Psalm 119:105-112 NUN - Gleanings from Historical Commentaries                                         Collected by Jack Kettler


Psalm 119:105-112 introductory observations from The Treasury of David:


“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet." We are walkers through the city of this world, and we are often called to go out into its darkness; let us never venture there without the light-giving word, lest we slip with our feet. Each man should use the word of God personally, practically, and habitually, that he may see his way and see what lies in it. When darkness settles down upon all around me, the word of the Lord, like a flaming torch, reveals my way. Having no fixed lamps in eastern towns, in old time each passenger carried a lantern with him that he might not fall into the open sewer, or stumble over the heaps of ordure which defiled the road. This is a true picture of our path through this dark world, we should not know the way, or how to walk in it, if the Scripture, like a blazing flambeau, did not reveal it. One of the most practical benefits of Holy Writ is guidance in the acts of daily life; it is not sent to astound us with its brilliance, but to guide us by its instruction.” (1)


105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.


From Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:


“NUN.--The Fourteenth Part.


NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,.. The same Solomon says of the law and commandment, the preceptive part of the word, Proverbs 6:23; and the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it "law" here. This shows a man what is his duty, both towards God and man; by it is the knowledge of sin: this informs what righteousness that is God requires of men; by the light of it a man sees his own deformity and infirmities, the imperfection of his obedience, and that he needs a better righteousness than his own to justify him in the sight of God; it is a rule of walk and conversation; it directs what to do, and how to walk. The Gospel part of the word is a great and glorious light; by which men come to have some knowledge of God in Christ, as a God gracious and merciful; of Christ, his person, offices, and grace; of righteousness, salvation, and eternal life by him; and it teaches men to live soberly, righteously, and godly. The whole Scripture is a light shining in a dark place; a lamp or torch to be carried in the hand of a believer, while he passes through this dark world; and is in the present state of imperfection, in which he sees things but darkly. This is the standard of faith and practice; by the light of this lamp the difference between true and false doctrine may be discerned; error and immorality may be reproved, and made manifest; the way of truth and godliness, in which a man should walk, is pointed out; and by means of it he may see and shun the stumbling blocks in his way, and escape falling into pits and ditches; it is a good light to walk and work by. The Targum is, “thy word is as a light that shines to my feet.”


It follows, and a light unto my path; the same thing in other words. Now it should be observed, that the word of God is only so to a man whose eyes are opened and enlightened by the Spirit of God, which is usually done by means of the word; for a lamp, torch, candle, or any other light are of no use to a blind man.” (2)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

And a light

וְ֝א֗וֹר (wə·’ō·wr)

Conjunctive waw | Noun - common singular

Strong's Hebrew 216: 1) light 1a) light of day 1b) light of heavenly luminaries (moon, sun, stars) 1c) day-break, dawn, morning light 1d) daylight 1e) lightning 1f) light of lamp 1g) light of life 1h) light of prosperity 1i) light of instruction 1j) light of face (fig.) 1k) Jehovah as Israel's light


To my path.

לִנְתִיבָתִֽי׃ (lin·ṯî·ḇā·ṯî)

Preposition-l | Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 5410: 1) trodden with the feet, path, pathway 2) path, pathway, traveller


Cross-References for verse 105: 2 Peter 1:19; Proverbs 6:23


106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.


From The Pulpit Commentary:


“Verse 106. - I have sworn, and I will perform it; rather, I have sworn and am steadfastly purposed (see the Prayer-book Version). That I will keep thy righteous judgments; literally, the judgments of thy righteousness; i.e. the judgments which thy righteousness has caused thee to put forth.” (3)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

I have sworn

נִשְׁבַּ֥עְתִּי (niš·ba‘·tî)

Verb - Nifal - Perfect - first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 7650: 1) to swear, adjure 1a) (Qal) sworn (participle) 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to swear, take an oath 1b2) to swear (of Jehovah by Himself) 1b3) to curse 1c) (Hiphil) 1c1) to cause to take an oath 1c2) to adjure


Cross-References for verse 106: Nehemiah 10:29; Psalm 119:107


107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.


