Psalm 19:8
The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
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The statutes of the Lord - The word here rendered statutes properly means mandates, precepts - rules given to anyone to guide him, Psalm 103:18; Psalm 111:7. It refers to the laws of God considered as appointed, or as the result of divine authority. The verb from which this word is derived (Hiphil) means to set over, to give the oversight, to appoint. Hence, the idea of laws, or statutes, as the result of such an appointment, or such an authority.

Are right - Are equal, just, proper. They are such as are founded in wisdom and equity; not such as are the mere result of arbitrary appointment. The idea is that they are not merely appointed, or made binding by authority, but that they are in themselves equitable and just.

Rejoicing the heart - Making the heart glad by the fact that they are equitable and just - and glad as the result of obedience. It is always a source of true happiness when we can feel that we are under just and equal laws; laws in themselves right, and laws administered in righteousness and truth.

The commandment of the Lord - An appellation of the law of God from the idea of setting up, appointing, constituting; hence, of charging, or commanding. The idea here is not so much that the thing is right in itself as that it is appointed or ordered by God; that it is what he requires. The term is one that is often applied to the laws of God, Deuteronomy 6:1; Deuteronomy 7:11; Leviticus 4:13; Genesis 26:5; Exodus 15:26; Exodus 16:28; Psalm 78:7; Psalm 89:31; Psalm 119:6, Psalm 119:10, Psalm 119:19, Psalm 119:21, Psalm 119:32, Psalm 119:35, Psalm 119:47-48, Psalm 119:60, Psalm 119:66, Psalm 119:73, Psalm 119:86, Psalm 119:96, Psalm 119:98,Psalm 119:115, Psalm 119:127, Psalm 119:131, Psalm 119:143 then I Chapter I then I me me then I out a then I out me day.

Is pure - Free from all stain; from all imperfection; from any corrupt tendency. "Enlightening the eyes." That is, giving us light and knowledge. The eyes are mentioned, as it is by them that we see where to go. The reference here is undoubtedly to the mind or soul as being enlightened by the truth of God. We are made by these commandments to see what is right and proper; to understand what we should do.

The statutes of the Lord - פקודים pikkudim, from פקד pakad, he visited, cared, took notice of, appointed to a charge. The appointments, or charge delivered by God to man for his regard and observance.

Are right - ישרים yesharim, from ישר yashar, to make straight, smooth, right, upright, opposed to crookedness in mind or conduct; showing what the man should be, both within and without. This is Their character.

Rejoicing the heart - As they show a man what he is to observe and keep in charge, and how he is to please God, and the Divine help he is to receive from the visitations of God, they contribute greatly to the happiness of the upright - they rejoice the heart. This is Their use.

The commandment - מצוה mitsvah, from צוה tsavah, to command, give orders, ordain. What God has ordered man to do, or not to do. What he has commanded, and what he has prohibited.

Is pure - From ברה barah, to clear, cleanse, purify. All God's commandments lead to purity, enjoin purity, and point out that sacrificial offering by which cleansing and purification are acquired. This is Its character.

Enlightening the eyes - Showing men what they should do. and what they should avoid. It is by God's commandments that we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the necessity of redemption, so that we may love the Lord with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves. For this is the end of the commandment, and thus to enlighten the eyes is Its use.

The statutes of the Lord are right,.... The word of God may be called "statutes", or "visitations" (d) because that God will visit, in a way of resentment, such persons as despise its authority, do not act according to it, or add unto it, or detract from it; or the word may be rendered "commissions" (e), things committed to trust, as the Scriptures were to the Jews, Romans 3:1; and as the Gospel is committed to the trust of the ministers of it, who faithfully dispense it, 2 Corinthians 5:19. Now these may be said to be right, as the word of the Lord is, Psalm 33:4; since they set men right in their principles, and direct them to right practices; they are the means of making them upright in heart, and in conversation: the doctrines of the word of God have nothing crooked, froward, and perverse in them; are without sophism, and the hidden things of dishonesty; they are all in righteousness, and plain and easy in everything respecting salvation, to those who have a spiritual knowledge and understanding of them, Proverbs 8:8; they lead into right and straight paths of truth and holiness, in which wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err; and particularly the Gospel directs to the right way of salvation and eternal life by Jesus Christ; the effect of which is

rejoicing the heart. This cannot be understood of the law, which is a voice of terror, pronounces guilty, curses and condemns, is the killing letter, and works wrath; but of the Gospel part of the word, which is a joyful sound; publishes good tidings of good things; and, when applied by the Spirit of God, is found to have this effect, see Jeremiah 15:16;

the commandment of the Lord is pure; not only the Scriptures in general may bear this name, because they deliver out the commands of God to men, as those of a moral and ceremonial kind to the Jews under the former dispensation; so the ordinances of Christ, which are his commands under the Gospel dispensation; yea, the Gospel itself may be so called, though, strictly speaking, it has no command in it; because, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, it is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith, Romans 16:25; besides, the commandment is no other than the word or doctrine, see 1 John 2:7; and as every commandment of the Lord, of what kind soever it is, is pure and holy, so is every word of God, Proverbs 30:5; being without any mixture of men's inventions, or the dross of corrupt doctrine, sincere, unadulterated, clear of all chaff and impurity, consistent, uniform, and all of a piece, and which tends to promote purity of heart, life, and conversation;

enlightening the eyes: that is, of the understanding, so as for a man to see his lost state and condition by nature; to see the glory, fulness, and grace of Christ; to behold wondrous things in the doctrine of the Gospel, and to observe the way of duty in which he should walk: this is the eyesalve in Revelation 3:18; and so the Jewish doctors (f) explaining this text call the law, using the same word as there.

