Psalm 119:145-152 KOPH - Gleanings from Historical Commentaries                                         Collected by Jack Kettler


Psalm 119:145-152 introductory observations from The Treasury of David:


“This section is given up to memories of prayer. The Psalmist describes the time and the manner of his devotions, and pleads with God for deliverance from his troubles. He who has been with God in the closet will find God with him in the furnace. If we have cried we shall be answered. Delayed answers may drive us to importunity; but we need not fear the ultimate result, since God's promises are not uncertain, but are “founded forever.” The whole passage shows us: How he prayed (Psalm 119:145). What he prayed for (Psalm 119:146). When he prayed (Psalm 119:147). How long he prayed (Psalm 119:148). What he pleaded (Psalm 119:149). What happened (Psalm 119:150). How he was rescued (Psalm 119:151). What was his witness as to the whole matter (Psalm 119:152).” (1)


145 I cried with my whole heart; hear me, O Lord: I will keep thy statutes.


From Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:


“KOPH. I cried with my whole heart,.... Prayer is often expressed by crying; which sometimes signifies mental, and sometimes vocal prayer; and generally supposes the person praying to be in distress, either outward or inward. This prayer of the psalmists was hearty and cordial, not with his mouth and lips only, but with his heart also; it did not proceed from feigned lips, but was put up in sincerity and truth; yea, it was with his whole heart, with all the powers and faculties of his soul employed; his affections set on God, the desires of his soul after him, and his will submitted to his; it denotes the intenseness, earnestness, and fervency of prayer;


hear me, O Lord: the prayer he had put up, and answer it. Some persons pray, and that is enough; they do not concern themselves whether their prayers are heard or not: but David desired an answer, and looked after that;


I will keep thy statutes; not in his own strength, but in the strength of the Lord; and it is to be understood not merely as a resolution what he would do; nor as a promise, which he uses as a plea, argument, or motive to be heard; but rather it expresses the end of his being heard, or the thing for which he desires to be heard: for so it may be rendered, “that I may keep thy statutes”; hear me, and give me grace and strength to enable me to observe them.” (2)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

I call

קָרָ֣אתִי (qā·rā·ṯî)

Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 7121: 1) to call, call out, recite, read, cry out, proclaim 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to call, cry, utter a loud sound 1a2) to call unto, cry (for help), call (with name of God) 1a3) to proclaim 1a4) to read aloud, read (to oneself), read 1a5) to summon, invite, call for, call and commission, appoint, call and endow 1a6) to call, name, give name to, call by 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to call oneself 1b2) to be called, be proclaimed, be read aloud, be summoned, be named 1c) (Pual) to be called, be named, be called out, be chosen


Cross-References for verse 145: Psalm 119:10; Psalm 119:22; Psalm 119:55; Lamentations 2:18


146 I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.


From The Pulpit Commentary:


“Verse 146. - I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies. The thought of ver. 145 is repeated in other words.” (3)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Your testimonies.

עֵדֹתֶֽיךָ׃ (‘ê·ḏō·ṯe·ḵā)

Noun - feminine plural construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 5713: 1) testimony, witness 1a) always plural and always of laws as divine testimonies


Cross-References for verse 146: Psalm 3:7; Psalm 119:94


147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.


From Barnes' Notes on the Bible:


“I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried - I anticipated it; I rose up to pray before the morning dawned. On the word “prevent,” see the notes at 1Thessalonians 4:15; notes at Psalm 21:3; notes at Psalm 59:10; notes at Psalm 79:8. The meaning here is, that he rose up before the dawn, to pray. Thus the Saviour did, Mark 1:35.


(a) It is proper thus to pray, for our earliest thoughts should be those of devotion; our earliest acts should be in acknowledgment of God.


(b) Such a time is eminently favorable to devotion. Calm, still, quiet; before the thoughts are engaged in the world, and before the cares of life press upon us when the thoughts are clear, and the mind tranquil, the soul is in the best state for devotion.