From Barnes' Notes on the Bible:


“I am afflicted very much - The form of the affliction is not mentioned. There are frequent allusions in the psalm to the fact that the author was and had been afflicted - as, in fact, must be the case in the life of every good man. Compare Psalm 119:71, Psalm 119:75. If David was the author of the psalm, we know that there were numerous occasions in his life when this language would be appropriate. As designed for the people of God at all times, it was important that there should be these allusions to affliction.


Quicken me ... - Make me live; give me life and vigor, that I may bear up under my trials. See the notes at Psalm 119:25.” (4)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Revive me

חַיֵּ֥נִי (ḥay·yê·nî)

Verb - Piel - Imperative - 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 107: Psalm 119:25: Psalm 119:50


108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments.


From Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:


“108. Freewill offerings—the spontaneous expressions of his gratitude, as contrasted with the appointed “offerings” of the temple (Ho 14:2; Heb. 13:15). He determines to pursue this way, relying on God's quickening power (Ps 119:50) in affliction, and a gracious acceptance of his “spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise” (Ps 50:5, 14, 23).” (5)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


יְהוָ֑ה (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 108: Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 119:12; Hosea 14:2


109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.


From Matthew Poole's Commentary:


“Ver. 109. In my hand; exposed to perpetual and extreme danger, as any precious and frail thing is which a man carrieth openly in his hand, whence it may easily fall or be snatched away by a violent hand. See the same or like phrase, Judges 12:3 1 Samuel 19:5 Job 13:14.” (6)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

My life

נַפְשִׁ֣י (nap̄·šî)

Noun - feminine singular construct | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 5315: 1) soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion 1a) that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man 1b) living being 1c) living being (with life in the blood) 1d) the man himself, self, person or individual 1e) seat of the appetites 1f) seat of emotions and passions 1g) activity of mind 1g1) dubious 1h) activity of the will 1h1) dubious 1i) activity of the character 1i1) dubious


Cross-References for verse 109: Judges 12:3; 1 Samuel 19:5; Job 13:14; Psalm 119:16; Ecclesiastes 9:1


110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.


From John Calvin:


“The wicked have laid a snare for me The meaning of this verse is similar to that of the preceding. The prophet shows more definitely, in what respect he carried his life in his hand; namely, because, being hemmed in on all sides by the snares of the wicked, he saw scarcely any hope of life. We have previously observed how difficult it is to avoid wandering from the ways of the Lord, when our enemies, by their subtle arts, endeavor to effect our destruction. The depraved desire of our fallen nature incites us to retaliate, nor do we see any way of preserving our life, unless we employ the same arts by which they assail us; and we persuade ourselves that it is lawful for us to howl among wolves. Such being the ease, we ought, with the more attention, to meditate upon this doctrine, That, when the wicked environ and besiege us by their wiles, the best thing we can do is to follow whither God calls us, and to attempt nothing but what is agreeable to his will.” (7)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

The wicked

רְשָׁעִ֣ים (rə·šā·‘îm)

Adjective - masculine plural

Strong's Hebrew 7563: 1) wicked, criminal 1a) guilty one, one guilty of crime (subst) 1b) wicked (hostile to God) 1c) wicked, guilty of sin (against God or man)


Cross-References for verse 110: Psalm 91:3; Psalm 119:10; Psalm 140:5; Psalm 141:9


111 Thy testimonies have I taken as a heritage forever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.


From Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament:


“The eightfold Nun. The word of God is his constant guide, to which he has entrusted himself forever. The way here below is a way through darkness, and leads close past abysses: in this danger of falling and of going astray the word of God is a lamp to his feet, i.e., to his course, and a light to his path (Proverbs 6:23); his lamp or torch and his sun. That which he has sworn, viz., to keep God's righteous requirements, he has also set up, i.e., brought to fulfilment, but not without being bowed down under heavy afflictions in confessing God; wherefore he prays (as in Psalm 119:25) that God would revive him in accordance with His word, which promises life to those who keep it. The confessions of prayer coming from the inmost impulse of his whole heart, in which he owns his indebtedness and gives himself up entirely to God's mercy, he calls the free-will offerings of his mouth in Psalm 119:108 (cf. Psalm 50:14; Psalm 19:15). He bases the prayer for a gracious acceptance of these upon the fact of his being reduced to extremity. "To have one's soul in one's hand" is the same as to be in conscious peril of one's life, just as "to take one's soul into one's hand" (Judges 12:3; 1 Samuel 19:5; 1 Samuel 28:21; Job 13:14) is the same as to be ready to give one's life for it, to risk one's life.


