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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 119

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A Prayer to God, the Lawgiver


1Happy those whose way is blameless, who walk by the teaching of the LORD. h Pss 1, 1–2; 15, 2; 112, 1 . 2Happy those who observe God's decrees, who seek the LORD with all their heart. i Dt 4, 29 . 3They do no wrong; they walk in God's ways. 4You have given them the command to keep your precepts with care. 5May my ways be firm in the observance of your laws! 6Then I will not be ashamed to ponder all your commands. 7I will praise you with sincere heart as I study your just edicts. 8I will keep your laws; do not leave me all alone.


9How can the young walk without fault? Only by keeping your words. 10With all my heart I seek you; do not let me stray from your commands. 11In my heart I treasure your promise, that I may not sin against you. 12Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your laws. j Pss 25, 4; 27, 11; 86, 11; 143, 8. 143, 10 . 13With my lips I recite all the edicts you have spoken. 14I find joy in the way of your decrees more than in all riches. 15I will ponder your precepts and consider your paths. 16In your laws I take delight; I will never forget your word.


17Be kind to your servant that I may live, that I may keep your word. 18Open my eyes to see clearly the wonders of your teachings. 19I am a sojourner in the land; k Ps 39, 13 . * do not hide your commands from me. 20At all times my soul is stirred with longing for your edicts. 21With a curse you rebuke the proud who stray from your commands. 22Free me from disgrace and contempt, for I observe your decrees. 23Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant studies your laws. 24Your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors.


25I lie prostrate in the dust; l Ps 44, 26 . give me life in accord with your word. 26I disclosed my ways and you answered me; teach me your laws. 27Make me understand the way of your precepts; I will ponder your wondrous deeds. 28I weep in bitter pain; in accord with your word to strengthen me. 29Lead me from the way of deceit; favor me with your teaching. 30The way of loyalty I have chosen; I have set your edicts before me. 31I cling to your decrees, LORD; do not let me come to shame. 32I will run the way of your commands, for you open my docile heart.*


33 LORD, teach me the way of your laws; I shall observe them with care. m Ps 19, 12 . 34Give me insight to observe your teaching, to keep it with all my heart. 35Lead me in the path of your commands, n Pss 25, 4; 27, 11; 86, 11; 143, 8. 143, 10 . for that is my delight. 36Direct my heart toward your decrees and away from unjust gain. 37Avert my eyes from what is worthless; by your way give me life. 38For your servant fulfill your promise made to those who fear you. 39Turn away from me the taunts I dread, for your edicts bring good. 40See how I long for your precepts; in your justice give me life.


41Let your love come to me, LORD, salvation in accord with your promise. 42Let me answer my taunters with a word, for I trust in your word. 43Do not take the word of truth from my mouth, for in your edicts is my hope. 44I will keep your teachings always, for all time and forever. 45I will walk freely in an open space because I cherish your precepts. 46I will speak openly of your decrees without fear even before kings. 47I delight in your commands, which I dearly love. 48I lift up my hands to your commands;* I study your laws, which I love.


49Remember your word to your servant by which you give me hope. 50This is my comfort in affliction, your promise that gives me life. 51Though the arrogant utterly scorn me, I do not turn from your teaching. 52When I recite your edicts of old I am comforted, LORD. 53Rage seizes me because of the wicked; they forsake your teaching. 54Your laws become my songs wherever I make my home. 55Even at night I remember your name in observance of your teaching, LORD. 56This is my good fortune, for I have observed your precepts.


57My portion is the LORD; I promise to keep your words. 58I entreat you with all my heart: have mercy on me in accord with your promise. 59I have examined my ways and turned my steps to your decrees. 60I am prompt, I do not hesitate in keeping your commands. 61Though the snares of the wicked surround me, your teaching I do not forget. 62At midnight I rise to praise you because your edicts are just. 63I am the friend of all who fear you, of all who keep your precepts. 64The earth, LORD, is filled with your love; o Ps 33, 5 . teach me your laws.


65You have treated your servant well, according to your word, O LORD. 66Teach me wisdom and knowledge, for in your commands I trust. 67Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I hold to your promise. 68You are good and do what is good; teach me your laws. 69The arrogant smear me with lies, but I observe your precepts with all my heart. 70Their hearts are gross and fat; p Pss 17, 10; 73, 7; Jb 15, 27 . as for me, your teaching is my delight. 71It was good for me to be afflicted, in order to learn your laws. 72Teaching from your lips is more precious to me than heaps of silver and gold.


73Your hands made me and fashioned me; give me insight to learn your commands. 74Those who fear you rejoice to see me, because I hope in your word. 75I know, LORD, that your edicts are just; though you afflict me, you are faithful. 76May your love comfort me in accord with your promise to your servant. 77Show me compassion that I may live, for your teaching is my delight. 78Shame the proud for oppressing me unjustly, that I may study your precepts. 79Let those who fear you turn to me, those who acknowledge your decrees. 80May I be wholehearted toward your laws, that I may not be put to shame.


81My soul longs for your salvation; I put my hope in your word. q Ps 130, 6 . 82My eyes long to see your promise. r Pss 25, 15; 123, 1–2; 141, 8 . When will you comfort me? 83I am like a wineskin shriveled by smoke, s Jb 30, 30 . but I have not forgotten your laws. 84How long can your servant survive? When will your edict doom my foes? 85The arrogant have dug pits for me; defying your teaching. 86All your commands are steadfast. Help me! I am pursued without cause. 87They have almost ended my life on earth, but I do not forsake your precepts. 88In your kindness give me life, to keep the decrees you have spoken.


89Your word, LORD, stands forever; t Is 40, 8 . * it is firm as the heavens. 90Through all generations your truth endures; fixed to stand firm like the earth. 91By your edicts they stand firm to this day, for all things are your servants. 92Had your teaching not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. 93I will never forget your precepts; through them you give me life. 94I am yours; save me, for I cherish your precepts. 95The wicked hope to destroy me, but I pay heed to your decrees. 96I have seen the limits of all perfection, but your command is without bounds.


97How I love your teaching, LORD! I study it all day long. 98Your command makes me wiser than my foes, for it is always with me. 99I have more understanding than all my teachers,because I ponder your decrees. 100I have more insight than my elders, because I observe your precepts. u Jb 32, 6; Wis 4, 8–9 . 101I keep my steps from every evil path, that I may obey your word. 102From your edicts I do not turn, for you have taught them to me. 103How sweet to my tongue is your promise, sweeter than honey to my mouth! v Ps 19, 11 . 104Through your precepts I gain insight; therefore I hate all false ways.


105Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path. w Ps 18, 29; Prv 6, 23 . 106I make a solemn vow to keep your just edicts. 107I am very much afflicted, LORD; give me life in accord with your word. 108Accept my freely offered praise; x Ps 50, 14. 23; Heb 13, 15 . LORD, teach me your decrees. 109My life is always at risk, but I do not forget your teaching. 110The wicked have set snares for me, but from your precepts I do not stray. 111Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. 112My heart is set on fulfilling your laws; they are my reward forever.


113I hate every hypocrite; your teaching I love. 114You are my refuge and shield; in your word I hope. 115Depart from me, you wicked, y Pss 6, 9; 139, 19; Jb 21, 14 . that I may observe the commands of my God. 116Sustain me by your promise that I may live; do not disappoint me in my hope. 117Strengthen me that I may be safe, ever to contemplate your laws. 118You reject all who stray from your laws, for vain is their deceit. 119Like dross you regard all the wicked on earth; therefore I love your decrees. 120My flesh shudders with dread of you; I hold your edicts in awe.


121I have fulfilled your just edict; do not abandon me to my oppressors. 122Guarantee your servant's welfare; do not let the arrogant oppress me. 123My eyes long to see your salvation and the justice of your promise. 124Act with kindness toward your servant; teach me your laws. 125I am your servant; give me discernment that I may know your decrees. 126It is time for the LORD to act; they have disobeyed your teaching. 127Truly I love your commands more than the finest gold. 128Thus I follow all your precepts; every wrong way I hate.


129Wonderful are your decrees; therefore I observe them. 130The revelation of your words sheds light, gives understanding to the simple. 131I sigh with open mouth, yearning for your commands. 132Turn to me and be gracious, z Pss 25, 16; 86, 16 . your edict for lovers of your name. 133Steady my feet in accord with your promise; do not let iniquity lead me. 134Free me from human oppression, that I may keep your precepts. 135Let your face shine upon your servant; teach me your laws. 136My eyes shed streams of tears because your teaching is not followed.


137You are righteous, LORD, and just are your edicts. a Tb 3, 2 . 138You have issued your decrees in justice and in surpassing faithfulness. 139I am consumed with rage, because my foes forget your words. 140Your servant loves your promise; it has been proved by fire. 141Though belittled and despised, I do not forget your precepts. 142Your justice is forever right, your teaching forever true. 143Though distress and anguish come upon me, your commands are my delight. 144Your decrees are forever just; give me discernment that I may live.


145I call with all my heart, O LORD; answer me that I may observe your laws. 146I call to you to save me that I may keep your decrees. 147I rise before dawn and cry out; I put my hope in your words. 148My eyes greet the night watches as I meditate on your promise. b Pss 63, 7; 77, 7 . 149Hear my voice in your love, O LORD; by your edict give me life. 150Malicious persecutors draw near me; they are far from your teaching. 151You are near, O LORD; reliable are all your commands. 152Long have I known from your decrees that you have established them forever.


153Look at my affliction and rescue me, for I have not forgotten your teaching. 154Take up my cause and redeem me; c Ps 43, 1 . for the sake of your promise give me life. 155Salvation is far from sinners because they do not cherish your laws. 156Your compassion is great, O LORD; in accord with your edicts give me life. 157Though my persecutors and foes are many I do not turn from your decrees. 158I view the faithless with loathing, d Ps 139, 22 . because they do not heed your promise. 159See how I love your precepts, LORD; in your kindness give me life. 160Your every word is enduring;all your just edicts are forever.


161Princes persecute me without reason, but my heart reveres only your word. 162I rejoice at your promise, as one who has found rich spoil. 163Falsehood I hate and abhor; your teaching I love. 164Seven times a day I praise you because your edicts are just. 165Lovers of your teaching have much peace; e Ps 72, 7 . for them there is no stumbling block. 166I look for your salvation, LORD, and I fulfill your commands. 167I observe your decrees; I love them very much. 168I observe your precepts and decrees; all my ways are before you.


169Let my cry come before you, LORD; f Ps 88, 3 . in keeping with your word give me discernment. 170Let my prayer come before you; rescue me according to your promise. 171May my lips pour forth your praise, because you teach me your laws. 172May my tongue sing of your promise, for all your commands are just. 173Keep your hand ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. 174I long for your salvation, LORD; your teaching is my delight. 175Let me live to praise you; may your edicts give me help. 176I have wandered like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, for I do not forget your commands. g Is 53, 6; Jer 50, 6; Lk 15, 1–7 .

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