Psalm 119 #119:0 Solomon was king of Israel nearly 1000 years BC (Before Christ came to the earth.) Solomon built the house of God that was in Jerusalem. We call it ‘the temple.’ About 600 BC a nation called Babylon fought the Jews. A nation is a country with a government. Babylon was 800 kilometres east of Jerusalem. The Babylonians won the fight and they took many Jews to Babylon. We call this ‘the exile.’ The Babylonians also destroyed the temple. After the exile many Jews went back to their own country. About 500 BC they built the temple again. Then they made the Book of Psalms to sing in the new temple. Some were old psalms by David, Moses and Isaiah. Other psalms were new like Psalm 1. Psalm 119 was probably one of these new psalms. It is a very special psalm. There are 176 verses or parts in it. Some people think that 176 different people wrote one verse each. Other people think that Ezra wrote all Psalm 119. Ezra was a Jewish leader about 450 BC. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The Jews spoke Hebrew, so they wrote Psalm 119 in the Hebrew language. The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is aleph. Verses 1-8 all begin with aleph. Beth is the second letter. Verses 9-16 all begin with beth. Verses 17-24 all begin with the 3rd letter and so on. So, there are 22 times 8, or 176 verses in the psalm. We think that they did this to make it easier for them to remember the psalm. It was probably a psalm that Jewish leaders had to remember. We have not made the verses start with the right letter in this translation. We have put the psalm into 22 groups with 8 verses in each group.
The Word of God
1The people that make no mistakes in the way are very happy.
They obey the teaching of the LORD.
2The people that keep to his instructions are very happy.
They look for him with all their heart.
3Also, they do nothing that is wrong.
They walk in his ways.
4You have made guidelines for me.
I must follow them all.
5I want to make sure
that my ways obey your laws.
6Then I will not be ashamed
when I remember all your commands.
7I will praise you with a clean heart
when I learn your righteous rules.
8I will obey your laws.
Do not ever stop giving me help.
9How can a young man keep his path clean?
He must obey your words.
10I have looked for you with all my heart.
Do not let me forget your commands.
11I have hidden your sayings in my heart
so that I do not sin against you.
12 LORD, you are blessed!
Teach me your laws.
13My lips repeat all the commands of your mouth.
14I am happier following the way by your instructions
than having a lot of money.
15I want to think about your guidelines
and follow your paths.
16I am very happy with your laws.
I will not forget your word.
17Be kind to your servant.
Then I will live and obey your word.
18Open my eyes
and I will see wonderful things in your teaching.
19I am a stranger in the earth.
Do not hide your commands from me.
20I love to obey your rules so much
that I have no interest in other things.
21You are angry with the people who think that they are important.
Bad things will happen to them
when they walk away from your commands.
22Some people say bad and unkind things about me
because I keep to your instructions.
Take me away from those people.
23 Princes sit down and make plans against me.
But your servant thinks only about your laws.
24Yes! Your instructions make me really happy.
They are like people that tell me what to do.
25I am lying on the ground.
Give me the life that your word promises to me.
26I told you about my ways and you answered me.
Teach me your laws.
27Make me to understand what your guidelines mean.
Then I will always think about the wonderful things that you do.
28My very great sadness has made me tired.
Make me strong again as your word promises.
29Take the false way from me.
Be kind to me in your teaching.
30I have chosen the right way.
I will not forget your rules.
31I will keep to your instructions, LORD.
Do not make me ashamed.
32I will run in the way of your commands
because you give help to my heart.
33 LORD, give me help to understand your laws,
then I will always obey them.
34Explain your teaching to me, then I will always obey it.
I will do it with all my heart.
35Make me to walk in the path where your orders send me.
Do that because it will give me much pleasure.
36Turn my heart to your instructions
and not to wanting riches.
37Turn my eyes away from looking at things that have no value.
Give me the life that is in your word.
38Do for your servant the things that your sayings promise.
This will make him be afraid of you.
39I am afraid of being ashamed.
Do not let it happen, because your rules are good.
40I really want your guidelines.
Keep me alive as you are righteous.
41 LORD, I want your kind love to come to me
and I want your sayings to make me safe.
42Then I will have something to say to the people that laugh at me.
They laugh at me because I trust in your word.
43Do not take a true word away from my mouth,
because I put my hope in your rules.
44I will always obey your teaching,
I will never stop.
45I will be free to walk anywhere
because I look for your guidelines.
46I will talk about your instructions before kings.
I will not be ashamed.
47I love your commands
and I am very happy with them.
48I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love.
I am always thinking about your laws.
49Remember your word to your servant.
You made me put my hope in it.
50Your sayings comfort me when I am sad.
They comfort me because they give me life.
51 Proud people laugh at me all the time,
but I do not turn away from your teaching.
52 LORD, I remember the rules that you made long ago.
They make me feel better.
53I get very angry
when godless people turn away from your teaching.
54Your laws are my songs
in the house where I live.
55 LORD, in the night I will remember your name.
I will keep your teaching.
56I do this
because I follow your guidelines.
57 LORD, you are everything to me.
I promise to obey your words.
58I ask you, with all my heart,
to have mercy on me as you have promised.
59I have thought about my ways,
and my feet are going back to follow your instructions.
60I will hurry to obey your commands
and I will not be slow.
61People who do not know God are all round me.
They tie me up but still I do not forget your teaching.
62I get up in the middle of the night to praise you
because your rules are righteous.
63I am a friend of everyone that is afraid of you.
And I am a friend of those who follow your guidelines.
64Lord, the earth is full of your kind love.
Teach me your laws.
65You do good things for your servant, LORD,
as your word says.
66Teach me. Then I will choose and know what is right.
I will do that because I trust your commands.
67Before I was in trouble with you I made mistakes.
But now I keep to your sayings.
68You are good and you do good things.
Teach me your laws.
69 Proud men have told me lots of lies,
but your guidelines are of great value to me.
70Their heart is fat and they are stupid;
but I love your teaching.
71My trouble was good for me.
It made me learn your laws.
72Teaching from your mouth is better for me
than a lot of silver and gold.
73Your hands created me. And they made me what I am.
Help me to understand and learn your commands.
74The people that are afraid of you will be happy.
They will be happy when they see me.
This is because I am trusting in your word.
75 LORD, I know that your rules are righteous.
You were right when you sent me trouble.
76Now your kind love makes me feel better.
You promised this to your servant in your sayings.
77Send your love to me and I will live!
Your teaching makes me really happy.
78 Proud men will be ashamed
because they say lies about me without any reason.
79The people that are afraid of you will turn to me again.
They understand your instructions.
80My heart will make no mistakes about your laws.
I will not be ashamed.
81I feel weak while I wait for you to save me.
My hope is in your word.
82My eyes are closing while I look for your sayings.
I say, ‘When will you comfort me?’
83I am like a wineskin in smoke
but I will not forget your guidelines.
84The life of your servant is not very long.
When will you make the people that persecute me obey your rules?
85 Proud people have made traps for me.
Your teaching says that they must not do this.
86All your commands are true.
But people still persecute me with lies. Give me help!
87People on earth almost destroyed me,
but I did not stop following your guidelines.
88Your kind love gives me life.
I will obey your instructions.
89 LORD, your word will always rule in the heavens.
90Your truth will continue from one century to the next.
You have fixed the earth and it will remain.
91They remain today as your rules say they must.
They are all your servants. #119:91 ‘They’ probably means the earth and the stars in the heavens skies.
92If your teaching had not made me happy
then my great sadness would have destroyed me.
93I will never forget your guidelines
because in them you give me life.
94I am yours, save me!
Do it because I have looked for your guidelines.
95The godless wait to destroy me,
but I am studying your instructions.
96I see that all that is good on earth will finish.
But your commands have no end.
97I love your teaching very much.
I think about it all day long.
98Your commands teach me more than my enemies.
Your commands are always with me.
99I understand more than all my teachers
because I think about your commands.
100I understand more than the old people
because I follow your guidelines.
101I do not let my feet walk in any evil path
because I obey your word.
102I do not turn away from your rules,
because you teach me.
103Your sayings are like honey to me.
They are like something that tastes good.
104Your guidelines give me help to understand things,
so I hate every wrong path.
105Your word is a lamp to my foot
and a light to my path.
106I have really promised to keep your righteous rules
and I will do it.
107People have hurt me very much.
Give me the life that your word promises.
108 LORD, I pray that you will be happy with what I say.
And I pray that you will teach me your rules.
109I am always in danger,
but I never forget your teaching.
110 Wicked people have made a trap for me,
but I do not go away from your guidelines.
111Your instructions will always be with me
and they make my heart very happy.
112I will make my heart obey your instructions always, to the end.
113I hate the people that do not believe you.
But I love your teaching.
114You are my secret place where I can hide.
I put my hope in your word.
115Go away from me, you bad people!
I will obey my God's commands.
116Give me help and life, as your word promises.
And do not make me ashamed, because I hope in you.
117Give me help and I will be safe.
I will always obey your laws.
118You turn away from people that do not follow your laws.
This is because they speak lies.
And they are not honest.
119You destroy all the bad people in the world as rubbish.
For this reason I love your instructions.
120Am afraid of you and it makes my body shiver.
I am afraid of your rules.
121I was righteous and I obeyed the rules.
Do not give me to my oppressors.
122Make sure that good things happen to your servant.
Do not let proud people become my oppressors.
123My eyes have stopped seeing that you are saving me.
They do not see your righteous sayings.
124Do with your servant what your kind love suggests.
Teach me your laws.
125I am your servant. Explain your instructions to me
so that I understand them.
126It is time for the LORD to do something.
People have not obeyed your teaching.
127-128I hate every wrong path because:
· I love your commands more than gold, pure gold
· I think that all your guidelines are right
129I obey your instructions
because they are wonderful.
130When I read your words they bring light.
They help people that do not know enough to understand things.
131My mouth is wide open as I breathe.
This is because I am so eager for your commands.
132Turn to me and have mercy on me.
Your rules say that you will do this.
You will do this to people that love your name.
133Make my feet follow your sayings.
Do not let sin rule over me.
134Make me free from oppressors
and I will follow your guidelines.
135Show a kind face to your servant
and teach me your laws.
136Streams of water come from my eyes
because people do not obey your teaching.
137 LORD, you are righteous
and your rules are good.
138The instructions that you gave are very fair.
And we can trust in them.
139I am so eager that it makes me feel weak.
But my enemies do not listen to your words.
140We have found that your sayings are true.
Your servant loves them.
141I am not important and people do not like me.
But I will not forget your guidelines.
142You are always righteous and fair.
Your teachings are true.
143An enemy brought me trouble,
but your commands make me happy.
144Your instructions are always fair.
Make me understand them and find life.
145I cried with all my heart. ‘Answer me, LORD.’
‘I will obey your laws’, I cried.
and I will keep to your instructions.’
147I woke up before dawn and cried to you for help.
I want all that you promised in your word.
148I stayed up all night
and thought about your sayings.
149Listen to my voice, because you are loving and kind.
Lord, keep me alive as your rules promise me.
150The people that persecute me are coming near.
They want to do something very bad to me.
They are far away from your teaching.
151Lord, you are near to me.
All your commands are true.
152I have known about your instructions for a long time.
And I have known that you made them to continue always.
153Look at my trouble!
Save me because I do not forget your teaching.
154Fight my fight for me and redeem me.
Keep me alive as your sayings promise me.
155 Godless people are far away from being safe.
They do not look for your laws.
156 LORD, your love is great,
because your rules keep me alive.
157Many enemies persecute me
but I do not go away from your instructions.
158I see people doing such bad things that I hate them.
But, I do not stop obeying your sayings.
159See how I love your guidelines, LORD.
Keep me alive through your kind love.
160All your words are true.
All your righteous rules will continue always.
161 Princes persecute me for no good reason.
But it is your word that really makes my heart afraid.
162I am very happy with your sayings.
I am like someone that finds great riches.
163I do not like lies, I hate them.
Your teaching is what I love.
164I praise you 7 times every day
because of your righteous rules.
165People that love your teaching have a lot of peace.
Nothing will make them fall down.
166 LORD, I am waiting for you to save me
while I obey your commands.
167I will keep to your instructions
because I love them so much.
168I follow your guidelines and instructions
because you see all that I do.
169I am calling to you for help, LORD.
I want to understand your word.
170Hear what I pray and have mercy on me.
Save me, as your sayings promise me.
171My lips will pour out praise
because you are teaching me your laws.
172My tongue will sing your sayings
because all your commands are righteous.
173I want your hand to come to my help
because I chose to follow your guidelines.
174Lord, I want you to save me.
Your teaching makes me very happy.
175Give me life so that I can praise you.
May your rules give me help.
176I have become like a lost sheep.
Look for your servant,
because I have not forgotten your commands.