19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect
and preserves one’s life. 1
and impart wisdom to the inexperienced. 4
and make one joyful. 6
and give insight for life. 9
and endure forever. 11
The judgments given by the Lord are trustworthy
and absolutely just. 12
than even a great amount of pure gold;
they bring greater delight 14 than honey,
than even the sweetest honey from a honeycomb.
those who obey them receive a rich reward. 16
Please do not punish me for sins I am unaware of. 18
1 tn Heb “[it] restores life.” Elsewhere the Hiphil of שׁוּב (shuv, “return”) when used with נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh, “life”) as object, means to “rescue or preserve one’s life” (Job 33:30; Ps 35:17) or to “revive one’s strength” (emotionally or physically; cf. Ruth 4:15; Lam 1:11, 16, 19). Here the point seems to be that the law preserves the life of the one who studies it by making known God’s will. Those who know God’s will know how to please him and can avoid offending him. See v. 11a.
2 tn Traditionally, “the testimony of the
3 tn God’s covenant contains a clear, reliable witness to his moral character and demands.
4 tn Or “the [morally] naive,” that is, the one who is young and still in the process of learning right from wrong and distinguishing wisdom from folly.
5 tn Or “just.” Perhaps the idea is that they impart a knowledge of what is just and right.
6 tn Heb “[they] make happy [the] heart.” Perhaps the point is that they bring a sense of joyful satisfaction to the one who knows and keeps them, for those who obey God’s law are richly rewarded. See v. 11b.
7 tn Heb “command.” The singular here refers to the law as a whole.
8 tn Because they reflect God’s character, his commands provide a code of moral and ethical purity.
9 tn Heb [they] enlighten [the] eyes.
10 tn Heb “the fear of the
11 tn Heb “[it] stands permanently.”
12 sn Trustworthy and absolutely just. The Lord’s commands accurately reflect God’s moral will for his people and are an expression of his just character.
13 tn Heb “more desirable.”
15 tn Heb “moreover your servant is warned by them.”
16 tn Heb “in the keeping of them [there is] a great reward.”
17 tn Heb “Errors who can discern?” This rhetorical question makes the point that perfect moral discernment is impossible to achieve. Consequently it is inevitable that even those with good intentions will sin on occasion.
18 tn Heb “declare me innocent from hidden [things],” i.e., sins. In this context (see the preceding line) “hidden” sins are not sins committed in secret, but sins which are not recognized as such by the psalmist.