(c) All people, if they will, can secure this time, before the “dawning of the morning,” to pray. Compare Psalm 5:3, note; Psalm 88:13, note; see also Psalm 130:6. The word rendered “dawning of the morning,” is from a verb, which means to blow; to blow gently; and is usually applied to the evening, when the breezes blow gently. It may be applied, however, as it clearly is here, also to the morning.


I hoped in thy word - I prayed because I had hope in thy word; I exercised hope in thy word then. Alone with thee in the morning, I found consolation by trusting in thy gracious promises.” (4)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Your word

(לִדְבָרְךָ֥) (liḏ·ḇā·rə·ḵā)

Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 1697: 1) speech, word, speaking, thing 1a) speech 1b) saying, utterance 1c) word, words 1d) business, occupation, acts, matter, case, something, manner (by extension)


Cross-References for verse 147: Psalm 5:3; Psalm 57:8; Psalm 88:13; Psalm 108:2; Psalm 130:6;

Isaiah 50:4


148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches that I might meditate in thy word.


From Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:


“147. prevented—literally, “came before,” anticipated not only the dawn, but even the usual periods of the night; when the night watches, which might be expected to find me asleep, come, they find me awake (Ps 63:6; 77:4; La 2:19). Such is the earnestness of the desire and love for God's truth.” (5)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

My eyes

עֵ֭ינַי (‘ê·nay)

Noun - cdc | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 5869: 1) eye 1a) eye 1a1) of physical eye 1a2) as showing mental qualities 1a3) of mental and spiritual faculties (fig.) 2) spring, fountain


Cross-References for verse 148: Psalm 63:6; Psalm 119:15


149 Hear my voice according unto thy lovingkindness: O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment.


The Pulpit Commentary:


“Verse 149. - Hear my voice according unto thy loving-kindness; i.e. “hear me, and, according to thy mercy, grant my prayer.” O Lord, quicken me according to thy judgment; or, “according to the rules that thou settest thyself” (comp. ver. 132).” (6)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


יְ֝הוָ֗ה (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 149: Psalm 119:25; Psalm 119:124; Psalm 119:150; Psalm 130:2


150 They draw nigh that follow after mischief: they are far from thy law.


From John Calvin:


“150. The pursuers of malice have drawn near. As the Hebrew word rvdphy rodphee, translated the pursuers of, is put in the construct state, that is to say, as it is so related to the word zmh, zimmah, rendered wickedness, that in Latin the latter would be put in the genitive ease, I expound the clause as denoting that they draw near to do mischief. I wonder what could move interpreters to translate -- The pursuers have approached, or drawn near to wickedness; which the idiom of the language will not admit, to say nothing of the fact that zmh, zimmah, signifies rather perversity or malice, than wickedness. David therefore says, that those who are vehemently bent on malice are pursuing him close behind, and that they rush upon him with such violence in order to do him mischief, as plainly to indicate that they are far off from God's law, since they east far from them all regard to uprightness and equity. It was a most wretched condition for him to be in, to behold his enemies, who had shaken off all fear of God and reverence for his law, ready with uplifted hand to smite him to death, had not God been near to defend him, as he adds in the subsequent verse.” (7)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

after wickedness

זִמָּ֑ה (zim·māh)

Noun - feminine singular

Strong's Hebrew 2154: 1) plan, device, wickedness, evil plan, mischievous purpose 1a) plan, purpose 1b) evil device, wickedness 1c) not chaste, incest, licentiousness, adultery, idolatry, harlotry


Cross-References for verse 150: Psalm 119:149; Psalm 119:151; Isaiah 46:12; Jeremiah 44:23


151 Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.


From Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament:


“The eightfold Koph. Fidelity to God's word, and deliverance according to His promise, is the purport of his unceasing prayer. Even in the morning twilight (נשׁף) he was awake praying. It is not הנּשׁף, I anticipated the twilight; nor is קדּמתּי, according to Psalm 89:14, equivalent to קדמתיך, but ואשׁוּע...קדּמתּי is the resolution of the otherwise customary construction קדמתי לשׁוּע, Jonah 4:2, inasmuch as קדּם may signify “to go before” (Psalm 68:26), and also “to make haste (with anything):” even early before the morning's dawn I cried. Instead of לדבריך the Ker (Targum, Syriac, Jerome) more appropriately reads לדברך after Psalm 119:74, Psalm 119:81, Psalm 119:114. But his eyes also anticipated the night-watches, inasmuch as they did not allow themselves to be caught not sleeping by any of them at their beginning (cf. לראשׁ, Lamentations 2:19). אמרה is here, as in Psalm 119:140, Psalm 119:158, and frequently, the whole word of God, whether in its requirements or its promises. In Psalm 119:149 בּמשׁפּטך is a defective plural as in Psalm 119:43 (vid., on Psalm 119:37), according to Psalm 119:156, although according to Psalm 119:132 the singular (lxx, Targum, Jerome) would also be admissible: what is meant is God's order of salvation, or His appointments that relate thereto. The correlative relation of Psalm 119:150 and Psalm 119:151 is rendered natural by the position of the words. With קרבוּ (cf. קרב) is associated the idea of rushing upon him with hostile purpose, and with קרוב, as in Psalm 69:19; Isaiah 58:2, of hastening to his succour. זמּה is infamy that is branded by the law: they go forth purposing this, but God's law is altogether self-verifying truth. And the poet has long gained the knowledge from it that it does not aim at merely temporary recompense. The sophisms of the apostates cannot therefore lead him astray. יסדתּם for יסדתּן, like המּה in Psalm 119:111.” (8)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Your commandments

מִצְוֺתֶ֥יךָ (miṣ·wō·ṯe·ḵā)

Noun - feminine plural construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 4687: 1) commandment 1a) commandment (of man) 1b) the commandment (of God) 1c) commandment (of code of wisdom)


Cross-References for verse 151: Psalm 34:18; Psalm 119:142; Psalm 119:150; Psalm 145:18;

Isaiah 50:8; Isaiah 58:2; Malachi 2:6


152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.


From Matthew Poole's Commentary:


“Ver. 152. Known of old, by my own long experience, ever since I arrived at any knowledge in those matters.


That thou hast founded them forever; that thou hast established them upon sure and everlasting foundations.” (9)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Long ago

קֶ֣דֶם (qe·ḏem)

Noun - masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 6924: n m 1) east, antiquity, front, that which is before, aforetime 1a) front, from the front or east, in front, mount of the East 1b) ancient time, aforetime, ancient, from of old, earliest time 1c) anciently, of old (adverb) 1d) beginning 1e) east adv 2) eastward, to or toward the East


Cross-References for verse 152: Luke 21:33; Psalm 11:3; Psalm 119:89; Psalm 119:125;

Psalm 119:160


Concluding summary from Matthew Henry’s Bible Concise Commentary 119:145-152:


“119:145-152 Supplications with the whole heart are presented only by those who desire God's salvation, and who love his commandments. Whither should the child go but to his father? Save me from my sins, my corruptions, my temptations, all the hinderances in my way, that I may keep thy testimonies. Christians who enjoy health, should not suffer the early hours of the morning to glide away unimproved. Hope in God's word encourages us to continue in prayer. It is better to take time from sleep, than not to find time for prayer. We have access to God at all hours; and if our first thoughts in the morning are of God, they will help to keep us in his fear all the day long. Make me lively and cheerful. God knows what we need and what is good for us, and will quicken us. If we are employed in God's service, we need not fear those who try to set themselves as far as they can out of the reach of the convictions and commands of his law. When trouble is near, God is near. He is never far to seek. All his commandments are truth. And God's promises will be performed. All that ever trusted in God have found him faithful.” (10)


Notes on Psalm 119:145-152 KOPH:

  1. C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Vol. II, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 390.

2.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 1437.

3.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Psalms, Vol.8., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 111.

4.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Psalms, Vol. 5 p.1850.

5.      Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 452.

6.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Psalms, Vol.8., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 111.

7.      John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries, Psalms, Volume V, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House Reprinted 1979), p. 27-28.

8.      Keil-Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Psalms, vol. 5, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Reprinted 1985), p. 261.

9.      Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. 2, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 190.

  1. Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary, Psalms, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 963.


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: