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Psalms 119:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— ALEPH. Blessed are they that are perfect in the way, Who walk in the law of Jehovah.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— ALEPH. Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Aleph. How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— ALEPH. Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— ALEPH. Blessed are the perfect in the way, who walk in the law of Jehovah.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [ALEPH.] How happy the men of blameless life, who walk in the law of Yahweh.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— [Aleph.] O the happiness of those perfect in the way, They are walking in the law of Jehovah,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[ALEPH.]] Blessed [are] the vndefiled in the way: who walke in the Law of the LORD.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[Hallelujah{gr.Alleluia}.]] Blessed are the blameless in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— ALEPH. Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of Yahweh.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
ALEPH. Blessed 835
{0835} Prime
From H0833; happiness; only in masculine plural construction as interjection, how happy!.
[are] the undefiled 8549
{8549} Prime
From H8552; entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth.
in the way, 1870
{1870} Prime
From H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively a course of life or mode of action, often adverbially.
who walk 1980
{1980} Prime
Akin to H3212; a primitive root; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
in the law 8451
{8451} Prime
From H3384; a precept or statute, especially the Decalogue or Pentateuch.
of Yhw יָהוֶה. 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 119:1

_ _ Psalms 119:1-176. This celebrated Psalm has several peculiarities. It is divided into twenty-two parts or stanzas, denoted by the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each stanza contains eight verses, and the first letter of each verse is that which gives name to the stanza. Its contents are mainly praises of God’s Word, exhortations to its perusal, and reverence for it, prayers for its proper influence, and complaints of the wicked for despising it. There are but two verses (Psalms 119:122, Psalms 119:132) which do not contain some term or description of God’s Word. These terms are of various derivations, but here used, for the most part, synonymously, though the use of a variety of terms seems designed, in order to express better the several aspects in which our relations to the revealed word of God are presented. The Psalm does not appear to have any relation to any special occasion or interest of the Jewish Church or nation, but was evidently “intended as a manual of pious thoughts, especially for instructing the young, and its peculiar artificial structure was probably adopted to aid the memory in retaining the language.”

Aleph. (Psalm 119:1-8).

_ _ undefiled — literally, “complete,” perfect, or sincere (compare Psalms 37:37).

_ _ in — or, “of”

_ _ the way — course of life.

_ _ walk — act

_ _ in the law — according to it (compare Luke 1:6).

_ _ law — from a word meaning “to teach,” is a term of rather general purport, denoting the instruction of God’s Word.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 119:1-3

_ _ The psalmist here shows that godly people are happy people; they are, and shall be, blessed indeed. Felicity is the thing we all pretend to aim at and pursue. He does not say here wherein it consists; it is enough for us to know what we must do and be that we may attain to it, and that we are here told. All men would be happy, but few take the right way; God has here laid before us the right way, which we may be sure will end in happiness, though it be strait and narrow. Blessednesses are to the righteous; all manner of blessedness. Now observe the characters of the happy people. Those are happy, 1. Who make the will of God the rule of all their actions, and govern themselves, in their whole conversation, by that rule: They walk in the law of the Lord, Psalms 119:1. God's word is a law to them, not only in this or that instance, but in the whole course of their conversation; they walk within the hedges of that law, which they dare not break through by doing any thing it forbids; and they walk in the paths of that law, which they will not trifle in, but press forward in them towards the mark, taking every step by rule and never walking at all adventures. This is walking in God's ways (Psalms 119:3), the ways which he has marked out to us and has appointed us to walk in. It will not serve us to make religion the subject of our discourse, but we must make it the rule of our walk; we must walk in his ways, not in the way of the world, or of our own hearts, Job 23:10, Job 23:11; Job 31:7. 2. Who are upright and honest in their religion — undefiled in the way, not only who keep themselves pure from the pollutions of actual sin, unspotted from the world, but who are habitually sincere in their intentions, in whose spirit there is no guile, who are really as good as they seem to be and row the same way as they look. 3. Who are true to the trust reposed in them as God's professing people. It was the honour of the Jews that to them were committed the oracles of God; and blessed are those who preserve pure and entire that sacred deposit, who keep his testimonies as a treasure of inestimable value, keep them as the apple of their eye, so keep them as to carry the comfort of them themselves to another world and leave the knowledge and profession of them to those who shall come after them in this world. Those who would walk in the law of the Lord must keep his testimonies, that is, his truths. Those will not long make conscience of good practices who do not adhere to good principles. Or his testimonies may denote his covenant; the ark of the covenant is called the ark of the testimony. Those do not keep covenant with God who do not keep the commandments of God. 4. Who have a single eye to God as their chief good and highest end in all they do in religion (Psalms 119:2): They seek him with their whole heart. They do not seek themselves and their own things, but God only; this is that which they aim at, that God may be glorified in their obedience and that they may be happy in God's acceptance. he is, and will be, the rewarder, the reward, of all those who thus seek him diligently, seek him with the heart, for that is it that God looks at and requires; and with the whole heart, for if the heart be divided between him and the world it is faulty. 5. Who carefully avoid all sin (Psalms 119:3): They do no iniquity; they do not allow themselves in any sin; they do not commit it as those do who are the servants of sin; they do not make a practice of it, do not make a trade of it. They are conscious to themselves of much iniquity that clogs them in the ways of God, but not of that iniquity which draws them out of those ways. Blessed and holy are those who thus exercise themselves to have always consciences void of offence.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 119:1

ALEPH. Blessed [are] (a) the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.

(a) Here they are not called blessed who think themselves wise in their own judgment, nor who imagine to themselves a certain holiness, but they whose conversation is without hypocrisy.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 3560, bc 444 (Title), This Psalm, which was probably composed by Ezra, is another of the alphabetical Psalms. It consists of twenty-two parts, answering to the number of the Hebrew letters; every part being divided into eight verses, and each verse beginning with that letter which forms the title of the part; that is, the first part of eight verses with א, the second with ב, etc. It is an elegant, important, and useful composition; the chief subjects of which are the excellence of God's laws, and the happiness of those who observe them.


Psalms 1:1-3 Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. ... And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalms 32:1-2 [[[A Psalm] of David, Maschil.]] Blessed [is he whose] transgression [is] forgiven, [whose] sin [is] covered. ... Blessed [is] the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit [there is] no guile.
Psalms 112:1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed [is] the man [that] feareth the LORD, [that] delighteth greatly in his commandments.
Psalms 128:1 [[A Song of degrees.]] Blessed [is] every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
Matthew 5:3-12 Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ... Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Revelation 22:14 Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

or, perfect, or sincere,
2 Kings 20:3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done [that which is] good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
2 Chronicles 31:20-21 And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought [that which was] good and right and truth before the LORD his God. ... And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did [it] with all his heart, and prospered.
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and [toward] men.
2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, ... Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;


Ezekiel 11:20 That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Hosea 14:9 Who [is] wise, and he shall understand these [things]? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD [are] right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.
Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort [you] by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, [so] ye would abound more and more. ... For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

2K 20:3. 2Ch 31:20. Jb 1:1, 8. Ps 1:1; 32:1; 112:1; 128:1. Ezk 11:20. Ho 14:9. Mt 5:3. Lk 1:6; 11:28. Jn 1:47; 13:17. Ac 24:16. 2Co 1:12. 1Th 4:1. Tit 2:11. Jm 1:25. Rv 22:14.

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I'm teaching my Sunday School class a little Hebrew by going over Ps. 119. They've never studied it before, but are interested. So glad to have found It is a great help!
- Lianiel (7/18/2013 5:00:13 PM) []
The word אשרי , the first word of psalm 119 is almost universally translated as "Blessed". However that is a bit of a problem, because we don't usually employ the word "Blessed" in our ordinary non-religious conversations, or even in our non-religious literature. We really don't know the meaning of the Hebrew word אשרי , or of the English word used to translate it, "Blessed". We just have a picture in our minds of someone smiling, with a beatific glow. So the modern translators, looking for a nice convenient single word chose the well-used modern word "happy" Problem. Big problem. If we go to the root of happy, it meant originally, favored by the pagan idol named by the first three letters of that word. Ew. Almost the opposite of the picture of the glowing smiling saint - we have a picture of the head bobbing hedonist who is very happy to have won the lottery. So what of the etymological root of the word אשרי ? The Hebrew root is asher, אשר , which means flat, plain, straight, and upright. אשר also is used as a pointer, an arrow, going directly from one point to another. It is translated as which or that or who. I use the word upright or straight. Praiseworthy is another fairly good translation. But neither of those words gives quite the personal sense of blessed or happy. But surely there is joy, contentment and gladness associated with the status of being upright and straight.
- AnneLark (2/28/2012 9:37:28 PM) []
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