With my whole heart have I sought you: O let me not wander from your commandments.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)With my whole heart . . .—The self-mistrust of the second clause is a proof of the reality of the first. “Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief,” is another form of this.Psalm 119:10-11. With my whole heart have I sought thee — Deny me not that aid of thy grace which I have so sincerely and earnestly desired and laboured to obtain. O let me not wander — Hebrew, אל תשׁגני, do not make me to wander, namely, by leading me into temptation, or by withdrawing thy grace, which is necessary to keep me from wandering. Thy word have I hid in my heart — I have not contented myself with merely hearing or reading thy word, but have received it in the love of it, have diligently considered it, and have laid it up in my mind, like a choice treasure, to be ready upon all occasions to counsel, quicken, or caution me, as need may require. That I might not sin against thee — That by a diligent and affectionate consideration of thy precepts, promises, and threatenings, I might be kept from all sinful practices.Psalm 119:2. The psalmist in Psalm 119:2 speaks of the "blessedness of those who seek the Lord with the whole heart;" in this verse he says that this blessedness was his. He could affirm that he had thus sought God. He had such a consciousness that this was the aim and purpose of his life that he could say so without hesitation. Every man who claims to be a religious man ought to be able to say this. Alas, how few can do it!
O let me not wander ... - Keep me in this steady purpose; this fixed design. This is the language of a heart where there is a consciousness of its weakness, and its liability to err, strong as may be its purpose to do right. Such an apprehension is one of the best means of security, for such an apprehension will lead a man to "pray," and while a man prays he is safe.
Let me not wander, Heb. do not make me to wander, to wit, by leading me into temptation, by withdrawing thy grace, which is necessary to keep me from wandering. Psalm 119:2; the psalmist applies to himself; see Isaiah 26:9; and uses it as an argument to obtain the following request:
O let me not wander from thy commandments; the way of them. Good men are apt to go astray, as David, Psalm 119:176; their hearts, their affections, and their feet, wander from, the way of their duty: there are many things which lead them aside, and cause them to turn to the right hand or the left, at least solicit them to do so; as a corrupt nature, an evil heart, a body of sin and death, the snares of the world, and the temptations of Satan; and, what is worst of all, when God leaves them to themselves, withdraws the influences of his grace, and brings them into such circumstances as expose them to going astray, which the psalmist here deprecates; "suffer me not to wander", but uphold my goings in thy ways; preserve me by thy grace, and keep me by thy power; hold me by thy right hand, and guide and direct me. Or, "cause me not to wander" (q) &c. a like petition to those in Psalm 141:3, Matthew 6:13; with which last Kimchi compares these words.With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. ’Orach, ‘path,’ a poetical synonym for derek; not in Deut., but common in Prov.
The attributes applied to the Law should also be studied. Like its Author (Psalm 119:137, cp. Deuteronomy 32:4) it is perfectly righteous. The note of righteousness is constantly repeated; in all its aspects the Law answers to that perfect standard which God is to Himself for all His works and words. Its faithfulness and truth correspond to the faithfulness and truth of His nature; it is sharply contrasted with all that is false in belief and conduct.
Other constantly recurring expressions should also be noted. The Psalmist’s repeated protestations that he has ‘observed’ or ‘kept’ the law, his resolutions to do so, and his prayers for strength to fulfil them, answer to the repeated injunctions of Deut. (Psalm 4:2 &c.). ‘With a (my) whole heart,’ with entire devotion of thought and will, is a phrase characteristic alike of this Psalm and of the Book of Deut. (Deuteronomy 4:29; Deuteronomy 6:5 &c.) where it is often coupled with ‘the whole soul,’ the organ of feeling and emotion. In Deut. the Israelites are repeatedly exhorted to learn the statutes and judgements (Deuteronomy 5:1) and to teach them to their children (Deuteronomy 4:10); and repeatedly the Psalmist prays that he may be taught. The Psalmist’s reiterated prayers for ‘understanding’ recall the language of Deuteronomy 4:6. ‘Life’ is held out in Deut. (Deuteronomy 4:1 &c.) as the reward of obedience; and for ‘life’ the Psalmist continually pleads—‘quicken thou me’—‘let me live’ (Psa 25, 37, 40, 88, 107, 149, 154, 156, 159, 116, 144). The source of ‘life’ he finds in the law and promises of God (50, 93): and by ‘life’ he means not simply preservation from death, but liberation from all, whether within or without, that crushes and paralyses life, and hinders its proper use and enjoyment; for ‘life’ includes the ideas of light and joy and prosperity. It finds its fullest realisation in communion with God. The original promise of life to the nation is coupled with the promise of the possession of the land, but the latter now drops out of sight, and the conception of ‘life’ is approximating towards the higher meaning of the word in the N.T. Cp. Deuteronomy 8:3. Very noteworthy is the Psalmist’s enthusiastic love for the Law. The love which the Israelite was bidden to cherish for Jehovah (Deuteronomy 6:5 &c.) is kindled by the manifold revelation of His Will in the Law. “O how I love thy law: it is my meditation all the day” (97). It is no irksome restraint of his liberty, but his delight, his joy, his treasure, his comfort, the subject of his meditations by day and by night, the source of trust and hope amid all the perplexities and troubles of life. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
 Deut. prefers the form lçbâb, the Psalm, except in Psalm 119:7, uses lçb.
10. Cp. Psalm 119:2 b.
O let me not wander &c.] Let me not err through ignorance or inadvertence (Psalm 119:67; Psalm 19:12). My intention is good, but my knowledge is imperfect and my strength is small. “The self-mistrust of the second clause is a proof of the reality of the first” (Aglen).Verse 10. - With my whole heart have I sought thee (comp. ver. 2). O let me not wander from thy commandments; i.e. "let me not accidentally and through ignorance stray from the right path." Psalm 112:1), but with a twofold ashr. It refers principally to those integri viae (vitae). In Psalm 119:3 the description of those who are accounted blessed is carried further. Perfects,a s denoting that which is habitual, alternate with futures used as presents. In Psalm 119:4 לשׁמר expresses the purpose of the enjoining, as in Psalm 119:5 the goal of the directing. אחלי (whence אחלי, 2 Kings 5:3) is compounded of אח (vid., supra, p. 273) and לי (לוי), and consequently signifies o si. On יכּנוּ cf. Proverbs 4:26 (lxx κατευθυνθείησαν). The retrospective אז is expanded anew in Psalm 119:6: then, when I namely. "Judgment of Thy righteousness" are the decisions concerning right and wrong which give expression to and put in execution the righteousness of God.
(Note: The word "judgments" of our English authorized version is retained in the text as being the most convenient word; it must, however, be borne in mind that in this Psalm it belongs to the "chain of synonyms," and does not mean God's acts of judgment, its more usual meaning in the Old Testament Scriptures, but is used as defined above, and is the equivalent here of the German Rechte, not Gerichte. - Tr.)
בּלמדי refers to Scripture in comparison with history.
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