe cheleq, portion, share]);

I have promised to keep Your words ( yTir>m;a' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. rma amar, say; promise] rmov.li [prep.w/Qal.infin. cstr. rmv shamar, keep] `^yr,b'D> [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. dabhar, word]).

VERSE 58 I sought Your favor with all my heart ( ytiyLixi [Piel.pf.1.c.s. hlx chalah, feel weak; entreat; "sought"] ^yn<p' [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hn<P' paneh, face, presence; "favor"] ble-lk'b. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.s., lebh, heart]);

Be gracious to me according to Your word ( ynINEx' [Qal.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. !nx chanan, be gracious] `^t,r'm.aiK. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. imerah, word {as spoken}]).

VERSE 59 I considered my ways ( yTib.V;xi [Piel.pf.1.c.s. bvx chashabh, consider] yk'r'd> [n.f.p.w/1.c.s.sf., derek, way])

And turned my feet to Your testimonies ( hb'yvia'w" [conj.w/Hiphil.impf.1.c.s. bwv shub, turn] yl;g>r; [n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf. lg<r, reghel, foot] `^yt,do[e-la, [prep. + n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hd'[e edhah, testimony]).

VERSE 60 I hastened and did not delay ( yTiv.x; [Qal.pf.1.c.s. vwx chush, hurry] al{w> [conj.w/neg] yTih.m'h.m;t.hi [Hithpael.pf.1.c.s. hh;m' mahah, linger])

To keep Your commandments ( rmov.li [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr. rmv shamar, keep] `^yt,wOc.mi [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commandments]).

VERSE 61 The cords of the wicked have encircled me ( yleb.x, [n.m.p.cstr. lb,x, chebhel, cord, rope] ~y[iv'r> [adj.m.p. [v'r' rasha, wicked] ynIduW>[i [Piel.pf.3/c.p.w/1.c.s.sf. dw[ ur, to surround, go around]),

But I have not forgotten Your law ( ^t.r'AT [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law] al{ [neg.] `yTix.k'v' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. xkv shakhach, forget]).

VERSE 62 At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You ( hl'y>l;-tAcx] [n.f.s.cstr. chatsoth, half, + n.m.s., layelah, night] ~Wqa' [Qal.impf.1.c.s. ~Wq qum, rise] tAdAhl. [prep.w/Hiphil.infin.cstr. hdy yadhah, throw; give thanks] %l' [prep.w/2.m.s.s.f.])

Because of Your righteous ordinances ( l[; [prep./conj.] yjeP.v.mi [n.m.p.cstr. jP'v.mi mishepat, judgment] `^q,d>ci [n.m.s. w/2.m.s.sf. qd,c, tsedheq, righteousness]).

VERSE 63 I am a companion of all those who fear You ( ynIa' [pers.pro.1.c.s.] rbex' [adj.m.s., chabher, associate] rv,a]-lk'l. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. + rel.pro., asher] ^Warey> [Qal.pf.3.c.p.w/2m.s.sf. ary yare, fear]),

And of those who keep Your precepts ( yrem.vol.W [conj.w/prep.w/Qal.pt.m.p.cstr., shamar, keep] `^yd,WQPi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. ~ydIWQPi piqqudhim, precept]).

VERSE 64 The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O LORD ( #r,a'h' [def.art.w/n.f.s., erets, earth] ha'l.m' [Qal.pf.3.f.s. alm male, be full, fill] ^D>s.x; [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., chesed] hw"hy> [pr.n.]);

Teach me Your statutes ( ^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. qxo choq, statute {boundary}] `ynIdeM.l; [Piel.imper.1.c.s. dm;l' lamadh, teach]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 57-64

  1. He opens the heth file with an affirmation that Yahweh is his "portion" (v.57a; cp. Pss.16:5; 73:14; cp. 17:14).
  2. God has decreed certain temporal and eternal blessings and he does not need anything else.
  3. God will not withhold anything that is necessary or fitting for each one of us.
  4. We do not need to pursue things; God will pursue us with them.
  5. This reality brings inner peace and encourages contentment.
  6. When we are malcontent it is because we are ruled by STA appetites.
  7. The Hebrew noun means "allotment".
  8. There is a divine allotment of temporal blessing for each of us.
  9. God provided him with everything he needed to deal with the crisis at hand.
  10. He does not look to men or to his own ingenuity to deal with his testing.
  11. Godís part is specified in line 1 of vs.57, and his is set forth in line 2.
  12. For his part he has "promised to keep" Godís "words" (v.57b).
  13. Application of BD ensures the believer that there will be a steady and timely provision of logistical support, as well as above-and-beyond blessings in Ph2.
  14. He has vowed to apply what he has learned, come what may, and God will be there for him, meeting his daily needs.
  15. God has unlimited resources with which to bless and care for us; we need to focus on the execution of the imperatives in thought, word, and deed.
  16. He affirms that he has not failed to "entreat" Godís "favor (face) with all his heart" (v.58a).
  17. Prayer is a very important element in the requisitioning of our daily portion.
  18. For all of his diligence in applying prayer and other obligations, he fully recognizes that the divine benefits that enable him to stay alive and finish his course are based on the overriding principle of grace (v.58b).
  19. So he asks that God "be gracious" to him, and that the grace allotted to him be "according to Your word".
  20. Twelve times in this psalm he asks that things be done according to the WOG (vv.9, 25, 28, 41, 58, 65, 76, 107, 116, 154, 169, 170).
  21. This is the same as praying that things be done according to Godís will.
  22. He wants every benefit that is in accord with the letter and spirit of Scripture.
  23. He is fully qualified to offer this prayer, as he has previously "considered" his "ways" and "turned" 180 degrees toward the "testimonies" (v.59).
  24. He thought about where he was headed and decided that he did not want to end up like others, and directed his "feet" in the paths of righteousness.
  25. This verse also suggests a previous pattern of life outside the directive will.
  26. In v.60 he mentions the fact that he did not delay in his decision to turn his life around.
  27. He knew that there would be repercussions that would follow when he broke from false paths.
  28. He chose persecution over pleasing men.
  29. He immediately began to set his spiritual house in order, as he uses the imagery of physical movement ("feet" and "hastened").
  30. In v.61 he reports the expected response of his former associates in evil.
  31. The news of his "defection" from their criminal pursuits unleashed a campaign of vilification and persecution that was akin to being in physical bonds (v.61a).
  32. The Lord is more than capable of cutting all such cords when there is a break from the old ways (Ps.129:4).
  33. The conspiracy against him did not dampen his commitment to the Torah (v.61b).
  34. The slander and intrigue that was against him was the immediate fall-out for total devotion to the ways of the Lord.
  35. Some believers wither under this barrage (seed sown in shallow soil), but not him.
  36. Godís law and His promises were more real than the murderous plots of men.
  37. In v.62 he vows to "rise" in the middle of the night and "give thanks" to God for his "righteous ordinances".
  38. Four times he so refers to the specifics of the Torah (vv.62, 106, 160, 164).
  39. And so he falls into the category of Ezek.18:9, that being someone who turns to the truth and sidesteps the SUD.
  40. While men were out to kill him, he was no longer on Godís black list.
  41. He was extremely thankful for the ruling that God, in grace and righteousness, can pardon someone who is worthy of death.
  42. Instead of lying awake and being fearful, he would arise and thank God for his good fortune.
  43. He affirms that he is now a duly constituted member of a new fraternity, the community of "all who fear" God and "who keep" the divine "precepts".
  44. He knows there are others who are like him even though he is isolated from their fellowship.
  45. The noun "companion" is based on a root which means "knit together".
  46. A person is classified according to the company he keeps and according to the things he does (cp. Prov.28:7,24; Phil.3:20).
  47. His repentance and pursuit of doctrine has vaulted him into new company.
  48. In v.64 he declares a truism: namely, that chesed is evident everywhere.
  49. Godís devotion to His creation is manifest everywhere (cp. Ps.33:5).
  50. And so he can end the file by asking God to manifest chesed toward him by blessing him greatly under GAP.
  51. Ten times (the number that symbolizes "law") in Ps.119 he makes this appeal (vv.12, 26, 33, 64, 66, 68, 108, 124, 135, 171; cp. Pss.25:4,5; 27:11; 86:11).
  52. A characteristic of those who fear God is that they never assume that they cannot learn more.
Teth (j)
The Value of Suffering (vv.65-72)

VERSE 65 You have dealt well with Your servant ( t'yfi[' [Qal.pf.2.m.s. hf'[' ashah, do; "dealt"] bAj [n.m.s., tobh, good] ^D>b.[;-~[i [prep. + n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. db,[, ebhedh, servant]),

O LORD, according to Your word ( hw"hy> [pr.n.] `^r,b'd>Ki [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word]).

VERSE 66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge ( ynIdeM.l; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. dml lamadh, teach] bWj [n.m.s.cstr., tobh, good, excellence] ~[;j; [n.m.s., ta-am, taste, discernment] t[;d;w" [conj.w/n.f.s., da-ath, knowledge]),

For I believe in Your commandments ( yKi [conj.] `yTin>m'a/h, [Hiphil.pf.1.c.s. !ma aman, believe] ^yt,wOc.mib. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commdment]).

VERSE 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray ( ~r,j, [adv., before] ynIa] [pers.pro.1.c.s.] hn<[/a, [Qal.impf.1.c.s. hn"[' anah, afflict] ggEvo [Qal.pt.m.s. ggv shaghagh, go astray; 4X: Lev.5:18; Job.12:16; Ps.119:67]),

But now I keep Your word ( hT'[;w> [conj.w/adv., now] ^t.r'm.ai [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. hr'm.ai imerah, word] `yTir>m'v' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., shamar, keep]).

VERSE 68 You are good and do good ( hT'a;-bAj [adj.m.s. + pers.pro.2.m.s.] byjimeW [conj.w/Hiphil.pt.m.s. bjy yatabh, do good]);

Teach me Your statutes ( ynIdeM.l; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. dml lamadh, teach] `^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., choq, statute]).

VERSE 69 The arrogant have forged a lie against me ( ~ydIzE [adj.m.p. dzE zedh, arrogant] Wlp.j' [Qal.pf.3.c.p. lpj taphal, glue, smear, plaster over; "have forged"; 3X: Job.13:4; 14:17] rq,v, [n.m.s., sheqer, lie] yl;[' [prep.w/1.c.s.sf. "against me"]);

With all my heart I will observe Your precepts ( ble-lk'B. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.s., heart] rCoa/ [Qal.impf.1.c.s.rc;n" natsar, observe] `^yd,WQPi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. ~ydIWQPi piqqudhim, precept]).

VERSE 70 Their heart is covered with fat ( ~B'li [n.m.s.w/3.m.p.sf., lebh, heart] vp;j' [Qal.pf.3.m.s., taphash, be fat; insensitive; "is covered"; hapax] bl,xeK; [def.art.w/prep.w/n.m.s. bl,xe [n.m.s., chelebh, fat; best part]),

But I delight in Your law ( ynIa] [pers.pro.1.c.s.] ^t.r'AT [n.f.s. w/2.m.s.sf., torah] `yTi[.v'[]vi [Piel.pf.1.c.s. [;['v sha-a, take sport/delight in]).

VERSE 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted ( yli-bAj [adj.m.s., tobh, good, + prep.w/1.c.s.sf.] ytiyNE[u-yki [conj. + Pual.pf.1.c.s. hn;'[ anah, be afflicted]),

That I may learn Your statutes ( ![;m;l. [prep., "in order that"] dm;l.a, [Qal.imp.1.c.s., lamadh, to learn] `^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., choq, statute, ordinance, limit]).

VERSE 72 The law of Your mouth is better to me ( ^yPi-tr;At [n.f.s.cst., torah, + n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., peh, mouth] yli-bAj [adj.m.s. tobh, good; "better", + prep.w/1.c.s.sf.])

Than thousands of gold and silver pieces ( ypel.a;me [prep. !mi min, more than; w/adj.m.p.cstr. @l,a, eleph, a thousand] bh'z" [n.m.s., zahabh, gold] `@s,k'w" [conj.w/n.m.s., keseph, silver]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 65-72

  1. The teth file draws our attention to deserved and undeserved suffering.
  2. He confesses to God that he has no complaints with regard to how God is handling his niche that has been filled with suffering.
  3. Hence, the words: "You have dealt well with Your servant" (v.65a).
  4. All that has transpired has been "according to Your word" (v.65b).
  5. He has fully acclimated to all aspects of the suffering he is under.
  6. And so he prays that God would "teach" him "good discernment and knowledge" (v.66a).
  7. "Good discernment" refers to the ability to correctly apply what he learns to the crisis he is under.
  8. Paul prayed for this very same thing with respect to the church at Philippi (Phil.1:9 "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment").
  9. He wants to perceive clearly with the mind the issues that come before him.
  10. He desires to make good judgment calls with respect to all the applications of the commandments he has learned.
  11. He also wants to continue to build up his reservoir of "knowledge", which comes from GAP.
  12. He is not one who believes only in part, which fact he states without reservation in v.66b.
  13. We are enjoined in Scripture to "believe all things" of doctrine (1Cor.13:7).
  14. Without faith, the request of line 1 (vs.66a) is not going to be granted.
  15. In v.67 he acknowledges that his present sufferings are the result of his reversion recovery.
  16. "Before I was afflicted I went astray" refers to his days as a reversionist.
  17. "But now I keep Your word" refers to the thing that has brought affliction into his life.
  18. His affliction is his persecution for his stand for the WOG.
  19. Verse 67 documents the fact that this psalm is dealing with someone who previously "went astray" (cp. vv.110,176).
  20. He doesnít merely believe the commandments, but he affirms that he is a doer of BD.
  21. He confesses that even though he is surrounded by dangerous and vicious enemies, God is "good and does good" (v.68a).
  22. God is intrinsically "good" and performs "good" in all His dealings with the recovering psalmist.
  23. Since God is "good", he yet again asks God to "teach" him the "statutes" (v.68b).
  24. A part of Godís perfect goodness is to give the believer who has failed another chance to learn and be delivered from the cursing that comes upon those who disregard His ways.
  25. In v.69a he issues a complaint with respect to those who are verbally attacking him without cause.
  26. The verb "forged" means, literally, "to smear" as per our idiom (cp. Job.13:4; 14:7).
  27. He is the object of a smear campaign.
  28. The "lie" that was being spread about him had no basis in fact, and so he was under undeserved suffering (vv.78,86).
  29. This was a part of the price he paid for his attachment to doctrine.
  30. What his enemies, the princes, are doing is in complete contrast to what he is doing: an all-out effort to apply the divine "precepts" (v.69b).
  31. The psalm is replete with these contrasts (cp. vv.23, 51, 59, 61, 70, 76, 83, 87, 95, 110, 157, 161).
  32. The trumped-up charge forged against him was intended to be the basis for his execution (v.95).
  33. He describes his adversaries as men whose "heart is covered with fat" (v.70a).
  34. This is an idiom for the scar tissue or hardness of heart that causes these men to be so insensitive to justice and truth (cf. Ps.17:10).
  35. He is not, so he affirms in v.70b that he "delights in" the Torah.
  36. Hardness of heart is the immediate consequence of disregarding what is right and in accord with truth (cf. Mt.19:8; Mk.3:5; Jn.12:40; Acts.19:9; Rom.11:7; 2Cor.3:14; Eph.4:18; Heb.3:13).
  37. In v.71a he acknowledges that all his sufferings have served a beneficial purpose.
  38. His pre- and post-reversionism afflictions have made him a serious student of BD.
  39. Both DD and undeserved suffering serve to bring our +v to the surface.
  40. He is no longer blinded by materialism, which was his area of weakness.
  41. He is no longer stupid when it comes to money; he recognizes the surpassing superiority of "the law of" Godís "mouth" (v.72a).
  42. What comes from Godís mouth is not to be compared with "thousands of gold and silver pieces" (v.72b; cp. v.127; Ps.19:10; Prov.8:10; 11:9).
  43. Money has serious limitations, but adherence to BD can bring prosperity.
  44. This file emphasizes the fact that it is better to suffer and find truth than it is to prosper in the cosmos and suffer eternal loss.
Yodh (yooo)
Supporters and Detractors (vv.73-80)

