Psalm 119:41-48 VAU - Gleanings from Historical Commentaries                                         Collected by Jack Kettler


Psalm 119:41-48 introductory observations from The Treasury of David:


“Ver. 41-48. This whole section consists of petitions and promises. The petitions are two; Psalms 119:41; Psalms 119:43. The promises are six. This, among many, is a difference between godly men and others: all men seek good things from God, but the wicked so seek that they give him nothing back again, nor yet will promise any sort of return. Their prayers must be unprofitable, because they proceed from love of themselves, and not of the Lord. If so be they obtain that which is for their necessity, they care not to give to the Lord that which is for his glory: but the godly, as they seek good things, so they give praise to God when they have gotten them, and return the use of things received, to the glory of God who gave them. They love not themselves for themselves, but for the Lord; what they seek from him they seek it for this end, that they may be the more able to serve him. Let us take heed unto this; because it is a clear token whereby such as are truly religious are distinguished from counterfeit dissemblers.” William Cowper. (1)


41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word.


From Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:


VAU.--The Sixth Part.


“VAU. Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord,.... Meaning not his providential mercies, but his special mercies and favours; his mercies of old, which were upon his heart and thoughts from everlasting; the sure mercies of David, or the blessings of the everlasting covenant; the spiritual blessings, wherewith the saints are blessed in Christ; the grace that was given to them in him, before the world was: these are desired by the psalmist to be remembered, shown, communicated, and applied unto him, and, as it were, that they might come into his heart and soul; which is done when the love of God is shed abroad there, when full flows of it come in, and all grace is made to abound, and every want is supplied;


even thy salvation, according to thy word; not temporal, but spiritual and eternal salvation; which God has appointed his people to, secured for them in covenant, promised them in Christ, whom he sent to work it out, and which is in him; and which in the effectual calling comes to the soul, being brought near and applied to a sensible sinner by the Spirit of God. Here a fresh view of interest in it, a fresh visit with it, and a restoration of the joys of it, are desired; and which salvation flows from the abundant mercy and free favour of God in Christ; and is, according to his word of promise, spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, from the beginning of the world; and may here respect the particular word of promise made to David, that God would put away his sin, and save him, and that he should not die, 2 Samuel 12:13; or his word of promise in general, to all that seek and call upon the Lord, that they shall find grace and mercy, and be saved everlastingly.” (2)


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 41: Psalm 119:58; Psalm 119:76; Psalm 119:77


42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.


From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:


“42. The possession of God's gift of ‘salvation’ (Ps 119:41) will be the Psalmist's answer to the foe's "reproach," that his hope was a fallacious one.” (3)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

in Your word.

דָבָ֑ר (ḏā·ḇār)

Noun - 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 42: Psalm 102:8; Psalm 119:39; Proverbs 27:11


43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.


From Barnes' Notes on the Bible:


“And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth - Do not take it entirely or altogether from me. Let me not be utterly hopeless; let me be at no time without some evidence that thy word dwells in me with sustaining and sanctifying power. The prayer seems to have been offered when the mind was troubled and in doubt, and when it seemed as if all hope and all trust in the truth of God would vanish. The words rendered “utterly” mean “to very much;” that is, altogether or entirely. Let it not be done until the extreme shall be reached.


For I have hoped in thy judgments - I do trust in thy word, and it is my only trust. If that is gone, all is gone. As long as I can hold on to that, even in the slightest degree, I am safe. When all else fails, if that has not utterly failed me, I shall be secure.” (4)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

I hope

יִחָֽלְתִּי׃ (yi·ḥā·lə·tî)

Verb - Piel - Perfect - first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 3176: 1) to wait, hope, expect 1a) (Niphal) to wait 1b) (Piel) 1b1) to wait, await, tarry 1b2) to wait for, hope for 1c) (Hiphil) to wait, tarry, wait for, hope for


in Your judgments.

