Psalm 119:111
Your testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
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Psalm 119:111-112. Thy testimonies have I taken, &c. — I have chosen them for my portion, a portion which I will never relinquish. I have inclined my heart — That is, I have complied with the motions of thy Spirit, inclining my heart to perform thy statutes — Though “the inclination of the heart to good, is the work of God, yet man is said to perform it when he listens to the call, and obeys the motions of his grace.”119:105-112 The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit, as a light to direct us in the choice of our way, and the steps we take in that way. The keeping of God's commands here meant, was that of a sinner under a dispensation of mercy, of a believer having part in the covenant of grace. The psalmist is often afflicted; but with longing desires to become more holy, offers up daily prayers for quickening grace. We cannot offer any thing to God, that he will accept but what he is pleased to teach us to do. To have our soul or life continually in our hands, implies constant danger of life; yet he did not forget God's promises nor his precepts. Numberless are the snares laid by the wicked; and happy is that servant of God, whom they have not caused to err from his Master's precepts. Heavenly treasures are a heritage for ever; all the saints accept them as such, therefore they can be content with little of this world. We must look for comfort only in the way of duty, and that duty must be done. A good man, by the grace of God, brings his heart to his work, then it is done well.Thy testimonies - Thy law; thy revealed will; the revelation which thou hast given considered as thy solemn "testimony" as to what is true and right.

Have I taken as an heritage for ever - As my inheritance; as my property; as that which I consider to be of real and permanent value. The Hebrew word used here - נחל nachal - means to receive as a possession; to acquire; to possess as wealth; and then, to inherit. It is usually applied to the possession of the promised land as an inheritance. Here it means that the law of God was to him as such a possession. He regarded it as one does a rich inheritance. He chose it as his portion above all things else.

For they are the rejoicing of my heart - My happiness is in them. I find constant comfort in them. See Psalm 119:77, Psalm 119:92. Compare the notes at Psalm 1:2.

111, 112. These he joyfully takes as his perpetual heritage, to perform the duties and receive the comforts they teach, evermore.Ver. 111. I have chosen them for my chief portion, from which I will never part. Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever,.... The Scriptures, which testify of Christ and of his grace, and of the mind and will of God, are a portion of themselves; and a goodly heritage they are, better than thousands of gold and silver, preferable to all worldly inheritances; as they have been to many, who have forsaken all for Christ and his Gospel. These, like an inheritance, have been transmitted from father to son, from one age of the church to another, in successive generations; nor shall they depart from her, nor from her seed and seed's seed, from henceforth and for ever; they are an inheritance which will continue for ever, Deuteronomy 33:4. These David chose and took, as for his counsellors, so for his portion and inheritance; and a wise and good choice he made; he chose the good part that should never be taken away; his reason for it follows:

for they are the rejoicing of my heart; the doctrines in them, the promises of them, when read or heard explained, gave him a sensible pleasure; revived his heart, and cheered his spirits, supported him under all his troubles, and caused him to go on his way rejoicing; see Jeremiah 15:16.

Thy testimonies have I taken as an {e} heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

(e) I esteemed no worldly things, but made your word my inheritance.

111. Israel through its sins had forfeited the land promised to it for an eternal inheritance (Genesis 13:15; Exodus 32:13), and never wholly recovered it; but the godly Israelite has an eternal inheritance in the law of which no enemy can deprive him.

the rejoicing of my heart] Cp. Jeremiah 15:16.Verse 111. - Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage forever. I regard thy Law as my best and most valuable inheritance - one with which I am resolved never to part. For they are the rejoicing of my heart. My chief joy and delight (comp. vers. 16, 24, 35, 47, etc.). The eightfold Nun. The word of God is his constant guide, to which he has entrusted himself for ever. The way here below is a way through darkness, and leads close past abysses: in this danger of falling and of going astray the word of God is a lamp to his feet, i.e., to his course, and a light to his path (Proverbs 6:23); his lamp or torch and his sun. That which he has sworn, viz., to keep God's righteous requirements, he has also set up, i.e., brought to fulfilment, but not without being bowed down under heavy afflictions in confessing God; wherefore he prays (as in Psalm 119:25) that God would revive him in accordance with His word, which promises life to those who keep it. The confessions of prayer coming from the inmost impulse of his whole heart, in which he owns his indebtedness and gives himself up entirely to God's mercy, he calls the free-will offerings of his mouth in Psalm 119:108 (cf. Psalm 50:14; Psalm 19:15). He bases the prayer for a gracious acceptance of these upon the fact of his being reduced to extremity. "To have one's soul in one's hand" is the same as to be in conscious peril of one's life, just as "to take one's soul into one's hand" (Judges 12:3; 1 Samuel 19:5; 1 Samuel 28:21; Job 13:14) is the same as to be ready to give one's life for it, to risk one's life.

(Note: Cf. B. Taanth 8a: "The prayer of a man is not answered אלא אם כן משׂים נפשׁו בכפו, i.e., if he is not ready to sacrifice his life.")

Although his life is threatened (Psalm 119:87), yet he does not waver and depart from God's word; he has taken and obtained possession of God's testimonies for ever (cf. Psalm 119:98); they are his "heritage," for which he willingly gives up everything else, for they (המּה inexactly for הנּה) it is which bless and entrance him in his inmost soul. In Psalm 119:112 it is not to be interpreted after Psalm 19:12 : eternal is the reward (of the carrying out of Thy precepts), but in Psalm 119:33 עקב is equivalent to לעד, and Psalm 119:44 proves that Psalm 119:112 need not be a thought that is complete in itself.

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