VERSE 73 Your hands made me and fashioned me ( ^yd,y" [ n.f.dual.w/2.m.s.sf., yadh, hand] ynIWf[' [Qal.pf.3.c.p.w/1c.s.sf., ashah, make] ynIWnn>Aky>w: [conj.w/Piel.impf.3.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf. !wK kun, establish; prepare; "fashion"]);

Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments ( ynInEybih] [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. !yB bin, discern, cause to discern] hd'm.l.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. dml lamadh, learn]).

VERSE 74 May those who fear You see me and be glad ( ^ya,rey> [Qal.pt.m.p. w/2.m.s.sf., yare, fear] ynIWar>yI [conj.w/Qal.impf.3.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf., ra-ah, see] Wxm'f.yIw> [conj. w/Qal.impf.3.m.p., samach, be glad]),

Because I wait for Your word ( yKi [conj.] ^r>b'd>li [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word]).

VERSE 75 I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous ( yTi[.d;y" [Qal.pf.1.c.s., yadhah, know] hw"hy> [pr.n.] qd,c,-yKi [conj. + n.m.s., tsedheq, righteousness] ^yj,P'v.mi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., miwhepat, judgment]),

And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me ( hn"Wma/w< [conj.w/n.f.s. hn"Wma/ amunah, faithfulness] `ynIt'yNI[i [Piel.pf.2.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., anah, afflict]).

VERSE 76 O may Your lovingkindness comfort me ( an"-yhiy> [Qal.impf.3.m.s., hayah, to be, + interj. of entreaty] ^D>s.x; [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., chesed] ynImex]n:l. [prep.w/Piel.infin.cstr. w/1.c.s.sf. ~x;n" nacham, comfort]),

According to Your word to Your servant ( ^t.r'm.aiK. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word] `^D,b.[;l. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant]).

VERSE 77 May Your compassion come to me that I may live ( ynIWaboy>, [Qal.impf.3.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf., bo, come] ^ym,x]r; [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. ~ymix]r; rachamim, compassion] hy<x.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. hyx chayah, to live]),

For Your law is my delight ( ^t.r'At-yKi [conj. + n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law] `y['vu[]v; [n.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf. ~y[ivu[]v; sha-ashuim, delight; cp. also at vv.24, 92, 143, 174]).

VERSE 78 May the arrogant be ashamed, for they subvert me with a lie ( WvboyE [Qal.impf.3.m.p., bosh, be ashamed] ~ydIzE [adj.m.p. dzE zedh, arrogant] rq,v,-yKi [conj. + n.m.s., sheqer, lie] ynIWtW>[i [Piel.pf.3.c.p.w/1.c.s.sf. tw[ awath, to be bent; subvert, frame]);

But I shall meditate on Your precepts ( ynIa] [pers.pro.1.c.s.] x;yfia' [Qal.impf.1.c.s. xyf shiach, ponder] `^yd,WQpiB. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. ~ydIWQPi piqqudim, precept]).

VERSE 79 May those who fear You turn to me ( ^ya,rey> [Qal.act.pt.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., yare, fear] WbWvy" [Qal.impf.3.m.p., shubh, turn, return] yli [prep.w/1.c.s.sf.]),

Even those who know Your testimonies ( y[ed>yOw [conj.w/Qal.pt.m.p., yadha, know] `^yt,do[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hd'[e edhah, testimony]).

VERSE 80 May my heart be blameless in Your statutes ( yBili-yhiy> [Qal.impf.3.f.s., hayah, to be, + n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., lebh, heart] ~ymit' [adj.m.s., tamim, complete, sound, adjusted] ^yQ,xuB. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., choq, statute]),

So that I will not be ashamed ( ![;m;l. [prep. of result, lema-an] al{ [neg.] `vAbae [Qal.impf.1.c.s., bosh, be ashamed]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 73-80

  1. The yodh file sees God in complete control of the various factors that contribute to the psalmistís present difficulties.
  2. As in all the files, the way of deliverance and vindication is tied to his attitude towards the divine directives.
  3. God humbles, but He also exalts those who faithfully adhere to the contents of the WOG/Torah.
  4. "Your hands have made me (Qal.pf. ashah, one of the verbs used in the creation of manís body) and fashioned me" (not the potterís term but a verb which indicates a solid constitution; the verb is the Piel.impf. of kun) reflects an awareness that God cannot forsake his special creature, man, especially where there is a desire to live up to the purpose for which he has been placed on this earth (v.73a; cf. Ps.138:8).
  5. Our attention is drawn to the fact that divine intelligence and power produced the human form.
  6. The psalmist was prepared a body according to the laws of genetics (Ps.139:15) and given soul-life at the point of birth.
  7. The first verb emphasizes the human body, which is exceedingly complex and suited for life on earth.
  8. The second verb indicates his living existence upon earth and all that he is, including his relationship to God via the adjustments.
  9. It is translated "fashioned", but is better rendered "established".
  10. It refers to his soul-life, distinguishing him from the animal kingdom as well as his place among those who are redeemed.
  11. It would be incongruous for God to bring him to this juncture and then to forsake him in light of his renewed interest in the things which make man truly blessed and happy: namely, knowledge of the WOG (cf. Job.10:8; 21:15).
  12. And so he prays in v.73b for further insight into the importance of learning the "commandments".
  13. To do any less, considering all that God has done to make him what he is, would be to insult the Creator (cf. Deut.32:6).
  14. He wants to be an example to others, and so he prays in v.74.
  15. "Those who fear You" refers to others, like him, who are positive and who hear about his situation.
  16. He wants them to derive +H from hearing about how he "waits for" the WOG (with the publication of Ps.119, the circle of God-fearers who study it has been greatly expanded!).
  17. This is the same as waiting upon God for deliverance.
  18. Four times in this psalm he makes this affirmation (vv. 43, 74, 81, 114).
  19. The WOG makes specific promises regarding the preservation of life so that +v can attain to Ph2 sanctification.
  20. He trusts in those things which guarantee continued life so that our +v can make complete the course set before us.
  21. In v.75 he affirms that he knows two things: that the divine "judgments" or "rulings" are +R, and that God "in faithfulness has afflicted" him so that his full potential for righteousness can come to the surface.
  22. He does not question Godís dealings in his life, as he recognizes that they are absolutely necessary for his spiritual matriculation.
  23. While aspects of the testing are unpleasant, he does not lose sight of the fact that "all things work together for good" (Rom.8:28).
  24. God brought him into the particular affliction he was under so he would turn to doctrine and become what God had intended him to be from his birth.
  25. In v.76a he prays for "comfort" in the heightening crisis that threatens to undo his primary desire.
  26. That desire is to fully understand the particulars of doctrine and apply at a very high level.
  27. He expresses this request for comfort from the perspective of Godís "loyal-love".
  28. The parameters of chesed are, as he says, "according to Your word" (v.76b).
  29. The WOG specifies that God is loyal to all who rebound and embrace the truth.
  30. Those who fall into reversionism are accorded another chance to recover and avoid the SUD and eternal loss.
  31. Chesed guarantees comfort under adversity, in addition to all other blessings that enable the positive believer under affliction to endure and prevail according to the specific plan God has for each of us.
  32. God faithfully brings us into the deep waters of deserved and undeserved suffering so that we might be all we can be in accordance with our individual +v.
  33. We should never question Godís dealing with us or with others, as He only does what is necessary for our ultimate blessing.
  34. Our comfort in adversity is that He will never leave nor forsake us and that he will supply all the strength and comfort we need to see it through.
  35. None of us can inherit the kingdom of God apart from many tribulations (Acts.14:22).
  36. God has all the facts and all the doctrine before Him, and He knows perfectly in what ways we need to excel in the short time remaining to us.
  37. Verse 77 brings to our attention another key concept with respect to the covenant God of Ex.34: namely, "compassion".
  38. The Lord of the covenant is "compassionate" in that He does not judge us according to our sin but according to our attitude in the face of difficulties brought on by our failures.
  39. If he lives it is not because he deserves to, but because God has "come" to him in an act of compassion.
  40. He can appeal to Godís incomparable compassion based on the fact that he has made the "law" his "delight" (~y[ivu[]v sha-ashuim, delight, enjoyment, at vv.24, 77, 92, 143, 172).
  41. This fact, and this fact alone, is the basis for his deliverance from those who would destroy him (cf. v.92; cp. vv.24, 143, 174; Jer.15:16).
  42. In v.78 he prays against his implacable enemies, that they may be totally frustrated in the "lie" with which they intend to "subvert" him (cf. v.86).
  43. The verb is very close to our expression "to frame someone".
  44. His successful prosecution would mean his literal destruction (v.87).
  45. In his case, his end would mean the preempting of his Ph2 course.
  46. Hence, he prays that they all might "be ashamed", seeing his complete deliverance and their exposure.
  47. As they continue in their conspiracy to destroy him, he declares his intention to "meditate on" the "precepts" which contain information as to his modus vivendi and operandi.
  48. This will keep him from STA-based solutions to handling the crisis.
  49. The wish expressed in v.79a is that "those who fear" God will "turn to" him in the sense that they will benefit from his example in the handling of their own adversities.
  50. It seems quite apparent that his ordeal was a matter of public knowledge, as he was a highly visible person within the society.
  51. His sudden reversal, precipitating the campaign on the part of powerful persons to discredit and destroy him, was thrust into the public eye.
  52. He defines those who fear God as "those who know" His "testimonies" (v.79b).
  53. He closes the yodh file with a plea that his "heart be blameless in" the divine "statutes" (v.80a).
  54. This is the sure guarantee that he will avoid the shame that would come to him if his enemies were to prevail.
  55. The psalmist, for reasons we are not privy to, knew that to die under this persecution was not in the interests of BD, parallel to what we saw when we studied Davidís crisis in connection with "Operation Bathsheba".
Kaph File (k)
On the Brink of Ruin (vv.81-88)

VERSE 81 My soul languishes for Your salvation ( yvip.n: [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf., nephesh] ht'l.K' [Qal.pf.3f.s. hlK kalah, to accomplish, be at an end, exhaust; "languishes"] ^t.['Wvt.li [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf. h['WvT. teshu-ah, salvation/deliverance {temporal}]);

I wait for Your word ( ^r>b'd>li [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word] `yTil.x'yI [Piel.impf.1.c.s. lxy yachal, to wait, hope]).

VERSE 82 My eyes fail with longing for Your word ( yn:y[e [n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf., ayin, eye] WlK' [Qal.pf.3.c.p. hlK kalah, to accomplish; to fail] ^t,r'm.ail. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word, utterance]),

While I say, "When will You comfort me ( rmoale [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr., amar, say] yt;m' [interrog., matha, when?] `ynImex]n:T. [Piel.impf.2.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., nacham, comfort])?"

VERSE 83 Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke ( ytiyyIh'-yKi [conj. + Qal.pf.1.c.s., hayah, become] danOK. [prep.w/n.m.s., nodh, wineskin] rAjyqiB. [prep.w/n.m.s. rAjyqi qitor, thick smoke; 2X: Ps.148:8]),

I do not forget Your statutes ( ^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., choq, statute] al{ [neg.] `yTix.k'v' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., shakhach, forget]).

VERSE 84 How many are the days of Your servant ( hM'K; [prep.w/interrog.pro., mah, how] ^D,b.[;-ymey> [n.m.p.cst., yom, day, + n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant])?

When will You execute judgment on those who persecute me ( yt;m' [interrog., when?] hf,[]T; [Qal.impf.2.m.s., ashah, "execute"] yp;d>rob. [prep.w/Qal.pt.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf. @dr daraph, pursue; persecute] `jP'v.mi [n.m.s., mishepat, judgment])?

VERSE 85 The arrogant have dug pits for me ( ~ydIzE [adj.m.p. dzE zedh, arrogant] yli-WrK' [Qal.pf.3.c.p. hrK karah, dig, + prep.w/1.c.s.sf.] tAxyvi [n.f.p. hx'yvi shichah, pit]),

Men who are not in accord with Your law ( rv,a] [rel.pro.] al{ [neg.] `^t,r'Atk. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law]).

VERSE 86 All Your commandments are faithful ( ^yt,wOc.mi-lK' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf. hw"c.mi mitsewah, commandment] hn"Wma/ [n.f.s., amunah, faithful, reliable]);

They have persecuted me with a lie; help me ( ynIWpd'r> [Qal.pf.3.c.p.w/1.c.s.sf. @dr radhaph, persecute, pursue] rq,v, [sheqer, lie] `ynIrez>[' [Qal.imper.1.c.s. rz[ azadh, help, assist])!

