“You are righteous!
Your judgments are right.
You have appointed your decrees in righteousness.
You have appointed your decrees in all faithfulness.
My zeal consumes me.
Because my foes forget your words.
Your promise is well tried.
Your servant loves it.
I am small.
I am despised.
Yet I do not forget your precepts.
Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.
Your law is the truth.
Trouble has come upon me.
Anguish has come upon me,
However your commandments are my delight.
Your decrees are righteous forever.
Give me understanding!
Thus I may live.”
The psalmist declared that Yahweh was righteous. His judgments and decrees were righteous and faithful. The zeal of the psalmist consumed him when he found out that his foes had forgotten the words of Yahweh. He, the servant of Yahweh, loved the decrees. Although he was small and despised, he never forgot the precepts of Yahweh. Yahweh’s righteousness was everlasting because his law was the truth. Even though he was in trouble and anguish, the psalmist delighted in Yahweh’s commandments. All he asked for was understanding, so that he might live. So ends this section on the eighteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Cade.
“Your decrees are wonderful.
Therefore my soul keeps them.
The unfolding of your words gives light.
It imparts understanding to the simple.
With open mouth I pant.
Because I long for your commandments.
Turn to me!
Be gracious to me!
It is your custom toward those who love your name.
Keep my steps steady
According to your promise!
Never let iniquity have dominion over me!
Redeem me from human oppression!
Thus I may keep your precepts.
Make your face shine upon your servant.
Teach me your statutes!
My eyes shed streams of tears.
Because your law is not kept.”
The psalmist wanted to remain steady in his steps that were following the law, since Yahweh’s decrees are wonderful. The unfolding of his words gives light so that he has a simple understanding. He longed and panted for Yahweh’s commandments. He wanted Yahweh to be gracious to him because Yahweh loved him. He wanted his steps kept steady just as Yahweh had promised. He did not want iniquity to have dominion over him. He wanted to be redeemed from human oppression. He would then be able to keep the precepts of Yahweh because his face shines on him. He wanted to learn the statutes. He cried when he learned that some people did not keep the law. So ends this section on the seventeenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Phe.
“I have done what is just.
I have done what is right.
Do not leave me to my oppressors.
Guarantee your servant’s well being.
Do not let the godless oppress me.
My eyes fail from watching
For your salvation.
My eyes fail from watching
For the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
Deal with your servant
According to your steadfast love.
Teach me your statutes.
I am your servant.
Give me understanding.
Thus I may know your decrees.
It is time for Yahweh to act.
Your law has been broken.
Truly I love your commandments
More than gold,
More than fine gold.
Truly I direct my steps by all your precepts.
I hate every false way.”
The psalmist believes that he is the servant of God. He has always done what is just and right. As usual, he did not want to be left to his oppressors. He wanted to be protected against the godless men. His eyes were beginning to fail because he has been waiting for salvation and righteous promises. Of course, he wanted to feel the steadfast love of Yahweh. He wanted to learn and understand about the decrees of Yahweh. He wanted Yahweh to act now because his laws were broken. The psalmist loved the commandments of Yahweh more than even fine gold. He wanted all his steps to follow the precepts of Yahweh. He hated false ways. So ends this section on the sixteenth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Ain.
“Yahweh exists forever!
Your word is firmly fixed in heaven.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations.
You have established the earth.
It stands fast.
By your appointment
They stand today.
All things are your servants.
If your law had not been my delight,
I should have perished in my misery.
I will never forget your precepts.
You have given me life.
I am yours!
I have sought your precepts.
The wicked lie in wait
To destroy me.
But I consider your decrees.
I have seen a limit to all perfection.
But your commandment is exceedingly broad.”
Yahweh is eternal in heaven. His faithfulness endures forever. He has established the earth and keeps it going. All things are his servants. This psalmist admits that if he did not have this delightful law, he might have perished in his misery. He would never forget the precepts of Yahweh since they gave him life. He gave himself fully to Yahweh. He relied on Yahweh to save him since he always sought his precepts. However, the wicked lay in wait for him in order to destroy him. The psalmist would consider the decrees of Yahweh and seek perfection because of the broad commandments. So ends this section on the twelfth consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Lamed.
“My soul languishes for your salvation.
I hope in your word.
My eyes fail with watching for your promise.
‘When will you comfort me?’
I have become like a wineskin in the smoke.
Yet I have not forgotten your statutes.
How long must your servant endure?
When will you judge those who persecute me?
Arrogant men have dug pitfalls for me.
They flout your law.
All your commandments are enduring.
I am persecuted without cause.
They have almost made an end of me on earth.
But I have not forsaken your precepts.
In your steadfast love,
Spare my life!
Thus I may keep the decrees of your mouth.”
This psalmist was in a bad situation. He longed for salvation because he hoped in the word of God. His eyes were failing. He wanted to know when Yahweh would comfort him. Even though he was like a smoking wineskin, he still had not forgotten the statutes of Yahweh. He wanted to know how long he had to wait before God would judge and persecute the arrogant men who were setting pitfalls for him. They were flouting the law so that he was persecuted without any real reason. He cried to God for help. They had almost killed him. Despite all this, the psalmist still had not forsaken the precepts of Yahweh. Yahweh’s steadfast love had spared his life. He had the decrees of Yahweh in his mouth. So ends this section on the eleventh consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Kaph.
“Remember your word to your servant!
You have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my distress.
Your promise gives me life.
The arrogant utterly deride me.
But I do not turn away from your law.
When I think of your ordinances from of old,
I take comfort.
Hot indignation seizes me
Because of the wicked.
They forsake your law.
Your statutes have been my songs,
Wherever I make my home.
I remember your name in the night.
I keep your law.
This blessing has fallen to me.
I have kept your precepts.”
This psalmist wanted Yahweh to remember what he promised. His promises gave hope to him when he was in distress. Even though arrogant people made fun of him, he did not turn away from the laws of Yahweh. He was comforted by remembering the ordinances of Yahweh. He really was mad about those who had not followed Yahweh’s precepts. This psalmist was putting the commandments of Yahweh to song. He remembered them when he lay in bed at night. He considered the precepts of the law to be a blessing. So ends this section on the seventh consonant letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Zain.
“The law of Yahweh is perfect.
It revives the soul.
The decrees of Yahweh are sure.
They make wise the simple.
The precepts of Yahweh are right.
They rejoice the heart.
The commandment of Yahweh is clear.
It enlightens the eyes.
The fear of Yahweh is pure.
It endures forever.
The ordinances of Yahweh are true.
They are righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold.
They are even much finer than gold.
They are sweeter also than honey.
They are sweeter than the drippings of the honeycomb.”
In order to counteract the preceding almost pagan eulogy to the sun, the Mosaic law of Yahweh gets special mention. It is the law of Yahweh, the decrees of Yahweh, the precepts of Yahweh, the commandments of Yahweh, the ordinances of Yahweh. There can be no mistake. This is the law of Yahweh that begins with the fear of Yahweh. They revive the soul. They make the simple wise. They rejoice the heart. They enlighten the eyes. They set righteous and endure forever. They are finer than gold and sweeter than honey. Clearly the law of Yahweh is central, not the sun.