Old Testament

Psalm 119
Psalm 119
The Great Psalm on the Law of the Lord[]
Aleph: Blessed Are the Blameless
1How blessed are those who are blameless in their way,
who walk in the law[] of the Lord.
2How blessed are those who keep[] his testimonies.
With all their heart they seek him.
3Indeed, they do no wrong.
They walk in his ways.
4You have commanded that your precepts[] be kept completely.
5If only my ways were unwavering in keeping your statutes![]
6Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
7I will thank you with an upright heart
as I learn your righteous judgments.[]
8I will keep your statutes.
Do not abandon me completely.
Bet: Your Word Is Hidden in My Heart
9How can a young man keep his path pure?
By guarding it with your words.[]
10With all my heart I seek you.
Do not let me stray from your commands.
11I have hidden your sayings[] in my heart,
so that I may not sin against you.
12Blessed are you, O Lord!
Teach me your statutes.
13With my lips I tell about all the judgments
that come from your mouth.
14I rejoice in the way that is taught by your testimonies
as much as I delight in all riches.
15I will meditate on your precepts,
and I will consider your paths.
16In your statutes I delight.
I will not forget your words.
Gimel: Open My Eyes
17Reward your servant.
Then I will live, and I will keep your words.
18Uncover my eyes, and I will behold wonders from your law.
19I am an alien on earth.
Do not hide your commandments from me.
20My soul is overwhelmed by desire for your judgments at all times.
21You rebuke the arrogant, who are cursed,
Those who stray from your commandments.
22Remove scorn and contempt from me,
for I guard your testimonies.
23Though officials sit together and speak against me,
your servant will meditate on your statutes.
24Yes, your testimonies are my delights.
They are my advisors.
Dalet: A Changed Heart
25My soul[] is stuck in the dust.
Revive my life according to your words.
26I told you about my ways and you answered me.
Teach me your statutes.
27Make me understand the meaning of your precepts.
Then I will meditate on your wonders.
28My soul melts with sorrow.
By your words, make me stand firm.
29Turn me away from false ways,
and be gracious to me through your law.
30I have chosen the way of truth.
I accept[] your judgments.
31I cling to your testimonies, O Lord.
Do not let me be put to shame.
32I run the way of your commandments,
for you have strengthened my heart.[]
He: That You May Be Feared
33Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes.
Then I will guard it to the end.
34Give me understanding, and I will guard your law.
I will keep it with all my heart.
35Make me walk on the path of your commandments,
for I take pleasure in it.
36Direct my heart toward your testimonies
and not toward material gain.
37Keep my eyes from looking at worthless things.
Give me life according to your ways.[]
38Confirm your sayings to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39Take away my disgrace which I dread,
for your judgments are good.
40How I long for your precepts!
Give me life in your righteousness.
Vav: Speak Before Kings
41So let your mercies come to me, O Lord,
and let your salvation come according to your sayings.
42Then I will give an answer to those who insult me,
because I trust in your words.
43But do not tear away the word of truth from my mouth,
because I wait confidently for your judgments.
44Then I will continually keep your law forever and ever.
45Then I will walk around freely,
because I have sought your precepts.
46Then I will speak of your testimonies before kings,
and I will not be put to shame.
47For I delight in your commandments, which I love.
48I lift up my hands to your commandments, which I love,
and I meditate on your statutes.
Zayin: Comfort in Suffering
49Remember your word to your servant,
because you have given me hope.
50This is my comfort in my suffering:
that your saying gives me life.
51The arrogant mock me constantly,
but I do not fall away from your law.
52I remember your judgments from of old, Lord,
and I comfort myself with them.
53Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who forsake your laws.
54Your statutes are songs for me in the house where I am staying.
55I remember your name during the night, O Lord,
and I will keep your laws.
56This I have done: I guard your precepts.
Het: I Will Not Forget
57You are my portion, O Lord.
I said I would keep your words.
58I have sought your favor with all my heart.
Be gracious to me according to your sayings.
