Psalm 119

Words: Brady and  Tate, A New Version of the Psalms of David



   1  How blessed are they who always keep
         the pure and perfect way;
      Who never from the sacred paths
         of God's commandments stray!

   2  How blessed, who to his righteous laws
         have still obedient been;
      and have with fervent humble zeal
         his favor sought to win!

   3  Such men their utmost caution use
         to shun each wicked deed:
      But in the path which he directs
         with constant care proceed.

   4  Thou strictly hast enjoined us, Lord,
         to learn thy sacred will;
      And all our diligence employ
         thy statutes to fulfil.

   5  O then that thy most holy will
         might o'er my ways preside!
      And I the course of all my life
         by thy direction guide!

   6  Then with assurance should I walk,
         from all confusion free;
      Convinced, with joy, that all my ways
         with thy commands agree.

   7  My upright heart shall my glad mouth
         with cheerful praises fill;
      When, by thy righteous judgments taught,
         I shall have learnt thy will.

   8  So to thy sacred laws shall I
         all due observance pay:
      O then forsake me not, my God,
         nor cast me quite away.


   9  How shall the young preserve their ways
         from all pollution free?
      By making still their course of life
         with thy commands agree.

  10  With hearty zeal for thee I seek,
         to thee for succor pray;
      O suffer not my careless steps
         from thy right paths to stray,

  11  Safe in my heart, and closely hid,
         thy word, my treasure, lies;
      To succor me with timely aid,
         when sinful thoughts arise.

  12  Secured by that my grateful soul,
         shall ever bless thy Name:
      O teach me then by thy just laws,
         my future life to frame.

  13  My lips, unlocked by pious zeal,
         to others have declared,
      How well the judgments of thy mouth
         deserve our best regards.

  14  Whilst in the way of thy commands
         more solid joy I found,
      Than had I been with vast increase
         of envied riches crowned.

  15  Therefore thy just and upright laws
         shall always fill my mind;
      And those sound rules which thou prescrib'st
         all due respect shall find.

  16  To keep thy statutes un-defaced
         shall be my constant joy;
      The strict remembrance of thy word
         shall all my thoughts employ.


  17  Be gracious to thy servant, Lord,
         do thou my life defend,
      That I, according to thy word,
         my future time may spend.

  18  Enlighten both my eyes and mind,
         that so I may discern
      The wondrous things which they behold,
         who thy just precepts learn.

  19  Though like a stranger in the land
         from place to place I stray,
      Thy righteous judgments from my sight
          remove not thou away.

  20  My fainting soul is almost pined,
         with earnest longing spent,
      Whilst always on the eager search
         of thy just will intent.

  21  Thy sharp rebuke shall crush the proud,
         whom still thy curse pursues;
      Since they to walk in thy right ways
         presumptuously refuse.

  22  But far from me do thou, O Lord,
         contempt and shame remove;
      For I thy sacred laws affect
         with undissembled love.

  23  Though princes oft, in council met,
         against thy servant spake;
      Yet I thy statutes to observe
         my constant business make.

  24  For thy commands have always been
         my comfort and delight;
      By them I learn, with prudent care,
         to guide my steps aright.


  25  My soul, oppressed with deadly care,
         close to the dust does cleave;
      Revive me, Lord, and let me now
         thy promised aid receive.

  26  To thee I still declared my ways,
         who didst incline thine ear:
      O teach me then my future life
         by thy just laws to steer.

  27  If thou wilt make me know thy laws,
         and by their guidance walk,
      The wondrous works which thou hast done 
         shall be my constant talk.

  28  But see, my soul within me sinks,
         pressed down with weighty care;
      Do thou, according to thy word,
         my wasted strength repair.

  29  Far, far from me be all false ways
         and lying arts removed!
      the path by thee approved.
         But kindly grant I still may keep.

  30  Thy faithful ways, thou God of truth, 
         my happy choice I've made;
      Thy judgments, as my rule of life,
         before me always laid.

  31  My care has been to make my life
         with thy commands agree;
      from shame and ruin free.
         O then preserve thy servant, Lord,

  32  So in the way of thy commands
         shall I with pleasure run,
      And, with a heart enlarged with joy,
         successfully go on.  


  33  Instruct me in thy statutes, Lord,
         thy righteous paths display;
      And I from them, through all my life,
      will never go astray.

  34  If thou true wisdom from above
         wilt graciously impart,
      To keep thy perfect laws I will
         devote my zealous heart.

  35  Direct me in the sacred ways
         To which thy precepts lead;
      Because my chief delight has been
         thy righteous paths to tread.