(Note: Cf. B. Taanth 8a: "The prayer of a man is not answered אלא אם כן משׂים נפשׁו בכפו, i.e., if he is not ready to sacrifice his life.")


Although his life is threatened (Psalm 119:87), yet he does not waver and depart from God's word; he has taken and obtained possession of God's testimonies for ever (cf. Psalm 119:98); they are his “heritage,” for which he willingly gives up everything else, for they (המּה inexactly for הנּה) it is which bless and entrance him in his inmost soul. In Psalm 119:112 it is not to be interpreted after Psalm 19:12 : eternal is the reward (of the carrying out of Thy precepts), but in Psalm 119:33 עקב is equivalent to לעד, and Psalm 119:44 proves that Psalm 119:112 need not be a thought that is complete in itself..” (8)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Of my heart.

לִבִּ֣י (lib·bî)

Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 3820: 1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding 1a) inner part, midst 1a1) midst (of things) 1a2) heart (of man) 1a3) soul, heart (of man) 1a4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory 1a5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will) 1a6) conscience 1a7) heart (of moral character) 1a8) as seat of appetites 1a9) as seat of emotions and passions 1a10) as seat of courage


Cross-References for verse 111: Deuteronomy 33:4; Psalm 119:14; Psalm 119:162


112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end.


From Matthew Poole's Commentary:


“As I prayed to thee to incline mine heart to them, above Psalm 119:36, so I did not neglect my duty, but cheerfully complied with the motions of thy Spirit, and yielded up my mind and heart to the study and practice of them.” (9)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

To perform

לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת (la·‘ă·śō·wṯ)

Preposition-l | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct

Strong's Hebrew 6213: 1) to do, fashion, accomplish, make 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to do, work, make, produce 1a1a) to do 1a1b) to work 1a1c) to deal (with) 1a1d) to act, act with effect, effect 1a2) to make 1a2a) to make 1a2b) to produce 1a2c) to prepare 1a2d) to make (an offering) 1a2e) to attend to, put in order 1a2f) to observe, celebrate 1a2g) to acquire (property) 1a2h) to appoint, ordain, institute 1a2i) to bring about 1a2j) to use 1a2k) to spend, pass 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to be done 1b2) to be made 1b3) to be produced 1b4) to be offered 1b5) to be observed 1b6) to be used 1c) (Pual) to be made 2) (Piel) to press, squeeze


Cross-References for verse 112: Psalm 119:33; Psalm 119:36


Concluding summary from Matthew Henry’s Bible Concise Commentary Psalm 119:105-112:


“119:105-112 The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit, as a light to direct us in the choice of our way, and the steps we take in that way. The keeping of God's commands here meant, was that of a sinner under a dispensation of mercy, of a believer having part in the covenant of grace. The psalmist is often afflicted; but with longing desires to become more holy, offers up daily prayers for quickening grace. We cannot offer any thing to God, that he will accept but what he is pleased to teach us to do. To have our soul or life continually in our hands, implies constant danger of life; yet he did not forget God's promises nor his precepts. Numberless are the snares laid by the wicked; and happy is that servant of God, whom they have not caused to err from his Master's precepts. Heavenly treasures are a heritage for ever; all the saints accept them as such, therefore they can be content with little of this world. We must look for comfort only in the way of duty, and that duty must be done. A good man, by the grace of God, brings his heart to his work, then it is done well.” (10)


Notes on Psalm 119:105-112 NUN:

  1. C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Vol. II, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 342.

2.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 1418.

3.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Psalms, Vol.8., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 109.

4.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Psalms, Vol. 5 p.1835.

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. 188.

7.      John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries, Psalms, Volume VI, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House Reprinted 1979), p. 484.

8.      Keil-Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Psalms, vol. 5, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Reprinted 1985), p. 256-257.

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. 961.


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: