Psalm 119:129-136

Submitted by admin on Tue, 2008-03-04 10:05.

Posted in | printer-friendly version »

Every verse starts with the Hebrew letter pe.

The psalmist greatly appreciated YHWH’s “testimonies” or solemn charges that provided dependable guidance, considering them to be “wonderful.” This suggests that he recognized their inestimable value in contributing to the well-being of all who observed them. Therefore, his “soul” or he himself resolved to heed the solemn charges. According to the Septuagint, he (his “soul”) “searched them out,” fully acquainting himself with them.

The “opening up” of God’s words, which would result in understanding them aright, gives “light,” making it possible for the individual to discern the proper course of action. Even the “simple,” those who are like inexperienced children (“babes,” LXX), can come into possession of the understanding needed for right conduct when God’s words are made known to them.

The psalmist had such eager longing for God’s commandments that he spoke of himself as opening his mouth and panting, as would a runner pressing toward his goal.

He pleaded that YHWH would “turn” to him (“look” upon him, LXX) or grant him favorable attention and be “gracious” or “merciful” (LXX) to him. The basis for his plea to be shown favor or helped in his time of need was God’s “judgment” or his just dealings toward those who love his name or him, the bearer of the name.

The psalmist wanted God to secure his steps or direct his course of life, doing so according to his “word.” For servants of the Most High, this word constitutes an assurance for needed aid. The psalmist desired divine direction, not wanting “wickedness” or “lawlessness” (LXX) to gain dominion over him or become the controlling force in his life.

He prayed to be redeemed from the “oppression” or “extortion of man.” This was a plea to be rescued from being victimized by anyone who sought to deprive him of what rightly belonged to him. As one who looked to YHWH for aid, the psalmist promised to observe his precepts or commands.

For YHWH’s face to “shine” upon his servant would mean that the Most High would grant him favorable attention. Besides asking for YHWH’s face to be approvingly directed toward him, the psalmist also prayed to be taught his statutes. He wanted to know and understand God’s law and then to obey it.

Upon witnessing disregard for God’s law, the psalmist was greatly distressed. Tears, like streams of water, flowed from his eyes.