  36  Do thou to thy most just commands 
         incline my willing heart
      Let no desire of worldly wealth
         From thee my thoughts divert.

  37  From those vain objects turn my eyes,
         which this false world displays;
      But give me lively pow'r and strength
         to keep thy righteous ways.

  38  Confirm the promise which thou mad'st,
         and give thy servant aid,
      Who to transgress thy sacred laws
         is awfully afraid.

  39  The foul disgrace I justly fear,
         in mercy, Lord, remove;
      For all the judgments thou ordain'st
         are full of grace and love.

  40  Thou know'st how after thy commands
         my longing heart does pant;
      O then make haste to raise me up,
         and promised succor grant.


  41  Thy constant blessing, Lord, bestow
         to cheer my drooping heart;
      To me, according to thy word,
         thy saving health impart.

  42  So shall I, when my foes upbraid,
         this ready answer make;
      "In God I trust, who never will
         his faithful promise break."

  43  Then let not quite the word of truth
         be from my mouth removed;
      Since still my ground of steadfast hope
         thy just decrees have proved.

  44  So I to keep thy righteous laws
         will all my study bend;
      From age to age my time to come
         in their observance spend.

  45  Ere long I trust to walk at large,
         from all encumbrance free;
      Since I resolve to make my life
         with thy commands agree.

  46  Thy laws shall be my constant talk,
         and princes shall attend,
      Whilst I the justice of thy ways
         with confidence defend.

  47  My longing heart and ravished soul
         shall both o'erflow with joy,
      When in thy loved commandments I
         my happy hours employ.

  48  Then will I to thy just decrees
         lift up my willing hands;
      My care and business then shall be
         to study thy commands.


  49  According to thy promised grace,
         thy favor, Lord, extend:
      Make good to me the word, on which
         thy servant's hopes depend.

  50  That only comfort in distress
         did all my griefs control;
      Thy word, when troubles hemmed me round,
         revived my fainting soul.

  51  Insulting foes did proudly mock,
         and all my hopes deride;
      Yet from thy law not all their scoffs
         could make me turn aside.

  52  Thy judgments then of ancient date
         I quickly called to mind,
      Till, ravished with such thoughts, my soul
         did speedy comfort find.

  53  Sometimes I stand amazed like one
         with deadly horror struck,
      To think how all my sinful foes
         have thy just laws forsook.

  54  But I thy statutes and decrees
         my cheerful anthems made;
      Whilst through strange lands and desert wilds
         I like a pilgrim strayed.

  55  Thy Name, that cheered my heart by day,
         has filled my thoughts by night;
      I then resolved by thy just laws
         to guide my steps aright.

  56  That peace of mind, which has my soul
         in deep distress sustained,
      By strict obedience to thy will
         I happily obtained.


  57  O Lord, my God, my portion thou
         and sure possession art;
      Thy words I steadfastly resolve
         to treasure in my heart.

  58  With all the strength of warm desires
         I did thy grace implore;
      Disclose, according to thy word,
         thy mercy's boundless store.

  59  With due reflection and strict care
         on all my ways I thought;
      And so, reclaimed to thy just paths,
         my wand'ring steps I brought.

  60  I lost no time, but made great haste,
         resolved without delay
      To watch, that I might never more
         from thy commandments stray.

  61  Though num'rous troops of sinful men
         to rob me have combined,
      Yet I thy pure and righteous laws
         have ever kept in mind.

  62  In dead of night I will arise
         to sing thy solemn praise;
      Convinced how much I always ought
         to love thy righteous ways.

  63  To such as fear thy holy Name
         myself I closely join;
      To all who their obedient wills
         to thy commands resign.

  64  O'er all the earth thy mercy, Lord,
         abundantly is shed;
      O make me then exactly learn
         thy sacred paths to tread.


  65  With me, thy servant, thou hast dealt
         most graciously, O Lord;
      Repeated benefits bestowed,
         according to thy word.

  66  Teach me the sacred skill, by which
         right judgment is attained,
      Who in belief of thy commands
         have steadfastly remained.

  67  Before affliction stopped my course,
         my footsteps went astray;
      But I have since been disciplined
         thy precepts to obey.

  68  Thou art, O Lord, supremely good,
         and all thou dost is so;
      On me, thy statutes to discern,
         thy saving skill bestow.

  69  The proud have forged malicious lies,
         my spotless fame to stain;
      But my fixed heart, without reserve,
         thy precepts shall retain.

  70  While pampered they, with prosp'rous ills,
         in sensual pleasures live,
      My soul can relish no delight
         but what thy precepts give.

  71  'Tis good for me that I have felt
         affliction's chast'ning rod,
      That I might duly learn and keep
         the statutes of my God.

  72  The law that from thy mouth proceeds
         of more esteem I hold
      Than untouched mines, than thousand mines
         of silver and of gold.


  73  To me, who am the workmanship
         of thy Almighty hands,
      The heav'nly understanding give
         to learn thy just commands.

  74  My preservation to thy saints
         strong comfort will afford,
      To see success attend my hopes,
         who trusted in thy word.

  75  That fight thy judgments are, I now
         by sure experience see;
      And that in faithfulness, O Lord,
         thou hast afflicted me.

  76  O let thy tender mercy now
         afford me needful aid;
      According to thy promise, Lord,
         to me, thy servant, made.

  77  To me thy saving grace restore,
         that I again may live;
      Whose soul can relish no delight
         but what thy precepts give.

  78  Defeat the proud, who, unprovoked,
         to ruin me have sought,
      Who only on thy sacred laws
         employ my harmless thought.

  79  Let those that fear thy Name espouse
         my cause, and those alone,
      Who have by strict and pious search
         thy sacred precepts known.

  80  In thy blest statutes let my heart
         continue always sound;
      That guilt and shame, the sinner's lot,
         may never me confound.


  81  My soul with long expectance faints
         to see thy saving grace;
      Yet still on thy unerring word
         my confidence I place.

  82  My very eyes consume and fail
         with waiting for thy word;
      O when wilt thou thy kind relief
         and promised aid afford.

  83  My skin like shriveled parchment shows,
         that long in smoke is set,
      Yet no affliction me can force
         thy statutes to forget.

  84  How many days must I endure
         of sorrow and distress?
      When wilt thou judgment execute
         on them who me oppress?

  85  The proud have digged a pit for me,
         that have no other foes,
      But such as are averse to thee,
         and thy just laws oppose.

  86  With sacred truth's eternal laws
         all thy commands agree:
      Men persecute me without cause;
         thou, Lord, my helper be.

  87  With close designs against my life
         they had almost prevailed;
      But in obedience to thy will
         my duty never failed.

  88  Thy wonted kindness, Lord, restore,
         my drooping heart to cheer;
      That, by thy righteous statutes, I
         my life's whole course may steer.


  89  For ever, and for ever, Lord,
         unchanged thou dost remain:
      Thy word established in the heav'ns
         does all their orbs sustain.

  90  Through circling ages, Lord, thy truth
         immovable shall stand,
      As doth the earth, which thou uphold'st
         by thy Almighty hand.

  91  All things the course by thee ordained
         e'en to this day fulfil;
      They are the faithful subjects all,
         and servants of thy will.

  92  Unless thy sacred law had been
         my comfort and delight,
      I must have fainted and expired
         in dark affliction's night.

  93  Thy precepts therefore from my thoughts
         shall never, Lord, depart;
      For thou by them hast to new life
         restored my dying heart.

  94  As I am thine, entirely thine,
         protect me, Lord, from harm;
      Who have thy precepts sought to know,
         and carefully perform.

  95  The wicked have their ambush laid
         my guiltless life to take;
      But in the midst of danger I
         thy word my study make.

  96  I've seen an end of what we call
         perfection here below:
      But thy commandments, like thyself,
         no change or period know.


  97  The love that to thy laws I bear
         no language can display;
      They with fresh wonders entertain
         my ravished thoughts all day.

  98  Through thy commands I wiser grow
         than all my subtle foes;
      For thy sure word doth me direct,
         and all my ways dispose.

  99  From me my former teachers now
         may abler counsel take,
      Because thy sacred precepts I
         my constant study make.

 100  In understanding I excel
         the sages of our days;
      Because by thy unerring rules
         I order all my ways.

 101  My feet with care I have refrained
         from ev'ry sinful way,
      That to thy sacred word I might
         entire obedience pay.

 102  I have not from thy judgments strayed,
         by vain desires misled;
      For, Lord, thou hast instructed me
         thy righteous paths to tread.

 103  How sweet are all thy words to me !
         O what divine repast!
      How much more grateful to my soul
         than honey to my taste!

 104  Taught by thy sacred precepts, I
         with heav'nly skill am blest:
      Through which the treach'rous ways of sin
         I utterly detest.


 105  Thy word is to my feet a lamp,
         the way of truth to show;
      A watch-light to point out the path
         in which I ought to go.

 106  I sware, (and from my solemn oath
         will never start aside,)
      That in thy righteous judgments I
         will steadfastly abide.

 107  Since I with griefs am so oppressed,
         that I can bear no more,
      According to thy word do thou
         my fainting soul restore.

 108  Let still my sacrifice of praise
         with thee acceptance find;
      And in thy righteous judgements, Lord,
         instruct my willing mind.

 109  Though ghastly dangers me surround,
         my soul they cannot awe;
      Nor with continual terrors keep
         from thinking on thy law.

 110  My wicked and invet'rate foes
         for me their snares have laid;
      Yet I have kept the upright path,
         nor from thy precepts strayed.

 111  Thy testimonies I have made
         my heritage and choice;
      For they, when other comforts fail,
         my drooping heart rejoice.

 112  My heart with early zeal began
         thy statutes to obey;
      And, till my course of life is done,
         shall keep thy upright way.


 113  Deceitful thoughts and practices
         I utterly detest;
      But to thy law affection bear
         too great to be expressed.

 114  My hiding-place, my refuge-tow'r,
         and shield art thou, O Lord;
      I firmly anchor all my hopes
         on thy unerring word.

 115  Hence ye that trade in wickedness,
         approach not my abode;
      For firmly I resolve to keep
         the precepts of my God.

 116  According to thy gracious word
         from danger set me free;
      Nor make me of those hopes ashamed
         that I repose on thee.

 117  Uphold me, so shall I be safe,
         and rescued from distress;
      To thy decrees continually
         my just respect address.

 118  The wicked thou hast trod to earth,
         who from thy statutes strayed;
      Their vile deceit the just reward
         of their own falsehood made.

 119  The wicked from thy holy land
         thou dost like dross remove;
      I therefore, with such justice charmed,
         thy testimonies love.

 120  Yet with that love they make me dread,
         lest I should so offend,
      When on transgressors I behold
         thy judgments thus descend.


 121  Judgment and justice I have loved;
         O therefore, Lord, engage
      In my defense, nor give me up
         to my oppressors' rage.

 122  Do thou be surety, Lord, for me,
         and so shall this distress
      Prove good for me; nor shall the proud
         my guiltless soul oppress.

 123  My eyes, alas! begin to fail,
         in long expectance held;
      Till thy salvation they behold,
         and righteous word fulfilled.

 124  To me, thy servant in distress,
         thy wonted grace display,
      And discipline my willing heart
         thy statutes to obey.

 125  On me, devoted to thy fear,
         thy sacred skill bestow,
      That of thy testimonies I
         the full extent may know.

 126  'Tis time, high time, for thee, O Lord,
         thy vengeance to employ,
      When men with open violence
         thy sacred law destroy.

 127  Yet their contempt of thy commands
         but makes their value rise
      In my esteem, who purest gold
         compared with them despise.

 128  Thy precepts therefore I account
         in all respects divine;
      They teach me to discern the right,
         and all false ways decline.


 129  The wonders which thy laws contain
         no words can represent;
      Therefore to learn and practice them
         my zealous heart is bent.

 130  The very entrance to thy word
         celestial light displays;
      And knowledge of true happiness
         to simplest minds conveys.

 131  With eager hopes I waiting stood,
         and fainted with desire,
      That of thy wise commands I might
         the sacred skill acquire.

 132  With favor, Lord, look down on me,
         who thy relief implore;
      As thou art wont to visit those
         who thy blessed name adore.

 133  Directed by thy heav'nly word
         let all my footsteps be;
      Nor wickedness of any kind
         dominion have o'er me.

 134  Release, entirely set me free
         from persecuting hands,
      That, unmolested, I may learn
         and practice thy commands.

 135  On me, devoted to thy fear,
         Lord, make thy face to shine:
      Thy statutes both to know and keep
         my heart with zeal incline.

 136  My eyes to weeping fountains turn,
         whence briny rivers flow,
      To see mankind against thy laws
         in bold defiance go.


 137  Thou art the righteous Judge, in whom
         wronged innocence may trust;
      And, like thyself, thy judgments, Lord,
         in all respects are just.

 138  Most just and true those statutes were,
         Which thou didst first decree;
      And all with faithfulness performed
         succeeding times shall see.

 139  With zeal my flesh consumes away,
         my soul with anguish frets,
      To see my foes contemn at once
         thy promises and threats.

 140  Yet each neglected word of thine
         howe'er by them despised
      Is pure, and for eternal truth
         by me, thy servant, prized.

 141  Brought, for thy sake, to low estate,
         contempt from all I find;
      Yet no affronts or wrongs can drive
          thy precepts from my mind.

 142  Thy righteousness shall then endure,
         when time itself is past;
      Thy law is truth itself, that truth
         which shall for ever last.

 143  Tho' trouble, anguish, doubts, and dread,
         to compass me unite;
      Beset with danger, still I make
         thy precepts my delight.

 144  Eternal and unerring rules
         thy testimonies give;
      Teach me the wisdom that Will make
         my soul for ever live.


 145  With my whole heart to God I called,
         Lord, hear my earnest cry;
      And I thy statutes to perform
         will all my care apply.

 146  Again more fervently I prayed,
         O save me, that I may
      Thy testimonies thoroughly know,
         and steadfastly obey.

 147  My earlier pray'r the dawning day
         prevented, while I cried
      To him, on whose engaging word
         my hope alone relied.

 148  With zeal have I awaked before
         the midnight watch was set,
      That I of thy mysterious word
         might perfect knowledge get.

 149  Lord, hear my supplicating voice,
         and wonted favor show;
      O quicken me, and so approve
         thy judgments ever true.

 150  My persecuting foes advance,
         and hourly nearer draw;
      What treatment can I hope from them
         who violate thy law?

 151  Though they draw nigh, my comfort is,
         thou, Lord, art yet more near;
      Thou, whose commands are righteous all,
         thy promises sincere.

 152  Concerning thy divine decrees
         my soul has known of old,
      That they were true, and shall their truth
         to endless ages hold.


 153  Consider my affliction, Lord,
         and me from bondage draw;
      Think on thy servant in distress,
         who ne'er forgets thy law.

 154  Plead thou my cause; to that and me
         thy timely aid afford;
      With beams of mercy quicken me
         according to thy word.

 155  From hardened sinners thou remov'st
         salvation far away;
      'Tis just thou should'st withdraw from them
         who from thy statutes stray.

 156  Since great thy tender mercies are
         to all who thee adore;
      According to thy judgments, Lord,
         my fainting hopes restore.

 157  A num'rous host of spiteful foes
         against my life combine;
      But all too few to force my soul
         thy statutes to decline.

 158  Those bold transgressors I beheld,
         and was with grief oppressed,
      To see with what audacious pride
         thy cov'nant they transgressed.

 159  Yet while they slight, consider, Lord,
         how I thy precepts love;
      O therefore quicken me with beams
         of mercy from above.

 160  As from the birth of time thy truth
         has held through ages pant,
      So shall thy righteous judgments firm
         to endless ages last.


 161  Tho' mighty tyrants, without cause,
         conspire my blood to shed,
      Thy sacred word has pow'r alone
         to fill my heart with dread.

 162  And yet that word my joyful breast
         with heav'nly rapture warms;
      Nor conquest, nor the spoils of war,
         have such transporting charms.

 163  Perfidious practices and lies
         I utterly detest;
      But to thy laws affection bear,
         too vast to be expressed.

 164  Sev'n times a day, with grateful voice,
         thy praises I resound,
      Because I find thy judgments all
         with truth and justice crowned.

 165  Secure, substantial peace have they
         who truly love thy law;
      No smiling mischief them can tempt,
         nor frowning danger awe.

 166  For thy salvation I have hoped,
         and, though so long delayed,
      With cheerful zeal and strictest care
         all thy commands obeyed.

 167  Thy testimonies I have kept,
         and constantly obeyed;
      Because the love I bore to them
         the service easy made.

 168  From strict observance of thy laws
         I never yet withdrew;
      Convinced that my most secret ways
         are open to thy view.


 169  To my request and earnest cry
         attend, O gracious Lord;
      Inspire my heart with heav'nly skill,
         according to thy word.

 170  Let my repeated pray'r at last
         before thy throne appear;
      According to thy plighted word,
         for my relief draw near.

 171  Then shall my grateful lips return
         the tribute of thy praise,
      When thou thy counsels hast revealed,
         and taught me thy just ways.

 172  My tongue the praises of thy word
         shall thankfully resound,
      Because thy promises are all
         with truth and justice crowned.

 173  Let thy almighty arm appear,
         and bring me timely aid,
      For I the laws thou hast ordained
         my heart's free choice have made.

 174  My soul has waited long to see
         thy saving grace restored;
      Nor comfort knew, but what thy laws,
         thy heav'nly laws, afford.

 175  Prolong my life, that I may sing
         my great Restorer's praise;
      Whose justice from the depth of woes
         my fainting soul shall raise.

 176  Like some lost sheep I've strayed, till I
         despair my way to find,
      Thou, therefore, Lord, thy servant seek, 
         who keeps thy laws in mind.

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