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Psalms



The fifth book of Psalms, song 119, New English Translation

This lengthy psalm exhibits an elaborate acrostic pattern. The psalm is divided into 22 sections (corresponding to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet), each of which comprises eight verses. Each verse in the first section (verses 1-8) begins with the letter alef (א), the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This pattern continues throughout the psalm as each new section highlights a successive letter of the alphabet. Each verse in section two (verses 9-16) begins with the second letter of the alphabet, each verse in section three (verses 17-24) with the third letter, etc. This rigid pattern creates a sense of order and completeness and may have facilitated memorization.

Psalm 119

א


   1 How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey the law of the LORD.
   2 How blessed are those who observe his rules, and seek him with all their heart,
   3 who, moreover, do no wrong, but follow in his footsteps.
   4 You demand that your precepts be carefully kept.
   5 If only I were predisposed to keep your statutes!
   6 Then I would not be ashamed, if I were focused on all your commands.
   7 I will give you sincere thanks, when I learn your just regulations.
   8 I will keep your statutes. Do not completely abandon me!

ב


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

ג


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

ד


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

ה


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

ו


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

ז


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

ח


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

ט


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

י


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

כ


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

ל


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

מ


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

נ


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

ס


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

ע


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

פ


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

צ


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

ק


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

ר


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

ש


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

ת


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