Psalm 119:96
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless.

New Living Translation
Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.

English Standard Version
I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

New American Standard Bible
I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad. Mem.

King James Bible
I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I have seen a limit to all perfection, but Your command is without limit.

International Standard Version
I have observed that all things have their limit, but your commandment is very broad.

NET Bible
I realize that everything has its limits, but your commands are beyond full comprehension.

New Heart English Bible
I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commands are boundless.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I have seen the end of all things, the very end, and your commandment is greatly enlarged!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I have seen a limit to everything else, [but] your commandments have no limit.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I have seen an end to every purpose; But Thy commandment is exceeding broad.

New American Standard 1977
I have seen a limit to all perfection;
            Thy commandment is exceedingly broad.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I have seen an end of all perfection, but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

King James 2000 Bible
I have seen a limit to all perfection: but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

American King James Version
I have seen an end of all perfection: but your commandment is exceeding broad.

American Standard Version
MEM. I have seen an end of all perfection; But thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I have seen an end to all persecution: thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Darby Bible Translation
I have seen an end of all perfection: thy commandment is exceeding broad.

English Revised Version
I have seen an end of all perfection; but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

Webster's Bible Translation
I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

World English Bible
I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commands are boundless. MEM

Young's Literal Translation
Of all perfection I have seen an end, Broad is Thy command -- exceedingly!
Study Bible
Thy Word
95The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies. 96I have seen a limit to all perfection; Your commandment is exceedingly broad. Mem. 97O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.…
Cross References
Psalm 119:95
The wicked wait for me to destroy me; I shall diligently consider Your testimonies.

Psalm 119:97
O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.
Treasury of Scripture

I have seen an end of all perfection: but your commandment is exceeding broad.

I have seen. That is, I have seen that all human wisdom or knowledge, however extensive, noble, and excellent, has it sounds, and limits, and end; but Thy law, a transcript of Thine own mind, is infinite, and extends to eternity.

Psalm 39:5,6 Behold, you have made my days as an handbreadth; and my age is as …

1 Samuel 9:2 And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly…

1 Samuel 17:8,49-51 And he stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and said to them, …

1 Samuel 31:4,5 Then said Saul to his armor bearer, Draw your sword, and thrust me …

2 Samuel 14:25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom …

2 Samuel 16:23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counceled in those days, …

2 Samuel 17:23 And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled …

2 Samuel 18:14,17 Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with you. And he took three …

Ecclesiastes 1:2,3 Vanity of vanities, said the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity…

Ecclesiastes 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had worked, and on the …

Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man on earth, that does good, and sins not.

Ecclesiastes 12:8 Vanity of vanities, said the preacher; all is vanity.

Matthew 5:18 For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or …

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

but thy

Psalm 19:7,8 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony …

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her …

Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your …

Mark 12:29-34 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, …

Romans 7:7-12,14 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not …

Hebrews 4:12,13 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any …

(96) I have seen.--The exact thought of the psalmist here is doubtful, and it offers such a wide application, embracing so many truths of experience, that possibly he had more than one meaning in his mind. Keeping as close to the context as possible, the meaning will be: "To all perfection (or apparent perfection) a limit is visible, but the Divine Law is boundless alike in its scope and its requirements." This, translated into the language of modern ideas, merely says that the actual can never correspond with the ideal:

"Who keeps a spirit wholly true

To that ideal which he bears?"

But in the word end in Hebrew, as in English, there is a limitation in time, as in space (see Job 26:10; Job 28:3; comp. Symmachus, "I have seen the end of all settled things"), and the Prayer Book version may really give the psalmist's thought as indicating the difference between mere change and progress.

"The old order changeth, yielding place to new,

And God fulfils Himself in many ways,

Lest one good custom should corrupt the world."

TENNYSON: Morte d'Arthur.

Verse 96. - I have seen an end of all perfection; i.e. to all other perfection I have seen, and see, a limit; but there is no limit to the perfection of thy Law. Thy commandment is exceeding broad. Unlimited - measureless in its range. It inculcates on man an absolute perfection. I have seen an end of all perfection,.... An end, limit, or border, to every country, as the Syriac version; as there is to every kingdom and state, and to the whole world; but none to the commandment of God: or an end of all created beings, the finished works of God, the most perfect in their kind. Manythings had already fallen under the observation of the psalmist: he had seen men of the greatest strength, and of the most consummate wisdom, and that had attained to the highest degree of power and authority, of wealth and riches, and yet were all come to nothing; he had seen some of the most flourishing states and kingdoms brought to desolation; he had seen an entire end of them: he saw by the Spirit of God, and by the word of God, and faith in it, that all things would have an end, the heavens and earth, and all that is therein; for so it may be rendered, "I see an end of all perfection" (b); or that the most perfect things will have an end, and that the end of them is at hand; see 1 Peter 4:7. Moreover, he had looked over the wisdom of this world, and the princes of it, which comes to nought; he had considered the several political schemes of government, the wisest digest and system of laws, made by the wisest lawgivers among men, and found them all to be limited, short and shallow, in comparison of the word of God, as follows: the Targum is,

"I have seen an end of all that I have studied in and looked into.''

but thy commandment is exceeding broad; the word of God is a large field to walk and meditate in; it is sufficient to instruct all men in all ages, both with respect to doctrine and duty, and to make every man of God perfect; it has such a height and depth of doctrine and mysteries in it as can never be fully reached and fathomed, and such a breadth as is not to be measured: the fulness of the Scripture can never be exhausted; the promises of it reach to this life, and that which is to come; and the precepts of it are so large, that no works of righteousness done by men are adequate and proportionate to them; no righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ, is as large and as broad as those commandments; wherefore no perfection of righteousness is to be found in men, only in Christ; who is the perfect fulfilling end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes, Romans 10:4.

(b) Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius. 119:89-96 The settling of God's word in heaven, is opposed to the changes and revolutions of the earth. And the engagements of God's covenant are established more firmly than the earth itself. All the creatures answer the ends of their creation: shall man, who alone is endued with reason, be the only unprofitable burden of the earth? We may make the Bible a pleasant companion at any time. But the word, without the grace of God, would not quicken us. See the best help for bad memories, namely, good affections; and though the exact words be lost, if the meaning remain, that is well. I am thine, not my own, not the world's; save me from sin, save me from ruin. The Lord will keep the man in peace, whose mind is stayed on him. It is poor perfection which one sees and end of. Such are all things in this world, which pass for perfections. The glory of man is but as the flower of the grass. The psalmist had seen the fulness of the word of God, and its sufficiency. The word of the Lord reaches to all cases, to all times. It will take us from all confidence in man, or in our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness. Thus shall we seek comfort and happiness from Christ alone.
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