VERSE 87 They almost destroyed me on earth ( j[;m.Ki [prep.w/adj.m.s., me-at, almost] ynIWLK [Piel.pf.3.c.p.w/1.c.s.sf. hlK kalah, accomplish; put to an end] #r,a'b' [prep.w/n.m.s., erets]),

But as for me, I did not forsake Your precepts ( ynIa]w: [conj.w/1.c.s.pro.] yTib.z:['-al{ [neg. + Qal.pf.1.c.s.bz[ azabh, forsake] `^yd,wQupi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudim, precept]).

VERSE 88 Revive me according to Your lovingkindness ( ynIYEx; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., chajah, live; preserve alive] ^D>s.x;K. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.s.sf., chesed]),

So that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth ( hr'm.v.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s., shamar, keep] tWd[e [n.f.s., edhuth, testimony] `^yPi [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., peh, mouth]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 81-88

  1. The kaph file sees the psalmist on the brink of destruction.
  2. The crisis he is under placed great pressure upon his soul, but he is determined not to let go of his grip on his life-line, the WOG.
  3. His "soul (the Ďreal youí) languishes for deliverance"; the verb kalah means to be at an end or to be exhausted, indicating how desperate the situation against him had become (v.81a).
  4. The bleakness of his plight did not dim his faith in the promises of doctrine (v.81b).
  5. He simply "waits for" Godís "word", which cannot be overridden.
  6. God always intervenes to uphold His promises.
  7. The how and the when are up to Him.
  8. In v.82a he continues to lament the hopelessness of his dilemma.
  9. "My eyes fail with longing" is a figure depicting the fact that he sees nothing hopeful on the horizon that might suggest a favorable resolution of his crisis (cp. Ps.69:3; v.123).
  10. The doctrine in his soul became more real than what his senses told him.
  11. He had faith that God would be there, but according to his own statement in v.82b he had no clue as to the "When" of his longed-for comfort.
  12. The comfort he refers to here is none other than his complete deliverance.
  13. He compares himself in v.83a to a leather "wineskin", engulfed in ascending smoke and about to be consumed by the flames.
  14. What sustains him is what is in the wineskin of his outer man: namely, BD; wine is used in Scripture as a symbol for BD, which stimulates the soul.
  15. His life and what is on the inside are threatened by the rising smoke and heat.
  16. He refuses to throw up his hands in despair by not forgetting the "statutes" (v.83b).
  17. He does not allow anything to drive Godís word form his thinking; he is determined to see the crisis through, knowing that God will not abandon him and negate his hope.
  18. In v.84a he draws attention to the shortness of our life on earth.
  19. The words "How many" mean "How few".
  20. Suffering causes us to focus on the brevity of life and the importance of redeeming the time via the intake and application of BD.
  21. The negative must face this fact, as they are all overruled in the attempt to establish their evil intentions.
  22. The men who were out to get him were about to step into the buzz saw of divine wrath.
  23. In the few days allotted to the psalmist, his persecutors came under a sudden and unexpected judgment.
  24. David had this same experience.
  25. Under extreme pressure he asks God, "When" will they get their comeuppance (v.84b)?
  26. He describes them as "arrogant" men, men who put themselves above the Torah.
  27. These men "dug pits" to capture and destroy the psalmist like he was a wild animal.
  28. Scripture declares that the man who digs a pit will fall into it, becoming the victim of his own schemes (Prov.26:27).
  29. They are further described as men "who are not in accord with" the Torah.
  30. And so divine righteousness and justice demand that all such people reap the consequences of their evil.
  31. The persecution of the righteous will not go unpunished.
  32. He was now in the company of the righteous and fully qualified to pray for vindication and retribution upon the incorrigible.
  33. He affirms in v.86a that "all Your commandments are faithful/reliable", which specifies right conduct.
  34. The commandments mirror the Author and demand faithfulness, but it is this faithfulness which makes the psalmist the object of deadly hatred.
  35. Among other violations, they are guilty of violation of the commandment that prohibits perjury (i.e., being a false witness).
  36. "They have persecuted" him "with a lie" intending to frame him with a capital offense, and so according to the law, they should suffer death (v.86b).
  37. Under this extreme duress, he cries out to the final Judge in all such matters, "Help me!"
  38. The wheels of the conspiracy had "almost destroyed" him "on earth" (or "in the land").
  39. These men considered themselves the lords of the land who determine what is right.
  40. Again he affirms in prayer that the external intimidation did not shake his faith (v.87b).
  41. "But as for me" draws the sharp contrast between him and his foes.
  42. This file ends with yet another plea to "preserve him alive according to chesed" (v.88a).
  43. God is loyal to those who are loyal to Him.
  44. Their vital interests will be upheld.
  45. His desire to live is based on his desire to "keep the testimony of" Godís "mouth".
  46. The testimony of Godís mouth is the WOG (the Torah).
  47. He wants to live so he can finish his course a free man with, and among, those who worship God.
  48. Continued imprisonment and death will not serve those ends in his case.
Lamed File (l)
What is Certain (vv. 89-96)

VERSE 89 Forever, O LORD ( ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s.] hw"hy> [pr. n.]),

Your word is settled in heaven ( ^r>b'D> [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word] bC'nI [Niphil.pt.m.s. bcn natsabh, to take one's stand; to station oneself, be appointed; "settled"] `~yIm'V'B; [prep w/n.m.p., shamim, heavens]).

VERSE 90 Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations ( ^t,n"Wma/ amunah, faithfulness] rdow" rdol. [prep.w/n.m.s. + conj.w/n.m.s., dor, generation]);

You established the earth, and it stands ( T'n>n:AK [Piel.pf.2.m.s. !wK kun, establish] #r,a, [n.f.s.] `dmo[]T;w: [conj.w/Qal.impf.3f.s.dm[ amadh, stand, remain]).

VERSE 91 They stand this day according to Your ordinances ( Wdm.[' [Qal.pf.3.c.p. dm[ amadh, stand] ~AYh; [def.art.w/n.m.s., yom, day] ^yj,P'v.mil. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mishepat, judgment]),

For all things are Your servants ( yKi [conj.] lKoh; [def.art.w/n.m.s.] `^yd,b'[] [n.m.p.w/2m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant]).

VERSE 92 If Your law had not been my delight ( yleWl [prep., lula, unless; "IfÖnot"] ^t.r'At [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law] y['vu[]v; [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf. ~y[ivu[]v; sha-ashuim, enjoyment, object of delight; at vv.24, 77, 92, 143, 174]),

Then I would have perished in my affliction ( za' [adv., then] yTid>b;a' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. dba abhah, perish; first time in Ps.119] `yyIn>['b. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., ani, affliction].

VERSE 93 I will never forget Your precepts ( ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s.] xK;v.a,-al [neg. + Qal.impf.1.c.s. xkv shakhach, forget] ^yd,WQP [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudhim, precept]),

For by them You have revived me ( yKi [conj.] ~b' [prep.w/3.m.p.sf.; "by them"] `ynIt'yYIxi [Piel.pf.2.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., chayah, live; preserve alive {Piel}]).

VERSE 94 I am Yours, save me ( ynIa]-^l. [prep.w/2.m.s.sf. + pro.1.c.s.; "I am yours"] ynI[eyviAh [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s. [vy yasha, save {first occurrence}]);

For I have sought Your precepts ( yKi [conj.] ^yd,WQpi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudhim, precept] `yTiv.r'd' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., darash, seek]).

 

VERSE 95 The wicked wait for me to destroy me ( ~y[iv'r> [adj.m.p., rasha, wicked] WWqi [Piel.pf.3.c.p. hwq qawah, wait] yli [prep.w/1.c.s.sf.] ynIdeB.a;l. [prep.w/Piel.infin.cst. w/1.c.s.sf., abhadh, perish; "destroy"]);

I shall diligently consider Your testimonies ( ^yt,do[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhah, testimony] `!n"ABt.a, [Hithpael.impf.1.c.s. !yB bin, to show oneself attentive; "diligently consider"]).

VERSE 96 I have seen a limit to all perfection ( ytiyair' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., ra-ah, see] #qe [n.m.s., qets, end; "limit"] lk'l. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr.; "to all"] hl'k.Ti [n.f.s., tikhelah {tik-law}, perfection; only here]).

Your commandment is exceedingly broad ( hb'x'r> [adj.f.s. bx'r' rachabh, broad, wide] daom. [adv., me-odh, very] ^t.w"c.mi [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., mitsewah, commandment]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 89-96

  1. The lamedh file pays tribute to the permanency and dynamic of the WOG as the all-determining factor for good in the niche of the beleaguered psalmist.
  2. The file begins with a declaration to the Lord that the WOG "is settled (Niphil.pt., natsabh) in heaven forever" (v.89).
  3. The WOG is not affected by the passage of time, as it is bound to Godís Immutability.
  4. Whatever is written therein is subject to every man and every generation.
  5. What God has upheld in the past He will uphold in the present and future.
  6. Things come and things go, but the WOG remains (Isa.40:8 "The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever"; cp. 55:11; Mt.5:18).
  7. Godís "faithfulness" is the product of His Immutability and is there to "all generations" (v.90a).
  8. The abiding presence of our fragile earth hurling through space is evidence of divine faithfulness (v.90b).
  9. God first "established the earth" at original creation (Gen.1:1), and continues to keep it in its place ("it stands") in the heavens according to His original design and purpose (Heb.1:3).
  10. Nothing can or will remove the earth from its place until the time comes for the creation of the new heavens and earth (Rev.21:1).
  11. For Godís eternal purposes for man to be realized, the earth must remain in its place.
  12. God protects and preserves His creation so that the redemption of +v can take place.
  13. "They stand" refers to the heavens and the earth (v.91a).
  14. The divine decrees, called "ordinances" (or "rulings"), require the abiding presence of the physical universe and the laws that govern it.
  15. One of Godís eternal purposes is to give His creation as an inheritance to His "servants".
  16. As Jesus affirmed, "the meek/gentle will inherit the earth" (Mt.5:5).
  17. Jesus Christ is the ultimate heir of the Father, who in turn makes us joint-heirs (Rom.8:17; Eph.3:6; Ti.3:7; Jam.2:5).
  18. "For all things are Your servants" (v.91b) is an affirmation of that eternal purpose, which demands the preservation of the present creation.
  19. This will take place when all believers are present and accounted for in the kingdom on earth.
  20. Believers will inherit in the new creation according to their fidelity to BD in time.
  21. The psalmist had not yet completed his course so as to come under maximum Ph3 inheritance.
  22. In v.92 he declares the basis for his Ph2 preservation to date against the odds.
  23. He would "have perished" had he not made the Torah his "delight".
  24. His new-found zeal for BD provided him with special protection from his enemies.
  25. Perhaps he did something to turn his associates against him even before he got serious about doctrine.
  26. If so, v.92 makes more sense.
  27. His "affliction" was a falling-out with his associates, and apart from his renewed +v he would have not come under the special divine protection that those who are committed to BD enjoy.
  28. In v.93 he vows "never to forget" the divine "precepts", as they were his preservation.
  29. His enemies have not been able to get to him because God kept them frustrated.
  30. Those who adhere to doctrine have special protection and grace that the negative do not have.
  31. When you remove yourself from BD, you step out from the special protection that others do not enjoy.
  32. He is indebted to God because the divine precepts "preserved him alive" (v.93b).
  33. Another person in a similar circumstance is wide open to the threat against him.
  34. There is no reason why God should not answer his plea, "save me", as He is the Lordís (v.94a) and he has made a determined effort to seek BD (v.94b).
  35. These things he has in his favor as he appeals to divine aid.
  36. In v.95a he again mentions the fact that "the wicked wait" to spring their trap "to destroy" him.
  37. He refuses to throw up his hands in despair and unbelief, but continues to "diligently consider" (the vb. means "show oneself attentive") the "testimonies" that point to the perfect will of God, which things set forth the viewpoint and operational will of God (v.95b).
  38. The file ends with a very insightful observation (v.96).
  39. The verse presents an example of antithetical parallelism.
  40. Lines 1 and 2 of vs.96 stand in total contrast.
  41. Human endeavor, no matter how advanced in planning and execution, has a "limit".
  42. Beyond that "limit", it runs into the brick wall of divine frustration.
  43. Man, with his endless pursuits, achievements, and schemes, cannot override even one promise, commandment, or teaching of Scripture.
  44. "I have seen" refers to his personal observation that man by manís efforts cannot override the divine decrees.
  45. He observed rich and power people in their element facing all the common human problems that lesser men cannot surmount.
  46. Manís native genius is no match for the eternal purposes of God.
  47. Because God is Omniscient, He is able to perfectly anticipate manís next move.
  48. Because God is Omnipotent, He is able to frustrate any schemes that could jeopardize His purposes.
  49. Because God is Omnipresent, He is there observing and hindering threats to His promises and people.
  50. Because God is +R and Justice, He will not condone evil but brings it into judgment.
  51. Because God is Eternal Life and Immutability, He will never cease to oppose evil.
  52. This verse could very well be used to summarize the book of Ecclesiastes, where every human enterprise has its day and comes to nothing, and where only through God and His directive will do we overcome these frustrating limits (Eccl.12:13,14).
  53. We can break out of the limits of all perfection by embracing the "commandment" of Deut.6:5 (cp. vv.1,25; 7:11; 11:22; 15:5; 17:20; 19:9; Josh.22:5; 2Kgs.17:37).
  54. The singular "commandment" is noteworthy in a chapter in which the plural occurs 21X.
  55. It refers to what Jesus called the first and great commandment of the law (Mt.22:38).
  56. The commandment to love God with all the heart, mind, and strength is only accomplished where there is a very high level of adherence to the separate commandments, statutes, precepts, testimonies, and judgments.
  57. Love for God is manifested in the hearing and doing of Godís words (Jn.14:15).
  58. By contrast, the great commandment is "exceedingly broad" in its duration, capacity to liberate (contrary to our fears of it), and vindication to those who keep it (temporal and eternal blessings).
Mem File (m)
Getting Wiser (vv.97-104)

VERSE 97 O how I love Your law ( yTib.h;a'-hm' [interrog. as exclamatory part. + Qal.pf.1.c.s., ahabh, love] ^t,r'At [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah])!