לְמִשְׁפָּטֶ֣ךָ (lə·miš·pā·ṭe·ḵā)

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

Strong's Hebrew 4941: 1) judgment, justice, ordinance 1a) judgment 1a1) act of deciding a case 1a2) place, court, seat of judgment 1a3) process, procedure, litigation (before judges) 1a4) case, cause (presented for judgment) 1a5) sentence, decision (of judgment) 1a6) execution (of judgment) 1a7) time (of judgment) 1b) justice, right, rectitude (attributes of God or man) 1c) ordinance 1d) decision (in law) 1e) right, privilege, due (legal) 1f) proper, fitting, measure, fitness, custom, manner, plan


Cross-References for verse 43: Psalm 119:49; Psalm 119:74; Psalm 119:81


44 So shall I keep thy law continually forever and ever.


From Matthew Poole's Commentary:


“So shall I be obliged and encouraged to the constant and perpetual study and observation of thy laws.” (5)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:


וְאֶשְׁמְרָ֖ה (wə·’eš·mə·rāh)

Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect Cohortative - first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 8104: 1) to keep, guard, observe, give heed 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to keep, have charge of 1a2) to keep, guard, keep watch and ward, protect, save life 1a2a) watch, watchman (participle) 1a3) to watch for, wait for 1a4) to watch, observe 1a5) to keep, retain, treasure up (in memory) 1a6) to keep (within bounds), restrain 1a7) to observe, celebrate, keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), perform (vow) 1a8) to keep, preserve, protect 1a9) to keep, reserve 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to be on one's guard, take heed, take care, beware 1b2) to keep oneself, refrain, abstain 1b3) to be kept, be guarded 1c) (Piel) to keep, pay heed 1d) (Hithpael) to keep oneself from


Your law,

תוֹרָתְךָ֥ (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


Cross-References for verse 44: Psalm 119:33; Psalm 119:45


45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.


From the Pulpit Commentary:

“Verse 45. - And I will walk at liberty. Rekhabah is literally “the open square of a city,” hence “a wide, open, free space.” In obeying God's commandments the psalmist will not feel himself under constraint, but a wholly free agent. For I seek thy precepts. Inclination, not constraint, makes him obey God's precepts - he “seeks” them, “loves” them (ver. 47), "delights in" them (vers. 16, 24, 47).” (6)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

Your precepts.

פִקֻּדֶ֣יךָ (p̄iq·qu·ḏe·ḵā)

Noun - masculine plural construct | second person masculine singular

Strong's Hebrew 6490: 1) precept, statute


Cross-References for verse 45: Psalm 119:94; Psalm 119:155; Proverbs 4:12


46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.


From Calvin’s Commentary:


“46. And I will steal, of thy testimonies before kings In these words he seems to believe that he is in possession of that which he formerly prayed for. Having said, "Take not away the word out of my mouths" and now, as if he had obtained what he requested, he rises up, and maintains he will not be dumb, even were he called upon to speak in the presence of kings. There can be no question that he affirms he would willingly stand forward in vindication of the glory of God in the face of the whole world. He selects kings, who are generally more to be dreaded than other men, and haughtily shut the mouths of God's witnesses. Sometimes, indeed, it happens we will not hold out even in the presence of men in the humblest ranks of life. The moment a man sets himself in opposition to the word of God, we instinctively shrink back from fear; and that boldness of speech, of which we boasted at first, instantly disappears: but our want of courage is most palpable when we are summoned before the thrones of kings. And this is the reason why David asserts, that he will not only hold out against enemies among the meanest of men, but also will remain firm and fearless before kings. These words inform us that we have profited well and truly by God's word, when our hearts are so completely fortified against the fear of man, that we do not dread the presence of kings, even though all the world attempts; to fill us with dejection and dismay. It is most unbecoming that God's glory should be obscured by their empty splendor.” (7)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

I will speak

וַאֲדַבְּרָ֣ה (wa·’ă·ḏab·bə·rāh)

Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Conjunctive imperfect Cohortative - first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 1696: 1) to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, sing 1a) (Qal) to speak 1b) (Niphal) to speak with one another, talk 1c) (Piel) 1c1) to speak 1c2) to promise 1d) (Pual) to be spoken 1e) (Hithpael) to speak 1f) (Hiphil) to lead away, put to flight


Cross-References for verse 46: Matthew 10:18; Acts 26:1; Acts 26:2; Psalm 119:80


47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.


