PSALM 119:49-56  


PSALM 119:49-56


The zayin file: Every verse begins with this letter.
The letter zayin means a sword and in this context it represents spiritual conflict.

Verse 49, The Confidence Entry

1. Remember: the verb is zAkar as a qal imperative; the imperative of humility that is a faith-rest appeal to God’s faithfulness through His word.
Word, is dAbhAr and here, refers to specific truth for dealing with the attack of darkness.
To your servant repeats the orientation that this believer has to his service responsibility as previously reflected in the Service File.  Service Humility

2. in which you have made me hope: The verb is yAchal as a piel perfect and means to wait with confidence. God’s magnificence and consistency (faithfulness) is what directs me to His word.
Because my confidence in your word is genuine, I can faith-rest that your word will accomplish its purpose in my life. The principle of Isaiah 55:11.

“So shall my word be which goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

However, this is not an absolute statement of success for THE BELIEVER. Experiential blessing always depends on the believer’s personal knowledge and application of God’s word in his life.

BUT – as here – for the believer who IS applying God’s word in his life, that believer can have absolute confidence that God’s word will accomplish its work in the soul.

1 Thessalonians 2:13-14, “the Word of God, which also energizes itself in you who believe, FOR you, brethren became imitators” as evidenced in your endurance.


Verse 50, The Comfort Entry

1. This is my comfort: the word is nechAmAh and refers to a positive mental attitude which relaxes in the character and plan of God regardless of the pressure one is facing.

The affliction this believer is under is primarily, the attack from the darkness system by way of persecution. However, it certainly includes the pressures faced in the physical environment that comes from the uncertainties of his sojourning status.

The word is `oniy. It comes from the verb, `AnAh, which means to be bowed down or be under pressure. It also occurs at verse 92 and 153.

2. That your word has maintained my quality of life: The comfort that he has is the fact that God’s word has continued to sustain his soul.

God’s imrAh (word) refers to the factors of God’s character revealed through His promises. The verb is chAyAh as a piel perfect. It indicates the preservation of the believer’s QUALLITY of life rather than preserving physical life. The experience of eternal life blessings IN TIME (here on earth) is realized through knowledge and application of God’s word.

Verse 92, “if your law has not been my delight, then I would have perished in my affliction.”

This is not talking about staying alive, but about maintaining abundant life reality in the face of pressure; peace, joy and inner stability.

See Proverbs 6:22-23, “when you walk about they (God’s word) guide you.”
Job 29:3, “by His light I walked through darkness.”


Verse 51, The Persecution Entry

1. The arrogant ones: zādh is the same word as at verse 21; ones who turn away from God’s commandments.
Verse 69, they lie  (verse 86)

Verse 78, they lie in order to subvert
Verse 85, they dig pits and their character is not according to God’s law.
Verse 122, they oppress
Verse 126, they break God’s law

Here, they utterly deride me: The verb is liyts and means to show scorn by expressing very emotional, verbal attacks on someone. The adverb, utterly, is `adh meodh and indicates great intensity.

2. I do not turn aside from your law: The verb is nAtAh as a qal PERFECT tense. It should be, “I have not turned aside.” It is a COMPLETED action as in a past action; an action that he has maintained and continues to maintain in the face of the persecution.

(For immediate comparison with regard to this translation issue, just compare with the next verse where the verb, remember, is ALSO a qal perfect, and is properly translated in the NASB, as a “past” or “completed” idea, “I have remembered.”

The word, law, is torAh again, and refers to divine instruction for human living.
The conflict always centers around God’s standards vs. the creature’s standards.


Verse 52, The Justice Entry – comfort in persecution

1. I have remembered: The verb is zAkar and repeats this believers total occupation with the word of God as the source and sustainer of spiritual life blessings and security.
Ordinances is mishpAt and refers to God’s standards of justice.

From of old: that which has been provided for God’s people from the beginning.
See Genesis 18:19, “I have chosen him that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of Yahweh by doing righteousness and justice.”

And Genesis 26:5, “Abraham obeyed Me and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws.”

2. and comfort myself: the verb is nAcham and refers to the cultivation of a positive mental attitude through confidence in the character and plan of God. Also see verse 50.


Verse 53, The Zeal Entry

  1. burning indignation: the word is zalAphAh and occurs only 3 times
    A. physical heat and pressure at Psalm 11:6 and Lamentations 5:10
    B. Here, it is figurative for intense zeal and anger.
  2. has seized me: the verb is Achaz as a qal perfect. Has grabbed me and possesses me with the idea of control.
  3. because of the wicked: rAshA occurs 6 times in this psalm (v. 61, 95, 110, 119, 155). The word means someone who has broken a moral or spiritual standard and based on that standard is therefore considered, an evil doer; a wicked or evil person.
  4. Who forsake Your law: The verb is `Azabh and means to reject or turn away from.
    TorAh again, refers to God’s instruction and guidance for life.

The wicked:
Have a negative attitude toward God and his word.  Verse 53
Have a negative attitude toward this believer.  Verses 61, 95 and 110.
The wicked will be judged and removed from the earth.  verse 119
The wicked have no recourse to find deliverance from the pressures of life. Verse 155.


Verse 54, The Testimony Entry

1. Your statutes are my songs: The word chOq refers to doctrinal decrees for conforming to the Creator’s policy. The word, songs, communicates both personal enjoyment and proclamation of truth to those around him.

2. in the house of my pilgrimage: The word mAgOr is plural and refers to sojourningS.
It indicates once again the temporary nature of his life on earth (V. 19), as well as the wandering nature of his existence at the present time.

In either case, the communication of God’s word via SONGS is a relaxing way to bear testimony to His character and plan.


Verse 55, The Obedience Entry

1. I remember Your name in the night: This refers to mental occupation with the character and plan of God based on previously learned truth. The word, NAME, is that which represents God’s character and reputation.

Night refers to the time when life “slows down” and the soul is more acutely aware of pressure situations in life, and more in need of the divine perspective to keep the believer focused on God’s character and plan.

2. and keep your law: ShAmar means to guard, preserve, follow. The remembrance of previously learned Truth assists the believer to keep focused on God’s character and plan, and to maintain his dedication attitude in the face of all the realities of life.

TorAh again, refers to instruction, guidance, teaching, law.



Verse 56, The Study Entry

1. This has become mine:  The THIS, refers to the consistent focus on truth mentioned next. The verb, hAyAh as a qal perfect + the prepositional phrase, “to me,” indicates what is the primary concern in this believer’s life. It speaks of PRIORITY and volitional dedication.

2. THAT: the preposition, kiy, is used to state what his priority is.

3. I observe your precepts: The verb, nAtsar is used to indicate examination and concentration on learning – not “observing.” The idea of observing or DOING or KEEPING is presented by the verb, shAmar, as in the previous verse.

Precepts is piqqudh, and as we have seen before, it refers to the standards of truth assigned to perpetuate the believer’s quality of life.

This issue of dedication to learning God’s word is perpetuated into the next FILE which speaks of a restricted life style in order to promote the character and plan of God.



1. Verse 49, The Confidence Entry: True confidence in life comes only through focusing on God’s word.

2. Verse 50, The Comfort Entry: In any pressure situation, God’s word has the capacity to comfort the soul.

3. Verse 51, The Persecution Entry: The functional believer does not  turn away from the truth in the face of persecution.

4. Verse 52, The Justice Entry:  Remembrance of how God administrates his justice is a source of great comfort to the oriented believer.

5. Verse 53, The Zeal Entry: Righteous indignation is a bona fide expression for the functional believer.

6. Verse 54, The Testimony Entry:  Music is a source of testimonial impact to the unbelieving world.

7. Verse 55, The Obedience Entry:  Knowledge of God’s word and occupation with His character motivates obedience.

8. Verse 56, The Study Entry:  For the functional believer, the most valuable thing is life is the pursuit of God’s word.


Questions and comments are always welcome

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