Psalm 119

William Helder, 1972 ©

  1. How blessed are those upright in their way,
    Who keep the LORD’s decrees with dedication
    And in their walk of life His law obey.
    How blest are those who with determination,
    Wholeheartedly, seek Him by night and day
    And look to Him for guidance and salvation.
  2. How blest are they who shun iniquities,
    Thy holy law with diligence observing.
    Thou hast laid down Thy statutes and decrees,
    To be obeyed in faithfulness unswerving.
    O may I but submit myself to these
    And so go forth, a steady course preserving.
  3. I know that I shall not be put to shame
    If I but with attention undivided
    Heed the commands which Thou, LORD, didst proclaim.
    I thank Thee for the law Thou hast provided;
    I worship Thee and praise Thy holy Name.
    Forsake me not; by Thee let me be guided.
  4. How can a youth preserve his way, O LORD,
    And keep it free of evil and transgression?
    By guarding it according to Thy word:
    O let my heart be wholly Thy possession,
    That by Thy servant sin may be abhorred.
    Let me not stray, denying my confession.
  5. Thy words I have laid up within my heart;
    I keep Thy faithful promise as my treasure,
    Lest I should ever from Thy ways depart.
    O LORD, how blest Thou art beyond all measure.
    Thy statutes and decrees to me impart,
    For in Thy law I find my greatest pleasure.
  6. In Thy commandments I take great delight;
    They are the subject of my meditation.
    The path marked by Thy law I’ll keep in sight
    And guard myself against all deviation.
    Thy holy word I’ll not neglect or slight;
    Thy statutes are the cause of my elation.
  7. Grant the desire that in my heart arose,
    That I may keep Thy precepts while surviving.
    Remove my blindness and to me expose
    The marvels from Thy ord’nances deriving.
    To me, a stranger here, Thy law disclose,
    Thy servant not of Thy commands depriving.
  8. By night and day for Thy decrees I long;
    My soul consumes itself in constant yearning.
    Thou dost rebuke the proud for all their wrongs -
    Those who, accursed, from Thy commands are turning.
    LORD, set me free from their insulting tongues;
    I’ve kept Thy law, Thy holy will discerning.
  9. Though princes may together scheme and plot,
    Against me their conspiracies devising,
    I’ll contemplate the precepts Thou hast taught;
    I’ll study them, Thy testimonies prizing.
    In Thy instruction my delight I’ve sought,
    And in the counsel from Thy law arising.
  10. Behold, my soul is cleaving to the dust;
    Revive me as Thou in Thy word hast stated.
    All I have done I have to Thee confessed,
    And Thou to me Thy answer hast related.
    Teach me Thy statutes, excellent and just;
    Then may Thy wondrous works be contemplated.
  11. LORD, comfort me as I in sorrow weep;
    According to Thy faithful word, restore me.
    Thy servant far from ways of falsehood keep;
    Grant me by grace Thy law and testimony.
    With vigor on the way of truth I’ll leap;
    Thy sacred ord’nances I’ve set before me.
  12. See how I to Thy testimonies cling;
    Do not subject me to humiliation.
    Thy precepts are my guide in everything;
    I’ll run the course marked out by Thy dictation,
    For from Thy holy law true joy does spring;
    It is the source of all my exultation.
  13. Teach me, O LORD, the way set out by Thee,
    And I will keep Thy statutes to the finish.
    Bless me with insight so that constantly
    I may with all my heart Thy precepts cherish.
    Reveal the path of Thy decrees to me,
    For Thy commandments joy and pleasure furnish.
  14. Unto Thy word of law incline my heart,
    That all Thy precepts I may search and ponder.
    From Thy commandments let me not depart;
    To thoughts of gain let not my spirit wander.
    Restrain me lest I wistful glances dart
    At vanities. O LORD, let me not flounder.
  15. Keep me from sin and give me life instead.
    Fulfill the promise made to those who fear Thee.
    Turn Thou away the censure which I dread,
    For Thy decrees are good. How I sincerely
    Long for Thy law, by which I may be led!
    O righteous LORD, grant life, for I revere Thee.
  16. May Thy unfailing mercy come to me;
    As Thou hast promised, show me Thy salvation.
    Then if I meet with scorn and mockery,
    I’ll give my answer without hesitation,
    For I have put my confidence in Thee;
    LORD, Thou hast sworn to grant me liberation.
  17. O let Thy servant speak the truthful word;
    Let nothing me from Thy commandments sever.
    Thy ordinances hope to me afford;
    I vow to keep them always and forever.