It is my meditation all the day ( ayhi [pro.3.m.s.] `ytix'yfi [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. hx'yfi shichah, reflection] ~AYh;-lK' [n.m.s.cstr. + def.art.w/n.m.s., yom, day]),

VERSE 98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies ( ^t,wOc.mi [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mitsewah, commandment] ynImeK.x;T. [Piel.impf.3.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., chakham, be wise] yb;y>aome [prep.w/Qal.pt.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf. by:a' ayabh, be hostile]),

For they are ever mine ( yKi [conj.] ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s.] `yli-ayhi [pro.3.m.s. + prep.w/1.c.s.sf., "mine"]).

VERSE 99 I have more insight than all my teachers ( yd;M.l;m.-lK'mi [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr., "than all", + Piel.pf.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf., lamadh, teach]),

For Your testimonies are my meditation ( yKi [conj.] ^yt,wOd>[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf.m, edhuth, testimony] hx'yfi [n.f.s., shichah, reflection] `yli [prep w/1.c.s.sf.]).

VERSE 100 I understand more than the aged ( [!n"ABt.a, ( Hithapel.impf.1.c.s., bin, understand] ~ynIqeZ>mi [prep.w/adj.m.p. !qez" zaqer, old, aged]),

Because I have observed Your precepts ( yKi [conj.] ^yd,WQpi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudhim, precept] `yTir>c'n" [Qal.pf.1.c.s. rcn natsar, guard, observe]).

VERSE 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way ( ytialiK' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. alK kala, keep back] yl'g>r; [n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf., regel, foot] xr;ao-lK'mi [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. + n.f.s., orach, way] [r' [adj.m.s., ra, evil]),

That I may keep Your word ( ![;m;l. [prep., lema-an, in order that] rmov.a, [Qal.impf.1.c.s., shamar, keep] `^r,b'D> [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word]).

VERSE 102 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances ( yTir>s'-al [neg. + Qal.pf.1.c.s. rws sur, turn aside, depart] ^yj,P'v.Mimi [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mishepat, judgment])

For You Yourself have taught me ( hT'a;-yKi [conj. + pro.2.m.s.] `ynIt'reAh [Hiphil.pf.2.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. hry yaradh, throw; teach]).

VERSE 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste ( Wcl.m.NI-hm; [interrog.pro. + Niphil.pf.3.c.p. #lm malatz, be smooth, pleasant; "sweet"] yKixil. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. %xe chech, palate, taste, roof of the mouth] ^t,r'm.ai [n.f.sw/2.m.s.sf.; "Your word"])!

Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth ( vb;D>mi [prep.w/n.m.s. vb;D> [n.m.s., debhash, honey; "sweeter than honey"] `ypil. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., peh, mouth])!

VERSE 104 From Your precepts I get understanding ( ^yd,WQPimi [prep.w/n.m.p.n. w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudhim, precept] !n"ABt.a, [[Hithpael.impf.1.c.s., bin, gain understanding, discernment]);

Therefore I hate every false way ( !Ke-l[; [prep. + adv., ken; idiom: therefore] ytianEf' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. anf shane] xr;ao-lK' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.f.s., orach, way, road] `rq,v' [n.m.s., shaqer, falsehood; "false way"]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 97-104

  1. The mem file opens with an impassioned declaration to God of his "love" for the Torah (BD).
  2. The thing he loves he spends "all the day" contemplating (v.97; cp. vv.47,48).
  3. It has preserved him from his folly and given him a bright new hope for the future.
  4. He credits the understanding of the divine "commandments" with making him "wiser than his enemies", who operate from a worldly wisdom that confers no lasting benefit (v.98a).
  5. His enemies follow a wisdom that is not in accord with the divine viewpoint which will prevail over all approaches to life that are outside the pale of divine revelation.
  6. He has the final edge over his enemies who seek to advance themselves apart from divine righteousness and truth.
  7. Godís enemies are those who disregard His eternal wisdom found in the commandments and teachings of the Bible.
  8. The wisdom of each and every age is doomed to frustration in the face of Godís wisdom, which He sustains.
  9. The divine wisdom is hidden from the worldly-wise and revealed "to babes" (1Cor.1:18-25; Lk.10:21).
  10. The wisdom of man cannot secure the long-term benefits, but only results in eternal loss.
  11. God only reveals this wisdom to those who are seekers, but to those who are negative not even the most fundamental issues are perceived (cp. 1Cor.2:8-16).
  12. The divine directives enable him to be "wiser than his enemies", who consider themselves superior to the psalmist in his plight.
  13. Furthermore, the wisdom He has conferred upon him by the understanding of the divine commandments cannot be taken away from him (v.98b).
  14. His positive volition was so strong that it catapulted him beyond his "teachers" as he recognized that he had "more insight" than even they had (v.99a).
  15. This startling affirmation is not based on arrogance, but on the fact that he was so committed to the intake and application of the "testimonies" that he surpassed in "insight" even those who were his teachers.
  16. He spent a lot of time in "meditation", and this gave him greater insight than those who were responsible to teach him (v.99b).
  17. It is not unusual for a student to surpass a teacher where there is a greater commitment and zeal.
  18. At age 12, Jesus stood out among the sages of His day (Lk.2:46,47).
  19. Paul soon surpassed the other apostles due to his tremendous zeal for doctrine.
  20. He spent a lot more time reflecting upon the things he had learned.
  21. The third category of humanity that he surpassed in wisdom, insight, and judgment was "the aged", who like the category above should have superseded him due to time and experience (v.100a).
  22. But like most who are advanced in age, they were children in their spiritual perspicacity.
  23. He credits his superior insight to the fact that he was a fastidious doer of the divine "precepts" (v.100b).
  24. The psalmist made impressively singular strides in a very short time-span, towering over the worldly-wise (v.98), various Bible teachers he was under (v.99), and the aged population (v.100).
  25. This great benefit was the result of continuous reflection upon the WOG and rigorous application.
  26. In v.101 he affirms that he has "restrained his feet from every evil way", as this would have undermined his momentum.
  27. He avoided places, people, and practices that would have broken his fellowship with God.
  28. BD enabled him to identify evil in all its forms and he made a decision to avoid its debilitating effects.
  29. He recognized that he could not "keep" Godís "word" and be involved in evil.
  30. His choice was to take the high road and suffer whatever he had to to maintain his blameless standing before God.
  31. He has a clear conscience when he affirms that he has "not turned aside from" the divine "ordinances"/judgments/rulings (v.102a).
  32. He does this because he has maximum respect for his ultimate Teacher (v.102b).
  33. He goes on to say that he developed a new spiritual palate (v.103).
  34. His past God-estranged palate has been replaced with a taste for Godís "words" (cp. Ps.19:10; Prov.8:11; 24:13;14).
  35. From the study and application of the divine principles ("precepts") he has developed a greater capacity to discern evil (v.104).
  36. BD enables the believer to discern good and evil (Heb.5:14).
  37. This in turn leads to a mental revulsion of evil, or as he says, "Therefore I hate every false/evil way".
  38. He has no taste for evil as he once had.
  39. STA lifestyles, false doctrine, and general human viewpoint he hates, and so shares the divine read-out.
  40. When people turn from evil, God will forgive their sins and give them a new and blessed way of life (Jer.36:3).
Nun File (n)
Determination to Stay the Course (vv.105-112)

VERSE 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet ( ^r,b'd> [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word] ylig>r;l.-rnE [n.m.s., ner, lamp, + n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf., reghel, foot])

And a light to my path ( rAaw> [conj.w/n.f.s., or, light] `ytib'ytin>li [prep.w/n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. hb'ytin> nethibhah, beaten path]).

VERSE 106 I have sworn and I will confirm it ( yTi[.B;v.nI [Niphil.pf.1.c.s. [bv shabh, swear; take an oath] hm'YEq;a]w" [conj.w/Piel.impf.1.c.s. ~wq qum, rise, rise up; to fulfill, ratify]),

That I will keep Your righteous ordinances ( rmov.li [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr., shamar, keep] yjeP.v.mi [n.m.p.cstr., mishepat, jugdment] `^q,d>ci [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., tsedheq, righteousness]).

VERSE 107 I am exceedingly afflicted ( ytiynE[]n: [Niphil.pf.1.c.s., anah, afflicted] daom.-d[; [prep. + adv., "exceedingly"]);

Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word ( ynIYEx; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., chayah, to live; preserve alive] hw"hy> [pr.n.] `^r,b'd>ki [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word]).

VERSE 108 O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD ( an"-hcer> [Qal.imper. hcr ratsah, be pleased with, accept] tAbd>nI [n.f.p.cstr. hb'd'n> nedhabhah, freewill offering] yPi [n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., peh, mouth] hw"hy> [pr.n.]),

And teach me Your ordinances ( ^yj,P'v.miW [conj.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mishepat, judgment] `ynIdeM.l; [Piel.imper.1.c.s., lamadh, teach]).

VERSE 109 My life is continually in my hand ( yvip.n: [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf., nephesh, soul, life] dymit' [adv., tamidh, continuously] yPik;b. [prep.w/n.f.s., kaph, palm]),

Yet I do not forget Your law ( ^t.r'Atw> [conj.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law] `yTix.k'v' al{ [neg. + Qal.pf.1.c.s., shakhach, forget]).

VERSE 110 The wicked have laid a snare for me ( ~y[iv'r> [adj.m.p., rasha, wicked] Wnt.n" [Qal.pf.3.c.p. !tn nathan, give; "laid"] xP; [n.m.s., pach, snare, trap, bird trap] yli [prep.w/1.c.s.sf.]),

Yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts ( ^yd,WQPimiW [conj.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudhim, precept] al{ [neg.] `ytiy[it' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. h[T ta-ah, go astray]).

VERSE 111 I have inherited Your testimonies forever ( yTil.x;n" [Qal.pf.1.c.s. lxn nachal, inherit, acquire] ^yt,wOd>[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhuth, testimony] ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s., olam]),

For they are the joy of my heart ( !Aff.-yKi [conj. + n.m.s.cstr., shaon, joy, rejoicing] yBili [n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., lebh, heart] `hM'he [pro.3.c.p., "they"]).

VERSE 112 I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes ( ytiyjin" [Qal.pf.1.c.s., natah, bend, incline] yBili [n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., lebh, heart] tAf[]l; [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr., ashah, do; "perform"] ^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf,. choq, statute])

Forever, even to the end ( ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s., ever] `bq,[e [adj.m.s., eqebh, end]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 105-112

  1. The WOG is his constant guide, so he affirms in the opening of the nun file (v.105; Prov.6:23).
  2. In surroundings where spiritual darkness prevails, he needs a "lamp"/"light".
  3. Only by having this light with him and before him can he avoid the stumblingblocks and pitfalls that lie along lifeís pathway.
  4. To walk without it is to walk blind, leading all into a pit.
  5. This light enables us to avoid things which are appealing and attractive but are not in our long-term interests.
  6. He has "sworn" in the presence of God to "keep" His "righteous ordinances"/rulings (v.106).
  7. He has had enough of life outside the things that bring lasting and real blessing.
  8. The tinsel of life no longer holds appeal to him.
  9. Furthermore, he fully intends to "confirm" (or make good) his oath by doing what he has told God he would do.
  10. The Piel form of the verb "to rise" (kun), translated "will confirm", means "to ratify" the thing he has sworn to.
  11. His dogged determination has brought him into the deep waters of persecution (v.107a).
  12. A high level of commitment to BD leads to testing in the Angelic Conflict.
  13. It comes from expected and unexpected quarters.
  14. In his case, he paid a price for his all-out pursuit of the POG ("exceedingly afflicted").
  15. And so he prays that God would "preserve him alive" in the crisis, thus vindicating His servant who is isolated and surrounded by fierce enemies.
  16. If they canít get at you by trying to buy you out, they will come at you with fangs and claws bared, hoping to intimidate you.
  17. He stands on solid prayer ground, asking that he be preserved alive "according to" what is promised in the WOG.
  18. He wants nothing more or nothing less than what is promised for a believer in his situation.
  19. And that, he aggressively asks for.
  20. In his extreme peril he asks God to "accept the freewill offerings" of his "mouth" (v.108a).
  21. What he is referring to are the confession, thanks, praise, and oaths of fidelity that are sprinkled throughout this psalm (cp. v.164).
  22. Everything he has acknowledged and promised is the "freewill offerings" of his "mouth".
  23. They are designated as such since they came from the volition and innermost impulse of his whole heart.
  24. It is like saying you love someone and doing everything within your power to demonstrate you are sincere.
  25. Again, he feels the overwhelming urge to ask God to "teach" him the divine "ordinances".
  26. This is his stability in the crisis - that he knows what Godís will is and what God will vindicate.
  27. He wants these things before his mindís eye so he can remain steady in the crisis.
  28. His statement in v.109a is that he has made a decision to risk everything to be in the will of God.
  29. This statement indicates his total vulnerability, as he has cast his lot with God.
  30. He of his own free will put himself in the path of maximum danger (cp. Judg.12:3; Job.13:13-19).
  31. The expression of v.109a is the same as being ready to risk oneís life.
  32. He refuses to give in and compromise with the forces of evil that have threatened his life.
  33. He has held his ground and he has not forgotten the Torah (v.109b).
  34. Verse 110 presents the stark contrast between what his enemies are planning and what he is not doing.
  35. To lay a "snare" is to lay a trap in order to capture and kill a bird of prey.
  36. He knows what they are up to, but he refuses to cave in and so go "astray" in order to save his life.
  37. The temptation is always there, but he does not yield to it.
  38. He will stick with Godís requirements, come what may.
  39. This is the sure road to temporal and eternal vindication.
  40. He, by an act of his determined free will, has taken and obtained possession of Godís "testimonies forever" (v.111a).
  41. They are his inheritance, for which he gladly risks everything.
  42. This inheritance God gladly offers to all, but it is up to the individual to secure the benefits of the inheritance of BD by putting the implementation of it above all other considerations.
  43. This inheritance, in the form of the divine requirements, is the source of exceeding great joy (v.111b).
  44. BD and the doing of it is the source of +H even in the midst of great adversity.
  45. You can make your own happiness, or pursue the happiness that will only led to misery and disappointment.
  46. In v.112 he affirms his life-long commitment to doctrine (cp. vv.33,44).
  47. "To the end" refers to the end of his life upon earth.
  48. Come what may, he is not going to give up on his inheritance in BD.
Samekh File (s)
Contrast with Evildoers (vv.113-120)

VERSE 113 I hate those who are double-minded ( ytianEf' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., shane, hate] ~ypi[]se [n.m.p. @[es se-eph, divided, "double-minded"; 2X: Isa.10:33]),

But I love Your law ( ^t.r'Atw> [conj.advers.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law] `yTib.h'a' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., ahabh, love]).

