Psalm 119:172
My tongue shall speak of your word: for all your commandments are righteousness.
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(172) My tongue shall speak of Thy word.—Rather, My tongue shall make response to Thy word, that all Thy commandments are true.


Psalm 119:172-175. My tongue shall speak of — Shall freely and abundantly, like a fountain, pour forth, as תעןsignifies; thy word — The truths, precepts, and other contents of it. For all thy commandments are righteousness — Even those which, to men of corrupt minds, seem severe and unjust. Let thy hand help me — Let thy divine power, therefore, succour me in this weak and distressed condition wherein I am. For I have chosen, &c. — For I rely on it alone, having resolved to be guided wholly by thy precepts. I have longed for thy salvation — That thou wouldest save me completely, not only from my troubles, but also from my sins, and from all inclination to decline from thy ways, and that at last thou wouldest crown me with eternal salvation in thy kingdom. Let my soul live — That is, let my natural life be prolonged, that I may live to thy glory. Or, let my soul possess spiritual life in union and communion with thee; and it shall praise thee — Shall have both inclination and power so to do, with fervency and delight. Let thy judgments help me — Thy providential dispensations, whereby thou rulest and judgest the world, punishing the wicked, and protecting and delivering the godly: or rather, thy ordinances and testimonies, (as the word judgments commonly signifies in this Psalm,) which are the only ground of my confiding in thee for help.119:169-176 The psalmist desired grace and strength to lift up his prayers, and that the Lord would receive and notice them. He desired to know more of God in Christ; to know more of the doctrines of the word, and the duties of religion. He had a deep sense of unworthiness, and holy fear that his prayer should not come before God; Lord, what I pray for is, what thou hast promised. We have learned nothing to purpose, if we have not learned to praise God. We should always make the word of God the rule of our discourse, so as never to transgress it by sinful speaking, or sinful silence. His own hands are not sufficient, nor can any creature lend him help; therefore he looks up to God, that the hand that had made him may help him. He had made religion his deliberate choice. There is an eternal salvation all the saints long for, and therefore they pray that God would help their way to it. Let thy judgments help me; let all ordinances and all providences, (both are God's judgments,) further me in glorifying God; let them help me for that work. He often looks back with shame and gratitude to his lost estate. He still prays for the tender care of Him who purchased his flock with his own blood, that he may receive from him the gift of eternal life. Seek me, that is, Find me; for God never seeks in vain. Turn me, and I shall be turned. Let this psalm be a touchstone by which to try our hearts, and our lives. Do our hearts, cleansed in Christ's blood, make these prayers, resolutions and confessions our own? Is God's word the standard of our faith, and the law of our practice? Do we use it as pleas with Christ for what we need? Happy those who live in such delightful exercises.My tongue shall speak of thy word - It shall speak of it in the language of praise; it shall speak of it in making it known to others.

For all thy commandments are righteousness - I see this; I feel it; and, therefore, I will speak of it. My impression that thy commandments are all righteous is so deep, that I cannot but speak of them. I must vindicate them; I must praise thee for them.

172. My tongue shall speak of thy word—literally, "answer Thy Word," that is, with praise, respond to Thy word. Every expression in which we praise God and His Word is a response, or acknowledgment, corresponding to the perfections of Him whom we praise.Ver. 172. Shall speak, Heb. shall pour forth, freely and abundantly, like a fountain. Of thy word; in praise of it, for its righteousness, as it here follows, its truth, and purity, and other excellencies.

Thy commandments; even those which to men of corrupted minds seem harsh and unjust. My tongue shall speak of thy word,.... Of the word of God in general; of the truth of it, which he knew by certain experience; of the purity of it, tending to promote holiness of heart and life; of the power and efficacy of it, enlightening his mind, and working effectually in him; of the profit of it, to his learning, to his instruction, comfort, and refreshment; of the preciousness of it, being of more worth than thousands of gold and silver; and of the pleasantness of it, being sweeter than the honey or honeycomb, and more to be esteemed than one's necessary food; and of the promises of it in particular, of the worth and value of them, of their suitableness and use, and of the faithful fulfilment of them; and of the doctrines of the word, especially those which relate to the grace of God, and salvation by the Messiah; and also of the precepts of the word, as follows:

for all thy commandments are righteousness; not only righteous, but righteousness itself, being strictly just and equitable in the highest sense; and not only some of them, but all of them; see Psalm 119:128. Aben Ezra's paraphrase of the words is,

"I will teach the children of men thy word, that they may know that thy commandments are righteousness;''

which is not amiss: and to the same sense is Kimchi's note, who observes, that author of the Masorah interprets it of praise; as if he had said, My tongue shall praise thy word, because all of it is righteousness.

My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
Verse 172. - My tongue shall speak of thy Word; or, "let my tongue respond to thy promise " - return praise, i.e., for the fulfillment of thy promise. For all thy commandments are righteousness. And therefore are worthy objects of praise. The eightfold ש (both Shin and Sin)

(Note: Whilst even in the oldest alphabetical Pijutim the Sin perhaps represents the Samech as well, but never the Shin, it is the reverse in the Biblical alphabetical pieces. Here Sin and Shin coincide, and Samech is specially represented.)).

In the midst of persecution God's word was still his fear, his joy, and his love, the object of his thanksgiving, and the ground of his hope. Princes persecute him without adequate cause, but his heart does not fear before them, but before God's words (the Ker likes the singular, as in Psalm 119:147), to deny which would be to him the greatest possible evil. It is, however, a fear that is associated with heartfelt joy (Psalm 119:111). It is the joy of a conflict that is rewarded by rich spoil (Judges 5:30, Isaiah 9:3). Not merely morning and evening, not merely three times a day (Psalm 55:18), but seven times (שׁבע as in Leviticus 26:18; Proverbs 24:16), i.e., ever again and again, availing himself of every prayerful impulse, he gives thanks to God for His word, which so righteously decides and so correctly guides, is a source of transcendent peace to all who love it, and beside which one is not exposed to any danger of stumbling (מכשׁול, lxx σκάνδαλον, cf. 1 John 2:10) without some effectual counter-working. In Psalm 119:166 he speaks like Jacob in Genesis 49:18, and can speak thus, inasmuch as he has followed earnestly and untiringly after sanctification. He endeavours to keep God's law most conscientiously, in proof of which he is able to appeal to God the Omniscient One. שׁמרה is here the 3rd praet., whereas in Psalm 86:2 it is imperat. The future of אהב is both אהב and אהב, just as of אחז both אחז and אאחז.

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