The Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy) is Yahweh’s basic instruction to
His highest creatures. It is expounded by the Prophets and Apostles, and praised
with the Psalms.
The Biblical Book of Psalms is divided into five books: books 1 (Psalms 1-41)
and 2 (Psalms 42-72) are called Psalms; book 3 (Psalms 73-89) is called Hymns;
and books 4 (Psalms 90-106) and 5 (Psalms 106-150) are called Spiritual Songs.
In each of these five books, the ending verses are a doxology. The Apostle Paul
taught believers in Yeshua (Jesus) to teach and admonish one another with
these “Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs” (Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19).
Also, the Apostle James taught believers to sing the Psalms (James 5:13). Psalm
119 is part of book 5 – Spiritual Songs.
Psalm 119 is called the repetition of eight. The first eight verses each begin
with the letter aleph. The next eight verses each begin with the letter
bet. The next eight verses each begin with the letter gimel. And
so on throughout the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alephbet.
While seven is the number of the days of creation, the number eight symbolizes
the release from the desires of this mundane world. In this Psalm, David charts
the stages of growth toward spiritual maturity. Following Psalm 119 are the
Songs of Ascent – Psalms 120-134; having matured, we are ready to ascend
Yahweh’s Holy Hill (Psalm 24:3-4).
Definitions of terms:
– God’s holy Name (Exodus 3:15): it is to be revered and exalted. But His Word
is to be exalted even above His Name! (Psalm 138:2)
– God’s instruction, the basis being
– commandments or deeds of the Torah; in three categories shown below.
– judgments: moral laws (e.g.: protecting life, honoring other’s possessions,
– ordinances: rituals that portray spiritual truths (e.g.: Sabbaths, feasts,
– statutes: acts that bring us closer to God, with reasons not obvious (e.g.:
kashrut / food definitions).
Consistent translation of these terms will be emphasized herein, to clarify the
original distinctions that are commonly confused by cross-translations in most
This Psalm specifically promotes all three categories of Torah
commandments (mitzvot): judgments (mishpatim – moral laws),
ordinances (edut – rituals portraying spiritual truths), and statutes (khuqim
– commandments bonding God and man, without obvious reason).
is a pictograph of an ox head. The head represents the source of intellect. In
the first eight verses, we are taught the blessing of walking in Yahweh’s
instruction (Torah), and wholeheartedly seeking Him. We are to cherish
Yahweh’s ordinances (edut: includes festivals), be firmly guided by
His statutes (khuqim: commandments without obvious reason, that bring us
closer to God), and study His righteous judgments (mishpatim: moral laws)
– all three categories of His commandments (mitzvot).
(Ashrey) How blessed – are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the
instruction (Torah) of Yahweh.
(Ashrey) How blessed – are those who observe His ordinances (edut),
who seek Him with all their heart.
(Aph) They also – do no unrighteousness; they walk in His ways.
(Attah) You – have ordained Your precepts, that we should keep them
(Akhalay) Oh that my – ways may be established to keep Your statutes (khuqim)!
(Az) Then – I shall not be ashamed when I look upon all Your commandments
(Aodka) I shall give thanks – to You with uprightness of heart, when I
learn Your righteous statutes (khuqim).
(At-khuqeyka) Your statutes (khuqim) – I shall keep; do not
forsake me utterly!
is a pictograph of a house – where we live. Here we learn that through careful
analysis, we are to apply the Word of God to every aspect of life. A young
person can purify his walk by observing His Word. In prayer, we should bless
Yahweh, and ask for teaching of His statutes. Our speech should concern His
paths, and we should be occupied even with His statutes – those commandments
without obvious reason.
(Bemmeh) How – can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it
according to Your Word.
(B’kal-libiy) With all my heart – I have sought You; do not let me wander
from Your commandments (mitzvot).
(B’libiy) In my heart – I have treasured Your Word, that I may not sin
(Baruka) Blessed are You – O Yahweh; teach me Your statutes (khuqim).
(Bisfatay) With my lips – I have told of all the judgments (mishpatim)
of Your mouth.
(B’dereka) In the way – of Your ordinances (edut) I have rejoiced,
as much as in all riches.
(B’fiqudeyka) On Your precepts – I will meditate and regard Your ways.
(B’khuqoteyka) In Your statutes (khuqim) – I shall delight; I
shall not forget Your Word.
represents g’mol – kindness. This set of eight verses begins with a
request for Yahweh to “deal kindly.” The ultimate kindness of God is that
He would grant us to keep His Word! David asks for his eyes to be unveiled that
he may perceive wonders from the Torah. Yahweh’s ordinances (such
as festivals) are called “my counselors.”