VERSE 114 You are my hiding place and my shield ( hT'a' [pro.2.m.s.] yrIt.si [sitheri, hiding place] yNIgIm'W [conj.w/n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. !gEm' maghen, shield]);

I wait for Your word ( ^r>b'd>li [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word] `yTil.x'yI [Piel.pf.1.c.s. lxy yachal, wait]).

VERSE 115 Depart from me, evildoers ( yNIM,mi-WrWs [Qal.imper., sur, turn aside, depart, + prep., min, from, w/1.c.s.sf.] ~y[irem. [Hiphil.pt.m.p. [[r ra-ah, be bad, evil;"evildoers"]),

That I may observe the commandments of my God ( hr'C.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s., natsar, observe] twOc.mi [n.m.p.cstr., mitsewah, commandment] `yh'l{a/ [n.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf., Elohim]).

VERSE 116 Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live ( ynIkem.s' [Qal.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. %ms samakh, lean, support; "sustain"] ^t.r'm.aik. [prep.w/n.f.s. w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word] hy<x.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s., chayah, live]);

And do not let me be ashamed of my hope ( ynIveybiT.-la;w> [conj.w/neg. + Hiphil.impf.2.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., bosh, ashamed] `yrIb.Fimi [prep.w/n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. rb,fe shebher, hope; v.166]).

VERSE 117 Uphold me that I may be safe ( ynIde['s. [Qal.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., d[s sa-adh, support, sustain, uphold] h['veW"aiw> [conj.w/Niphil.impf.1.c.s., yasha, save; be saved]),

That I may have regard for Your statutes continually ( h['v.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. h[v sha-ah, gaze, regard] ^yQ,xub. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., choq, statute] `dymit' [adv.].

VERSE 118 You have rejected all those who wander from Your statutes ( t'ylis' [Qal.pf.2.m.s. hls salah, to make light of, toss aside; "rejected"] ~ygIAv-lK' [n.m.s.cstr. + Qal.pt.m.p. hgv saghah, to go astray, wander] ^yQ,xum [prep.w/n.m.p., choq, statute]),

For their deceitfulness is useless ( rq,v,-yKi [conj. + n.m.s., sheqer, falsehood, lie] `~t'ymir>T; [n.f.s.w/2.m.p.sf. tymir>T; taremith, fraud; 5X: Jer.8:5; 14:14; 23:26; Zeph.3:13; Ps.119:118]).

VERSE 119 You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross ( T'B;v.hi [Hiphil.pf.2.m.s. tbv shabhath, to cease; to cause to cease; "remove"] #r,a'-y[ev.rI-lk' [n.m.s.cstr. + adj.m.p.cstr., rash-a, wicked, + n.f.s., erets, earth]);

Therefore I love Your testimonies ( !kel' [prep.w/adv., therefore] yTib.h;a' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., ahabh, love] `^yt,do[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhah, testimony]).

VERSE 120 My flesh trembles for fear of You ( yrIf'b. [n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. rf'B' bashar, flesh] rm;s' [Qal.pf.3.m.s., samar, shiver; 3X: Job.4:15; Jer.51:27; Ps.119:120] ^D>x.P;mi [prep. w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf. dx;P; pachadh, terror; object of dread]),

And I am afraid of Your judgments ( ^yj,P'v.MimiW [conj.w/prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mishepat, judgment] `ytiarey" [Qal.pf.1c.s., yare, fear]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 113-120

  1. The samekh file begins by introducing us to yet another spiritual category which constitutes a potential source of stumbling to the psalmist (v.113a).
  2. Heretofore in the psalm he refers to those who are completely profane (cp. v.53).
  3. The "double-minded" (literally, "divided") refers to individuals who are in his immediate periphery who urge him to compromise with the hard-core opposition.
  4. He detests ("hates") those who have sympathies with both sides of the dispute.
  5. He is completely in the right and he knows it, but has to deal with those who try to play both sides of the conflict.
  6. He refuses to be led off course by doubters ("double-minded") and apostates (v.53).
  7. These are the ones who try to pay respect to doctrine and to evil.
  8. In 1Kgs.18:21 we have an example of such men who attempted to pay homage to Yahweh and heathenism.
  9. The prophet Elijah called the people to stop wavering between the two incompatible systems of faith.
  10. He told them to either follow Yahweh or Baal.
  11. Israelís sin was not that of totally forsaking Yahweh, but of seeking to combine His worship with Baal worship.
  12. This applies as well to the pursuit of anything that undermines the maturity adjustment.
  13. In the book of James there are two direct references to the double-minded (Jam.1:8; 4:8).
  14. The first citation tells us that such a believer is "unstable in all his ways", having a divided allegiance.
  15. In the second citation there is a call to remedy the worldliness that produced this condition in the lives of these saints.
  16. They were placing the pursuit of pleasure and details above the godliness codes (royal imperatives).
  17. They were not consistently resisting the temptations of the flesh, but were engaged in a FSH through materialism and friendship with negative volition (see Jam.4:1-10).
  18. Jesus taught against this when He said that a disciple of His cannot pursue God and mammon (confidence; wealth; a term of Aramaic derivation) at the same time (Lk.16:13).
  19. The double-minded are the same as the lukewarm of Rev.3:16.
  20. This is a form of reversionism, and those who do not break from it will not inherit the prize/crown.
  21. The Lord "will spit/vomit" them out of His mouth at the Bema seat (Rev.3:16).
  22. The psalmist, by contrast, was totally committed ("love") to the Torah (v.113b).
  23. His refusal to compromise with those who were in various states of unbelief left him wide open to the hatred and schemes of his enemies.
  24. Yet he had invisible but real protection in the essence of Yahweh (v.114).
  25. His secret "hiding place" and "shield" was God (v.114a), and he resolved to "wait for" Godís "word" (v.114b; cp. vv.43, 74, 81, 147; also v.49).
  26. The WOG promises relief and vindication to those who stand up against the tide, and so he determined to wait for God to act upon His promises.
  27. All those who would draw him away from doctrine he addresses in v.115a with an indignant "Depart from me, evildoers" (cp. Ps.6:8; 139:19).
  28. Threats and solicitations to compromise were met with total defiance.
  29. He tells all who would make him stumble to get out of his face so he "may observe the commandments of his God" (v.115b).
  30. Some people you have to get extremely forceful with so that they will not continue to bother you with their solicitations.
  31. In v.116a he prays for grace to "sustain"/strengthen him "according to" the promises of Godís "word", that he might continue to "live" and fulfill his course (cf. Ps.37:17).
  32. Having effectively dealt with their deceptive and seductive appeal, he realizes he needs internal strength to persevere in the on-going crisis.
  33. In v.116b he prays that God will "not let him be ashamed of his hope" by letting the opposition prevail.
  34. His "hope" refers to his deliverance and vindication in the Angelic Conflict.
  35. Our hope is that God will validate all His promises to those who adhere to faith in these last days.
  36. In other words, that all we have staked our future blessing upon will be fully vindicated before all who rejected the straight and narrow of divine viewpoint.
  37. He prays that God will supply him internally in v.117a (cp. Ps.4:18; 104:15), whereas he prays for external support in v.116a.
  38. Verse 117a should read "Uphold me that I may be delivered".
  39. The hoped-for deliverance will provide him with confidence into the indefinite future with regard to the divine statutes (v.117b).
  40. Once he is past this crisis, he will "have regard for the statutes continually", as he will have experienced at the highest level that Godís word is truly alive and powerful.
  41. In v.118 he makes one of those truisms that are sprinkled throughout this psalm.
  42. Namely, that God "has rejected all who wander away from" BD.
  43. God will make no exceptions, but will not grant to negative volition the blessings He promises to those who adhere to BD through thick and thin.
  44. Verse 118b should read "For their falsehood is deceitfulness".
  45. What this means is that the falsehood they live by and hope to prosper under is, in the end, self-deception.
  46. And as such is "useless".
  47. All approaches to life and God that ignore the directive will of God as contained in the imperatives and principles of Scripture are futile, leading to loss and judgment.
  48. To live a lie is to be deceived by that lie and to end up totally exposed as a fraud.
  49. In v.119 he takes comfort in the fact that God "has removed all the wicked" of past history from the earth "like dross".
  50. Dross is defined as the scum that forms on the surface of molten metal.
  51. These impurities are discarded and the pure ore is preserved.
  52. Looking back in time from his historical vantage point, he realizes that death has removed all such negative types from the scene so that they can no longer engage in evil.
  53. Other scriptures teach us that all unbelievers enter into eternal torment and that reversionistic believers will suffer shame and loss when they are resurrected.
  54. Because God does not allow the wicked to sustain their evil indefinitely upon the earth, but takes them away, his love for the divine testimonies is undiminished.
  55. The contents of Scripture is the basis by which God will judge every man, and most will be found seriously wanting.
  56. He applies what he has just observed to himself in v.120, and he "trembles"/shivers/shudders "for fear of" Yahweh because he came close to ending up as spiritual dross.
  57. He is now "afraid of Godís judgments" as he realizes that he could still fall away and forfeit his full Ph2 inheritance.
  58. Looking back on his recent reversionistic past, he "trembles for fear", and even now he experiences fear when he contemplates Godís judgments/rulings, as he was a candidate for a dishonorable discharge from the earth, and the potential remains.
  59. This line of thinking is reflected in the often-misunderstood reading of Phil.2:12.
  60. We, too, should have fear of coming up short, and should strive to work out our Ph2 deliverance with moments of fear and trembling.
  61. This is a very healthy fear that causes us to bear down on what we are supposed to be accomplishing moment by moment.
  62. He has abandoned his cavalier approach and now takes with the utmost seriousness his daily living before the Lord.
Ayin File ([)
Time for God to Act (vv.121-128)

VERSE 121 I have done justice and righteousness ( ytiyfi[' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., ashah, do] jP'v.mi [n.m.s., mishepat, justice] qd,c,w" [conj.w/n.m.s., tsedheq, righteousness]);

Do not leave me to my oppressors ( ynIxeyNIT;-lB [neg. + Hiphil.impf.2.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. xwn nuach, to rest; abandon] `yq'v.[ol. [prep.w/Qal.pt.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf., qv[ ashaq, press upon, oppress]).

VERSE 122 Be surety for Your servant for good ( bro[] [Qal.imper. br[ arabh, to pledge, mortgage, be surety] ^D>b.[; [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant] bAjl. [prep.w/n.m.s., tobh, good]);

Do not let the arrogant oppress me ( ynIquv.[;y:-la; [neg. + Qal.impf.3.m.p.w/.1c.s.sf. qv[ ashaq, oppress] `~ydIzE [adj.m.p., zedh, arrogant]).

VERSE 123 My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation ( yn:y[e [n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf., ayin, eye] WlK' [Qal.pf.3.c.p. hlK kalah, accomplish; fail, be at an end] ^t,['Wvyli [prep. w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., yeshu-ah, deliverance])

And for Your righteous word ( tr;m.ail.W [conj.w/prep.w/n.f.s.cstr., imerah, word, utterance] `^q,d>ci [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., tsedheq, righteousness]).

VERSE 124 Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness ( hfe[] [Qal.imper., ashah, do; "deal"] ^D>b.[;-~[i [prep., with, + n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant] ^D,s.x;k. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., chesed])

And teach me Your statutes ( ^yQ,xuw> [conj.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., choq, statute] `ynIdeM.l; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., lamadh, teach]).

VERSE 125 I am Your servant; give me understanding ( ynIa'-^D>b.[; [n.m.s.w/2m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant, + pro.1.c.s.] ynInEybih] [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., bin, cause to understand]),

That I may know Your testimonies ( h['d>aew> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1c.s., yadha, know] `^yt,do[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhah, testimony]).

VERSE 126 It is time for the LORD to act ( t[e [n.f.s., eth, time] hw"hyl; [prep.w/pr.n.] tAf[]l; [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr., ashah, "act"]),

For they have broken Your law ( Wrpehe [Hiphil.pf.3.c.p. rrP parar, break] `^t,r'AT [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law]).

VERSE 127 Therefore I love Your commandments ( !Ke-l[; [prep. + adv.] yTib.h;a' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., ahabh, love] ^yt,wOc.mi [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mitsewah, commandment])

Above gold, yes, above fine gold ( bh'Z"mi [prep.w/n.m.s., zahabh, gold] `zP'miW [conj./ascensive w/n.m.s., paz, fine gold]).

