Monday, January 24, 2011

Days 24, 25 & 26 — Psalm 119

In praise of the divine Law

א, Ah, how happy those of blameless life
who walk in the Law of Yahweh!
How happy those who respect His decrees,
and seek Him with their whole heart,
and doing no evil,
walk in His ways!
You yourself have made Your precepts known,
to be faithfully kept.
Oh, may my behavior be constant
in keeping Your statutes.
If I concentrate on Your every commandment,
I can never be put to shame.
I thank You from an upright heart,
schooled in Your rules of righteousness.
I mean to observe Your statutes;
never abandon me.

ב, How can a youth remain pure?
By behaving as Your Word prescribes.
I have sought You with all my heart,
do not let me stray from Your commandments.
I have treasured Your promises in my heart,
since I have no wish to sin against You.
How blessed are You, Yahweh!
Teach me Your statutes!
With my lips I have repeated them,
all these rulings from Your own mouth.
In the way of Your decrees lies my joy,
a joy beyond all wealth.
I mean to meditate on Your precepts
and to concentrate on Your paths.
I find my delight in Your statutes,
I do not forget Your Word.

ג, Be good to Your servant, and I shall live,
I shall observe Your Word.
Open my eyes: I shall concentrate
on the marvels of Your Law.
Exile though I am on earth,
do not hide Your commandments from me.
My soul is overcome
with an incessant longing for Your rulings.
You reprove the arrogant, the accursed
who stray from Your commandments.
Avert their insults and contempt from me,
since I respect Your decrees.
Though princes put me on trial,
Your servant will meditate on Your statutes,
since Your decrees are my delight,
Your statutes are my counselors.

ד, Down in the dust I lie prostrate:
revive me as Your Word has guaranteed.
I admitted my behavior, You answered me,
now teach me Your statutes.
Explain to me how to keep Your precepts,
that I may meditate on Your marvels.
I am sleepless with grief:
raise me as Your Word has guaranteed.
Turn me from the path of delusion,
grant me the grace of Your Law.
I have chosen the way of fidelity,
I have set my heart on Your rulings.
I cling to Your decrees:
Yahweh, do not disappoint me.
I run the way of Your commandments,
since You have set me free.

ה, Expound to me the way of Your statutes, Yahweh,
and I will always respect them.
Explain to me how to respect Your Law
and how to observe it wholeheartedly.
Guide me in the path of Your commandments,
since my delight is there.
Turn my heart to Your decrees
and away from getting money.
Avert my eyes from lingering on inanities,
give me life by Your Word.
Keep Your promise to Your servant,
so that others in turn may fear You.
Avert the insults that I fear,
in the kindness of Your rulings.
Look how I yearn for Your precepts:
give me life by Your righteousness.

ו, For, Yahweh, visited by Your love
and saving help, as You have promised,
I can find an answer to the insults,
since I rely on Your Word.
Do not deprive me of that faithful Word,
since my hope has always lain in Your rulings.
Let me observe Your Law unfailingly
for ever and ever.
So, having sought Your precepts,
I shall walk in all freedom.
I shall proclaim Your decrees to kings
without fear of disgrace.
Your commandments fill me with delight
I love them deeply.
I stretch out my hands to Your beloved commandments,
I meditate on Your statutes.

ז, Remember the word You pledged Your servant,
on which You have built my hope.
This has been my comfort in my suffering:
that Your promise gives me life.
Endlessly the arrogant have jeered at me,
but I have not swerved from Your Law.
Remembering Your rulings in the past,
Yahweh, I take comfort.
Fury grips me when I see the wicked
abandoning Your Law.
Where I live in exile,
Your statutes are psalms for me.
All night, Yahweh, I remember Your name
and observe Your Law.
Surely it will count to my credit:
that I respect Your precepts.