    Then shall I walk in liberty, O LORD;
    I’ve sought Thy law as guide in all endeavor.
  18. Undaunted I will kings and princes face;
    I will before them speak of Thy salvation
    And not be put to shame or be disgraced.
    Thy law I love and hold in veneration.
    Thy precepts I revere; their path I’ll trace.
    I will attend to them in meditation.
  19. Be mindful of Thy servant and recall
    The steadfast word which Thou, O LORD, hast spoken.
    Though troubles and affliction me befall,
    Thy statutes do Thy faithfulness betoken;
    I have gained life through Thy commandments all:
    Thy holy promise never shall be broken!
  20. The proud have treated me with utter scorn,
    Yet from Thy law I have not deviated.
    I am consoled. Why should I sit and mourn?
    I keep in view what Thou of old hast stated.
    By gusts of flaming anger I am torn
    When evil men forsake Thy law and hate it.
  21. Thy statutes are the theme of all my songs
    Wherever here on earth I may be dwelling.
    All through the night Thy praise do I prolong
    Within my heart, as from a fountain welling.
    I’ve kept Thy law, I sing with joyful tongue:
    Thy precepts are a blessing all-excelling.
  22. O LORD, Thou art my portion and my lot,
    And to Thy words I am by vow committed.
    With all my heart Thy favor I have sought;
    Recall Thy promise, LORD, and grace exhibit.
    Whenever to Thy ways I turned in thought,
    To Thy instruction always I’ve submitted.
  23. With haste I act and ever am prepared
    To honor Thy commands without postponing.
    Though foes may for Thy servant set a snare,
    I’ve kept Thy law, no negligence condoning.
    At midnight I my thanks to Thee declare;
    I praise Thy just decrees, a Psalm intoning.
  24. With all who fear Thee I keep company -
    Those for Thy precepts veneration showing.
    Thy mercy is poured forth abundantly,
    And with Thy love the earth is overflowing.
    O LORD, reveal Thy statutes all to me
    And so unfold the knowledge most worth knowing.
  25. To me Thy servant, Thou hast kind ness shown,
    Thy mercy with thy promise underpinning.
    Instruct me, LORD, for it is Thou alone
    Who art of all true knowledge the beginning.
    Before I was afflicted, I will own,
    I went astray, but now refrain from sinning.
  26. O Thou art good and, LORD, Thou doest good.
    Teach me; by Thy commands let me be guided.
    My name is smeared by false men, proud and rude,
    But with Thy law wholeheartedly I’ve sided.
    They in their godless hearts are gross and crude,
    But as for me, Thy words have joy provided.
  27. How good it is that I have suffered pain,
    For thus in all Thy statutes Thou didst school me.
    Thy holy law, which Thou, LORD, didst ordain,
    Is better far than wealth; O let it rule me.
    Thy ordinances are my greatest gain,
    For gold and silver can no longer fool me.
  28. LORD, Thou hast fashioned me with Thy own hands;
    By Thee I once was molded and created.
    Give me then insight into Thy commands,
    That to Thy law I may be dedicated.
    Those who revere Thee shall acclaim my stand.
    Thy word I’ve trusted; hence they are elated.
  29. I know, O LORD, Thy judgments all are just;
    In faithfulness Thou’st brought me tribulation.
    As Thou hast promised - and Thy word I trust -
    Thy steadfast love shall be my consolation.
    In Thy compassion grant me life and rest:
    Thy law is my delight and exultation.
  30. Let proud and godless men be put to shame;
    My cause they have deceitfully distorted.
    But Thy decrees I’ll ponder and proclaim.
    Let by my words the faithful be exhorted.
    May in Thy law my heart be free from blame;
    I’ll not be shamed when by the LORD supported.
  31. LORD, how I long for Thee to set me free,
    But in Thy word I hope despite my anguish.
    To Thee I cry, “When wilt Thou comfort me?”
    With failing eyes I for Thy promise languish.
    A wineskin in the smoke I seem to be;
    Yet Thy commandments I will not relinquish.
  32. Thy testimony I do not forget,
    The holy law which Thou hast instituted.
    O how long must Thy servant suffer yet?
    Judge Thou the proud by whom I’m persecuted.
    Their pits they dig and me with snares beset;
    They flout Thy word and wickedly refute it.
  33. All Thy commandments shall forever stand;
    Help Thou me, for by falsehood I am hounded.
    The godless almost swept me from the land,
    But I have kept Thy law, in which I’m grounded.
    In Thy unfailing love my life defend,
    That I may heed what Thou, LORD, hast expounded.
  34. Thy word is in the heavens fixed for aye;
    Eternal are Thy faithfulness and mercy.
    When Thou didst Thy creative might display,
    The earth was set immovable before Thee.
    By Thy decree, LORD, they stand firm today,
    For all things are Thy servants and adore Thee.
  35. If Thy commands had not been my delight,
    I should have perished in my great affliction.
    Thy precepts I will not forget or slight,
    For Thou hast shown me life by their direction.
    Thy statutes I have pondered day and night.
    Since I am Thine, LORD, grant me Thy protection.
  36. Though evil men may lie in wait for me,
    I will give thought to Thy divine instruction.
    All things, however perfect they may be,
    Are marred with flaws and headed for destruction,
    But the commandments once proclaimed by Thee
    Are unsurpassed, unequalled in perfection.
  37. O how I love the precepts of Thy law!
    I pore forever o’er its hallowed pages.
    Since all the day I ponder it with awe,
    I’m wiser than my foes and all their sages.
    The insight which from Thy decrees I draw
    Excels that of my teachers and the aged.
  38. In understanding I surpass the old;
    I heed Thy law, Thee, LORD, with fervor serving.
    From evil courses, I my feet withhold,
    In faithfulness Thy holy word observing.
    Thou didst instruct me and Thy law unfold;
    Thus I have kept Thy precepts without swerving.
  39. How pleasing are Thy promises, O LORD;
    Far sweeter than is honey to my palate.
    Thy testimonies true delight afford;
    Through them I gain the wisdom ever valid.
    Thus every path of falsehood I’ve abhorred;
    I shun deceit and from my ways repel it.
  40. Thy word is as a lamp unto my feet,
    A lantern shining on the path before me.
    I’ve sworn an oath and here my vow repeat:
    I’ll keep Thy just decrees, LORD, and adore Thee.
    I suffer in affliction and defeat;
    Recall Thy steadfast promise and restore me.
  41. Accept, O LORD, my offerings of praise;
    Teach me the words that of Thy grace are token.
    Though I may live in danger all my days,
    Thy law shall by Thy servant not be broken;
    And though my foe his snares and pitfalls lays,
    I do not stray from all that Thou hast spoken.
  42. Thy testimonies are forever mine:
    My heritage and permanent possession,
    My joy, which I shall in my heart enshrine:
    And to their praise I ever give expression.
    My heart to Thy commandments I incline,
    Unto the end refraining from transgression.
  43. I hate the fickle and divided heart;
    I love Thy law. On Thee I am dependent;
    O LORD, my hiding-place and shield Thou art.
    I trust Thy word and hope in its fulfillment.
    You evildoers, all from me depart,
    That I may ever keep my God’s commandments.
  44. Uphold me, LORD, lest I should hope in vain,
    For on Thy word I base my expectation.
    Fulfill Thy promise and my life sustain;
    I look to Thee for refuge and salvation.
    O LORD, enable Thou me to maintain
    Thy statutes; let them be my meditation.
  45. All those who from Thy precepts go astray
    Thou dost reject; in vain do they dissemble.
    The wicked Thou as dross wilt cast away;
    I therefore love Thy law. Let me not stumble.
    I quake when Thou Thy judgments dost display;
    In awe of Thee, O LORD, I fear and tremble.
  46. I’ve kept Thy law; I’ve done what’s just and right.
    O LORD, to my oppressors do not leave me.
    Be surety for my welfare, God of might;
    Let not my haughty foes oppress and grieve me.
    My eyes grow dim with watching day and night
    For Thee to keep Thy promise and relieve me.
  47. Be mindful of Thy steadfast love, and deal
    With me in grace and mercy, I beseech Thee.
    O LORD, Thy statutes and decrees reveal,
    And all Thy wondrous testimonies teach me.
    Give me discernment and my blindness heal;
    Let all my pleas for understanding reach Thee.
  48. ‘Tis time for Thee to act, O LORD. Behold,
    By evil men Thy law is violated.
    I prize it more than all the finest gold;
    My love for Thy commands is unabated.
    My steps from ways of falsehood I withhold,
    For by Thy law my course is regulated.
  49. How wondrous are Thy testimonies,
    LORD; I keep them, for they truly are astounding.
    Thou dost reveal and open up Thy word,
    Thus shedding light into my dark surroundings.
    Thou insight to the simple doest afford,
    For Thy decrees shine forth with light abounding.
  50. For all Thy law I long wholeheartedly;
    I pant and thirst, for all Thy statutes yearning.
    As is Thy way with those who honor Thee,
    Be gracious, LORD, Thy face towards me turning.
    Let works of evil get no hold on me;
    LORD, guide my steps, Thy promises confirming.
  51. Save me from man’s iniquitous designs,
    That by Thy precepts I may be directed.
    LORD, let Thy face upon Thy servant shine;
    Teach me Thy law and let my life reflect it.
    While shedding countless tears, I grieve and pine.
    Because Thy law is not at all respected.
  52. LORD, Thou art righteous and Thy law is just;
    Thy judgments Thou on righteousness hast founded.
    In all Thy statutes I have put my trust,
    For they in faithfulness are firmly grounded.
    By zeal consumed, I’m speechless with disgust
    When foes ignore what Thou, LORD, hast expounded.
  53. Thy promise is well-tried and stands secure;
    Thy pledge I love, in Thee, O LORD, confiding.
    Though I’m of no account, despised and poor,
    I’ll not forget Thy precepts and Thy guiding.
    Thy righteousness for ever shall endure;
    Thy law is truth, eternally abiding.
  54. Though now I suffer anguish and distress,
    Thy law is my delight and consolation.
    For everlasting is Thy righteousness,
    And faithful are Thy words of revelation.
    Thy servant, LORD, with understanding bless,
    That I may live, that I may see salvation.
  55. With all my heart, O LORD, I cry to Thee.
    Show me Thy answer to my supplication.
    Thy statutes I will keep unceasingly.
    I call on Thee and pray for preservation.
    Save me, O LORD, and listen to my plea,
    That I may keep Thy law with veneration.
  56. I cry for help before the break of day;
    I trust Thy promise. Thy decrees I ponder;
    I’ve waited for the night so that I may
    Upon thy words reflect in awe and wonder.
    LORD, hear me in Thy steadfast love, I pray;
    The proud are set on tearing me asunder.
  57. My foes draw near and mal ice they intend;
    Far from Thy law are those by whom I’m hounded.
    But Thou art near; on Thee, LORD, I depend.
    Thy words are true; by them I am surrounded.
    As I’ve long known, Thy statutes have no end;
    For ever are Thy testimonies founded.
  58. See my affliction, LORD, and set me free;
    I keep Thy law and ever shall retain it.
    Plead Thou my cause and win release for me;
    Recall Thy promise, for I then shall gain it.
    But far from those who seek not Thy decree
    Is Thy salvation; they shall not attain it.
  59. Great is, O LORD, Thy mercy in distress;
    Grant me the life by Thy decree awarded.
    Though countless foes Thy servant may oppress,
    Against departing from Thy law I’ve guarded.
    O how I loathe the traitor’s faithlessness;
    I grieve when Thy commands are disregarded.
  60. Behold, O LORD, Thy precepts I revere;
    I love Thy law, I scorn the wicked’s railing.
    Preserve my life, O LORD, and persevere
    According to Thy mercy never-failing.
    The sum of all Thy word is truth most clear,
    And each decree shall ever be prevailing.
  61. By princes I am hounded without cause,
    Yet I stand awed before Thy revelation.
    And I rejoice at Thy commands and laws;
    They, like great spoil, rouse me to jubilation.
    I loathe all vain deceit that ever was;
    I love Thy law but spurn abomination.
  62. O LORD, I praise Thee seven times a day,
    For righteous is the law Thou hast provided.
    Great peace is theirs who honor and obey
    Thy precepts and who by Thy word are guided.
    No snares or pitfalls shall beset the way
    Of those who in Thy justice have confided.
  63. I hope in Thee, for me Thou wilt preserve;
    I do Thy will and keep Thy law before me.
    I heed Thy word and Thy commands observe,
    For peace and consolation they afford me.
    I do not from Thy testimonies swerve,
    For all my ways are plain, O LORD, before Thee.
  64. Incline Thy ear and listen to my cry;
    According to Thy word hear Thou my sighing
    And give me understanding in reply,
    To me Thy testimonies not denying.
    On Thee I for deliverance rely;
    LORD, rescue me, Thy promised aid supplying.
  65. O let my lips run over with Thy praise,
    For Thy decrees Thou hast in me implanted.
    My tongue will sing, a joyful anthem raise,
    For in Thy statutes justice is presented.
    Let Thy hand help me when Thy servant strays:
    I’ve chosen, LORD, the precepts Thou hast granted.
  66. I long for Thy salvation night and day,
    And Thy commandments my delight awaken.
    O let me live to praise Thy Name for aye;
    Let Thy decrees lend me support unshaken.
    I wander like a sheep that’s gone astray:
    O seek me, LORD; Thy law I’ve not forsaken.