From the Pulpit Commentary Homiletics:


The Joy Of Obedience

Psalm 119:47

“And I will delight myself in thy commandments. It may be urged, and indeed it is sometimes urged, that "obedience is obedience by whomsoever it is done, in whatsoever circumstances and in whatsoever spirit. If a master or a king issues a command, he gets all he can expect to get if what he wishes to be done is done. It cannot matter to him whether it is done with a grumble or with a smile. And it must be the same with God. We may reasonably expect him to be satisfied if what he wishes to have done is done." It is easy to answer that formal obedience involves no personal relationship; but as soon as that is recognized, the moral quality of the obedience becomes the true ground of acceptance. What is really accepted is the man in the obedience, and not the mere act of obedience. The best figures of the Divine relations with men are taken from family life. A master may be satisfied with formal obedience, and so may a king (though the deeper truth is that both want to find willing love-service in the obedience), but a father never is. He wants his child to obey; but he never can rest content until his child loves to obey, and is manifestly happy in his obedience.




1. There is the strain which follows upon the feeling that we must. A power is compelling us - a power which we fear; a power which can punish, "casting body and soul into hell." Much of the obedience of life has no higher range than this. Men obey, but there is neither credit nor joy in their obedience, for in their hearts they say, "We would not, if we dared not." Neither God nor man cares for such obedience as that.


2. There is the strain which follows upon the feeling that we ought. This is altogether higher and nobler. Duty is one of the most exalted inspirations. And yet it may keep the strain, and a man may but force himself to meet his duty. If man may be satisfied with that, God cannot. The true obedience is out of the range of strain. God's acceptance waits until heart and hand go well together, and we love what we do.


II. THE OBEDIENCE WHICH KNOWS NO STRAIN. It is no trouble to do what we wish to do. There is no sense of strain when we love and choose and persist in finding our pleasure in what we do. The soul moves freely in its delights. Make a joy of your obedience, and the result is that obedience becomes your joy.” - R. Tuck (8)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

I delight

וְאֶשְׁתַּֽעֲשַׁ֥ע (wə·’eš·ta·‘ă·ša‘)

Conjunctive waw | Verb - Hitpael - Conjunctive imperfect Cohortative if contextual - first person common singular

Strong's Hebrew 8173: 1) to stroke, be smeared over, be blinded 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to be smeared over, be blinded 1a2) to smear eyes shut 1b) (Hiphil) to besmear (of eyes), smear over eyes 1c) (Hithpalpel) to blind oneself, be blinded 2) to sport, take delight in 2a) (Pilpel) to sport, delight in, take delight in, delight oneself 2b) (Palpal) to be fondled 2c) (Hithpalpel) to delight oneself


in Your commandments

בְּמִצְוֺתֶ֗יךָ (bə·miṣ·wō·ṯe·ḵā)

Preposition-b | 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 47: Psalm 119:16; Psalm 119:97; Psalm 119:113; Psalm 119:119

Psalm 119:127; Psalm 119:140; Psalm 119:159; Psalm 119:163 Psalm 119:167


48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.


From Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament:


“The eightfold Vav. He prays for the grace of true and fearlessly joyous confession. The lxx renders Psalm 119:41: καὶ ἔλθοι ἐπ ̓ ἐμε ̓ τὸ ἔλεός σου; but the Targum and Jerome rightly (cf. Psalm 119:77, Isaiah 63:7) have the plural: God's proofs of loving-kindness in accordance with His promises will put him in the position that he will not be obliged to be dumb in the presence of him who reproaches him (חרף, prop. a plucker, cf. Arab. charûf, a lamb equals a plucker of leaves or grass), but will be able to answer him on the ground of his own experience. The verb ענה, which in itself has many meanings, acquires the signification "to give an answer" through the word, דּבר, that is added (synon. השׁיב דּבר). Psalm 119:43 also refers to the duty of confessing God. The meaning of the prayer is, that God may not suffer him to come to such a pass that he will be utterly unable to witness for the truth; for language dies away in the mouth of him who is unworthy of its before God. The writer has no fear of this for himself, for his hope is set towards God's judgments (למשׁפּטך, defective plural, as also in Psalm 119:149; in proof of which, compare Psalm 119:156 and Psalm 119:175), his confidence takes its stand upon them. The futures which follow from Psalm 119:44 to Psalm 119:48 declare that what he would willingly do by the grace of God, and strives to do, is to walk בּרחבה, in a broad space (elsewhere בּמּרחב), therefore unstraitened, which in this instance is not equivalent to happily, but courageously and unconstrainedly, without allowing myself to be intimidated, and said of inward freedom which makes itself known outwardly. In Psalm 119:46 the Vulgate renders: Et loquebar de (in) testimoniis tuis in conspectu regum et non confundebar - the motto of the Augsburg Confession, to which it was adapted especially in connection with this historical interpretation of the two verbs, which does not correspond to the original text. The lifting up of the hands in Psalm 119:48 is an expression of fervent longing desire, as in connection with prayer, Psalm 28:2; Psalm 63:5; Psalm 134:2; Psalm 141:2, and frequently. The second אשׁר אהבתי is open to the suspicion of being an inadvertent repetition. שׂיח בּ (synon. בּ הגה) signifies a still or audible meditating that is absorbed in the object.” (9)


