Psalm 119:54
Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(54) Songs.—Or, Thy statutes were my music in the house of my sojournings. Possibly with reference to the exile (comp. Psalm 137:4), but with comparison with Psalm 119:9 (see Note), more probably the reference is to the transitoriness of human life. In connection with the next verse comp. Job 35:10.

Psalm 119:54-56. Thy statutes have been my songs — The matter of my songs, my delight and recreation; in the house of my pilgrimage — In this present world, wherein I am a pilgrim, as all my fathers were. I have remembered thy name — Thy holy nature and attributes; thy blessed word and thy wonderful works; in the night — When darkness causeth fear to others, I took pleasure in remembering thee; and when others gave themselves up to sleeps my thoughts and affections were working toward thee; and have kept thy law — This was the fruit of my serious remembrance of thee. This I had — This comfortable and profitable remembrance of thy name and statutes; because I kept thy precepts — Which if I had wilfully and wickedly broken, the remembrance of these would have been a cause of grief and terror to me, as now it is a source of peace and comfort.

119:49-56 Those that make God's promises their portion, may with humble boldness make them their plea. He that by his Spirit works faith in us, will work for us. The word of God speaks comfort in affliction. If, through grace, it makes us holy, there is enough in it to make us easy, in all conditions. Let us be certain we have the Divine law for what we believe, and then let not scoffers prevail upon us to decline from it. God's judgments of old comfort and encourage us, for he is still the same. Sin is horrible in the eyes of all that are sanctified. Ere long the believer will be absent from the body, and present with the Lord. In the mean time, the statutes of the Lord supply subjects for grateful praise. In the season of affliction, and in the silent hours of the night, he remembers the name of the Lord, and is stirred up to keep the law. All who have made religion the first thing, will own that they have been unspeakable gainers by it.Thy statutes - Thy law; thy commandments.

Have been my songs - Have been to me a source of joy; have been my happiness, my consolation, my delight. I have found pleasure in meditating on them; I have had peace and joy in them in the day of loneliness and trouble. The psalmist rejoiced, doubtless, as the good now do,

(a) in law itself; law, as a rule of order; law, as a guide of conduct; law, as a security for safety;

(b) in such a law as that of God - so pure, so holy, so suited to promote "the happiness of man;

(c) in the stability of that law, as constituting his own personal security, the ground of his hope;

(d) in law in its influence on the universe, preserving order, and securing harmony.

In the house of my pilgrimage - In my life considered as a journey to another world; in my pilgrimage through the desert of this world; amidst rocks, and sands, and desolation; among tribes of savage men, wanderers, robbers, freebooters; with no home, no place of shelter; exposed to cold, and rain, and sleet, and ice, and snow, as pilgrims are - for to all these is the "pilgrim" - the way-farer - exposed, and all these represent the condition of one passing through this world to a better (compare Hebrews 11:13). Here, says the psalmist, I sang. I found joy in these scenes by thinking on the pure law - the pure and holy truth of God. I comforted myself with the feeling that there "is" law; that there is just government; that there is a God; that I am under the protection of law; that I am not alone, but that there is one who guides me by his truth. Compare the notes at Job 35:10. See Acts 16:25; Psalm 34:1.

54. songs—As the exile sings songs of his home (Ps 137:3), so the child of God, "a stranger on earth," sings the songs of heaven, his true home (Ps 39:12). In ancient times, laws were put in verse, to imprint them the more on the memory of the people. So God's laws are the believer's songs.

house of my pilgrimage—present life (Ge 17:8; 47:9; Heb 11:13).

My songs; the matter of my songs, my delight and recreation.

In the house of my pilgrimage; either,

1. In this present world, which I do not own for my home, wherein I am a stranger and pilgrim, as all my fathers were, Psalm 39:12: compare Genesis 47:9. Or,

2. In mine exile, and in the wildernesses and other places where I have been oft forced to wander, when I was banished from all my friends, and from the place of thy worship, and had no other support or comfort but the remembrance of thy statutes.

Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. Meaning either his unsettled state, fleeing from place to place before Saul; or, literally, his house of cedar, his court and palace, which he considered no other than as an inn he had put into upon his travels homeward; or rather the earthly house of his tabernacle, in which, as long as he continued, he was but a pilgrim and stranger; or, best of all, the whole course of his life; which Jacob calls the days of the years of his pilgrimage, Genesis 47:9; so Hipparchus the Pythagorean (i) calls this life a sort of a pilgrimage; and Plato also. This world is not the saints house and home; this is not their rest and residence; they confess themselves pilgrims and strangers here; and that they belong to another city, and a better country, an heavenly one, which they are seeking and travelling to, Hebrews 11:13. And as travellers sing songs to themselves as they pass on, which makes the way the more easy and pleasant to them, so the psalmist had his songs which he sung in his pilgrimage state; and these were the statutes, or word of the Lord, and the things in it, which were as delightful to him as the songs of travellers to them. Or the songs he made and sung were composed out of the word of God; and which may serve to recommend the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, made by him, the sweet psalmist of Israel, to the Gospel churches, to be sung by them, Ephesians 5:19.

(i) De Anim. Tranquill. inter Fragm. Pythagor. p. 11. Ed. Gale.

Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my {e} pilgrimage.

(e) In the course of this life and sorrowful exit.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
54. God’s statutes form the theme of his songs; they calm his mind and refresh his spirit in this transitory life of trial (Genesis 47:9; 1 Chronicles 29:15), as songs beguile the night (Job 35:10), or cheer the traveller on his journey.

pilgrimage] Lit. sojoumings. Cp.v. 19.

Verse 54. - Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage; literally, songs have thy statutes been to me in the house of my sojournings. I have made thy statutes the theme of my songs, as they are of this present one. "The house of my sojournings" is either this present world, where all men are "strangers and pilgrims" (Hebrews 11:13), or perhaps some foreign land in which the writer had been a sojourner. Psalm 119:54The eightfold Zajin. God's word is his hope and his trust amidst all derision; and when he burns with indignation at the apostates, God's word is his solace. Since in Psalm 119:49 the expression is not דּברך but דּבר, it is not to be interpreted according to Psalm 98:3; Psalm 106:45, but: remember the word addressed to Thy servant, because Thou hast made me hope (Piel causat. as e.g., נשּׁה, to cause to forget, Genesis 41:51), i.e., hast comforted me by promising me a blessed issue, and hast directed my expectation thereunto. This is his comfort in his dejected condition, that God's promissory declaration has quickened him and proved its reviving power in his case. In הליצוּני (הליצוּני), ludificantur, it is implied that the זדים eht taht d are just לצים, frivolous persons, libertines, free-thinkers (Proverbs 21:24). משׁפּטיך, Psalm 119:52, are the valid, verified decisions (judgments) of God revealed from the veriest olden times. In the remembrance of these, which determine the lot of a man according to the relation he holds towards them, the poet found comfort. It can be rendered: then I comforted myself; or according to a later usage of the Hithpa.: I was comforted. Concerning זלעפה, aestus, vid., Psalm 11:6, and on the subject-matter, Psalm 119:21, Psalm 119:104. The poet calls his earthly life "the house of his pilgrimage;" for it is true the earth is man's (Psalm 115:16), but he has no abiding resting-place there (1 Chronicles 29:15), his בּית עולם (Ecclesiastes 12:5) is elsewhere (vid., supra, Psalm 119:19, Psalm 39:13). God's statutes are here his "songs," which give him spiritual refreshing, sweeten the hardships of the pilgrimage, and measure and hasten his steps. The Name of God has been in his mind hitherto, not merely by day, but also by night; and in consequence of this he has kept God's law (ואשׁמרה, as five times besides in this Psalm, cf. Psalm 3:6, and to be distinguished from ואשׁמרה, Psalm 119:44). Just this, that he keeps (observat) God's precepts, has fallen to his lot. To others something else is allotted (Psalm 4:8), to him this one most needful thing.
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