Psalm 119:103
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
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Psalm 119:103-104. How sweet are thy words to my taste! — Observe, reader, there is such a thing as a spiritual taste, an inward savour and relish of divine things; such an evidence of them to ourselves, by experience, as we cannot give to others. To this taste the word of God is sweet; yea, sweeter than any of the gratifications of sense, even those that are most delicious. David here speaks as if he wanted words to express the satisfaction he took in the discoveries of the divine will and grace: he judged no pleasure to be comparable to it. Through thy precepts I get understanding — True, useful, and saving knowledge; therefore — Because that discovers to me, as the wickedness, so the folly and mischief of such practices; I hate every false way — Every thing which is contrary to that rule of truth and right, all false doctrine and worship, and all sinful courses.

119:97-104 What we love, we love to think of. All true wisdom is from God. A good man carries his Bible with him, if not in his hands, yet in his head and in his heart. By meditation on God's testimonies we understand more than our teachers, when we understand our own hearts. The written word is a more sure guide to heaven, than all the fathers, the teachers, and ancients of the church. We cannot, with any comfort or boldness, attend God in holy duties, while under guilt, or in any by-way. It was Divine grace in his heart, that enabled the psalmist to receive these instructions. The soul has its tastes as well as the body. Our relish for the word of God will be greatest, when that for the world and the flesh is least. The way of sin is a wrong way; and the more understanding we get by the precepts of God, the more rooted will be our hatred of sin; and the more ready we are in the Scriptures, the better furnished we are with answers to temptation.How sweet are thy words unto my taste ... - Margin, as in Hebrew, "palate." The reference is to the taste, perhaps because the sense of taste was supposed to reside in the palate. The Hebrew word "may" include also the whole of the inside of the mouth. The word rendered "sweet" does not occur elsewhere. It properly means "to be smooth," and hence, is applied to kind or agreeable words. On the sentiment here, see the notes at Psalm 19:10. 101-104. Avoidance of sinful courses is both the effect and means of increasing in divine knowledge (compare Ps 19:10).Ver. 103. The study and obedience of thy words yields me more satisfaction and delight than any worldly men find in their sensual pleasures.

How sweet are thy words unto my taste!.... Who had a spiritual one; and could discern perverse things, and could taste how good and gracious the Lord is: and so his words were sweet unto him; the doctrines of grace, the truths of the Gospel, were delightful and pleasant to him; like unadulterated milk, desirable by him: like good wine, that goes down sweetly; like good food, that is exceeding palatable; or like honey, and even sweeter than that, as follows. And that words "may be tasted and eaten", is not only agreeable to Scripture language, Jeremiah 15:16; but to classical writers (g);

yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth; not only had they the nourishing nature and the refreshing virtue of honey, but the sweetness of it; yea, exceeded it in sweetness; see Psalm 19:10.

(g) "Mea dicta devorato", Plauti Asinaria, Acts 3. Sc. 3. v. 59. "Edi sermonem tuum", ib. Aulularia, Acts 3. Sc. 6. v. 1. "Gustare ego ejus sermonem volo", ib. Mostellaria, Acts 5. Sc. 1. v. 15.

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
103. Cp. Psalm 19:10; Job 23:12; John 4:32; John 4:34.

my taste] Lit. my palate.

Verse 103. - How sweet are thy words unto my taste! (comp. vers. 14, 16, 40, 47, etc.). The metaphor is new, but the sentiment one which pervades the psalm. Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth. So David, in the nineteenth psalm, speaking of the judgments of God, says that they are "sweeter than honey and the honeycomb." Psalm 119:103The eightfold Mem. The poet praises the practical wisdom which the word of God, on this very account so sweet to him, teaches. God's precious law, with which he unceasingly occupies himself, makes him superior in wisdom (Deuteronomy 4:6), intelligence, and judgment to his enemies, his teachers, and the aged (Job 12:20). There were therefore at that time teachers and elders (πρεσβύτεροι), who (like the Hellenizing Sadducees) were not far from apostasy in their laxness, and hostilely persecuted the young and strenuous zealot for God's law. The construction of Psalm 119:98 is like Joel 1:20; Isaiah 59:12, and frequently. היא refers to the commandments in their unity: he has taken possession of them for ever (cf. Psalm 119:111). The Mishna (Aboth iv. 1) erroneously interprets: from all my teachers do I acquire understanding. All three מן in Psalm 119:98-100 signify prae (lxx ὑπὲρ). In כּלאתי, Psalm 119:101, from the mode of writing we see the verb Lamed Aleph passing over into the verb Lamed He. הורתני is, as in Proverbs 4:11 (cf. Exodus 4:15), a defective mode of writing for הוריתני. נמלצוּ, Psalm 119:103, is not equivalent to נמרצוּ, Job 6:25 (vid., Job, at Job 6:25; Job 16:2-5), but signifies, in consequence of the dative of the object לחכּי, that which easily enters, or that which tastes good (lxx ὡς gluke'a); therefore surely from מלץ equals מלט, to be smooth: how smooth, entering easily (Proverbs 23:31), are Thy words (promises) to my palate or taste! The collective singular אמרתך is construed with a plural of the predicate (cf. Exodus 1:10). He has no taste for the God-estranged present, but all the stronger taste for God's promised future. From God's laws he acquires the capacity for proving the spirits, therefore he hates every path of falsehood ( equals Psalm 119:128), i.e., all the heterodox tendencies which agree with the spirit of the age.
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