Psalm 119:89-96 LAMED - Gleanings from Historical Commentaries                                         Collected by Jack Kettler


Psalm 119:89-96 introductory observations from The Treasury of David:


“In the former section David's soul fainted, but here the good man looks out of self and perceives that the Lord fainteth not, neither is weary, neither is there any failure in his word.” (1)


89 For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.


From Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:


“LAMED.--The Twelfth Part.


LAMED. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. The Syriac version makes two propositions of these words, rendering them thus, “for ever thou art, O Lord; and thy word stands”, or “is firm in heaven”: and which agrees with the accents: the first of which is expressive of the eternity and immutability of God; and the other of the stability of his word: it is true of the essential Word of God, who was with God from all eternity; in time came down from heaven indeed to earth, and did his work, and then went to heaven again; where he is and will remain, until the times of the restitution of all things. The decrees and purposes of God, what he has said in his heart that he will do, these are firm and sure; these counsels of old are faithfulness and truth; they are mountains of brass settled for ever, and more unalterable than the decrees of the Medes and Persians. The revealed will of God, his word of command, made known to angels in heaven, is regarded, hearkened to, and done by them: the word of the Gospel, published in the church, which is sometimes called heaven, is the everlasting Gospel, the word of God, which lives and abides for ever; what remains and will remain, in spite of all the opposition of men and devils. The word of promise in the covenant made in heaven is sure to all the seed; everyone of the promises is yea and amen in Christ, and as stable as the heavens, and more so; "heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away", Matthew 24:35; The firmness of God's word is seen in the upholding and continuing the heavens by the word of his power, by which they were first made; and the certainty of the divine promises is illustrated by the perpetuity of the ordinances of heaven; see Jeremiah 31:35.” (2)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

[Is] everlasting;

לְעוֹלָ֥ם (lə·‘ō·w·lām)

Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 5769: 1) long duration, antiquity, futurity, for ever, ever, everlasting, evermore, perpetual, old, ancient, world 1a) ancient time, long time (of past) 1b) (of future) 1b1) forever, always 1b2) continuous existence, perpetual 1b3) everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity


Cross-References for verse 89: Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:25; Psalm 89:2; Psalm 119:88; Psalm 119:152; Psalm 119:160; Isaiah 40:8


90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.


From The Pulpit Commentary:


“Verse 90 - Thy faithfulness is unto all generations. God "keepeth his promise forever" (Psalm 146:6, Prayer-book Version). If his "Word" generally is unchanging, so especially must be his promises. Thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. Even God's physical laws have a character of perpetuity about them. "The constancy of God in his works is an argument for the faithfulness of God in his Word" (Chalmers).” (3)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

[Continues] through all

לְדֹ֣ר (lə·ḏōr)

Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 1755: 1) period, generation, habitation, dwelling 1a) period, age, generation (period of time) 1b) generation (those living during a period) 1c) generation (characterised by quality, condition, class of men) 1d) dwelling-place, habitation



וָ֭דֹר (wā·ḏōr)

Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 1755: 1) period, generation, habitation, dwelling 1a) period, age, generation (period of time) 1b) generation (those living during a period) 1c) generation (characterised by quality, condition, class of men) 1d) dwelling-place, habitation


Cross-References for verse 90: Psalm 33:4; Psalm 36:5; Psalm 89:1; Psalm 89:2; Psalm 100:5; Psalm 119:138; Psalm 148:6; Ecclesiastes 1:4


91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.


From Barnes' Notes on the Bible:


“They continue this day according to thine ordinances - According to thy judgments (Hebrew); that is, thy commands. They "stand" (Hebrew) as thou hast appointed; they are what thou didst design them to be. The original purpose in their creation is carried out, and they thus furnish an illustration of the stability of thy government and the permanency of thy law.


For all are thy servants - All worlds obey thy commands; all are under thy control. They show that they are thy servants by the conformity of their movements to the laws which thou hast impressed on them.” (4)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


כִּ֖י ()


Strong's Hebrew 3588: 1) that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since 1a) that 1a1) yea, indeed 1b) when (of time) 1b1) when, if, though (with a concessive force) 1c) because, since (causal connection) 1d) but (after negative) 1e) that if, for if, indeed if, for though, but if 1f) but rather, but 1g) except that 1h) only, nevertheless 1i) surely 1j) that is 1k) but if 1l) for though 1m) forasmuch as, for therefore


Cross-References for verse 91: Psalm 104:2; Jeremiah 31:35; Jeremiah 33:25


92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.


From Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:


“92-94. Hence the pious are encouraged and inclined to seek a knowledge of it, and persevere amidst the efforts of those planning and waiting to destroy them.


My delights—plural, not merely delight, but equal to all other delights.” (5)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Been my delight,

שַׁעֲשֻׁעָ֑י (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 92: Psalm 119:16: Psalm 119:50


93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.


From Matthew Poole's Commentary:


“Revived and cheered me, when my heart was ready to sink and die within me.” (6)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

You have revived me.

חִיִּיתָֽנִי׃ (ḥî·yî·ṯā·nî)

Verb - Piel - Perfect - second person masculine singular | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 2421: 1) to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live for ever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to live 1a1a) to have life 1a1b) to continue in life, remain alive 1a1c) to sustain life, to live on or upon 1a1d) to live (prosperously) 1a2) to revive, be quickened 1a2a) from sickness 1a2b) from discouragement 1a2c) from faintness 1a2d) from death 1b) (Piel) 1b1) to preserve alive, let live 1b2) to give life 1b3) to quicken, revive, refresh 1b3a) to restore to life 1b3b) to cause to grow 1b3c) to restore 1b3d) to revive 1c) (Hiphil) 1c1) to preserve alive, let live 1c2) to quicken, revive 1c2a) to restore (to health) 1c2b) to revive 1c2c) to restore to life

Cross-References for verse 93: Psalm 119:16; Psalm 119:25; Psalm 119:83

94 I am thine, save me: for I have sought thy precepts.


From John Calvin:


“94. I am thine, save me. In the first place, he takes encouragement to pray from the consideration, that he is one of God's own stamp and coinage, as we speak. In the second place, he proves that he is God's from the fact of his keeping his commandments. This ought not, however, to be understood as if he boasted of any merit which he possessed; as, in dealing with men, it is customary to adduce something meritorious which we have done as an argument for obtaining what we desire: -- I have always loved and esteemed you, I have always studied to promote your honor and advantage; my service has always been ready at your command. But David rather brings forward the unmerited grace of God, and that alone; for no man, by any efforts of his own, acquires the high honor of being under the protection of God -- an honor which proceeds solely from his free adoption. The blessing which God had conferred upon him is therefore here adduced as an argument why he should not forsake the work which he had commenced. When he affirms, that he was earnestly intent upon the Divine commandments, that also depended upon the Divine calling; for he did not begin to apply his mind to God's commandments before he was called and received into his household. As he desires, in this verse, that the Lord would save him, so, in the next verse, he expresses the need he had of being saved, saying, that the wicked sought for him to destroy him; by which he, at the same time, declares the constancy of his godliness, inasmuch as he then set his mind upon the law of God -- a point worthy of special notice. Those who, at other times, would the forward and willing to follow God, know not to what side to turn themselves when they are assailed by the wicked, and, in that case, are very prone to follow unhallowed counsel. It is therefore a great virtue to do God the honor of resting contented with his promises alone, when the wicked conspire for our destruction, and when, to all human appearance, our life is in jeopardy. To consider God's testimonies is, in this place, equivalent to applying our minds to the word of God, which sustains us against all assaults, effectually allays all fears, and restrains us from following any perverse counsels.” (7)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Save me,

הוֹשִׁיעֵ֑נִי (hō·wō·šî·‘ê·nî)

Verb - Hifil - Imperative - masculine singular | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 3467: 1) to save, be saved, be delivered 1a) (Niphal) 1a1) to be liberated, be saved, be delivered 1a2) to be saved (in battle), be victorious 1b) (Hiphil) 1b1) to save, deliver 1b2) to save from moral troubles 1b3) to give victory to


Cross-References for verse 94: Psalm 119:45; Psalm 119:146; Psalm 119:155


95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.


From Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament:


“The eightfold Lamed. Eternal and imperishable in the constant verifying of itself is the vigorous and consolatory word of God, to which the poet will ever cling. It has heaven as its standing-place, and therefore it also has the qualities of heaven, and before all others, heaven-like stability. Psalm 89 (Psalm 89:3) uses similar language in reference to God's faithfulness, of which here Psalm 119:90 says that it endureth into all generations. The earth hath He creatively set up, and it standeth, viz., as a practical proof and as a scene of His infinite, unchangeable faithfulness. Heaven and earth are not the subjects of Psalm 119:91 (Hupfeld), for only the earth is previously mentioned; the reference to the heavens in Psalm 119:89 is of a very different character. Hitzig and others see the subject in למשׁפּטיך: with respect to Thy judgments, they stand fast unto this day; but the עבדיך which follows requires another meaning to be assigned to עמדוּ: either of taking up one's place ready for service, or, since עמד למשׁפט is a current phrase in Numbers 35:12; Joshua 20:6; Ezekiel 44:24, of placing one's self ready to obey (Bttcher). The subject of עמדוּ, as the following הכּל shows, is meant to be thought of in the most general sense (cf. Job 38:14): all beings are God's servants (subjects), and have accordingly to be obedient and humble before His judicial decisions - היּום, “even to this day,” the poet adds, for these judicial decisions are those which are formulated beforehand in the Tra. Joy in this ever sure, all-conditioning word has upheld the poet in his affliction, Psalm 119:92. He who has been persecuted and cast down as it were to death, owes his reviving to it, Psalm 119:93. From Him whose possession or property he is in faith and love he also further looks for his salvation, Psalm 119:94. Let evil-doers lie in wait for him (קוּוּ in a hostile sense, as in Psalm 56:7, קוּה, cf. חכּה, going back to קוה, Arab. qawiya, with the broad primary signification, to be tight, firm, strong) to destroy him, he meditates on God's testimonies. He knows from experience that all (earthly) perfection (תּכלה) has an end (inasmuch as, having reached its height, it changes into its opposite); God's commandment (singular as in Deuteronomy 11:22), on the contrary, is exceeding broad (cf. Job 11:9), unlimited in its duration and verification.” (8)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Your testimonies.

עֵ֝דֹתֶ֗יךָ (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 95: Psalm 40:14; Psalm 119:96; Isaiah 32:7


96 I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.


From Matthew Poole's Commentary:


“Verse 96. - I have seen an end of all perfection; i.e. to all other perfection I have seen, and see, a limit; but there is no limit to the perfection of thy Law. Thy commandment is exceeding broad. Unlimited - measureless in its range. It inculcates on man an absolute perfection.” (9)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

But Your commandment

מִצְוָתְךָ֣ (miṣ·wā·ṯə·ḵā)

Noun - feminine singular 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)


Is without limit

מְאֹֽד׃ (mə·’ōḏ)


Strong's Hebrew 3966: adv 1) exceedingly, much subst 2) might, force, abundance n m 3) muchness, force, abundance, exceedingly 3a) force, might 3b) exceedingly, greatly, very (idioms showing magnitude or degree) 3b1) exceedingly 3b2) up to abundance, to a great degree, exceedingly 3b3) with muchness, muchness


Cross-References for verse 96: Psalm 119:95; Psalm 119:97


Concluding summary from Matthew Henry’s Bible Concise Commentary Psalm 119:89-96:


“119:89-96 The settling of God's word in heaven, is opposed to the changes and revolutions of the earth. And the engagements of God's covenant are established more firmly than the earth itself. All the creatures answer the ends of their creation: shall man, who alone is endued with reason, be the only unprofitable burden of the earth? We may make the Bible a pleasant companion at any time. But the word, without the grace of God, would not quicken us. See the best help for bad memories, namely, good affections; and though the exact words be lost, if the meaning remain, that is well. I am thine, not my own, not the world's; save me from sin, save me from ruin. The Lord will keep the man in peace, whose mind is stayed on him. It is poor perfection which one sees and end of. Such are all things in this world, which pass for perfections. The glory of man is but as the flower of the grass. The psalmist had seen the fulness of the word of God, and its sufficiency. The word of the Lord reaches to all cases, to all times. It will take us from all confidence in man, or in our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness. Thus shall we seek comfort and happiness from Christ alone.” (10)


Notes on Psalm 119:89-96 LAMED:

  1. C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Vol. II, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 315.

2.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 1409.

3.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Psalms, Vol.8., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 108.

4.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Psalms, Vol. 5 p.1829.

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.      John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries, Psalms, Volume VI, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House Reprinted 1979), pp. 471-472.

8.      Keil-Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Psalms, vol. 5, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Reprinted 1985), p. 254-255.

9.      Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. 2, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 188.

  1. Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary, Psalms, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 960.


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: