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Psalms 119:9-16

Context

ב (Bet)

119:9 How can a young person 1  maintain a pure life? 2 

By guarding it according to your instructions! 3 

119:10 With all my heart I seek you.

Do not allow me to stray from your commands!

119:11 In my heart I store up 4  your words, 5 

so I might not sin against you.

119:12 You deserve praise, 6  O Lord!

Teach me your statutes!

119:13 With my lips I proclaim

all the regulations you have revealed. 7 

119:14 I rejoice in the lifestyle prescribed by your rules 8 

as if 9  they were riches of all kinds. 10 

119:15 I will meditate on 11  your precepts

and focus 12  on your behavior. 13 

119:16 I find delight 14  in your statutes;

I do not forget your instructions. 15 

1 tn Heb “young man.” Hebrew wisdom literature often assumes and reflects the male-oriented perspective of ancient Israelite society. The principle of the psalm is certainly applicable to all people, regardless of their gender or age. To facilitate modern application, the gender specific “young man” has been translated with the more neutral “young person.”

2 tn Heb “purify his path.”

3 tn Heb “by keeping according to your word.” Many medieval Hebrew mss as well as the LXX read the plural, “your words.”

4 tn Or “hide.”

5 tn Heb “your word.” Some medieval Hebrew mss as well as the LXX read the plural, “your words.”

6 tn Heb “[are] blessed.”

7 tn Heb “of your mouth.”

8 tn Heb “in the way of your rules.”

9 tn Heb “as upon,” meaning “as if” (see 2 Chr 32:19).

10 tn Heb “all wealth.” The phrase refers to all kinds of wealth and riches. See Prov 1:13; 6:31; 24:4; Ezek 27:12, 18.

11 tn The cohortative verbal forms in this verse express the psalmist’s resolve.

12 tn Heb “gaze [at].”

13 tn Heb “ways” (referring figuratively to God’s behavior here).

14 tn The imperfects in this verse emphasize the attitude the psalmist maintains toward God’s law. Another option is to translate with the future tense, “I will find delight…I will not forget.”

15 tn Heb “your word.” Many medieval Hebrew mss as well as the LXX read the plural here.



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