(G’mol) Deal kindly – with Your servant, that I may live and keep Your
(Gal-eyney) Open my eyes – that I may behold wonderful things from Your
(Ger) A stranger – I am in the earth; do not hide Your commandments (mitzvot)
(Garsah) Crushed – is my soul with longing after Your judgments (mishpatim)
at all times.
(Ga’arkha) You rebuke – the arrogant, the cursed, who wander from Your
(Gal) Take away – reproach and contempt from me, for I observe Your
(Gam) Even though – princes sit and talk against me, Your servant
meditates on Your statutes (khuqim).
(Gam-edokheyka) Also Your ordinances (edut) – also are my delight;
they are my counselors.
pictures a door, and represents derek – ways or paths. The first of these
eight verses reads, “(Davaq) Cleaves my soul to the dust; revive me . .
.” Our natural desires are toward worldly things that corrupt the soul, so we
need God to open the door and lead us in the way. We need to understand His
precepts, and be sustained by His Word. We need God to correct our false ways,
and graciously grant us understanding of His Torah.
(Davqah) ) Cleaves – my soul to the dust; revive me according to Your
(D’rakai) My ways – I have told, and You have answered me; teach me Your
(Derek-piqudeyka) The way of Your precepts – make me understand, so I
will meditate on Your wonders.
(Dalfah) Weeps – my soul because of grief; strengthen me according to
(Derek-sheqer) The false way – remove from me, and graciously grant me
Your instruction (Torah).
(Derek-emunah) The faithful way – I have chosen; I have placed Your
judgments (mishpatim) before me.
(Davaqtiy) I cling – to Your testimonies; O Yahweh, do not put me
(Derek-mitzvoteyka) The way of Your commandments (mitzvot) – I
shall run, for You will enlarge my heart.
is the number five, representing the five books of Torah. Here we read:
“Teach me,” “Give me understanding,” “Make me walk,” “Incline my heart,” “Turn
my eyes,” “Establish Your Word,” and “Behold, I long for Your precepts.”
(Horeniy) Teach me – O Yahweh, the way of Your statutes (khuqim),
and I shall observe it to the end.
(Haviyneniy) Give me understanding – that I may observe Your
instruction (Torah) and keep it with all my heart.
(Hedriykeniy) Make me walk – in the path of Your commandments (mitzvot),
for I delight in it.
(Hat-libiy) Incline my heart – to Your ordinances (edut) and not
to dishonest gain.
(Hatzaber) Turn away – my eyes from looking at vanity, and revive me in
(Haqem) Establish – Your word to Your servant, as that which produces
reverence for You.
(Hatzaver) Turn away – my reproach which I dread, for Your judgments (mishpatim)
(Hinneh) Behold – I long for Your precepts; revive me through Your
(originally Waw) is called the letter of truth, because it is perfectly
straight (though this book print is fanciful). Here we read that God’s Word is
utmost truth, in which we can implicitly trust.
(Viyvouney) May they also come to me – Your lovingkindnesses, O Yahweh,
Your salvation according to Your Word;
(V’eaneh) So I will have an answer – for him who reproaches me, for I
trust in Your Word.
(V’al-tatzel) And do not take – the Word of truth utterly out of my
mouth, for I wait for Your judgments (mishpatim).
(V’eshm’rah) So I will keep – Your instruction (Torah)
continually, forever and ever.
(V’ethallokah) And I will walk – at liberty, for I seek Your precepts.
(Va’adabrah) I will also speak – of Your ordinances (edut) before
kings and shall not be ashamed.
(V’eshta’asha) I shall delight – in Your commandments (mitzvot),
which I love.
(V’esa-kapay) And I shall lift up my hands – to Your commandments (mitzvot),
which I love; and I will meditate on Your statutes (khuqim).
stands for zakar – remember. Zayin is also the number seven. Seven
represents divinity: remember the Sabbath Day – the seventh day that is Holy to
the Divine, from creation. David asked God to remember His Word which preserved
him. We are to remember Yahweh’s ancient commandments, and be comforted.
We are to remember Yahweh’s Name, and keep His Torah.
(Z’kor-davar) Remember the Word – to Your servant, in which You have made
(Zoat) This – is my comfort in my affliction, that Your Word has revived
(Zediym) The arrogant – utterly deride me, yet I do not turn aside
from Your instruction (Torah).
(Zakartiy) I have remembered – Your judgments (mishpatim) from of
old, O Yahweh, and comfort myself.
(Zal’afah) Burning indignation – has seized me because of the wicked, who
forsake Your instruction (Torah).
(Z’mirot) My songs – in the house of my pilgrimage, are Your statutes (khuqim).
(Zakartiy) I remember –Your name in the night, O Yahweh, and keep
Your instruction (Torah).
(Zoat) This – has become mine, that I observe Your precepts.
is a pictograph of a fence. David’s portion was on Yahweh’s side of the
fence. His feet turned within it. Those who were on Yahweh’s side were
befriended by him.
(Khelqiy) My portion – is Yahweh; I have promised to keep Your
(Khiliytiy) I sought – Your favor with all my heart; be gracious
to me according to Your Word.
(Khishavtiy) I considered – my ways and turned my feet to Your ordinances
(Khashtiy) I hastened – and did not delay to keep Your commandments (mitzvot).
(Khevley) The cords – of the wicked have encircled me, but I have
not forgotten Your instruction (Torah).
(Khatzot-laylah) At midnight – I shall rise to give thanks to You because
of Your righteous judgments (mishpatim).
(Khaver) I am a companion – of all those who fear You, and of those who
keep Your precepts.
(Khasd’ka) Your lovingkindness – the earth is full of, O Yahweh;
teach me Your statutes (khuqim).
is the first letter of tov – good. “Good You have done.” “Good
discernment teach me”. “It is good for me – that I was afflicted.” “It is good
for me – the Torah of Your mouth.”
(Tov) Good – You have done with Your servant, O Yahweh, according
to Your Word.
(Tov) Good – discernment and knowledge teach me, for I believe in Your
(Terem) Before – I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your Word.
(Tov-atah) You are good – and do good; teach me Your statutes (khuqim).
(Taflo) Forged – against me a lie have the arrogant; with all my
heart I will observe Your precepts.
(Tafash) Covered with fat – is their heart, but I delight in Your
(Tov-liy) It is good – for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your
(Tov-liy) It is good – for me, the instruction (Torah) of
Your mouth, more than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
is a closed hand, and the number ten. It is the smallest of letters. When Yeshua
said, “Not one yod will pass away” (Matthew 5:18), he was saying, not one
of the ten (words on the stone tablets) will pass away. As the first letter in
yerushshah – inheritance, it is said to represent the small number of
people who will inherit the world to come (Menachot 29b), the remnant.
This set of eight begins with “(Yadacha) Your hands made me.” The
Midrash explains this portion, “I am the vessel, and You are the craftsman:
make me beautiful so that all who behold me may praise You!”
(Yadeyka) Your hands – made me and fashioned me; give me understanding,
that I may learn Your commandments (mitzvot).
(Y’re’eyka) May those who fear You – see me and be glad, because I wait
for Your Word.
(Yadatiy) I know – O Yahweh, that Your judgments (mishpatim)
are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
(Y’hiy-na) O may Your – lovingkindness comfort me, according to Your Word
to Your servant.
(Y’vo’oniy) May it come to me – Your compassion, that I may live, for
Your instruction (Torah) is my delight.
(Yevoshu) May they be ashamed, the arrogant, for they subvert me with a
lie; but I shall meditate on Your precepts.
(Yashuvu) May those turn to me – who fear You, even those who know Your
(Y’hiy-liviy) May my heart be – blameless in Your statutes (khuqim),
so that I will not be ashamed.
is a pictograph of the palm of a hand, and the letter is shaped like a cupped
hand. David is seeking shelter in the palm of God’s hand. Kaph may stand
for keter – crown: he who dwells in God’s hand will be crowned with
(Kaltah) Languishes – my soul for Your salvation; I wait for Your Word.
(Kalu) Fail – do my eyes with longing for Your Word, while I say,
"When will You comfort me?"
(Kiy-hay’yhiy) Though I have become – like a wineskin in the smoke, I do
not forget Your statutes (khuqim).
(Kamah) How many – are the days of Your servant? When will You execute
judgment on those who persecute me?
(Karu-liy) They have dug – pits for me, arrogant men who are not
in accord with Your instruction (Torah).
(Kal-mitzvoteycha) All Your commandments (mitzvot) – are faithful;
they have persecuted me with a lie; help me!
(Kim’at) They almost – destroyed me on earth, but as for me, I did not
forsake Your precepts.
(K’hasd’ka) According to Your lovingkindness – revive me, so that I may
keep the ordinances (edut) of Your mouth.
Half way through our spiritual journey in Psalm 119, we have learned the
significance of Torah.
is a pictogram of a staff; it means to teach or bind as with a yoke. Yahweh’s
Word, His faithfulness, His creation, and His commandments, are bound to Him
l’olam – forever. Here we have reasons to seriously study Torah.
(L’olam) Forever – O Yahweh, Your Word is settled in heaven.
(L’dor) Continues – Your faithfulness throughout all generations; You
established the earth, and it stands.
(L’mishpateyka) According to Your judgments (mishpatim) – they
stand this day, for all things are Your servants.
(Luley) If not – Your instruction (Torah) had been my delight,
then I would have perished in my affliction.
(L’olam lo-eshkekh) I will never forget – Your precepts, for by them You
have revived me.
(L’ka-aniy) I am Yours – save me; for I have sought Your precepts.
(Liy qivu) Lying in wait for me – are the wicked to destroy me; I shall
diligently consider Your ordinances (edut).
(L’kal) To all – perfection I have seen a limit, but Your commandments (mitzvot)
are exceedingly broad.
Having learned its significance, we love God’s Word above all: so we pronounce
(Mah-ahavk’tiy) O how I love – Your instruction (Torah)! It is my
meditation all the day.
(Meoyvay) Than my enemies – Your commandments (mitzvot) make me
wiser, for they are ever mine.
(Mikal-m’lamday) I have more insight – than all my teachers, for Your
ordinances (edut) are my meditation.
(Mizqeniym) More than the aged – I understand, because I have observed
(Mikal-orakh) From every evil way – I have restrained my feet, that I may
keep Your Word.
(Mimishpateyka) From Your judgments (mishpatim) – I have not
turned aside, for You Yourself have taught me.
(Mah-niml’tzu) How sweet – are Your Words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than
honey to my mouth!
(Mipiqudeyka) From Your precepts – I get understanding; therefore I hate
every false way.
Having learned the significance of God’s Word, and gained a love for it, we
become (Ne’eman) a loyal person.
(Ner-l’ragliy) To my feet – Your Word is a lamp, and a light to my path.
(Nishbaatiy) I have sworn – and I will confirm it, that I will keep Your
righteous judgments (mishpatim).
(Naaneytiy) I am afflicted – exceedingly; revive me, O Yahweh, according
to Your Word.
(Nidvot) The offerings of my mouth – accept, O Yahweh, and teach me Your
(Nafshiy) My life – is continually in my hand, yet I do not forget Your
(Natnu) They laid – a snare for me, the wicked have, yet I have not gone
astray from Your precepts.
(Nakhaltiy) I have inherited – Your ordinances (edut) forever, for
they are the joy of my heart.
(Natiytiy) I have inclined – my heart to perform Your statutes (khuqim)
forever, even to the end.
was originally a pictograph of a thorn, which protects its own against
outsiders. God’s Word will (Samekh) sustain us.
(Seafiym) Double-minded ones – I hate, but I love Your instruction (Torah).
(Sitriy) My hiding place – You are and my shield; I wait for Your Word.
(Suru-mimeniy) Depart from me – evildoers, that I may observe the
commandments (mitzvot) of my God.
(Samkainiy) Sustain me – according to Your Word, that I may live; and do
not let me be ashamed of my hope.
(S’arainiy) Uphold me – that I may be safe, that I may have regard for
Your statutes (khuqim) continually.
(Saliyta) You have rejected – all those who wander from Your statutes,
for their deceitfulness is useless.
(Siniym) Like dross – You have removed all the wicked of the earth;
therefore I love Your ordinances (edut).
(Samar) Trembling – is my flesh for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your
means pauper. Here we see
(Asiytiy) I have done – justice and righteousness; do not leave me to my
(Arov) Be surety – for Your servant for good; do not let the arrogant
(Aiyney) My eyes – fail with longing for Your Salvation (Yeshua)
and for Your righteous Word.
(Asaih) Deal – with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness and
teach me Your statutes (khuqim).
(Avraka-aniy) I am Your servant – give me understanding, that I may know
Your ordinances (edut).
(Ait) Time – it is for Yahweh to act, for they have broken
Your instruction (Torah).
(Al-ken) Therefore – I love Your commandments (mitzvot) above
gold, yes, above fine gold.
(Al-ken) Therefore – I esteem right all Your precepts concerning
everything, I hate every false way.
means mouth, and the letter is shaped like an open mouth.
(P’laot) Wonderful – are Your ordinances (edut); therefore my soul
(Paitakh) The opening –
Words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
(Piy-faartiy) My mouth I opened wide –
panted, for I longed for Your commandments
Turn to me
– and be gracious to me, after Your manner with those who love Your Name.
(P’amay) My footsteps –
in Your Word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.
– from the oppression of man, that I may keep Your statutes (khuqim).
face – shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes.
(Palgaiy-mayim) Streams of water –
shed, because they do not keep Your instruction (Torah).
represents tzaddiq – righteous: God’s Words are righteous.
(Tzaddiyq) Righteous – are You, O Yahweh, and upright are Your judgments
(Tzviyta) You have commanded – Your ordinances (edut) in
righteousness and exceeding faithfulness.
(Tzimtatniy) Consumed me – has my zeal, because my adversaries have
forgotten Your Words.
(Tz’rufah) Very pure – is Your Word, therefore Your servant loves it.
(Tza’iyr) I am small – and despised, yet I do not forget Your
(Tzidqatka) Your righteousness – is an everlasting righteousness, and
Your instruction (Torah) is truth.
(Tzar-vomatzoq) Trouble and anguish – have come upon me, yet Your
commandments (mitzvot) are my delight.
(Tzedeq) Righteous – forever are Your ordinances (edut);
give me understanding that I may live.
stands for Qedushah – sanctity. Here we see sanctification relating to
all three categories of commandments. We also see that Sabbaths and festivals
(ordinances) are forever!
(Qaratiy) – I cried – with all my heart; answer me, O Yahweh! I
will observe Your statutes (khuqim).
(Q’ratiyka) I cried to You – save me and I shall keep Your ordinances (edut).
(Qidamtiy) I rise – before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your Words.
(Qidmu) I anticipate – with my eyes the night watches, that I may
meditate on Your Word.
(Qoliy) My voice – hear according to Your lovingkindness; revive me, O
Yahweh, according to Your judgments (mishpatim).
(Qarvu) Those who follow – after wickedness draw near; they are far from
Your instruction (Torah).
(Qarov) You are near – O Yahweh, and all Your commandments (mitzvot)
(Qedem) Of old – I have known from Your ordinances (edut), that
You have founded them forever.
represents rasha – the wicked, who are far from Yeshua, for they
do not seek the less obvious instruction (statutes). Again it is affirmed that
the Sabbaths and festivals (ordinances) are everlasting.
my affliction – and rescue me, for I do not forget Your instruction (Torah).
Plead – my
cause and redeem me; revive me according to Your Word.
(Rakhoq) Far – is
(Yeshua) from the wicked (rasha), for they do not seek Your
mercies are great, O Yahweh; revive me according to Your judgments (mishpatim).
(Rabiym) Great – in number
are my persecutors and my adversaries, yet I do not turn aside from Your
I behold –
the treacherous and loathe them, because they do not keep Your Word.
how I love Your precepts; revive me, O Yahweh, according to Your
The sum of
Your Word – is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances (edut)
stands for shalom – peace, and shibartiy – waiting for Yeshua,
and shamrah – keeping God’s ordinances.
persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your Word.
– at Your Word, as one who finds great spoil.
(Sheqer) Falsehood – I hate and despise, but Your
times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments (mishpatim).
(Shalom rav) Great peace – have those
who love Your instruction (Torah), and nothing causes them to stumble.
is the person who is becoming spiritually mature.
I wait –
for Your Salvation (Yeshua), O Yahweh, and do Your commandments (mitzvot).
keeps – Your ordinances (edut), and I love them exceedingly.
I keep –
Your precepts and Your ordinances (edut), for all my ways are before You.
let my lips flow with praise, ta’an – let my tongue sing, and
– I long for Yeshua!
Let it approach – my cry, before You, O Yahweh; give me understanding
according to Your Word.
(Tavoa) Let it come before You – my supplication;
deliver me according to Your Word.
Let them flow – my lips with Your praise, for You teach me Your statutes (khuqim).
Let my tongue sing – of Your Word, for all Your commandments (mitzvot –
all three categories) are righteousness.
hand – be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your precepts.
I long for
– Your Salvation (Yeshua), O Yahweh, and Your instruction (Torah)
is my delight.
soul live – that it may praise You, and let Your judgments (mishpatim)
the final verse:
gone astray – like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, for I do not forget Your
represents truth (emet), because it is the final letter of that word, and
truth is the ultimate purpose (Shabbat 104a). Yeshua is the
Aleph and Tav (Alpha and Omega), the First and the Last
(Revelation 1:17, 22:13). Tav was originally a pictograph of a cross!