ח, Have I not said, Yahweh, that my task
is to observe Your words?
Wholeheartedly I now entreat You,
take pity on me as You have promised!
After reflecting on my behavior,
I turn my feet to Your decrees.
Wasting no time, I hurry
to observe Your commandments.
Though the nooses of the wicked tighten around me,
I do not forget Your Law.
I get up at midnight to thank You
for the righteousness of Your rulings.
I am a friend to all who fear You
and observe Your precepts,
Yahweh, Your love fills the earth:
teach me Your statutes.

ט, In accordance with Your Word, Yahweh,
You have been good to Your servant.
Teach me good sense and knowledge,
for I rely on Your commandments.
In earlier days I had to suffer, I used to stray,
but now I remember Your promise.
You, so good and kind,
teach me Your statutes.
Though the arrogant tell foul lies about me,
I wholeheartedly respect Your precepts.
Their hearts are gross as fat,
but my delight is in Your Law.
It was good for me to have to suffer,
the better to learn Your statutes.
I put the Law You have given
before all the gold and silver in the world.

י, Yahweh, my Maker, my Preserver,
explain Your commandments for me to learn.
Seeing me, those who fear You will be glad,
since I put my hope in Your Word.
I know that Your rulings are righteous, Yahweh,
that You make me suffer out of faithfulness.
Now, please let Your love comfort me,
as You have promised Your servant.
Treat me tenderly, and I shall live,
since Your Law is my delight.
Shame seize the arrogant who defame me,
when I meditate on Your precepts!
May those who fear You rally to me,
all those familiar with Your decrees!
Blameless in Your statutes be my heart:
no such shame therefore for me!

כ, Keeping my hope in Your Word,
I have worn myself out waiting for You to save me,
and have strained my eyes, waiting for Your promise:
when, I want to know, will You console me?
Though smoked as dry as a wineskin,
I do not forget Your statutes.
How much longer has Your servant to live,
when will You condemn my persecutors?
The arrogant have dug pitfalls for me
in defiance of Your Law.
Your commandments epitomize faithfulness;
when liars hound me, You must help me.
Though these wretches have almost done for me,
I have never abandoned Your precepts.
Lovingly intervene, give me life,
and I will observe Your decrees.

ל, Lasting to eternity, Your Word,
Yahweh, unchanging in the heavens:
Your faithfulness lasts from age to age;
You founded the earth to endure.
Creation is maintained by Your rulings,
since all things are Your servants.
Had Your Law not been my delight
I should have perished in my suffering.
I shall never forget Your precepts;
by these You have kept me alive.
I am Yours, save me,
since I study Your precepts.
The wicked may hope to destroy me,
but I am scrupulous about Your decrees.
I have noticed limitations to all perfection,
but Your commandments have no limits at all.

מ, Meditating all day on Your Law,
how I have come to love it!
By Your commandment, ever mine,
how much wiser You have made me than my enemies!
How much subtler than my teachers,
through my meditating on Your decrees!
How much more perceptive than the elders,
as a result of my respecting Your precepts!
I refrain my feet from every evil path,
the better to observe Your Word.
I do not turn aside from Your rulings,
since You Yourself teach me these.
Your promise, how sweet to my palate!
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Your precepts endow me with perception;
I hate all deceptive paths.

נ, Now Your Word is a lamp to my feet,
a light on my path.
I have sworn to observe, I shall maintain,
Your righteous rulings.
Yahweh, though my suffering is acute,
revive me as Your Word has guaranteed.
Yahweh, accept the homage that I offer,
teach me Your rulings.
I would lay down my life at any moment,
I have never yet forgotten Your Law.
The wicked have tried to trap me,
but I have never yet veered from Your precepts.
Your decrees are my eternal heritage,
they are the joy of my heart.
I devote myself to obeying Your statutes—
compensation enough for ever!

ס, Odious, those whose allegiance is divided;
I love Your Law!
You, my refuge and shield,
I put my hope in Your Word.
Away from me, you wicked people!
I will respect the commandments of my God.
Support me as You have promised, and I shall live,
do not disappoint me of my hope.
Uphold me, and I shall be safe
with Your statutes constantly before my eyes.
You spurn all who stray from Your statutes,
their notions being delusion.
You scour the wicked off the earth like rust;
that is why I love Your decrees.
My whole being trembles before You,
Your rulings fill me with fear.