VERSE 128 Therefore I esteem right/agree with all Your precepts concerning everything ( !Ke-l[; [prep. + adv.] yTir>V'yI [Piel.pf.1c.s. rvy yashar, be right; approve, agree with] ydeWQPi-lK' [n.m.s.cstr., "all", + n.m.p., piqqudh, precept] lko [n.m.s., all; totality; "concerning everything"]),

I hate every false way ( xr;ao-lK' [n.m.s.cstr., "every", + n.f.s., orach, path, way] rq,v, [n.m.s., sheqer, lie, falsehood] `ytianEf' [Qal.pf. 1.c.s., shane, hate]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 121-128

  1. The ayin file opens with an appeal to consistent application in a time of apostasy and persecution (v.121a).
  2. "I have done justice" (mishepat) means that he has acted in an impartial and fair manner in accord with the directives of the Torah.
  3. He no longer favors the rich and powerful, but applies the law without respect of persons.
  4. "I have done righteousness" (tsedeq) indicates that he follows the perfect standard of the Torah, which perfectly mirrors the divine attribute.
  5. He is no longer a corrupt administrator, but one who follows the Torah to the letter.
  6. His public and personal life match.
  7. His high level of application commends him to the special protection of God (v.121b).
  8. Based on his righteous behavior, he prays that God will not abandon him to the arbitrary disposal of his "oppressors".
  9. He asks for the same treatment that he accords others.
  10. He prays that Yahweh would place Himself between him and his enemies (v.122).
  11. The verb "Be surety" (arabh, pledge, guarantee) means to stand in anyoneís place as furnishing a guarantee.
  12. Here he is asking that God be his character witness as to his innocence (cp. Job.17:3).
  13. By protecting and finally delivering His servant, God would prove his spiritual integrity before men.
  14. He asks God to do this for his real advantage ("for good").
  15. He in effect appeals to divine arbitration and asks for a decision that frees him from the on-going oppression of the unprincipled (v.122b).
  16. In v.123a he laments the apparent hopelessness of his dilemma (cp. v.82).
  17. In v.82 he says "for Your word"; here he says "for Your deliverance and for Your righteous word".
  18. "The word of Your righteousness" is the promise which proceeds from Godís +R, and as surely as He is righteous, it cannot remain unfulfilled.
  19. He refuses to resort to energy of the flesh solutions: organizing a revolt, buying people off, running away, etc.
  20. How do you deal with persecutions and problems that are unpleasant?
  21. Again he appeals to Godís loyal-love (cp. vv.41, 64 76) as he continues under the testing.
  22. To cope with the crisis, he recognizes that he needs constant exposure to the contents of the WOG, and so he prays, "Teach me Your statutes" (v.124b).
  23. The one main petition to which the psalmist comes back is for a deeper knowledge of the WOG.
  24. This is reflected in vv. 124 and 125.
  25. In v.125 he tells God that he is His servant, and the implication is that as such, he needs the spiritual resources to effectively serve.
  26. He wants to have real insight into the things of doctrine (cp. v.27).
  27. He does not want to have a sophomoric understanding of the Bible, but desires a seasoned and mature insight into the things of God.
  28. To face the crisis he wants well-grounded, reliable understanding of the WOG so he can effectively face his oppressors and know what to think, say, and do.
  29. Information that he was privy to told him that the crisis could not go on much longer and that a resolution was at hand.
  30. And so he declares in the third person that "It is time for the LORD to act" (v.126a).
  31. His enemies had shown maximum disregard for the Torah, and so were deserving objects for divine wrath.
  32. Therefore, everything was prime for divine intervention.
  33. The envelope had been stretched to the limit and his enemies were implacable.
  34. In light of these two factors (things canít go much further, and his enemies were committed to evil), he is "Therefore" as strict in his attachment to the "commandments" as he possibly can be (hence, the reason for "therefore" in v.127a).
  35. He "loves the commandments", as he is ready to die for the truth rather than compromise even one commandment.
  36. A person does not love God or His word if he is not ready to die for them.
  37. His foes break the law like pie crusts, but he loves it even above the purest gold (cp. v.47).
  38. Perhaps these men had secretly bribed him to shut his mouth and to support the status quo.
  39. In any case, he had opportunity to have lots and lots of money, but turned it down in favor of having divine approbation and the blessings that that brings.
  40. This file concludes with a personal statement of faith in "all the precepts" and whatsoever they have reference to (v.128).
  41. "I esteem right" means "I agree with all the precepts" that form the Torah.
  42. All that they declare and pertain to he is in full agreement with.
  43. As a result of his study of BD, he "hates every false way" (cp. v.104).
  44. Any approach to life that rules out those things necessary to making the adjustments to God he hates, by whatever name it goes by.
 
Pe File (p)
Liberation Through Truth (vv.129-136)

VERSE 129 Your testimonies are wonderful ( ^yt,wOd>[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhuth, testimony] tAal'P. [n.m.p. al,P, pele, wonder, marvel; "are a marvel"]);

Therefore my soul observes them ( !Ke-l[; [prep. + adv.] ~t;r'c'n> [Qal.pf.3.f.s. w/3.m.p.sf., natsar, observe, guard] `yvip.n: [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf., nephesh]).

VERSE 130 The unfolding of Your words gives light ( xt;Pe [n.m.s.cstr., pathach, opening, unfolding] ^yr,b'D> [n.m.p.w/2m.s.sf., dabhar, word] ryai [Hiphil.impf.3.m.s., or, light; give light]);

It gives understanding to the simple ( !ybime [Hiphil.pf.m.s., bin, give understanding] `~yyIt'P. [n.m.p., ytiP pethi, stupid]).

VERSE 131 I opened my mouth wide and panted ( yTir>[;p'-yPi [n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf. + Qal.pf.1c.s. r[P pa-ar, to open wide] hp'a'v.a,w" [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s. @av sha-aph, long for; "panted"]),

For I longed for Your commandments ( yKi [conj.] `yTib.a'y" [Qal.pf.1.c.s., yahabh, long for] ^yt,wOc.mil. [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mitsewah, commandment]).

VERSE 132 Turn to me and be gracious to me ( yl;ae-hnEP. [Qal.imper., panah, turn, + prep.w/1.c.s.sf.] ynINEx'w> [conj.w/Qal.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., chanan, be gracious]),

After Your manner with those who love Your name ( jP'v.miK [prep.w/n.m.s., mishepat, judgment; custom, manner; "After Your manner"] ybeh]aol. [prep.w/Qal.pt.m.p., ahabh, love] `^m,v. [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., shem, name]).

VERSE 133 Establish my footsteps in Your word ( !keh' [Hiphil.imper., kun, establish] ym;['P. [n.f.p.w/1.c.s.sf. ~[;P; pa-am, stroke, footstep] ^t,r'm.aiB. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word]),

And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me ( yBi-jl,v.T;-la;w> [conj.w/neg. + Hiphil.impf.3.f.s. jlv shalat, to domineer, mastery, + prep.w/1.c.s.sf.; "over me"] `!w<a'-lk' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.s., awen, injustice; "iniquity"]).

VERSE 134 Redeem me from the oppression of man ( ynIdeP. [Qal.imper.w/1c.s.sf. hdP padhah, redeem] qv,[ome [prep.w/n.m.s. qv,[o osheq, oppression] ~d'a' [n.m.s., adham, man]),

That I may keep Your precepts ( hr'm.v.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s., shamar, keep] `^yd,WQPi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf,. piqqudhim, precept]).

VERSE 135 Make Your face shine upon Your servant ( ^yn<P' [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., peh, face] raeh' [Hiphil.imper., or, light; shine] ^D,b.[;B. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant]),

And teach me Your statutes ( ynIdeM.l;w> [conj.w/Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., lamadh, teach] `^yQ,xu-ta, [dir.obj. + n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., choq, statute]).

VERSE 136 My eyes shed streams of water ( yn"y[e [n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf., ayin, eye] Wdr>y" [Qal.pf.3.c.p. dry yaradh, go down; "shed"] ~yIm;-ygEl.P; [n.m.p.cstr. gl,P, pelegh, channels, + n.m.p., mayim, water]),

Because they do not keep Your law ( l[; [prep., because] Wrm.v'-al{ [neg. + Qal.pf.3.c.p., shamar, keep] `^t,r'At [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 129-136

  1. The pe file opens in praise of the divine "testimonies" (v.129a; cp. v.18).
  2. They are "wonderful" to the psalmist because they do for him what nothing else could accomplish.
  3. In other words, BD works when it is adhered to.
  4. Because they are fully upheld by their Author, he "observes" (or "guards") them from his innermost being (v.129b; cp. v.22).
  5. From his soul he attentively contemplates the specifics of Godís word with a view to incorporation of the testimonies in his daily living.
  6. The study of BD is not for him merely an academic exercise, but is the basis for a new and exalted way of living.
  7. From personal experience he observes that "the unfolding" (or "disclosure") of the "words" of Scripture "gives light" (v.130a; cp. Prov.6:23).
  8. Where there was darkness, the light of divine truth commends itself to his soul.
  9. The study of sound doctrine replaces the human viewpoint darkness that fills the soul of "the simple", or rather "the stupid" (v.130b).
  10. Where there was ignorance and human viewpoint, there is now "understanding" of the will and ways of the Almighty (cp. Ps.19:7).
  11. After stating the axiom, he relates his own experience of +v in v.131.
  12. "I opened my mouth wide and panted" refers to his willing and eager intake of spiritual sustenance.
  13. Like a hungry man that finally sits down to a well-prepared meal after a hard dayís work, so he panted for the words of life and eagerly took in what was set before him (cp. Ps.42:1).
  14. At some point in his reversionism, he became disenchanted with his life outside the "commandments".
  15. Things occur in our lives which cause us to long for answers/truth.
  16. He first "longed"(cp. v.20) for the nourishing food of divine truth (line 2 of v.131), and then when he came to it, he eagerly enjoyed the feast (line 1).
  17. The study of doctrine taught him to pray for help after the manner of "those who love" Godís "name" (v.132).
  18. The imperative "turn to me" is a request that God will no longer look upon him with disfavor, but will "be gracious" (or "show grace") to the one who is in need.
  19. He asks for nothing more that what God is accustomed to doing for all who love Him.
  20. "After the manner" means according to what is the usual approach for those who love the name (or word) of God.
  21. Next he prays that God would "establish" his "footsteps in" His "word" (v.133a), with the corollary that no "iniquity have dominion over" him (v.133b).
  22. He desires that God would bless him with a productive and facile (easily done) life in doctrine (v.133a).
  23. He recognizes the propensity of allowing STA activity to take over and bring him into bondage and disfavor with God, so he prays accordingly in v.133b (cp. v.10b).
  24. This request is a recognition of the ever-present STA with its trends.
  25. The third request in this series of four is that God would "redeem" him "from the oppression of man" (v.134a) so that he "may keep" the divine "precepts" (v.134b).
  26. The request to spare his life by delivering him from his enemies was essential to the finishing of his course.
  27. He understood, for reasons we are not privy to, that he had to live in order to carry out Godís mission for him in Ph2 (same as the previously studied example of David).
  28. The fourth petition in this series is the main one in the psalm - a request that God continue to "teach" him the "statutes" (v.135b; cp. v.12, etc.).
  29. The petition is prefaced with the request that Godís "face shine/beam upon" His "servant" by providing him with continued access to sound teaching (v.135a).
  30. The answering of the four prayer petitions of vv.132-135 are dependent upon his attitude towards BD, as seen in vv.129-131.
  31. Diligence under GAP is the key to these petitions.
  32. The file ends with he mention of the regular sorrow he experiences over the open contempt of Yahweh on the part of those who surround him (v.136).
  33. This reaction to the open disregard of the "law" is one of several emotions he has toward those who reject Godís word (cp. v.53a).
  34. Paul experienced this emotion when once-positive believers abandoned BD for cosmic pursuits (Phil.3:18).
Tsadhe (c)
The Character of His Commandments (vv.137-144)

VERSE 137 Righteous are You, O LORD ( qyDIc; [adj.m.s., tsadiq, righteous] hT'a; [pro.2.m.s.] hw"hy> [pr.n.]),

And upright are Your judgments ( rv'y"w> [conj.w/adj.m.s., yashar, straight, upright] `^yj,P'v.m [n.m.p.w/2m.s.sf., mishepat]).

VERSE 138 You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness ( t'yWIci [Piel.pf.2.m.s. hwc tsawah, command] ^yt,do[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhah, testimony] qd,c, [n.m.s., tsedheq, righteousness])

And exceeding faithfulness ( `daom. hn"Wma/w< [conj.w/n.f.s., amunah, faithfulness, + adv., me-odh, much]).

VERSE 139 My zeal has consumed me ( ytia'n>qi [n.f.s.w/.1c.s.sf. ha'n>qi qine-ah, zeal] ynIt.t;M.ci [Piel.pf.3.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. tmc tsamath, put to an end, annihilate]),

Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words ( Wxk.v'-yKi [conj. + Qal.pf.3/c.p., shakhach, forget] o^yr,b'd [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word] `yr'c' [n.m.p. w/1.c.s.sf., tsar, adversary]).

VERSE 140 Your word is very pure ( ^t.r'm.ai [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word] hp'Wrc. [Qal.pass.pt.f.s. @rc tsaraph, to refine, test; "pure"] daom. [adv., "very"]),

Therefore Your servant loves it ( ^D>b.[;w> [conj.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant] `Hb'hea] [Qal.pf.3.m.s.w/3.f.s.sf., ahabh, love].

VERSE 141 I am small and despised ( ykinOa' [pers.pro.1.c.s.] ry[ic' [adj.m.s., tsa-ir, little, insignificant, small] hz<b.nIw> [conj.w/Niphil.pt.m.s. hzB bazah, despise]),

Yet I do not forget Your precepts ( ^yd,QuPi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudh, precept] `yTix.k'v' al [neg. + Qal.pf.1.c.s., shachakh, forget].

VERSE 142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness ( ^t.q'd>ci [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., tsedhaqah, righteousness] ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s.] qd,c, [n.m.s., tsedeq]),

And Your law is truth ( ^t.r'Atw> [conj.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah] `tm,a/ [n.f.s., emeth, truth]).

VERSE 143 Trouble and anguish have come upon me ( qAcm'W-rc; [adj.m.s., tsar, trouble, + conj.w/n.m.s,. matsoq, stress, anguish] ynIWac'm. [Qal.pf.3.c.p.w/1.c.s.sf., matsa, find; "come upon"]),

Yet Your commandments are my delight ( ^yt,wOc.mi [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mitsewah, commandment] `y['vu[]v; [n.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf. ~y[ivu[]v; sha-ashuim, enjoyment]).