Gleanings from Strong's Lexicon:

and I meditate

וְאָשִׂ֥יחָה (wə·’ā·śî·ḥāh)

Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect Cohortative - 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 statutes.

בְחֻקֶּֽיךָ׃ (ḇə·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 48: Psalm 119:15; Psalm 119:49; Psalm 119:97; Psalm 119:127


Concluding summary from Matthew Henry’s Bible Concise Commentary Psalm 119:41-48:


“119:41-48 Lord, I have by faith thy mercies in view; let me by prayer prevail to obtain them. And when the salvation of the saints is completed, it will plainly appear that it was not in vain to trust in God's word. We need to pray that we may never be afraid or ashamed to own God's truths and ways before men. And the psalmist resolves to keep God's law, in a constant course of obedience, without backsliding. The service of sin is slavery; the service of God is liberty. There is no full happiness, or perfect liberty, but in keeping God's law. We must never be ashamed or afraid to own our religion. The more delight we take in the service of God, the nearer we come to perfection. Not only consent to his law as good, but take pleasure in it as good for us. Let me put forth all the strength I have, to do it. Something of this mind of Christ is in every true disciple.

Teach me thy statutes, not the mere words, but the way of applying them to myself. God, by his Spirit, gives a right understanding. But the Spirit of revelation in the word will not suffice, unless we have the Spirit of wisdom in the heart. God puts his Spirit within us, causing us to walk in his statutes. The sin here prayed against is covetousness. Those that would have the love of God rooted in them, must get the love of the world rooted out; for the friendship of the world is enmity with God. Quicken me in thy way; to redeem time, and to do every duty with liveliness of spirit. Beholding vanity deadens us, and slackens our pace; a traveller must not stand gazing upon every object that presents itself to his view. The promises of God's word greatly relate to the preservation of the true believer. When Satan has drawn a child of God into worldly compliances, he will reproach him with the falls into which he led him. Victory must come from the cross of Christ. When we enjoy the sweetness of God's precepts, it will make us long for more acquaintance with them. And where God has wrought to will, he will work to do.” (10)


Notes on Psalm 119:25-32 VAU:

  1. C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Vol. II, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 231.

2.      John Gill, Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, Psalms, 9 Volumes, (Grace Works, Multi-Media Labs), 2011, p. 1389.  

3.      Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 450.

4.      Albert Barnes, THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARYCOMMENTARY, Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, Psalms, Vol. 5 p.1809.

  1. Matthew Poole's Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. 2, (Peabody, Massachusetts, Hendrickson Publishers, 1985) p. 185.
  2. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Psalms, Vol.8., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 105.

7.      John Calvin, Calvin's Commentaries, Psalms, Volume V1, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Book House Reprinted 1979), pp. 434-435.

8.      H. D. M. Spence and Joseph S. Exell, The Pulpit Commentary, Psalms, Vol.8., (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Eerdmans Publishing Company reprint 1978), p. 151-152.

  1. Keil-Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, Psalms, vol. 5, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Reprinted 1985), p. 249- 250.
  2. Matthew Henry, Concise Commentary, Psalms, (Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas Nelson), p. 958.


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: