Psalm 119:73-80 JOD - Gleanings from Historical Commentaries                                         Collected by Jack Kettler


Psalm 119:73-80 introductory observations from The Treasury of David:


“We have now come to the tenth portion, which in each stanza begins with Jod, but it certainly does not treat of jots and titles and other trifles. Its subject would seem to be personal experience and its attractive influence upon others. The prophet is in deep sorrow, but looks to be delivered and made a blessing. Endeavouring to teach, the Psalmist first seeks to be taught (Psalm 119:73), persuades himself that he win be well received (Psalm 119:74), and rehearses the testimony which he intends to bear (Psalm 119:75). He prays for more experience (Psalm 119:76, 19 119:77), for the baffling of the proud (Psalm 119:78), for the gathering together of the godly to him (Psalm 119:79), and for himself again that he may be fully equipped for his witness-bearing and may be sustained in it (Psalm 119:80). This is the anxious yet hopeful cry of one who is heavily afflicted by cruel adversaries, and therefore makes his appeal to God as his only friend.” (1)


73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.


From Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:


“JOD.--The Tenth Part.


JOD. Thy hands have made me and fashioned me,.... Not the psalmist himself, nor his parents, but the Lord alone: for though parents are fathers of our flesh, they are but instruments in the hand of the Lord; though man is produced by natural generation, yet the formation and fashioning of men are as much owing to the power and wisdom of God, which are his hands, as the formation of Adam was. Job owns this in much the same words as the psalmist does, Job 10:8; see Psalm 139:13. God not only gives conception, and forms the embryo in the womb, but fashions and gives it its comely and proportionate parts. Or, “covered me”; the first word may respect conception, and this the covering of the fetus with the secundine (t); see Psalm 139:13;


give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments; since he had a proper comely body, and a reasonable soul; though debased by sin, and brought into a state of ignorance, especially as to spiritual things, he desires he might have a spiritual understanding given him; of the word of God in general, the truths and doctrines of it, which are not understood by the natural man; and of the precepts of it in particular, that he might so learn them as to know the sense and meaning of them, their purity and spirituality; and so as to do them from a principle of love, in faith, and to the glory of God: for it is not a bare learning them by heart, or committing them to memory, nor a mere theory of them, but the practice of them in faith and love, which is here meant.” (2)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

And fashioned me;

וַֽיְכוֹנְנ֑וּנִי (way·ḵō·wn·nū·nî)

Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Conjunctive imperfect - third person masculine plural | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 3559: 1) to be firm, be stable, be established 1a) (Niphal) 1a1) to be set up, be established, be fixed 1a1a) to be firmly established 1a1b) to be established, be stable, be secure, be enduring 1a1c) to be fixed, be securely determined 1a2) to be directed aright, be fixed aright, be steadfast (moral sense) 1a3) to prepare, be ready 1a4) to be prepared, be arranged, be settled 1b) (Hiphil) 1b1) to establish, set up, accomplish, do, make firm 1b2) to fix, make ready, prepare, provide, provide for, furnish 1b3) to direct toward (moral sense) 1b4) to arrange, order 1c) (Hophal) 1c1) to be established, be fastened 1c2) to be prepared, be ready 1d) (Polel) 1d1) to set up, establish 1d2) to constitute, make 1d3) to fix 1d4) to direct 1e) (Pulal) to be established, be prepared 1f) (Hithpolel) to be established, be restored


Cross-References for verse 73: Job 10:8; Job 31:15; Psalm 33:15; Psalm 100:3; Psalm 119:34; Psalm 138:8; Psalm 139:13, Psalm 139:15, Psalm 139:16


74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.


From The Pulpit Commentary:


“Verse 74. - They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; literally, will see me and be glad. I shall be a fresh proof to them that God does not forsake his servants. Because I have hoped in thy Word. I have not fallen from grace - I have continued to trust in thy promises.” (3)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

May those who fear You

יְ֭רֵאֶיךָ (yə·rê·’e·ḵā)

Adjective - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 3373: 1) fearing, reverent, afraid


Cross-References for verse 74: Psalm 34:2; Psalm 35:27; Psalm 107:42; Psalm 119:43; Psalm 119:114; Psalm 130:5


 75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.


From Barnes' Notes on the Bible:


“I know, O Lord - I feel assured; I entertain no doubt on the subject. This was the conviction of the mind of the psalmist in affliction. Mysterious as the trial may have been, hard as it may have been to bear, long as it may have been continued, and varied as may have been the forms of the trial, yet he had no doubt that it was all right; that it was for the best purposes; and that it was in strict accordance with what was best.