VERSE 144 Your testimonies are righteous forever ( ^yt,wOd>[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhuth, testimony] qd,c, [n.m.s.] ~l'A[l. [prep.w/n.m.s.]);

Give me understanding that I may live ( ynInEybih] [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., bin, cause to understand] `hy<x.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s., chayah, to live]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 137-144

  1. In the tsadhe file God administers His plan in righteousness and faithfulness according to His word, for which the psalmist is zealous, although young and despised.
  2. He opens the file by declaring the +R of Yahweh (v.137a), which divine attribute makes all of the "judgments (or "ordinances") "upright" (v.137b).
  3. The words of God perfectly mirror the character of their Author.
  4. He continues to expand upon the opening statement by stating that the "testimonies" have been "commanded" in accordance with the principle of "righteousness" (v.138a) and according to "exceeding faithfulness" (v.138b).
  5. God does not require anything that is outside the sphere of +R.
  6. +R is the watchdog of Godís essence; it is the dominant attribute.
  7. What God commands is strictly in compliance with +R.
  8. What God commands, He is bound to support, as v.138b indicates.
  9. He has "exceeding faithfulness" to those things He has commanded.
  10. By extension, He supports those who live in accordance with the divine directives.
  11. The psalmistís strict attachment to the WOG has brought him into conflict with his persecutors.
  12. "My zeal" refers to his total commitment to the WOG at this juncture of his life.
  13. This "zeal" has "consumed" him in the sense that it has cost him everything, as he has become an outcast and the target of their intense hatred.
  14. His observation of their total disregard of Godís "words" stirs up his zeal, which in turn brings him to the brink of destruction.
  15. His "adversaries" do not share his "zeal", and so they have turned on the one who will not forsake that which he knows God will faithfully and righteously defend.
  16. In v.140 he continues with his high acclaim of Godís "word".
  17. He affirms that it is "very pure", like the purest grade of refined, noble metal (cp. Pss.12:6; 19:8); therefore, he "loves it" and will not abandon it for temporary relief from persecution.
  18. As a result of his stand, he sees himself as "small" (or "insignificant") and "despised" (v.141a).
  19. His isolation from the old crowd does not intimidate him, and he tells God that he does "not forget" the "precepts" (v.141b).
  20. He continues to be occupied with Godís +R (v.142a).
  21. Godís +R is not a whim, but is like God - "everlasting".
  22. Since God has always been and will always be +R, what He says ("Your law") must correspond to "truth" (v.142b).
  23. God cannot be +R and misrepresent Himself (i.e., lie).
  24. Since God is perfect Righteousness, He cannot lie when He speaks.
  25. In v.143 he comes back to the lament of his circumstances that are the result of embracing the truth in a social setting that derides the truth.
  26. On the one hand, he experiences "trouble and anguish"; on the other hand, he finds "delight" in the "commandments" (v.143).
  27. He refuses to allow his sufferings to dictate his love for the truth.
  28. The truth matters more to him than any adversity that adherence to it brings, for he knows that in the end he will be fully rewarded and vindicated.
  29. This hope he has from the study of Godís words (cp. vv.49, 116, 166).
  30. In the final verse of the tsadhe file he explicitly, and for the first time, declares that the contents of the WOG ("testimonies") are what He has previously affirmed God to be (vv.137,142) - "righteous forever" (v.144a).
  31. And so he prays that God will continue to "give" him "understanding" so that he will not capitulate to the external and internal pressures to compromise.
  32. Consistent (versus sporadic) intake of BD and reflection upon what has just been taught enables the positive believer to avoid those things which lead to the SUD.
  33. He knew that this was the only way that he could overcome his own STA predilections.
  34. He asks for a deeper and deeper insight into the POG so that he might avoid the foolishness that had almost destroyed him before.
Qoph File (q)
Nearness of the One who Matters (vv.145-152)

VERSE 145 I cried with all my heart; answer me, O LORD ( ytiar'q' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., qara, call, cry] ble-lk'b. [prep.w/n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.s., lebh, heart] ynInE[] [Qal.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., anah, answer] hw"hy> [pr.n.])!

I will observe Your statutes ( ^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., choq, statute] `hr'Coa, [Qal.impf.1c.s., natsar, guard, observe]).

VERSE 146 I cried to You; save me ( ^ytiar'q. [Qal.pf.1.c.s.w/2.m.s.sf., qara, cry] ynI[eyviAh [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., yasha, save]),

And I shall keep Your testimonies ( hr'm.v.a,w> [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s., shamar, keep] `^yt,do[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhah, testimony]).

VERSE 147 I rise before dawn and cry for help ( yTim.D;qi [Piel.pf.1.c.s. ~dq qadham, go before; "rise before"] @v,N<b; [def.art.w/prep.w/n.m.s., nesheph, dawn] h['WEv;a]w" [conj. w/Piel.impf.1.c.s. [wv shawa, cry out]);

I wait for Your words ( ^r>b'd>li [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word] `yTil.x'yI [Piel.pf.1c.s. lxy yachal, wait]).

VERSE 148 My eyes anticipate the night watches ( yn:y[e [n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf., ayin, eye] WmD>qi [Piel.pf.3c.p. ~dq qadham, go before; "anticipate"; cf. v.147a] tArmuv.a; [n.f.p. hr'Wmv.a; ashemurah, watch {period of time}, night watch]),

That I may meditate on Your word ( x;yfil' [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr., shiach, ponder] `^t,r'm.aiB. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word]).

VERSE 149 Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness ( h['m.vi [Qal.imper., shamar, hear] yliAq [n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., qol, voice] ^D,s.x;k. [prep.w/n.m.s., chesed]);

Revive me, O LORD, according to Your ordinances ( `ynIYEx; [Piel.imper.1/c.s., chayah, preserve alive] hw"hy> [pr.n.] ^j,P'v.miK. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mishepat]).

VERSE 150 Those who follow after wickedness draw near ( yped>ro [Qal.pt.m.p.cstr. @dr radhaph, to be behind, run after; "follow after"] hM'zI [n.f.s., zimah, evil plan]) Wbr>q' [Qal.pf.3.c.p. brq qarabh, to come near, approach; "draw near"]);

They are far from Your law ( `Wqx'r' [Qal.pf.3c.p. qxr rachaq, be distant; "far"] ^t.r'ATmi [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah, law]).

VERSE 151 You are near, O LORD ( hT'a; [pro.2.m.s.] bArq' [adj.m.s., qarobh, near] hw"hy> [pr.n.]),

And all Your commandments are truth ( ^yt,wOc.mi-lk'w> [conj.w/n.m.s.cstr. + n.f.p. w/2.m.s.sf., mitsewah] `tm,a/ [n.f.s., emeth, truth]).

VERSE 152 Of old I have known from Your testimonies ( ~d,q, [n.m.s., as, + adv., qedhem, of old] yTi[.d;y" [Qal.pf.1.c.s., yadha, know] ^yt,do[eme [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhah, testimony])

That You have founded them forever ( yKi [conj.] `~T'd>s;y> [Qal.pf.2.m.s w/3.m.p.sf. dsy yasadh, lay foundation, found] ~l'A[l [prep.w/n.m.s., olam, ever]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 145-152

  1. The qoph file brings out the intense struggle the psalmist entered into as the crisis heightened.
  2. In it we see the intense prayer petitions as he moved ever closer to his hoped-for deliverance.
  3. His prayers were unceasing and very intense.
  4. "I cried with all my heart" depicts the extreme anguish he was under as he waited for God to act (v.145a).
  5. "Answer me" is his plea for deliverance and vindication.
  6. He once again vows to "observe" the "statutes", come what may.
  7. He reminds the Lord that he has prayed "answer me"/"save me" (verbs are Qal Perfects).
  8. Yet he still waits for relief.
  9. Verses 145 and 146 are directly parallel in content.
  10. Both verses contain a vow to "keep/observe" the "testimonies/statutes".
  11. His vow is intended to solicit Godís favor at a time of his extreme distress.
  12. In verses 147 and 148 he reminds God that he has petitioned His favor in the early morning hours and that he meditates on BD throughout the "night watches".
  13. He awoke just "before dawn" and presented his "cry for help" (v.147a).
  14. The crisis looms, but he "waits for" Godís "words", meaning he waits for God to act in accordance with His word and turn back the conspiracy to kill him (v.147b).
  15. In v.148 he mentions the fact that during the night when sleep eluded him, he would "meditate on" Godís "word".
  16. "My eyes anticipate" is, literally, "My eyes go ahead", which is his way of dealing with the pressure as the darkness closes in.
  17. Instead of concentrating upon the hopelessness of the situation, he focused upon the WOG.
  18. These difficult hours were faced with meditation and prayer.
  19. He tells God that he has done, and continues to do, these things to keep his heart and mind on the greater reality so as not to be filled with despair and doubt.
  20. He continues to pray in v.149a that God would "hear" his "voice".
  21. He simply wants to be accorded that which satisfies chesed (lovingkindness).
  22. Since chesed is conditioned by the content of Scripture, he asks once again that he be "preserved alive according to" Godís "ordinances"/rulings/judgments (v.149b).
  23. He wants nothing more and nothing less than what is promised for all who seek God from a blameless heart in time of need.
  24. In v.150 he once again describes his enemies as men "who follow after wickedness" and who "are far from" the "law".
  25. These men, he says, "draw near" to accomplish his destruction, but in v.151a he mentions a bigger fact, which enables him to keep the crisis in perspective.
  26. The verb "draw near"(qarabh) in v.150a means to "rush upon for hostile intent".
  27. They "draw near" (v.150a), but "You are near" (v.151a) is a clearly-intended contrast.
  28. The invisible but real presence of God over his life and his strong faith in the veracity of the divine "commandments" is his abiding comfort and stability.
  29. If we firmly believe that the contents of our faith is absolute truth, then we have inner confidence that God will act to vindicate his word in the face of widespread opposition.
  30. "Of old" (adv., Qedhem) means that "For a long time" he knew something "from the testimonies" (v.152a).
  31. Namely, that God "has founded them forever" (v.152b).
  32. The specifics of BD were built to last!
  33. The divine testimonies eternally preceded their inscripturation (written form in the Bible).
  34. Like the essence of God, they are not subject to change or nullification.
  35. Proverbs 8 tells us that Wisdom preceded all of Godís works.
  36. Heaven and earth will pass away, but Godís words will never pass away (Mt.24:35; cp. 5:18).
  37. The divine directives are like their Author - they are eternal and immutable (cp. v.160b).
  38. Whatever men may say or do in opposition to them has no effect upon their validity, as the essence of God upholds all that He has willed.
  39. To overthrow Scripture, one would have to overthrow God.
  40. Satan, although he has tried, cannot negate even one promise, prophecy, or commandment.
  41. The psalmist takes great comfort in the fact that the truth will prevail, and his enemies will all come to disarray and shame.
  42. He has confidence that the eternal testimonies will serve him in his day of need.
Resh File (r)
Reasons for God to Intervene (vv.153-160)

VERSE 153 Look upon my affliction and rescue me ( yyIn>['-haer> [Qal.imper., ra-ah, look, + n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., ani, affliction] ynIceL.x;w> [conj.w/Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. #lx chalats, draw out; tear out; "rescue"]),

For I do not forget Your law ( al{ [neg.] `yTix.k'v' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., shakhach, forget] { ^t.r'At-yK [conj. + n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah]).

VERSE 154 Plead my cause and redeem me ( ybiyrI hb'yrI [Qal.imper. byir ribh, plead a case, + n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., ribh, case, cause] ynIlea'g>W [conj.w/Qal.imper.w/1.c.s.sf. laG ga-al, ransom, redeem]);

Revive me according to Your word ( `ynIYEx; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., chayah, preserve alive] ^t.r'm.ail. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word]).

VERSE 155 Salvation is far from the wicked ( h['Wvy> [n.f.s., yeshu-ah, deliverance] qAxr' [adj.m.s., rachoq, distant, far] ~y[iv'r>me [prep w/adj.m.s., rasha, wicked]),

For they do not seek Your statutes ( ^yQ,xu-yKi [conj. + n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., choq, statute] al [neg.] `Wvr'd' [Qal.pf.3.c.p., darash, seek]).

VERSE 156 Great are Your mercies, O LORD ( ~yBir; [adj.m.p., rabh, great] ^ym,x]r; [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., rachamim, compassion; "mercies"] hw"hy> [pr.n.]);

Revive me according to Your ordinances ( `ynIYEx; [Piel.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., chayah, preserve alive] ^yj,P'v.miK. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf,. mishepat, judgment]).

VERSE 157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries ( ~yBir; [adj.m.p., rabh, many] yp;d>ro [Qal.pt.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf., radhaph, pursue; "persecutors"] yr'c'w> [conj.w/n.m.p. w/1.c.s.sf., tsar, adversary]),

Yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies ( `ytiyjin" al{ [neg. + Qal.pf.1.c.s., natah, stretch out, turn aside] ^yt,wOd>[eme [prep.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhuth, testimony]).

VERSE 158 I behold the treacherous and loathe them ( ytiyair' [Qal.pf.1c.s., ra-ah, look at] ~ydIg>bo [prep.w/Qal.act.pt.m.p. dgB baghadh, act treacherously] hj'j'Aqt.a,w" [conj.w/Hithpael.impf.1.c.s. jwq qut, loathe, detest, abhor]),

Because they do not keep Your word ( rv,a] [rel.pro.] `Wrm'v' al{ [neg. + Qal.pf.3.c.p., shamar, keep] ^t.r'm.ai [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word]).

VERSE 159 Consider how I love Your precepts ( haer> [Qal.imper., ra-ah, see] yTib.h'a' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., ahabh, love] ^yd,WQpi-yKi [conj. + n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudhim, precept]);

Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness ( `ynIYEx; [Piel.imper.jw/1.c.s.sf., chayah, preserve alive] hw"hy> [pr.n.] ^D>s.x;K. [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., chesed]).

