Psalm 119:153-160 RESH - Gleanings from Historical Commentaries                                         Collected by Jack Kettler


Psalm 119:153-160 introductory observations from The Treasury of David:


“In this section the Psalmist seems to draw still nearer to God in prayer, and to state his case and to invoke the divine help with more of boldness and expectation. It is a pleading passage, and the key-word of it is, “Consider.” With much boldness, he pleads his intimate union with the Lord's cause as a reason why he should be aided. The special aid that he seeks is personal quickening, for which he cries to the Lord again and again.” (1)


153 Consider mine affliction, and deliver me: for I do not forget thy law.


From Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:


“RESH. Consider mine affliction, and deliver me,.... Or, “look upon mine affliction” (e); as in Psalm 25:18. The Lord seems as if he did not, when he does not grant his gracious presence to his people; or does not arise to the help and deliverance of them so soon as they desire and expect: but he always sees and beholds their afflictions; he cannot do otherwise, since he is the omniscient God; and not only so, but he is the author, appointer, and orderer of them; yea, he looks upon them with an eye of pity and compassion, which is what is here prayed for: he sympathizes with his people in all their afflictions, supports them under them, pays kind visits to them, sanctifies his hand, and in his own time delivers them out of all; which none else can but himself, and he has power to do it, and has promised it, and does perform: see Psalm 50:15;


for I do not forget thy law: the precepts of it; to observe it as a rule of walk and conversation, as a lamp to the feet, and a light to the path, as a directory of the good and perfect will of God: or, “thy doctrine”; the doctrine of the word, the precious truths of it, which were his support under afflictions; and when either of them have a place in the heart, and are written there, they cannot easily be forgotten. This the psalmist mentions, not as if his not forgetting the law or doctrine of God was meritorious of deliverance from affliction, but as a descriptive character of such the Lord does deliver.” (2)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


רְאֵֽה־ (rə·’êh-)

Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 7200: 1) to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to see 1a2) to see, perceive 1a3) to see, have vision 1a4) to look at, see, regard, look after, see after, learn about, observe, watch, look upon, look out, find out 1a5) to see, observe, consider, look at, give attention to, discern, distinguish 1a6) to look at, gaze at 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to appear, present oneself 1b2) to be seen 1b3) to be visible 1c) (Pual) to be seen 1d) (Hiphil) 1d1) to cause to see, show 1d2) to cause to look intently at, behold, cause to gaze at 1e) (Hophal) 1e1) to be caused to see, be shown 1e2) to be exhibited to 1f) (Hithpael) to look at each other, face


Cross-References for verse 153: Deuteronomy 26:13; Psalm 119:16; Psalm 119:50; Proverbs 3:1; Lamentations 1:9; Lamentations 5:1; Hosea 4:6


154 Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word.


From The Pulpit Commentary:


“Verse 154. - Plead my cause (comp. Psalm 35:1; Psalm 43:1; Micah 7:9). God “pleads the cause” of his servants when he takes up their quarrel, and avenges them upon their enemies. And deliver me; or, “rescue me” (Cheyne). Quicken me according to thy Word (comp. ver. 25).” (3)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


רִיבָ֣ה (rî·ḇāh)

Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular | third person feminine singular

Strong's Hebrew 7378: 1) to strive, contend 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to strive 1a1a) physically 1a1b) with words 1a2) to conduct a case or suit (legal), sue 1a3) to make complaint 1a4) to quarrel 1b) (Hiphil) to contend against


Cross-References for verse 154: 1 Samuel 24:15; Psalm 35:1; Psalm 119:134; Psalm 119:169;

Micah 7:9


155 Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.


From Barnes' Notes on the Bible:


“Salvation is far from the wicked - That is,


(a) in their present course: they are very far from being safe, or from having a prospect of salvation;


(b) they are constantly going farther and farther off - making their salvation less probable - not going toward heaven, but from it.


(c) Destruction is very near to them, and they are constantly making it nearer and nearer.


(d) In their present course it may be said that salvation is far - is infinitely remote - from them, so that they can never come to it.


(e) If they would be saved, they must change their course altogether, and go "toward" salvation and not from it.


For they seek not thy statutes - They do not regard thy law; they do not make it a principle to obey thy commandments.” (4)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


יְשׁוּעָ֑ה (yə·šū·‘āh)

Noun - feminine singular

Strong's Hebrew 3444: 1) salvation, deliverance 1a) welfare, prosperity 1b) deliverance 1c) salvation (by God) 1d) victory


Cross-References for verse 155: Job 5:4; Psalm 73:27; Psalm 119:45; Psalm 119:94


156 Great are thy tender mercies, O Lord: quicken me according to thy judgments.


From Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:


“156. (See on [634] Ps 119:149).” (5)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


רַבִּ֥ים ׀ (rab·bîm)

Adjective - masculine plural

Strong's Hebrew 7227: adj 1) much, many, great 1a) much 1b) many 1c) abounding in 1d) more numerous than 1e) abundant, enough 1f) great 1g) strong 1h) greater than adv 1i) much, exceedingly n m 2) captain, chief


Cross-References for verse 156: 2 Samuel 24:14; Psalm 119:157


157 Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.


The Pulpit Commentary:


“Verse 157. - Many are my persecutors and mine enemies. Hitherto this had been implied (vers. 22, 23, 51, 61, etc.) rather than expressed. Now the thought of Psalm 25:18 comes over the writer, “Consider mine enemies, for they are many.” Yet do I not decline from thy testimonies. Repeated from ver. 51.” (6)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

[Though] my persecutors

רֹדְפַ֣י (rō·ḏə·p̄ay)

Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural construct | first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 7291: 1) to be behind, follow after, pursue, persecute, run after 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to pursue, put to flight, chase, dog, attend closely upon 1a2) to persecute, harass (fig) 1a3) to follow after, aim to secure (fig) 1a4) to run after (a bribe) (fig) 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to be pursued 1b2) one pursued (participle) 1c) (Piel) to pursue ardently, aim eagerly to secure, pursue 1d) (Pual) to be pursued, be chased away 1e) (Hiphil) to pursue, chase


Cross-References for verse 157: Psalm 7:1; Psalm 44:18; Psalm 119:51; Psalm 119:86; Psalm 119:161


158 I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.


From John Calvin:


“158. I saw the perfidious and child them. In this verse, the Psalmist proceeds yet farther, declaring that he was inflamed with a holy zeal when he saw the law of God despised by the wicked. Expositors are not however agreed as to one word in the text, namely the verb 'tqvtth, ethkotatah, which we have rendered chid, some deriving it from qvt, kut, which often signifies to debate or contend with, it being in the conjugation hithpael, while others derive it from qtt karat, which signifies to kill or to destroy. I adopt the former interpretation, because it is more generally received among the learned, and is most appropriate. The Prophet then teaches that he was inflamed with such zeal for the law of God that he could no longer endure the impious mockery directed against it. The verb debate may however be understood as well of the vexation or anger which he felt in himself, as of the rebuke which he openly administered to the despisers of God; and therefore some translate it, I shuddered, or I was grieved [30] Nor assuredly will any person enter into debate with others for maintaining the glory of God, but he who is first chafed within himself, and has been grieved at heart; even as on the other hand, after this holy indignation there almost always follows transitive action; that is to say, it passes from the thought to the effect. [31] In short, we are admonished by the example of the Prophet, that we ought to feel such displeasure at the contempt of God's word as that our heart grows hot even to chiding. In the first place, then, let grief affect us inwardly; and next, whenever opportunity shall present itself, let; us strenuously endeavor to repress the forwardness and pride of the wicked, and let us not hesitate to do so from the fear of provoking their resentment against us.” (7)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Your word.

אִ֝מְרָתְךָ֗ (’im·rā·ṯə·ḵā)

Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 565: 1) utterance, speech, word 1a) word of God, the Torah


Cross-References for verse 158: Psalm 25:3; Psalm 119:53; Psalm 119:136; Psalm 139:21; Isaiah 21:2; Isaiah 24:16


159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O Lord, according to thy lovingkindness.


From Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament:


“The eightfold Resh. Because God cannot suffer those who are faithful to His word to succumb, he supplicates His help against his persecutors. ריבה is Milra before the initial (half-guttural) Resh, as in Psalm 43:1; Psalm 74:22. The Lamed of לאמרתך is the Lamed of reference (with respect to Thine utterance), whether the reference be normative (equals כאמרתך, Psalm 119:58), as in Isaiah 11:3, or causal, Isaiah 25:2, Isaiah 55:5; Job 42:5. The predicate רחוק, like ישׂר in Psalm 119:137, stands first in the primary, as yet indefinite form. Concerning Psalm 119:156 vid., on Psalm 119:149. At the sight of the faithless he felt a profound disgust; ואתקוטטה, pausal aorist, supply בּהם, Psalm 139:21. It is all the same in the end whether we render אשׁר quippe qui or siquidem. ראשׁ in Psalm 119:160 signifies the head-number of sum. If he reckons up the word of God in its separate parts and as a whole, truth is the denominator of the whole, truth is the sum-total. This supplicatory חיּני is repeated three times in this group. The nearer it draws towards its end the more importunate does the Psalm become.” (8)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

I love

אָהָ֑בְתִּי (’ā·hā·ḇə·tî)

Verb - Qal - Perfect - first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 157: 1) to love 1a) (Qal) 1a1) human love for another, includes family, and sexual 1a2) human appetite for objects such as food, drink, sleep, wisdom 1a3) human love for or to God 1a4) act of being a friend 1a4a) lover (participle) 1a4b) friend (participle) 1a5) God's love toward man 1a5a) to individual men 1a5b) to people Israel 1a5c) to righteousness 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) lovely (participle) 1b2) loveable (participle) 1c) (Piel) 1c1) friends 1c2) lovers (fig. of adulterers) 2) to like


Your precepts,

פִקּוּדֶ֣יךָ (p̄iq·qū·ḏe·ḵā)

Noun - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 6490: 1) precept, statute


Cross-References for verse 159: Psalm 119:25; Psalm 119:47


160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.


From Matthew Poole's Commentary:


“Ver. 160. From the beginning; either from the beginning of the world, or ever since thou hast revealed thy mind by thy word to the sons of men; all thy words have been found to be true and certain, and so they will be to the end of the world, as is implied in the next clause. Or, as it is in the margin, the beginning (or, as others render it, the sum, as this very word is used, Exodus 30:12 Numbers 26:2 31:26, to wit, the whole of it, there is not the least part of it which is not so) of thy word is true.” (9)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Your word

דְּבָרְךָ֥ (də·ḇā·rə·ḵā)

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 160: Deuteronomy 4:8; Psalm 19:7; Psalm 111:8; Psalm 119:89; Psalm 119:142; Psalm 119:152; Psalm 119:164; Psalm 139:17


Concluding summary from Matthew Henry’s Bible Concise Commentary 119:153-160:


“119:153-160 The closer we cleave to the word of God, both as our rule and as our stay, the more assurance we have of deliverance. Christ is the Advocate of his people, their Redeemer. Those who were quickened by his Spirit and grace, when they were dead in trespasses and sins, often need to have the work of grace revived in them, according to the word of promise. The wicked not only do not God's statutes, but they do not even seek them. They flatter themselves that they are going to heaven; but the longer they persist in sin, the further it is from them. God's mercies are tender; they are a fountain that can never be exhausted. The psalmist begs for God's reviving, quickening grace. A man, steady in the way of his duty, though he may have many enemies, needs to fear none. Those that hate sin truly, hate it as sin, as a transgression of the law of God, and a breaking of his word. Our obedience is only pleasing to God, and pleasant to ourselves, when it comes from a principle of love. All, in every age, who receive God's word in faith and love, find every saying in it faithful.” (10)


Notes on Psalm 119:153-160 RESH:

  1. C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Vol. II, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 413.

2.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 1440-1441.

3.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Psalms, Vol.8., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 112.

4.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Psalms, Vol. 5 p.1853.

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. 112.

7.      John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries, Psalms, Volume V, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House Reprinted 1979), p. 34.

8.      Keil-Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Psalms, vol. 5, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Reprinted 1985), p. 261-262.

9.      Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. 2, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 191.

  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: