PS 119 Because this psalm was very large, and the matter of it of the greatest importance, the psalmist thought fit to divide it into two and twenty several parts, according to the number of the Hebrew letters, that he might both prevent tediousness, and fix it in the memory. Each part consists of eight verses. All the verses of the first part beginning with Aleph, all the verses of the second with Beth, and so on. It is observable, that the word of God is here called by the names of law, statutes, precepts or commandments, judgments, ordinances, righteousness, testimonies, way and word. By which variety, he designed to express the nature and perfection of God's word. It is called his word, as revealed by him to us; his way, as prescribed by him for us to walk in; his law, as binding us to obedience; his statutes, as declaring his authority of giving us laws; his precepts as directing our duty; his ordinances, as ordained by him; his righteousness, as exactly agreeable to God's righteous nature and will; his judgments, as proceeding from the great judge of the world, and being his judicial sentence to which all men must submit; and his testimonies, as it contains the witness of God's will, and of man's duty. And there is but one of these one hundred and seventy six verses, in which one or other of these titles is not found. The general scope and design of this psalm is, to magnify the law and make it honourable: to shew the excellency and usefulness of divine Revelation, and recommend it to us, by the psalmist's own example, who speaks by experience of the benefits of it, for which he praises God, and earnestly prays for the continuance of God's grace, to direct and quicken him in his way.
Verse 6. Respect - A due respect, which implies hearty affection, diligent study, and constant practice. To all - So as not to allow myself in any known sin, or in the neglect of any known duty.
Verse 7. When - When by thy good spirit I shall he more fitly instructed in the meaning of thy word.
Verse 8. Forsake me not - For then I shall fall into the foulest sins.
Verse 9. A young man - Or, any man. But he names the young man, because such are commonly void of wisdom and experience, and exposed to many and great temptations. Cleanse - Purge himself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit.
Verse 11. Hid - I have laid it up in my mind like a choice treasure, to be ready upon all occasions to counsel, quicken or caution me.
Verse 17. Live - Safely and comfortably.
Verse 18. Open - Enlighten my mind by the light of thy Holy Spirit, and dispel all ignorance and error. Behold - Those great and marvelous depths of Divine wisdom and goodness, and those profound mysteries of Christ, and God's grace to mankind, and of that everlasting state, which are not to be known but by Divine illumination.
Verse 19. A stranger - I am not here as in my home, but as a pilgrim travelling homeward in a strange land. Commandments - Which are my chief support and guide in my pilgrimage.
Verse 20. Breaketh - Faints, as it frequently does, when a thing vehemently desired is delayed. Judgments - To a more sound knowledge and serious practice of them.
Verse 21. The proud - Obstinate and presumptuous sinners, who sin with an highhand. Err - Or, wander, knowingly or wilfully.
Verse 25. The dust - I am in danger of present death: I am like one laid in the grave. Quicken - Preserve my life, or raise me out of the dust. Word - According to thy promise.
Verse 26. My ways - My sins; and all my cares, and fears, and troubles.
Verse 29. Grant me - Vouchsafe me an accurate knowledge of thy word, and let me govern myself by it in all things.
Verse 30. Laid - Or, set before me as a mark to aim at; as a rule to direct me.
Verse 32. Run - I will obey thy precepts with all readiness, fervency, and diligence. Enlarge - When thou shalt replenish my heart with wisdom, and love to thee and thy law.
Verse 36. Covetousness - He mentions this in particular, because it is most opposite to God's testimonies, and does most commonly hinder men from receiving his word, and from profiting by it: and because it is most pernicious, as being the root of all evil.
Verse 37. Vanity - The vain things of this present world, such as riches, honours, pleasures: from beholding them, with desire or affection. Quicken - Make me lively, vigourous and fervent in thy service.
Verse 38. Stablish - Confirm and perform thy promises.
Verse 39. I fear - For my instability in thy ways; which in respect to my own weakness, I have great cause to fear.
Verse 40. Longed - After a more solid knowledge and constant performance of them. In - According to thy faithfulness.
Verse 43. Take not - Do not deal so with me, that I shall be ashamed to mention thy word. Judgments - In thy word.
Verse 45. At liberty - Enjoy great freedom and comfort in thy ways.
Verse 48. Lift up - To receive and embrace thy precepts and promises.
Verse 49. Thy word - Thy promises.
Verse 52. Judgments - Thy ancient dispensations to the children of men in punishing the ungodly.
Verse 53. Horror - A mixed passion, made up of abhorrence of their sins, and dread and sorrow at the consideration of the judgments of God coming upon them.
Verse 54. The house - In this world, wherein I am a stranger and pilgrim, as all my fathers were.
Verse 55. Thy name - Thy holy nature and attributes, thy blessed word, and thy wonderful works. In the night - When darkness causes fear in others, I took pleasure in remembering thee; and when others gave themselves up to sleep, my thoughts and affections were working towards thee.
Verse 56. This - This comfortable remembrance.
Verse 57. Said - I have professed and owned it.
Verse 59. Thought - I seriously considered both my former courses, and my duty in all my future actions.
Verse 61. Robbed - Done me many injuries, for my respect to thy law.
Verse 66. Judgment - Whereby I may rightly discern between truth and falsehood. Knowledge - A spiritual experimental knowledge.
Verse 70. Fat - They are stupid and insensible.
Verse 74. Glad - For the encouragement they have by my example to trust in God. See me - Alive and in safety. Word - In thy promise, and have not been disappointed of my hope.
Verse 75. Judgments - Thy corrections. Of faithfulness - In pursuance of thy promises, and in order to my good.
Verse 79. Known - Loved and practiced them.
Verse 80. Sound - That I may love and obey them sincerely, constantly, and universally.
Verse 81. Fainteth - With long desire and earnest expectation.
Verse 83. Bottle - A leathern bottle. My natural moisture is dryed and burnt up.
Verse 84. The days - The days of my life. I have but a little while to live; give me some respite before I die.
Verse 89. In heaven - With thee in thy heavenly habitation.
Verse 91. They - The heaven and the earth. Ordinances - As thou hast appointed. For - All things are subject to thy power and pleasure.
Verse 96. Perfection - Of the greatest and most perfect enjoyments in this world. Commandment - Thy word; one part of it being put for the whole. Broad - Or, large, both for extent, and for continuance: it is useful to all persons: it is of everlasting truth and efficacy; it will never deceive those who trust to it, as all worldly things will, but will make men happy both here and for ever.
Verse 100. Because - The practice of religion is the best way to understand it.
Verse 102. Taught me - By thy blessed spirit, illuminating my mind, and working upon my heart.
Verse 108. Offerings - The sacrifices of prayer and praise.
Verse 109. Is - Exposed to perpetual danger.
Verse 118. Deceit - Their deceitful devices, shall bring that destruction upon themselves which they design for others.
Verse 121. Judgment, &c. - Just judgment.
Verse 122. Surety - Do thou undertake and plead my cause.