VERSE 160 The sum of Your word is truth ( ^r>b'D>-varo [n.m.s., rosh, head, top, chief, "sum", + n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word] tm,a/ [n.f.s., emeth, truth]),

And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting ( ~l'A[l.W [prep.w/n.m.s.] jP;v.mi-lK' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.s.cstr., mishepat, judgment] `^q,d>ci [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., tsedeq, righteousness]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 153-160

  1. In the resh file the psalmist continues to cry for help in his affliction with the appeal to vindicate his +vol. towards the WOG.
  2. His opening request that God "look upon" his dilemma and "rescue" him is coupled with the appeal to the fact that he does "not forget" the Torah (v.153).
  3. He refuses to be intimidated by the crisis and abandon his confidence in the WOG, as people tend to do who are under pressure.
  4. In v.154a he asks God to act as his defense attorney ("plead my cause") and so "redeem" (deliver) him from his deadly enemies.
  5. He requests that he be preserved alive "according to" Godís "word" to uphold the interests of the unrighteously afflicted (v.154b).
  6. God was in possession of all the facts related to his case, and so was able to defend His client against the unwarranted charges that were being brought against him.
  7. By contrast, "deliverance is far from the wicked", as they "do not seek" the divine "statutes" (v.155).
  8. He takes comfort in this fact, as those who are against him fall into this category.
  9. Their day of crisis knows no such relief, as they are at total odds with the Source of true deliverance.
  10. The repeated refrain of v.156b is offered against his reversionistic past (v.156a).
  11. "Great are Your mercies" is a truism that applies to each and every one of us.
  12. Against a background of repeated sin and failure is the grace of God, which restores the soul of the repentant believer.
  13. There are specific "ordinances" which guarantee deliverance and restoration to those who call upon God and seek His directive will.
  14. In v.157 he laments the formidable numbers of those his describes as "persecutors" and "adversaries".
  15. But he has the important and all-determining thing that will, in the end, turn the tide of the one against the many (cp. v.157b): namely, his unwillingness to "turn aside from" the "testimonies".
  16. In v.158 he expresses to God his profound disgust with "the treacherous" who act this way "because they do not keep" Godís "word".
  17. These men had acted in a totally unscrupulous fashion when they moved in on him to neutralize his stand for the truth.
  18. In v.159 he asks God to take into account ("Consider") how much he "loves" the "precepts".
  19. This was demonstrated by his seeking, learning, meditation, and doing.
  20. This fact is again mentioned as the reason why God should act in his favor and "preserve" him "alive according to" divine chesed.
  21. The file ends with a doctrinal statement regarding the integrity of the totality of the WOG (v.160).
  22. Taking the individual parts/pieces of the WOG and adding them all up, he arrives at absolute "truth" (v.160a).
  23. The integrity of the whole is dependent upon the individual parts.
  24. No single piece can be pointed to and found not to be in accord with truth.
  25. Furthermore, "every one of" Godís "righteous ordinances is everlasting" (v.160b).
  26. They are all individually and collectively "truth", and they will never cease to be valid, as they are all "everlasting".
Shin (v)
Better than Money (vv.161-168)

VERSE 161 Princes persecute me without cause ( ~yrIf' [n.m.p., shar, prince] ynIWpd'r> [Qal.pf.3.c.p.w/1c.s.sf., radhaph, pursue, persecute] ~N"xi [adv., chinnam, without cause]),

But my heart stands in awe of Your words ( `yBili [n.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., lebh] dx;P' [Qal.pf.3.m.s., pachadh, dread, awe] ^r>b'D>miW [conj.w/prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word]).

VERSE 162 I rejoice at Your word ( ykinOa' [indef.pro.1.p.s., anokhi] ff' [Qal.pt.m.s. fwf shush, exult] ^t,r'm.ai-l[; [prep. + n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word]),

As one who finds great spoil ( aceAmK. [prep.w/Qal.pt.m.s. acm matsa, find] ll'v' [n.m.s., shalal, plunder] `br' [adj.m.s., rabh, great]).

VERSE 163 I hate and despise falsehood ( ytianEf' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., shane, hate] rq,v, sheqer, falsehood] hb'[et;a]w: [conj.w/Piel.impf.1c.s. b[T ta-abh, abhor, detest]),

But I love Your law ( ^t.r'AT [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah] `yTib.h'a' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., ahabh, love]).

VERSE 164 Seven times a day I praise You ( [b;v, [adj.f.s., shebha, seven] ~AYB; [prep.w/n.m.s., yom, day] ^yTil.L;hi [Piel.pf.1.c.s.w/2.m.s.sf., halal, praise]),

Because of Your righteous ordinances ( l[; [prep.] yjeP.v.mi [prep.w/n.m.p., mishepat] `^q,d>ci [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., tsedeq, righteousness]).

VERSE 165 Those who love Your law have great peace ( ybeh]aol. [prep.w/Qal.pt.m.p., ahabh, love] ^t,r'At [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah] br' [adj.m.s., rabh, great] ~Alv' [n.m.s., shalom, peace]),

And nothing causes them to stumble ( Aml'-!yaew> [conj.w/adv., ayin, nothing, + prep. w/3.m.s.sf., "them"] `lAvk.mi [n.m.s., mikheshul, stumblingblock; "nothing is a stumbling-block"]).

VERSE 166 I hope for Your salvation, O LORD ( yTir>B;fi [Piel.pf.1.c.s. rbf shabhar, to expect] ^t.['Wvyli [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., yeshu-ah] hw"hy> [pr.n.]),

And do Your commandments ( ^yt,wOc.miW [conj.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mitsewah] `ytiyfi[' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., ashah, do]).

VERSE 167 My soul keeps Your testimonies ( yvip.n: [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., nephesh] hr'm.v' [Qa.pf.3.f.s., shamar, keep] ^yt,do[e [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhah, testimony]),

And I love them exceedingly ( `daom. ~beh]aow" [conj.w/Qal.impf.1.c.s.w/3.m.p.sf., ahabh, love, + adv., me-odh]).

VERSE 168 I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies ( yTir>m;v' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., shamar, keep] ^yd,WQpi [piqqudim, precept] ^yt,do[ew> [conj.w/n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., edhah]),

For all my ways are before You ( yKi [conj.] yk;r'D>-lk' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf., derek, way] `^D,g>n< [prep.w/2.m.s.sf., neghedh, what is obvious; "before"]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 161-168

  1. The shin file opens with a lament of the evil "princes" (cp. v.23) who had no basis in fact for their persecution of the psalmist (v.161a).
  2. By contrast, he will not be intimidated, but "stands in awe of" Godís "words" (v.161b).
  3. He is duly impressed with what he finds in the body of divine truth ("Your words"), and is not impressed by the threats of men of power and means.
  4. In v.162 he describes the incredible joy that is his as a result of learning and applying the WOG.
  5. He realizes, through the function of GAP, what is his, and has the kind of exhilaration that is comparable to someone who happens upon "great spoil" (v.162b).
  6. His is the reward of conflict that is rewarded with "great spoil".
  7. He knows that he will be delivered and fully vindicated before those who are out to get him.
  8. Adherence to BD makes him intolerant of "falsehood", as all forms of lying are incompatible with the WOG which promotes truth as opposed to falsehood.
  9. He protests the campaign of falsehood that was brought against him.
  10. By contrast, he "loves" the Torah because in it he finds no falsehood (v.163b).
  11. In this file so far, the WOG is to him a source of awe, joy, and love.
  12. His response to the spiritual dynamic of the WOG in his life, in the midst of what would have otherwise been an overwhelming crisis, was a series of prayerful impulses in which he gave thanks to God for His "righteous ordinances" throughout the day (v.164).
  13. Not three times, but up to a minimum of "seven times a day" he celebrated his heartfelt gratitude and joy for the dynamic of BD in his life.
  14. In v.165 he makes the observation from personal experience that "those who love" the Torah have "great" inner "peace".
  15. Inner peace is a spiritual dynamic that is granted to the believer who applies BD (claims promises) under adversity (cp. Isa.26:3).
  16. It is the result of the active presence of God the HS in the believerís life (Rom.14:17), prayer (Phil.4:7), and the intake of BD (2Pet.1:2).
  17. Those who have a love for the WOG are people who enjoy inner peace, as they tend to avoid those things which bring turmoil into the life.
  18. Line 2 of v.165 constitutes an example of synthetic parallelism, where the second line advances and compliments the thought of the first line.
  19. Those who have this inner peace are protected from spiritual stumbling.
  20. The words "nothing causes them to stumble" means that they are not easily thrown for a loop in the face of the attacks and failures of others.
  21. Having mentioned his fear (v.161b), his joy (v.162a), his love of BD (v.163b), and his inner peace (v.165a), he now mentions his faith, or confidence, for the future (v.166a).
  22. For the future, he has confidence that God will fully deliver him from the crisis that is against him (v.166a).
  23. He does not let up in his application of BD as he awaits the verdict of the divine Judge (v.166b).
  24. He once again proclaims his innocence in that he "keeps" the "testimonies" from his inner being (v.167a).
  25. He once again affirms his great love for the specifics of the Torah (cp. vv.47,48).
  26. He has done everything that could possibly be done to get God in his corner as he faces the resolution of the crisis.
  27. This is the purpose behind the final verse of this file (v.168).
  28. He affirms his innocence by stating that he "keeps the precepts and the testimonies" (v.168a).
  29. He knows he cannot hide anything from God, nor does he want to (v.1168b).
Tau (t)
Hear me, Deliver me (vv.169-176)

VERSE 169 Let my cry come before You, O LORD ( ytiN"rI [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. hN"rI rinnah, ringing cry] br;q.Ti [Qal.impf.3.f.s. brq qarabh, come near] ^yn<p'l. [prep.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., faces] hw"hy> [pr.n.]);

Give me understanding according to Your word ( `ynInEybih] [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., bin, cause to understand] ^r>b'd>Ki [prep.w/n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., dabhar, word]).

VERSE 170 Let my supplication come before You ( aAbT' [Qal.impf.3.f.s., bo, come] ytiN"xiT. [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf. hN"xiT. techinnah, supplication, entreaty] ^yn<p'l. [prep.w/n.m.p. w/2.m.s.sf., faces]);

Deliver me according to Your word ( ^t.r'm.aiK. [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word] `ynIleyCih; [Hiphil.imper.w/1.c.s.sf., natsal, deliver]).

VERSE 171 Let my lips utter praise ( hn"[.B;T; [Hiphil.imper.3.f.p. [bn nabha, pour out, gush, bubble up; "utter"] yt;p'f. [n.f.dual.w/1.c.s.sf. hp'f', shaphah, edge, lip] hL'hiT. [n.f.s. hL'hiT. tehillah, praise]),

For You teach me Your statutes ( yKi [conj.] ynIdeM.l;t. [Piel.impf.2.m.s.w/1.c.s.sf., lamadh, teach] `^yQ,xu [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf,. choq, statute]).

VERSE 172 Let my tongue sing of Your word ( ![;T; [Qal.impf.3.f.s., anah, answer; "sing"; better "testify"] ynIAvl. [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf., lashon, tongue] ^t,r'm.ai [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., imerah, word]),

For all Your commandments are righteousness ( yKi [conj.] ^yt,wOc.mi-lk' [n.m.s.cstr. + n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mitsewah] `qd,C, [n.m.s,. tsedeq]).

VERSE 173 Let Your hand be ready to help me ( ^d>y"-yhiT. [Qal.impf.3.f.s., hayah, be, + n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., yadh, hand] ynIrez>['l. [prep.w/Qal.infin.cstr.w/1.c.s.sf. rz[, azar, assist, aid]),

For I have chosen Your precepts ( yKi [conj.] ^yd,WQpi [n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., piqqudim, precept] `yTir>x'b' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., bachar, choose]).

VERSE 174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD ( yTib.a;T' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. baT ta-abh, long for] ^t.['Wvyli [prep.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., yeshu-ah] hw"hy> [pr.n.]),

And Your law is my delight ( ^t.r'Atw> [conj.w/n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., torah] `y['vu[]v; [n.m.p.w/1.c.s.sf. ~y[ivu[]v; sha-ashuim; 9X: Pss.119:24, 77, 92, 143, 174; Prov.8:30,31; Isa.5:7; Jer.31:20]).

VERSE 175 Let my soul live that it may praise You ( yvip.n:-yxiT. [Qal.impf.3.f.s., chayah, live, + n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf., nephesh, soul] &'l,l.h;t.W [conj.w/Piel.impf.3.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., halal, praise]),

And let Your ordinances help me ( ^j,P'v.miW [conj.w/n.m.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mishepat] `ynIruz>[]y: [Qal.impf.3.m.p.w/.1c.s.sf., rz[ azar, assist, aid]).

VERSE 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant ( ytiy[iT' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. h[T ta-adh, to wander, go astray] hf,K. [prep.w/n.m.s., sheh, sheep] dbeao [Qal.pt.m.s. dba abhadh, perish; "lost"] vQeB; [Piel.imper., baqash, seek, search out] ^D,b.[; [n.m.s.w/2.m.s.sf., ebhedh, servant]);

For I do not forget Your commandments ( yKi [conj.] yTix.k'v' al{ [neg. + Qal.pf.1.c.s., shakhach, forget] ^yt,wOc.mi [n.f.p.w/2.m.s.sf., mitsewah, commandment]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 169-176

  1. In the tau file he makes his final appeal for deliverance from the conspiracy against his life.
  2. He opens the file by asking that his cry for help may "come" before the throne of Yahweh (v.169a).
  3. In v.169b he prays that his faith be continually fortified in the things he already knows to be true.
  4. He desires nothing less than solid, Biblically-based "understanding" so that he can handle all aspects of the testing as it unfolds.
  5. He does not want to resort to any human viewpoint solutions, but desires an understanding that is "according to Your word".
  6. Again he prays fervently, "Let my supplication come before You" (v.170a), as in the preceding verse.
  7. He again prays for the hoped-for deliverance to be "according to Your word" (v.170b).
  8. He is a stickler that everything be done in accordance with the letter and spirit of Scripture.
  9. In v.171a he prays that he be able to "utter praise" in the near future for the hoped-for deliverance.
  10. His anticipated praise is the product, or pay-off, of having faithfully been taught the "statutes" during the time since his turn to God (v.171b).
  11. Verse 172a repeats the thought of v.171a (as v.170a does v.169a).
  12. He prays that he may be in a position to "sing of" Godís "word" and what it has accomplished in his life once he is fully delivered.
  13. His deliverance will be proof positive that "all Your commandments are righteousness" (v.172b).
  14. The upholding of the promises and directives of BD is proof that God, who is +R, is behind His word.
  15. Godís power is always at hand to provide what is needed in any situation.
  16. He proclaims himself worthy of special consideration in v.173b.
  17. He made an uncoerced choice to line up with BD and then to stick with it to the end.
  18. He again reiterates the fact that this special grace deliverance is something he really wants (v.174a).
  19. And that he wants it not at the expense of adherence to the WOG (v.174b).
  20. A lot of people would like to be delivered, but truth is not their "delight".
  21. One last time he prays that he may "live" so that he can see the day when he will "praise" God (v.175a).
  22. In that connection he prays that the divine "ordinances" will continue to work on his behalf in every way intended (v.175b).
  23. God acting upon the particulars of His word is how the WOG "helps" the psalmist.
  24. Finally, he makes mention of his past spiritual wanderings that got him into this crisis (v.176).
  25. He compares himself to a "lost sheep" which went "astray" due to its own carelessness.
  26. He asks God to care for him as a shepherd would one of his sheep who had gotten separated from the flock.
  27. Once he is delivered from the wolves, he can return to normal!
  28. His final comment in his defense is that he now no longer "forgets" the "commandments" (v.176b).
  29. This fact, and this fact alone, is at the foundation of his preservation and deliverance from a crisis that was turned completely in his favor.
 
END: PSALM CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED NINETEEN
JACK M. BALLINGER
September, 1997
 
© Copyright 1998, Maranatha Church Inc.