Psalm 119:66
Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
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(66) Good judgment.—More exactly, good taste. Here, however, in a moral, not æsthetic sense. Perhaps tact or delicate moral perception represents it. We may compare St. Paul’s use of the Greek words, ἐπιγνώσις and αἰσθήσις in Philippians 1:9.


Psalm 119:66. Teach me good judgment — Whereby I may rightly discern between truth and falsehood, good and evil; that so I may be kept from those errors in which many are involved, and may clearly understand what thy law requires or permits, and what it forbids. The Hebrew, שׂוב שׂעם, properly signifies goodness of taste, referring to the palate; and it is only figuratively and by way of analogy that it signifies goodness of judgment, or the good sense and discernment of the mind. And knowledge — A spiritual and experimental knowledge, added to that sense of, and relish for, divine things, implied in the former clause. For I have believed thy commandments — I have believed the divine authority of them, and the truth and certainty of those promises and threatenings wherewith thou hast enforced them.

119:65-72 However God has dealt with us, he has dealt with us better than we deserve; and all in love, and for our good. Many have knowledge, but little judgment; those who have both, are fortified against the snares of Satan, and furnished for the service of God. We are most apt to wander from God, when we are easy in the world. We should leave our concerns to the disposal of God, seeing we know not what is good for us. Lord, thou art our bountiful Benefactor; incline our hearts to faith and obedience. The psalmist will go on in his duty with constancy and resolution. The proud are full of the world, and its wealth and pleasures; these make them senseless, secure, and stupid. God visits his people with affliction, that they may learn his statutes. Not only God's promises, but even his law, his percepts, though hard to ungodly men, are desirable, and profitable, because they lead us with safety and delight unto eternal life.Teach me good judgment - The word here rendered "judgment" means, properly, "taste," that power by which we determine the quality of things as sweet, bitter, sour, etc. Then it is applied to the mind or understanding, as that by which we determine the moral quality of things, or decide what is right or wrong; wise or foolish; good or evil. Here it means that he desired to have in full exercise the faculty of appreciating what is right, and of distinguishing it from what is wrong.

And knowledge - Knowledge of the truth; knowledge of thy will; knowledge of duty.

For I have believed thy commandments - I have confided in thy commandments. He believed that such a keeping of the law of God would be connected with a correct view of things. The keeping of the commands of God is one of the best means of growing in true knowledge, and of cultivating the understanding; of promoting a just taste or perception of what is true, and of developing the powers of the soul in the best proportions. Compare John 7:17.

66. Teach me good judgment and knowledge—namely, in Thy word (so as to fathom its deep spirituality); for the corresponding expression (Ps 119:12, 64, 68), is, "Teach me Thy statutes." Good judgment; whereby I may rightly discern between truth and falsehood, good and evil, between the mind of God and my own or others’ inventions; that so I may be kept from those mistakes and errors in which many are involved, that I may truly judge what thy law requires or permits, and what it forbids. Heb. the goodness of taste, an experimental sense and relish of divine things. Compare Psalm 34:8.

Knowledge; a spiritual and experimental knowledge. And judgment, or taste, and knowledge may, by a usual figure called hendiadis, be put for judicious, or solid, or practical knowledge.

I have believed thy commandments; I have believed the Divine authority of them, and the truth and certainty of those promises and threatenings which thou hast annexed to them.

Teach me good judgment and knowledge,.... Or, "a good taste" (p): of the Lord himself, how good and gracious he is; of his grace and love, which is better than wine; of his word and the truths of it, which are sweeter to a spiritual taste than honey or the honeycomb; and of the things of the Spirit of God, which are seventy to a spiritual man, a distinguishing taste of things; for as "the taste discerns perverse things" in food, so a man of a spiritual taste distinguishes good from evil, truth from error; discerns things that differ, and approves of those that are most excellent, and abides by them. Or, "a good sense" (q), as it may be rendered; a good sense of the Scriptures, the true and right sense of them; and to have the mind of God and of Christ, and of the Spirit of Christ, in the word; and to have distinguishing light in it, and a well established judgment in the truths of it, is very desirable: as is also a spiritual and experimental "knowledge" of them, a growing and increasing one; a knowledge of God in Christ, and of his will; a knowledge of Christ, his person and offices, and the mysteries of his grace; which a truly gracious and humble soul desires to be taught, and is taught of God more or less;

for I have believed thy commandments; the whole word of God, and all that is said in it; that it is of God, is the word of God and not the word of man; and therefore he was desirous of being taught the true meaning of it, and to be experimentally acquainted with it; the word of God is called his commandment, Psalm 19:7. Or the precepts of the word; he believed these were the commandments of God, and not of men; delivered out by him, and enforced by his authority; and therefore he gave credit to them, and loved them, and desired better to understand and do them: or the promises and threatenings annexed to them, which he believed would be punctually fulfilled upon the doers or transgressors of them; and as for himself, he cheerfully yielded the obedience of faith unto them.

(p) "bonitatem gustus", Piscator, Michaelis. (q) "Bonitatem sensus", Montanus; i.e. "sensum bonum", Gejerus.

Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
66. good judgment] Lit. goodness of taste, the power to distinguish promptly and surely between right and wrong.

for I have believed in thy commandments] Prayer for further instruction is grounded on past loyalty to the known Will of God.

Verse 66. - Teach me good judgment and knowledge; i.e. give me sound judgment and wisdom, to discern right from wrong. For I have believed thy commandments. I have looked to them, and trusted in them as my guides in the way of righteousness (comp. ver. 105). Psalm 119:66The eightfold Teth. The good word of the gracious God is the fountain of all good; and it is learned in the way of lowliness. He reviews his life, and sees in everything that has befallen him the good and well-meaning appointment of the God of salvation in accordance with the plan and order of salvation of His word. The form עבדּך, which is the form out of pause, is retained in Psalm 119:65 beside Athnach, although not preceded by Olewejored (cf. Psalm 35:19; Psalm 48:11; Proverbs 30:21). Clinging believingly to the commandments of God, he is able confidently to pray that He would teach him "good discernment" and "knowledge." טעם is ethically the capacity of distinguishing between good and evil, and of discovering the latter as it were by touch; טוּב טעם, good discernment, is a coupling of words like טוּב לב, a happy disposition, cheerfulness. God has brought him into this relationship to His word by humbling him, and thus setting him right out of his having gone astray. אמרה in Psalm 119:67, as in Psalm 119:11, is not God's utterance conveying a promise, but imposing a duty. God is called טּוב as He who is graciously disposed towards man, and מתיב as He who acts out this disposition; this loving and gracious God he implores to become his Teacher. In his fidelity to God's word he does not allow himself to be led astray by any of the lies which the proud try to impose upon him (Bttcher), or better absolutely (cf. Job 13:4): to patch together over him, making the true nature unrecognisable as it were by means of false plaster or whitewash (טפל, to smear over, bedaub, as the Targumic, Talmudic, and Syriac show). If the heart of these men, who by slander make him into a caricature of himself, is covered as it were with thick fat (a figure of insensibility and obduracy, Psalm 17:10; Psalm 73:7; Isaiah 6:10, lxx ἐτυρώθη, Aquila ἐλιπάνθη, Symmachus ἐμυαλώθη) against all the impressions of the word of God, he, on the other hand, has his delight in the law of God (שׁעשׁע with an accusative of the object, not of that which is delighted, Psalm 94:19, but of that which delights). How beneficial has the school of affliction through which he has attained to this, been to him! The word proceeding from the mouth of God is now more precious to him than the greatest earthly riches.
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