59I have considered my ways,[]
and I have turned my feet to your testimonies.
60I will hurry. I will not delay.
I will keep your commandments.
61The ropes of the wicked bind me,
but I do not forget your law.
62At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous judgments.
63I am a companion to all who fear you,
that is, to all who keep your precepts.
64Your mercy, Lord, fills the earth.
Teach me your statutes.
Tet: It Is Good to Be Afflicted
65You have done good for your servant, O Lord,
according to your words.
66Teach me good judgment and knowledge,
for I believe in your commandments.
67Before I was afflicted I strayed,
but now I keep your saying.
68You are good, and you do good.
Teach me your statutes.
69The arrogant have smeared me with lies.
I guard your precepts with all my heart.
70Their calloused hearts[] feel nothing,
but I delight in your law.
71It was good for me that I was afflicted,
so that I might learn your statutes.
72Better for me is the law from your mouth
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Yod: Those Who Fear You
73Your hands made me and established me.
Give me understanding.
Then I will learn your commandments.
74May those who fear you see me and rejoice,
because I wait confidently for your word.
75I know, Lord, that your judgments are righteous.
In faithfulness you have afflicted me.
76Please let your mercy be my comfort,
according to your saying to your servant.
77Let your abundant compassion come to me that I may live,
because your law is my delight.
78Let the arrogant be put to shame
because they have wronged me with lies.
As for me, I will meditate on your precepts.
79Let those who fear you turn to me,
and those who know your testimonies.
80Let my heart be blameless regarding your statutes,
so that I may not be put to shame.
Kaph: A Wineskin in the Smoke
81My soul is worn out, as I wait for your salvation.
I wait confidently for your word.
82My eyes are worn out, as I look for your sayings.
I say, “When will you comfort me?”
83Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke,
I do not forget your statutes.
84How many days does your servant have?
When will you inflict judgment on my persecutors?
85The arrogant dig pits for me.
This is against your laws.
86All your commandments are trustworthy.
The arrogant persecute me wrongfully. Help me.
87They almost put an end to me here on earth,
but I have not forsaken your precepts.
88Give me life according to your mercy,
and I will obey the testimony from your mouth.
Lamed: Your Commands Have No Limits
89To eternity, O Lord, your word is fixed firmly in the heavens.
90For generation after generation, your faithfulness remains.
You established the earth, and it stands.
91As for your judgments, they stand to this day,
because all things are your servants.
92Unless your law had been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
93To eternity I will not forget your precepts,
because by them you have given me life.
94I am yours. Save me,
because I have sought your precepts.
95The wicked are lying in wait for me to kill me,
but I will ponder your testimonies.
96I see a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment has no limits.
Mem: Sweeter Than Honey
97How I love your laws!
I meditate on them all day long.
98Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
because it is always with me.
99I have more wisdom than all my teachers,
because your testimonies are my meditation.
100I have more understanding than the elders,
because I guard your precepts.
101I have kept my feet off every evil path
in order to keep your words.
102I have not turned from your judgments,
because you yourself have instructed me.
103How sweet are your sayings to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104From your precepts I gain understanding,
therefore I hate every false road.
Nun: A Lamp for My Feet
105Your words are a lamp for my feet
and a light for my path.
106I have sworn and affirmed
that I will keep your righteous judgments.
107I have suffered much.
Lord, give me life according to your words.
108 Lord, please accept the willing praise from my mouth,
and teach me your judgments.
109I take my life in my hands constantly,
but I will not forget your law.
110The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not wandered from your precepts.
111I have inherited your testimonies forever.
Yes, they are the joy of my heart.
112I turn my heart to do your statutes,
forever, right to the end.
Samek: Get Away From Me, You Evildoers
113I hate the doubleminded, but I love your law.
114You are my hiding place and my shield.
I wait confidently for your word.
115“Get away from me, you evildoers,
so that I may guard the commandments of my God!”
116Sustain me according to your sayings, and I will live.
Do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
117Hold me up, and I will be saved.
Then I will always have regard for your statutes.
118You reject all who stray from your statutes,
because their deceitfulness is built on a lie.[]
119You discard all the wicked of the earth like slag.
Therefore I love your testimonies.
120My flesh trembles because I am afraid of you,
because I fear your judgments.
'Ayin: It Is Time to Act, Lord
121I have carried out what is just and right.
Do not leave me to my oppressors.
122Guarantee good for your servant.
Do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123My eyes wear out, as I watch
for your salvation and your righteousness.
124Deal with your servant according to your mercy,
and teach me your statutes.
125I am your servant. Give me discernment,
so that I may know your testimonies.
126 Lord, it is time to do something!
They have broken your laws.
127Because I love your commandments more than gold,
more than pure gold,
128because I value everything in all your precepts,
I hate every wrong road.
Pe: Streams of Tears
129Your testimonies are wonders.
That is why my soul guards them.
130The doorway to your words lets in light.
It gives understanding to the inexperienced.
131I open wide my mouth and I gasp,
because I long for your commandments.
132Turn to me and give me grace.
This is your judgment for those who love your name.[]
133Keep my footsteps steady by your sayings,
and do not let any evil rule over me.
134Redeem me from oppressive people,
and I will keep your precepts.
135Make your face shine on your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
136Streams of water run down from my eyes,
because they do not keep your laws.
Tsade: My Zeal for the Word
137You are righteous, O Lord,
and your judgments are right.
138You have commanded your testimonies.
They are righteous and very trustworthy.
139My zeal wears me out,
because my foes forget your words.
140Your saying has been thoroughly refined,
and your servant loves it.
141I am insignificant and despised,
but I do not forget your precepts.
142Your righteousness is righteous forever,
and your law is truth.
143Distress and anguish have found me,
but your commandments are my delights.
144Your testimonies are right forever.
Give me understanding, and I will live.
Qoph: I Will Obey
145I call with all my heart.
Answer me, O Lord.
I will guard your statutes.
146I call to you. Save me,
and I will keep your testimonies.
147I get up before dawn, and I cry for help.
I wait confidently for your word.
148My eyes look forward to the night watches
when I can meditate on your sayings.
149Hear my voice according to your mercy.
Lord, give me life based on your judgments.
150Those who pursue evil plans are near,
but they are far from your law.
151You are near, O Lord,
and all your commandments are truth.
152Long ago I knew from your testimonies
that you established them to endure forever.
Resh: I Have Not Forgotten
153See my affliction and deliver me,
because I have not forgotten your law.
154Argue my case and redeem me.
Give me life according to your saying.
155Salvation is far away from the wicked,
because they do not pursue your statutes.
156Your compassions are many, O Lord.
Give me life according to your judgments.
157Many are my persecutors and my foes,
but I have not turned from your testimonies.
158I look at the hypocrites and I loathe them,
because they do not keep your saying.
159See how I love your precepts.
Lord, according to your mercy give me life.
160The sum of your word is truth.
All your righteous judgment is eternal.
Sin/Shin: I Wait for Salvation
161Officials persecute me without cause,
but my heart trembles at your word.
162I rejoice over your sayings,
like one who finds much plunder.
163I hate and detest falsehood,
but I love your law.
164Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous judgments.
165Great peace belongs to those who love your law,
and nothing is a stumbling block for them.
166I wait for your salvation, O Lord,
and I obey your commandments.
167My soul keeps your testimonies.
I love them greatly.
168I keep your precepts and your testimonies,
because all my ways are before you.
Tav: Seek Your Servant
169May my loud cry come before you, Lord.
Give me understanding through your word.
170May my plea for mercy come before you.
Deliver me according to your saying.
171May my lips overflow with praise,
because you teach me your statutes.
172May my tongue sing of your saying,
because all your commandments are righteousness.
173May your hand be ready to help me,
because I have chosen your precepts.
174I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.
175Let my soul live and praise you,
and may your judgments help me.
176I have strayed like a perishing sheep.
Seek your servant,
because I have not forgotten your commandments.


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