(d) "visitationes", Ainsworth. (e) "Commissiones", Munster; "deposita", so some in Rivetus; "depositum", Gejerus, Michaelis. (f) Vajikra Rabba, s. 12. fol. 155. 3. & Debarim Rabba, s. 8. fol. 243. 3.

The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.7-9. The law is described by six names, epithets, and effects. It is a rule, God's testimony for the truth, His special and general prescription of duty, fear (as its cause) and judicial decision. It is distinct and certain, reliable, right, pure, holy, and true. Hence it revives those depressed by doubts, makes wise the unskilled (2Ti 3:15), rejoices the lover of truth, strengthens the desponding (Ps 13:4; 34:6), provides permanent principles of conduct, and by God's grace brings a rich reward.(Heb.: 19:2-4) The heavens, i.e., the superterrestrial spheres, which, so far as human vision is concerned, are lost in infinite space, declare how glorious is God, and indeed אל, as the Almighty; and what His hands have made, i.e., what He has produced with a superior power to which everything is possible, the firmament, i.e., vault of heaven stretched out far and wide and as a transparency above the earth (Graeco-Veneta τάμα equals ἔκταμα, from רקע, root רק, to stretch, τείνειν), distinctly expresses. The sky and firmament are not conceived of as conscious beings which the middle ages, in dependence upon Aristotle (vid., Maimonides, More Nebuchim ii. 5), believed could be proved fro this passage, cf. Nehemiah 9:6; Job 38:7. Moreover, Scripture knows nothing of the "music of the spheres" of the Pythagoreans. What is meant is, as the old expositors correctly say, objectivum vocis non articulatae praeconium. The doxa, which God has conferred upon the creature as the reflection of His own, is reflected back from it, and given back to God as it were in acknowledgment of its origin. The idea of perpetuity, which lies even in the participle, is expanded in Psalm 19:3. The words of this discourse of praise are carried forward in an uninterrupted line of transmission. הבּיע (fr. נבע, Arab. nb‛, root נב, to gush forth, nearly allied to which, however, is also the root בע, to spring up) points to the rich fulness with which, as from an inexhaustible spring, the testimony passes on from one day to the next. The parallel word חוּה is an unpictorial, but poetic, word that is more Aramaic than Hebrew ( equals הגּיד). אמשׁ also belongs to the more elevated style; the γνωστὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ deposited in the creature, although not reflected, is here called דּעת. The poet does not say that the tidings proclaimed by the day, if they gradually die away as the day declines, are taken up by the night, and the tidings of the night by the day; but (since the knowledge proclaimed by the day concerns the visible works of God by day, and that proclaimed by the night, His works by night), that each dawning day continues the speech of that which has declined, and each approaching night takes up the tale of that which has passed away (Psychol. S. 347, tr. p. 408). If Psalm 19:4 were to be rendered "there is no speech and there are no words, their voice is inaudible," i.e., they are silent, speechless witnesses, uttering no sound, but yet speaking aloud (Hengst.), only inwardly audible but yet intelligible everywhere (Then.): then, Psalm 19:5 ought at least to begin with a Waw adversativum, and, moreover, the poet would then needlessly check his fervour, producing a tame thought and one that interrupts the flow of the hymn. To take Psalm 19:4 as a circumstantial clause to Psalm 19:5, and made to precede it, as Ewald does, "without loud speech...their sound has resounded through all the earth" (341, d), is impossible, even apart from the fact of אמר not meaning "Loud speech" and קוּם hardly "their sound." Psalm 19:4 is in the form of an independent sentence, and there is nothing whatever in it to betray any designed subordination to Psalm 19:5. But if it be made independent in the sense "there is no loud, no articulate speech, no audible voice, which proceeds from the heavens," then Psalm 19:5 would form an antithesis to it; and this, in like manner, there is nothing to indicate, and it would at least require that the verb יצא should be placed first. Luther's rendering is better: There is no language nor speech, where their voice is not heard, i.e., as Calvin also renders it, the testimony of the heavens to God is understood by the peoples of every language and tongue. But this ought to be אין לשׁון or אין שׂפה ro אין (Genesis 11:1). Hofmann's rendering is similar, but more untenable: "There is no speech and there are no words, that their cry is not heard, i.e., the language of the heavens goes forth side by side with all other languages; and men may discourse ever so, still the speech or sound of the heavens is heard therewith, it sounds above them all." But the words are not בּלי נשׁמע (after the analogy of Genesis 31:20), or rather בּלי ישּׁמע (as in Job 41:8; Hosea 8:7). בּלי with the part. is a poetical expression for the Alpha privat. (2 Samuel 1:21), consequently כלי נשׁמע is "unheard" or "inaudible," and the opposite of נשׁמע, audible, Jeremiah 31:15. Thus, therefore, the only rendering that remains is that of the lxx., Vitringa, and Hitzig: There is no language and no words, whose voice is unheard, i.e., inaudible. Hupfeld's assertion that this rendering destroys the parallelism is unfounded. The structure of the distich resembles Psalm 139:4. The discourse of the heavens and the firmament, of the day (of the sky by day) and of the night (of the sky by night), is not a discourse uttered in a corner, it is a discourse in speech that is everywhere audible, and in words that are understood by all, a φανερόν, Romans 1:19. 19:7-10 The Holy Scripture is of much greater benefit to us than day or night, than the air we breathe, or the light of the sun. To recover man out of his fallen state, there is need of the word of God. The word translated law, may be rendered doctrine, and be understood as meaning all that teaches us true religion. The whole is perfect; its tendency is to convert or turn the soul from sin and the world, to God and holiness. It shows our sinfulness and misery in departing from God, and the necessity of our return to him. This testimony is sure, to be fully depended on: the ignorant and unlearned believing what God saith, become wise unto salvation. It is a sure direction in the way of duty. It is a sure fountain of living comforts, and a sure foundation of lasting hopes. The statues of the Lord are right, just as they should be; and, because they are right, they rejoice the heart. The commandments of the Lord are pure, holy, just, and good. By them we discover our need of a Saviour; and then learn how to adorn his gospel. They are the means which the Holy Spirit uses in enlightening the eyes; they bring us to a sight and sense of our sin and misery, and direct us in the way of duty. The fear of the Lord, that is, true religion and godliness, is clean, it will cleanse our way; and it endureth for ever. The ceremonial law is long since done away, but the law concerning the fear of God is ever the same. The judgments of the Lord, his precepts, are true; they are righteous, and they are so altogether; there is no unrighteousness in any of them. Gold is only for the body, and the concerns of time; but grace is for the soul, and the concerns of eternity. The word of God, received by faith, is more precious than gold; it is sweet to the soul, sweeter than honey. The pleasure of sense soon surfeit, yet never satisfy; but those of religion are substantial and satisfying; there is no danger of excess.Verse 8. - The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; rather, the precepts of the Lord are right. Another of the many synonyms under which the Law may be spoken of (see Dr. Kay's preface to the hundred and nineteenth psalm). God's precepts "rejoice the heart" of the godly. They are not felt as stern commands, but as gracious intimations of what God desires man to do for his own good. The commandment of the Lord is pure; i.e. spotless, clean, without fault (comp. ver. 7, "The Law of the Lord is perfect"). Enlightening the eyes; i.e. giving light to the intellect.

