Psalm 119:150
They draw near that follow after mischief: they are far from your law.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(150, 151) Near.—Notice the antithesis. They, the wicked, are near with their temptation to sin and their hindrances to virtue. Thou art near with the aid and support of Thy law.

119:145-152 Supplications with the whole heart are presented only by those who desire God's salvation, and who love his commandments. Whither should the child go but to his father? Save me from my sins, my corruptions, my temptations, all the hinderances in my way, that I may keep thy testimonies. Christians who enjoy health, should not suffer the early hours of the morning to glide away unimproved. Hope in God's word encourages us to continue in prayer. It is better to take time from sleep, than not to find time for prayer. We have access to God at all hours; and if our first thoughts in the morning are of God, they will help to keep us in his fear all the day long. Make me lively and cheerful. God knows what we need and what is good for us, and will quicken us. If we are employed in God's service, we need not fear those who try to set themselves as far as they can out of the reach of the convictions and commands of his law. When trouble is near, God is near. He is never far to seek. All his commandments are truth. And God's promises will be performed. All that ever trusted in God have found him faithful.They draw nigh - They follow me; they press hard upon me.

That follow after mischief - That seek to do me wrong.

They are far from thy law - They yield no obedience to it; they are not influenced by it in their conduct toward me.

150-152. Though the wicked are near to injure, because far from God's law, He is near to help, and faithful to His word, which abides for ever.Ver. 150. They draw nigh, to wit, to me, or against me, as Psalm 27:2; they are at hand, and ready to seize upon me.

They are far from thy law; they cast away far from them all thoughts of and respect to thy law, which forbids such wicked practices. They draw nigh that follow after mischief,.... Or "evil" (c); that which is sinful in itself, and injurious to others. Some cannot sleep unless they do mischief; they are bent upon it, and proceed from evil to evil: they are eager in their pursuit of it, as the huntsman after his sport, to which the allusion is; though it is to their ruin, even to their death, Proverbs 11:19; These the psalmist says "draw nigh"; not unto God, unless feignedly and with their mouths only; but to him they drew nigh, to David, in an hostile way they pursued after him, in order to take away his life, and they had very nearly overtaken him, and were just ready to seize him; his life drew nigh to those destroyers, and those destroyers drew nigh to that, so that he was in great danger; and the more as these were abandoned creatures, that neither feared God nor regarded man, as follows:

they are far from thy law; from the knowledge of it, of its equity and purity; and especially of its spirituality, and of its power and influence upon their minds; and so far from subjection and obedience to it; so far from it, that they treat it with the utmost contempt, cast it away from them and despise it, Romans 8:7.

(c) "iniquitati", V. L. "scelus", Tigurine version; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.

They draw nigh that follow after {c} mischief: they are far from thy law.

(c) He shows the nature of the wicked to be to persecute against their conscience.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
150, 151. They draw nigh that maliciously persecute me,

That have gone far from thy law.

Thou art nigh, Jehovah &c.

These two verses are closely connected. When my persecutors draw near to assail me, Thou art near to defend (Psalm 69:18; Psalm 34:18; Deuteronomy 4:7); though they have abandoned Thy law, I know the truth of all its commandments, and will not be tempted to join them in apostasy. The reading of LXX, Symm., Syr., Jer., my persecutors in malice seems preferable to that of the Mass. text that follow after malice. The difference is one of vocalisation only.Verse 150. - They draw nigh; i.e. come near me to threaten me. That follow after mischief; or, "after wickedness." They are far from thy Law (comp. vers. 21, 53, 118, 126, 136, etc.). The eightfold Tsade. God rules righteously and faithfully according to His word, for which the poet is accordingly zealous, although young and despised. The predicate ישׂר in Psalm 119:137 precedes its subject משׁפּטיך (God's decisions in word and in deed) in the primary form (after the model of the verbal clause Psalm 124:5), just as in German [and English] the predicative adjective remains undeclined. The accusatives צדק and אמוּנה in Psalm 119:138 are not predicative (Hitzig), to which the former ("as righteousness") - not the latter however - is not suited, but adverbial accusatives (in righteousness, in faithfulness), and מאד according to its position is subordinate to ואמונה as a virtual adjective (cf. Isaiah 47:9): the requirements of the revealed law proceed from a disposition towards and mode of dealing with men which is strictly determined by His holiness (צדק), and beyond measure faithfully and honestly designs the well-being of men (אמונה מאד). To see this good law of God despised by his persecutors stirs the poet up with a zeal, which brings him, from their side, to the brink of extreme destruction (Psalm 69:10, cf. צמתּת, Psalm 88:17). God's own utterance is indeed without spot, and therefore not to be carped at; it is pure, fire-proved, noblest metal (Psalm 18:31; Psalm 12:7), therefore he loves it, and does not, though young (lxx νεώτερος, Vulgate adolescentulus) and lightly esteemed, care for the remonstrances of his proud opponents who are old and more learned than himself (the organization of Psalm 119:141 is like Psalm 119:95, and frequently). The righteousness (צדקה) of the God of revelation becomes eternal righteousness (צדק), and His law remains eternal truth (אמת). צדקה is here the name of the attribute and of the action that is conditioned in accordance with it; צדק the name of the state that thoroughly accords with the idea of that which is right. So too in Psalm 119:144 : צדק are Jahve's testimonies for ever, so that all creatures must give glory to their harmony with that which is absolutely right. To look ever deeper and deeper into this their perfection is the growing life of the spirit. The poet prays for this vivifying insight.
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