ע, Persevering in justice and virtue,
must I now be abandoned to my oppressors?
Guarantor of Your servant's well-being,
forbid the arrogant to oppress me!
My eyes are worn out looking for Your saving help,
for Your promise of righteousness to come.
Treat Your servant lovingly,
teach me Your statutes.
I am Your servant; if You will explain,
I shall embrace Your decrees.
Yahweh, now is the time to act,
Your Law is being broken.
Yes, I love Your commandments
more than gold, than purest gold.
Yes, I rule myself by all Your precepts;
I hate all deceptive paths.

פ, Your decrees are so wonderful
my soul cannot but respect them.
As Your Word unfolds, it gives light,
and the simple understand.
I open my mouth, panting
eagerly for Your commandments.
Turn to me, please, pity me,
as You should those who love Your name.
Direct my steps as You have promised,
let evil win no power over me.
Rescue me from human oppression;
I will observe Your precepts.
Treat Your servant kindly,
teach me Your statutes.
My eyes stream with tears,
because others disregard Your Law.

צ, Righteous, indeed, Yahweh!
And all Your rulings correct!
The decrees You impose, how righteous,
how absolutely faithful!
Zeal for Your house devours me,
since my oppressors forget Your Word.
But Your promise is well tested,
and Your servant holds it dear.
Puny and despised as I am,
I do not forget Your precepts.
Your righteousness is eternal righteousness,
Your Law holds true for ever.
Though distress and anguish grip me,
Your commandments are my delight.
Eternally righteous, Your decrees—
explain them to me, and I shall live.

ק, Sincere, my call—Yahweh, answer me!
I will respect Your statutes.
I invoke You, save me,
I will observe Your decrees.
I am up before dawn to call for help,
I put my hope in Your Word.
I lie awake throughout the night,
to mediate on Your promise.
In Your love, Yahweh, listen to my voice,
let Your rulings give me life.
My cruel persecutors are closing in,
how remote they are from Your Law!
But, Yahweh, You are closer still
and all Your commandments are true.
Long have I known that Your decrees
were founded to last forever.

ר, Take not of my suffering and rescue me,
for I do not forget Your Law.
Take up my cause, defend me,
give me life as You have promised.
You will never save the wicked,
if they do not study Your statutes,
but many are Your mercies to me, Yahweh,
by Your rulings give me life.
Many hound me and oppress me,
but I do not swerve from Your decrees.
The sight of these renegades disgusts me,
they do not observe Your promise;
but, Yahweh, see how I love Your precepts,
and lovingly give me life.
Faithfulness is the essence of Your Word,
Your righteous rulings hold good for ever.

ש, Unjustifiably though princes hound me,
Your Word is what fills me with dread.
I rejoice in Your promise,
like someone on finding a vast treasure.
I hate, I detest, delusion;
Your Law is what I love.
Seven times daily I praise You
for Your righteous rulings.
Universal peace for those who love Your Law,
no stumbling blocks for them!
Waiting for You, Yahweh, my Savior,
I fulfill Your commandments.
My soul observes Your decrees;
these I wholly love.
I observe Your precepts, your decrees;
You know how I keep to Your paths.

ת, Yahweh, may my cry approach Your presence;
let Your Word endow me with perception!
May my entreaty reach Your presence;
rescue me as You have promised.
May my lips proclaim Your praise,
since You teach me Your statutes.
May my tongue recite Your promise,
since all Your commandments are righteous.
May Your hand be there to help me,
since I have chosen Your precepts.
I long for You, Yahweh, my Savior,
Your Law is my delight.
Long may my soul live to praise You,
long be Your rulings my help!
I am wandering like a lost sheep:
come and look for Your servant.

No, I have never forgotten Your commandments.

Next… Day 27 — Psalm 120

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