statutes

Psalm 105:45 That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise you the LORD.

Psalm 119:12,16,80,171 Blessed are you, O LORD: teach me your statutes…

Genesis 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, …

Exodus 18:16 When they have a matter, they come to me; and I judge between one …

Deuteronomy 4:5,6 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD …

Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my …

right

Psalm 119:128 Therefore I esteem all your precepts concerning all things to be …

Nehemiah 9:13 You came down also on mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, …

rejoicing

Psalm 40:8 I delight to do your will, O my God: yes, your law is within my heart.

Psalm 119:14,24,54,92,121,143 I have rejoiced in the way of your testimonies, as much as in all riches…

Deuteronomy 12:11,12 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose …

Deuteronomy 16:11,14 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you, and your son, …

Nehemiah 8:12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send …

Isaiah 64:5 You meet him that rejoices and works righteousness, those that remember …

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I did eat them; and your word was to me …

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

is pure

Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace …

Psalm 119:40 Behold, I have longed after your precepts: quicken me in your righteousness.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield to them that put their trust in him.

Romans 7:12-14 Why the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good…

enlightening

Psalm 13:3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten my eyes, lest I sleep …

Psalm 119:98-100,105,130 You through your commandments have made me wiser than my enemies: …

Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom: out of his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs …

Romans 2:17-20 Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make your boast of God…

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified …

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not …

Galatians 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God.

Galatians 3:10-13,21 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for …

19:8 Right - Both in themselves, and in their effect, as guiding men in the ready way to eternal happiness. Rejoicing - By the discoveries of God's love to sinful men, in offers and promises of mercy. Commandment - All his commands. Pure - Without the least mixture of error. The eyes - Of the mind, with a compleat manifestation of God's will and man's duty: both which, the works of nature, and all the writings of men discover but darkly and imperfectly.
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