Psalm 119:57
You are my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep your words.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
CHETH.

(57) Thou art my portion, O Lord.—This rendering is in accordance with Psalm 16:5; Psalm 73:26. But, even with these passages in view, a better rendering would be—

“This is my portion, O Lord, I said (it),

To keep Thy words.”

CHETH.

Psalm 119:57-58. Thou art my portion, O Lord — Whereas other men place their portion and happiness in worldly things, I have chosen thee for my portion and chief treasure: and thou art an all-sufficient and excellent portion for me: see notes on Psalm 16:5; Psalm 73:26. I have said that I would keep thy words — I have not only purposed it in my own heart, but have professed it before others, and I do not repent of it. I entreated thy favour, &c. — Thy gracious presence and merciful assistance.119:57-64 True believers take the Lord for the portion of their inheritance, and nothing less will satisfy them. The psalmist prayed with his whole heart, knowing how to value the blessing he prayed for: he desired the mercy promised, and depended on the promise for it. He turned from by-paths, and returned to God's testimonies. He delayed not. It behoves sinners to hasten to escape; and the believer will be equally in haste to glorify God. No care or grief should take away God's word out of our minds, or hinder the comfort it bestows. There is no situation on earth in which a believer has not cause to be thankful. Let us feel ashamed that others are more willing to keep from sleep to spend the time in sinful pleasures, than we are to praise God. And we should be more earnest in prayer, that our hearts may be filled with his mercy, grace, and peace.Thou art my portion, O Lord - This begins a new division of the psalm, indicated by the Hebrew letter Cheth (ח ch), which may be represented in English by "ch." On the meaning of the language here, see the notes at Psalm 16:5. God was to him what other people seek in wealth, honor, pleasure, fame. To him, God was all and in all. He asked nothing else.

I have said - I have formed the purpose, and have expressed it. It is the deliberate and settled design of my life.

That I would keep thy words - That I would obey thee at all times; that I would keep all thy commandments.

CHETH. (Ps 119:57-64).

57-60. Sincere desires for God's favor, penitence, and activity in a new obedience, truly evince the sincerity of those who profess to find God a portion (Nu 18:20; Ps 16:5; La 3:24).

57 Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words.

58 I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.

59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.

61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.

62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

64 The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

In this section the Psalmist seems to take firm hold upon God himself; appropriating him (Psalm 119:57), crying out for him (Psalm 119:58), returning to him (Psalm 119:59), solacing himself in him (Psalm 119:61, Psalm 119:62), associating with his people (Psalm 119:63), and sighing for personal experience of his goodness (Psalm 119:64). Note how Psalm 119:57 is linked to the last of the former one, of which indeed it is an expanded repetition. "This I had because I kept thy precepts. Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words."

Psalm 119:57

"Thou art my portion, O Lord." A broken sentence. The translators have mended it by insertions, but perhaps it had been better to have left it alone, and then it would have appeared as an exclamation, - "My portion, O Lord!" The poet is lost in wonder while he sees that the great and glorious God is all his own! Well might he be so, for there is no possession like Jehovah himself. The form of the sentence expresses joyous recognition and appropriation, - "My portion, O Jehovah!" David had often seen the prey divided, and heard the victors shouting over it; here he rejoices as one who seizes his share of the spoil; he chooses the Lord to be his part of the treasure. Like the Levites, he took God to be his portion, and left other matters to those who coveted them. This is a large and lasting heritage, for it includes all, and more than all, and it outlasts all; and yet no man chooses it for himself until God has chosen and renewed him. Who that is truly wise could hesitate for a moment when the infinitely blessed God is set before him to be the object of his choice? David leaped at the opportunity, and grasped the priceless boon. Our author here dares exhibit the title-deeds of his portion before the eye of the Lord himself, for he addresses his joyful utterance directly to God whom he boldly calls his own. With much else to choose from, for he was a king, and a man of great resources, he deliberately turns from all the treasures of the world, and declares that the Lord, even Jehovah, is his portion.

