Psalm 119:91
They continue this day according to your ordinances: for all are your servants.
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(91) They (the heavens and the earth) continue to this day according to Thine ordinances: for all (i.e., all creation) are Thy servants.—In Hebrew the all, i.e., the universe. The parallelism is in this way preserved, while in the alternative, “as for Thy judgments, Thy,” &c., it is lost.

119:89-96 The settling of God's word in heaven, is opposed to the changes and revolutions of the earth. And the engagements of God's covenant are established more firmly than the earth itself. All the creatures answer the ends of their creation: shall man, who alone is endued with reason, be the only unprofitable burden of the earth? We may make the Bible a pleasant companion at any time. But the word, without the grace of God, would not quicken us. See the best help for bad memories, namely, good affections; and though the exact words be lost, if the meaning remain, that is well. I am thine, not my own, not the world's; save me from sin, save me from ruin. The Lord will keep the man in peace, whose mind is stayed on him. It is poor perfection which one sees and end of. Such are all things in this world, which pass for perfections. The glory of man is but as the flower of the grass. The psalmist had seen the fulness of the word of God, and its sufficiency. The word of the Lord reaches to all cases, to all times. It will take us from all confidence in man, or in our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness. Thus shall we seek comfort and happiness from Christ alone.They continue this day according to thine ordinances - According to thy judgments (Hebrew); that is, thy commands. They "stand" (Hebrew) as thou hast appointed; they are what thou didst design them to be. The original purpose in their creation is carried out, and they thus furnish an illustration of the stability of thy government and the permanency of thy law.

For all are thy servants - All worlds obey thy commands; all are under thy control. They show that they are thy servants by the conformity of their movements to the laws which thou hast impressed on them.

91. They—the heaven (Ps 119:89) and the earth (Ps 119:90). Hengstenberg translates, "They stand for thy judgment," that is, ready, as obedient servants, to execute them. The usage of this Psalm favors this view. But see Jer 33:25. They continue; the heaven and the earth last mentioned.

According to thine ordinances; as thou hast appointed, and by virtue of thine appointment.

All are thy servants; all things are subject to thy power and pleasure, and none can resist thy will or word. They continue this day according to thine ordinances,.... That is, the heavens and the earth do, before mentioned, just as they were from the beginning of the creation. The heavenly bodies have the same motion, magnitude, distance, and influence; the sun rises and sets as it did; the moon keeps her appointed seasons of full and change, of increase and decrease; the fixed stars retain their place, and the planets have their exact revolutions: and on earth things are as they were; seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night; thus they are at this day, and will continue, according to the wise order and appointment of God. Aben Ezra and Kimchi interpret it,

"they stand or continue unto this day to do the will of God; to execute his judgments and decrees, or observe his order and ordinances.''

for all are thy servants; or "they", or "these all" (a); the heavens and earth, and all that is in them, all the works of God; he called them into being, and they rose up at his command; he calls them to service, and they stand up as obedient ones to do his will; he "commandeth the sun, and it riseth not" before its time; and "he sealeth up the stars", that they shine not when he pleases; once he commanded the sun to stand still on Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon, and they obeyed him; see Isaiah 48:13. Hence it appears that the hosts of heaven, the sun, moon, and stars, ought not to be served and worshipped; but the Lord, the Maker of them, only, since they are his servants; and that men ought surely to serve the Lord, if these do, and especially such who are his chosen, redeemed, and called ones.

(a) "illa omnia", Junius & Tremellius; "universa haec", Gejerus.

They {b} continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.

(b) Seeing the earth and all creatures remain in that estate in which you have created them, much more your truth remains constant and unchangeable.

91. This verse may be rendered,

According to thine ordinances [judgements] they abide [stand] this day,

For all things are thy servants.

The thought of the preceding verses is developed. Heaven and earth obey and subserve the ordinances of God. His Will is the universal law of Nature.

A slightly different rendering however agrees better with the second line: For thy judgements they (heaven and earth) stand ready this day; they are constantly prepared to perform Thy behests, for all things subserve Thy Will.

Either of these renderings is preferable to that of R.V. marg., As for thy judgements, they abide this day.

this day] i.e. unto this day.

“From the ministering of the Archangel to the labour of the insect, from the poising of the planets to the gravitation of a grain of dust, the power and glory of all creatures, and all matter, consist in their obedience, not in their freedom.” Ruskin, The Two Paths, Lect. v., quoted by Kay.Verse 91. - They continue this day according to thine ordinances. Heaven and earth continue to observe the ordinances given them by God at the first (comp. Jeremiah 31:35, 36; Jeremiah 33:25). For all are thy servants; rather, all things, or all creatures. The eightfold Kaph. This strengthening according to God's promise is his earnest desire (כּלה) now, when within a very little his enemies have compassed his ruin (כּלּה). His soul and eyes languish (כּלה as in Psalm 69:4; Psalm 84:3, cf. Job 19:27) for God's salvation, that it may be unto him according to God's word or promise, that this word may be fulfilled. In Psalm 119:83 כּי is hypothetical, as in Psalm 21:12 and frequently; here, as perhaps also in Psalm 27:10, in the sense of "although" (Ew. ֗362, b). He does not suffer anything to drive God's word out of his mind, although he is already become like a leathern bottle blackened and shrivelled up in the smoke. The custom of the ancients of placing jars with wine over the smoke in order to make the wine prematurely old, i.e., to mellow it (vid., Rosenm׬ller), does not yield anything towards the understanding of this passage: the skin-bottle that is not intended for present use is hung up on high; and the fact that it had to withstand the upward ascending smoke is intelligible, notwithstanding the absence of any mention of the chimney. The point of comparison, in which we agree for the most part with Hitzig, is the removal of him who in his dungeon is continually exposed to the drudgery of his persecutors. כּמּה in Psalm 119:84 is equivalent to "how few." Our life here below is short, so also is the period within which the divine righteousness can reveal itself. שׁיחות (instead of which the lxx erroneously reads שׂיחות), pits, is an old word, Psalm 57:7. The relative clause, Psalm 119:85, describes the "proud" as being a contradiction to the revealed law; for there was no necessity for saying that to dig a pit for others is not in accordance with this law. All God's commandments are an emanation of His faithfulness, and therefore too demand faithfulness; but it is just this faithfulness that makes the poet an object of deadly hatred. They have already almost destroyed him"in the land." It is generally rendered "on earth;" but "in heaven" at the beginning of the following octonary is too far removed to be an antithesis to it, nor does it sound like one (cf. on the other hand ἐν τοῖς ouranoi's, Matthew 5:12). It is therefore: in the land (cf. Psalm 58:3; Psalm 73:9), where they think they are the only ones who have any right there, they have almost destroyed him, without shaking the constancy of his faith. But he stands in need of fresh grace in order that he may not, however, at last succumb.
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