That thy judgments - This does not here refer to the laws of God, but to the divine dealings; to those afflictions which came in the way of judgments, or which might be regarded as expressive of the divine view of his conduct and life.


Are right - Margin, as in Hebrew, “righteousness.” They were in accordance with what was right; they were so strictly just, that they might be called righteousness itself. This implied the utmost confidence in God, the most absolute submission to his will.


And that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me - In faithfulness to my soul; in faithfulness to my own best interest. It was not arbitrary; it was not from malice; it was not that the affliction had come by chance; it was because God loved his soul, and sought his welfare. It was because God saw that there was some good reason why it should be done; that there was some evil to be checked; some improper conduct to be corrected; some lesson which he would be the better for learning; some happy influence on his life here, and on his happiness in heaven, which would be more than a compensation for all that he would suffer.” (4)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


יְ֭הוָה (Yah·weh)

Noun - proper - masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 3069: 1) Jehovah-used primarily in the combination 'Lord Jehovah' 1a) equal to H03068 but pointed with the vowels of H0430


Cross-References for verse 75: Hebrews 12:6; Hebrews 12:10; Psalm 119:67; Psalm 119:71; Psalm 119:76; Psalm 119:138; Isaiah 38:16; Lamentations 1:18


76 Let, I pray thee, and thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.


From Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:


“75-78. in faithfulness—that is, without in the least violating Thy faithfulness; because my sins deserved and needed fatherly chastisement. Enduring chastisement with a filial temper (Heb 12:6-11), God's promises of mercy (Ro 8:28) will be fulfilled, and He will give comfort in sorrow (La 3:22; 2Co 1:3, 4).” (5)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Comfort me,

לְנַחֲמֵ֑נִי (lə·na·ḥă·mê·nî)

Preposition-l | Verb - Piel - Infinitive construct | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 5162: 1) to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted 1a) (Niphal) 1a1) to be sorry, be moved to pity, have compassion 1a2) to be sorry, rue, suffer grief, repent 1a3) to comfort oneself, be comforted 1a4) to comfort oneself, ease oneself 1b) (Piel) to comfort, console 1c) (Pual) to be comforted, be consoled 1d) (Hithpael) 1d1) to be sorry, have compassion 1d2) to rue, repent of 1d3) to comfort oneself, be comforted 1d4) to ease oneself


Cross-References for verse 76: Psalm 119:41; Psalm 119:75; Psalm 119:77


77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.


From Matthew Poole's Commentary:


“That I may live; that I may be preserved from that violent and untimely death which mine enemies design to bring upon me.


For thy law is my delight; I humbly beg and expect thy protection, because I am thy faithful servant.” (6)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Your law

תֽ֝וֹרָתְךָ֗ (ṯō·w·rā·ṯə·ḵā)

Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 8451: 1) law, direction, instruction 1a) instruction, direction (human or divine) 1a1) body of prophetic teaching 1a2) instruction in Messianic age 1a3) body of priestly direction or instruction 1a4) body of legal directives 1b) law 1b1) law of the burnt offering 1b2) of special law, codes of law 1c) custom, manner 1d) the Deuteronomic or Mosaic Law


[Is] my delight.

שַֽׁעֲשֻׁעָֽי׃ (ša·‘ă·šu·‘āy)

Noun - masculine plural construct | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 8191: 1) delight, enjoyment 1a) delight 1b) object of delight


Cross-References for verse 77: Psalm 119:16; Psalm 119:41; Psalm 119:76


78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.


Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers:


“(78) Dealt.—Better, wronged me; literally, bent me.” (7)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


אֲ֝נִ֗י (’ă·nî)

Pronoun - first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 589: 1) I (first pers. sing. -usually used for emphasis)


Will meditate

אָשִׂ֥יחַ (’ā·śî·aḥ)

Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 7878: 1) to put forth, mediate, muse, commune, speak, complain, ponder, sing 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to complain 1a2) to muse, meditate upon, study, ponder 1a3) to talk, sing, speak 1b) (Polel) to meditate, consider, put forth thoughts


On Your precepts.

בְּפִקּוּדֶֽיךָ׃ (bə·p̄iq·qū·ḏe·ḵā)

Preposition-b | Noun - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 6490: 1) precept, statute


Cross-References for verse 78: Psalm 119:15; Psalm 119:79; Psalm 119:86; Jeremiah 50:32


79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.


From Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament:


“The eightfold Jod. God humbles, but He also exalts again according to His word; for this the poet prays in order that he may be a consolatory example to the God-fearing, to the confusion of his enemies. It is impossible that God should forsake man, who is His creature, and deny to him that which makes him truly happy, viz., the understanding and knowledge of His word. For this spiritual gift the poet prays in Psalm 119:73 (cf. on 73a, Deuteronomy 32:6; Job 10:8; Job 31:15); and he wishes in Psalm 119:74 that all who fear God may see in him with joy an example of the way in which trust in the word of God is rewarded (cf. Psalm 34:3; Psalm 35:27; Psalm 69:33; Psalm 107:42, and other passages). He knows that God's acts of judgment are pure righteousness, i.e., regulated by God's holiness, out of which they spring, and by the salvation of men, at which they aim; and he knows that God has humbled him אמוּנה (accus. adverb. for בּאמוּנה), being faithful in His intentions towards him; for it is just in the school of affliction that one first learns rightly to estimate the worth of His word, and comes to feel its power. But trouble, though sweetened by an insight into God's salutary design, is nevertheless always bitter; hence the well-justified prayer of Psalm 119:76, that God's mercy may notwithstanding be bestowed upon him for his consolation, in accordance with the promise which is become his (ל as in Psalm 119:49), His servant's. עוּת, Psalm 119:78, instead of being construed with the accusative of the right, or of the cause, that is perverted, is construed with the accusative of the person upon whom such perversion of right, such oppression by means of misrepresentation, is inflicted, as in Job 19:6; Lamentations 3:36. Chajug' reads עוּדוּני as in Psalm 119:61. The wish expressed in Psalm 119:79 is to be understood according to Psalm 73:10; Jeremiah 15:19 cf. Proverbs 9:4, Proverbs 9:16. If instead of וידעי (which is favoured by Psalm 119:63), we read according to the Chethb וידעוּ (cf. Psalm 119:125), then what is meant by ישׁוּבוּ לּי is a turning towards him for the purpose of learning: may their knowledge be enriched from his experience. For himself, however, in Psalm 119:80 he desires unreserved, faultless, unwavering adherence to God's word, for only thus is he secure against being ignominiously undeceived.” (8)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

May those who fear You

יְרֵאֶ֑יךָ (yə·rê·’e·ḵā)

Adjective - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 3373: 1) fearing, reverent, afraid


Cross-References for verse 79: Psalm 119:78; Psalm 119:80


80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.


From Matthew Poole's Commentary:


“Sound, Heb. perfect, or entire, that I may love and obey them sincerely, constantly, and universally.


That I be not ashamed, to wit, for my sins, which are the only just causes of shame, and for the disappointment of my hopes following upon them.” (9)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

In Your statutes,

בְּחֻקֶּ֑יךָ (bə·ḥuq·qe·ḵā)

Preposition-b | Noun - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 2706: 1) statute, ordinance, limit, something prescribed, due 1a) prescribed task 1b) prescribed portion 1c) action prescribed (for oneself), resolve 1d) prescribed due 1e) prescribed limit, boundary 1f) enactment, decree, ordinance 1f1) specific decree 1f2) law in general 1g) enactments, statutes 1g1) conditions 1g2) enactments 1g3) decrees 1g4) civil enactments prescribed by God


Cross-References for verse 80: 1 Kings 15:3; Psalm 119:1; Psalm 119:6; Psalm 119:46; Psalm 119:79


Concluding summary from Matthew Henry’s Bible Concise Commentary Psalm 119:73-80:


“119:73-80 God made us to serve him, and enjoy him; but by sin we have made ourselves unfit to serve him, and to enjoy him. We ought, therefore, continually to beseech him, by his Holy Spirit, to give us understanding. The comforts some have in God should be matter of joy to others. But it is easy to own, that God's judgments are right, until it comes to be our own case. All supports under affliction must come from mercy and compassion. The mercies of God are tender mercies; the mercies of a father, the compassion of a mother to her son. They come to us when we are not able to go to them. Causeless reproach does not hurt, and should not move us. The psalmist could go on in the way of his duty, and find comfort in it. He valued the good will of saints, and was desirous to keep up his communion with them. Soundness of heart signifies sincerity in dependence on God, and devotedness to him.” (10)


Notes on Psalm 119:73-80 JOD:

  1. C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Vol. II, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 287.

2.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 1402.

3.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Psalms, Vol.8., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 107.

4.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Psalms, Vol. 5 p.1822-1823.

5.      Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 451.

  1. Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. 2, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 187.

7.      Charles John Ellicott, Bible Commentary for English Readers, Psalms, Vol.4, (London, England, Cassell and Company), p. 264.

8.      Keil-Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Psalms, vol. 5, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Reprinted 1985), p. 252-253.

9.      Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. 2, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 187.

  1. Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary, Psalms, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 959.


Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: