Psalm 119:121-128

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2008-03-03 11:04.

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Every verse starts with the Hebrew letter ayin.

The psalmist carried out judgment and righteousness, doing what was just and right according to God’s law. On this basis, he pleaded that the Most High would not abandon him to his oppressors, not allowing them to defraud or wrong him.

Speaking of himself as God’s servant, the psalmist petitioned the Most High to be surety for his good. He wanted YHWH to serve as a pledge, guaranteeing his well-being and safety. The Greek text of fourth-century Codex Sinaiticus and fifth-century Codex Alexandrinus, however, opens with a form of the word ekdéchomai, which may mean “expect,” “wait for,” “receive,” or “accept.” In this context, “accept” appears to fit best (“Accept your servant for good”). Additionally, the psalmist prayed that the insolent or arrogant defiers of God’s law would not be permitted to oppress or wrong him (“extort” from him, LXX).

The psalmist’s eyes failed him or were strained from looking for deliverance from his distress and from longing to see the fulfillment of God’s righteousness. By acting against the psalmist’s enemies, the Most High, in expression of his righteousness or justice, would liberate him from his perilous circumstances.

The psalmist prayed that YHWH would deal with him according to his abiding love, compassionate concern, or “mercy” (LXX). This suggests that he recognized that, on the basis of strict justice, he would not be flawless. He did, however, earnestly desire to live uprightly and, therefore, prayed to be taught God’s statutes, wanting to understand them fully and to comply with them.

Identifying himself as God’s servant, the psalmist prayed for understanding. He wanted to “know” God’s testimonies or to have the kind of comprehension that would make it possible for him to conduct himself according to these solemn charges.

It was time for YHWH to act against ungodly ones, for they had broken his law. These lawbreakers probably were those who sought to harm the psalmist.

Whereas others defiantly disregarded God’s commandments, the psalmist loved them. He treasured them more than gold, even gold of the finest quality (free from all impurities) or, according to the Septuagint, topaz.

It was because of his love for God’s law that the psalmist directed his “steps” or conducted himself in line with all divine precepts. His love of right did not allow him to condone any wrongdoing. He hated every false, deceitful or “unjust” (LXX) way.