"I have said that I would keep thy words." We cannot always look back with comfort upon what we have said, but in this instance David had spoken wisely and well. He had declared his choice: he preferred the word of God to the wealth of worldlings. It was his firm resolve to keep - that is, treasure up and observe - the words of his God, and as he had aforetime solemnly expressed it in the presence of the Lord himself, so here he confesses the binding obligation of his former vow. Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words," and this is a case which he might have quoted as an illustration; for the Psalmist's love to God as his portion led to his keeping the words of God. David took God to be his Prince as well as his Portion. He was confident as to his interest in God, and therefore he was resolute in his obedience to him. Full assurance is a powerful source of holiness. The very words of God are to be stored up; for whether they relate to doctrine, promise, or precept, they are most precious. When the heart is determined to keep these words, and has registered its purpose in the court of heaven, it is prepared for all the temptations and trials that may befall it; for, with God as its heritage, it is always in good case.

Psalm 119:58

"I intreated thy favour with my whole heart." A fully assured possession be his God will seek his face, longing for his presence. Seeking God's presence is the idea conveyed by the marginal reading, "thy face," and this is true to the Hebrew. The presence of God is the highest form of his favour, and therefore it is the most urgent desire of gracious souls: the light of his countenance gives us an antepast of heaven. O that we always enjoyed it! The good man entreated God's smile as one who begged for his life, and the entire strength of his desire went with the entreaty. Such eager pleadings are sure of success; that which comes from our heart will certainly go to God's heart. The whole of God's favours are ready for those who seek them with their whole hearts.

continued...

CHETH

Whereas other men place their portion and happiness in worldly things, I have chosen thee for my portion and chief treasure, as he said, Psalm 16:5 73:26, and thou hast an all-sufficient and an excellent portion for me.

I have said; I have not only purposed it in my own heart, but have professed and owned it before others, and I do not repent of it. CHETH.--The Eighth Part.

CHETH. Thou art my portion, O Lord,.... Which he chose and preferred to all others; to the riches, honours, and profits of this world; the grant of which was made to him in the covenant of grace; the first discovery of it was from the Lord himself; and the choice and claim were made under the influence of his grace; and a great act of faith it is to assert this, and a wonderful blessing to enjoy it. This is a large portion indeed, immense and inconceivable, soul satisfying, safe, and for ever! see Psalm 73:26;

I have said that I would keep thy words; keep his commandments, lay up his promises, observe his doctrines, profess and retain them; this he determined within himself to do, under a sense of the love of God to him, in being his portion and inheritance. Some render the words, in connection with the former, thus, "my portion, O Lord, I said, is", or "shall be, to keep thy words" (l); it is the part and portion of some to preach the word, and of others to hear it; and of all to keep or observe it, its precepts, promises, and truths. Aben Ezra gives the sense of them thus,

"This I said to many, perhaps they will keep thy words;''

namely, that the Lord was his portion, which he thought might induce them to an observance of them, as he had done.

(l) So Montanus, Piscator.

CHETH. Thou art my {a} portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.

(a) I am persuaded that to keep your law is a heritage and great gain for me.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
57. Thou art my portion, O Lord] So some MSS of the LXX (AT); but the Heb. text must be rendered, Jehovah is my portion: I have purposed to observe thy words: or, Jehovah is my portion, have I said: that I may observe thy words: or, more simply, with cod. א of the LXX, and the Vulg., Jehovah my portion, I have purposed &c. Cp. Psalm 16:5; Psalm 73:26; Psalm 142:5.

57–64. Chçth. The Psalmist’s devotion to Jehovah and His law.Verse 57. - Thou art my Portion, O Lord (see Psalm 73:26; Psalm 142:5; and comp. Numbers 18:20; Joshua 13:33). I have said that I would keep thy words; or, "I have resolved" (Cheyne). The 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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