THE TEN WORDS OF PSALM 119.

This Is Appendix 73 From The Companion Bible.

  The number of the words which are frequently repeated in Psalm 119 has been variously given and enumerated by expositors and commentators. It will be better to give them here on the authority of the Massorah (Appendix 30).

  The rubric on verse 122 is as follows: "Throughout the whole of the Great Alphabet [that is to say, the Alphabetic Psalm, 119] there is in every verse one of the following ten expressions: DEREK (= Way), 'EDUTH (= Testimony), PIKKUDIM (= Precepts), MIZVAH (= Commandment), 'IMRAH (= Saying), TORAH (= Law), MISHPAT (= Judgment), ZEDEK, ZeDAKAH, and ZADDIK (= Righteousness), HOK, and HUKKAH (= Statutes), DABAR (= Word), which correspond to the Ten Commandments; except one verse, in which there is none of these: namely, verse 122." (Massorah, Ginsburg's Edition, Volume II.)

  The following list includes all the "Ten Words" given above, with every occurrence in the Psalm, together with the first occurrence of each word.

 (i)  WAY (derek) is from darak, to tread with the feet, and denotes the act of walking. Hence it is used of a going, or way, or journeying. The first occurrence is Genesis 3:24. It occurs in this Psalm thirteen times: verses 1, 3, 5, 14, 26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33, 37, 59, 168.

 (ii)  TESTIMONIES ('eduth) is from 'ud, to turn back again, to go over again, to reiterate, hence, to testify. The first occurrence is Genesis 21:30 (edah). It occurs in this Psalm twenty-three times; nine times ('eduth), verses 14, 31, 36, 88, 99, 111, 129, 144, 157; fourteen times ('edah, feminine singular), verses 2, 22, 24, 46, 59, 79, 95, 119, 125, 138, 146, 152, 167, 168.

 (iii)  PRECEPTS (pikkudim) is from pakad, to take oversight or charge: hence, mandates enjoined on others. It occurs only in the Book of Psalms (see 19:8; 103:18; 111:7). In Psalm 119 twenty-one times: verses 4, 15, 27, 40, 45, 56, 63, 69, 78, 87, 93, 94, 100, 104, 110, 128, 134, 141, 159, 168, 173.

 (iv)  COMMANDMENTS (mizvah) is from zavah, to set up, constitute. Hence, constitutional commands. First occurrence Genesis 26:5. In Psalm 119 it occurs twenty-two times: verses 6, 10, 19, 21, 32, 35, 47, 48, 60, 66, 73, 86, 96 (singular), 98, 115, 127, 131, 143, 151, 166, 172, 176.

 (v)  WORD ('imrah) is from 'amar, to bring forth to light; hence, to say. The verb is very regularly followed by the words used; hence 'imrah means an utterance and the purport of it. Not the same as dabar (Number x below), which refers to the articulate utterance of it. The first occurrence is in Genesis 4:23, and is rendered "speech".
In plural only once, Psalm 12:6 (the only place where the plural is found). In Psalm 119 it occurs nineteen times: namely, 11, 38, 41, 50, 58, 67, 76, 82, 103, 116, 123, 133, 140, 148, 154, 158, 162, 170, 172. With dabar the two occur forty-two times.

 (vi)  LAW (torah) is from yarah, to project, issue: hence, to point out, to show (Proverbs 6:13). Then, to instruct, teach. The Torah contains Jehovah's Instructions to His People, pointing out to them His will. First occurrence is in Genesis 26:5 (plural). In Psalm 119 it occurs twenty-five times: always in the singular: namely, verses 1, 18, 29, 34, 44, 51, 53, 55, 61, 70, 72, 77, 85, 92, 97, 109, 113, 126, 136, 142, 150, 153, 163, 165, 174.

 (vii)  JUDGMENT (mishpat) is from shaphat, to set upright, erect (compare English right, and German richten and recht); hence, to judge. Mishpat means judgment. Its first occurrence is in Genesis 18:19 (in Jehovah's mouth). In Psalm 119 it occurs twenty-three times (always in plural, except four times), namely: verses 7, 13, 20, 30, 39, 43, 52, 62, 75, 84, 91 (ordinances), 102, 106, 108, 120, 121, 132 (as thou usest to do, see note), 137, 149, 156, 160, 164, 175.

 (viii)  RIGHTEOUSNESS, RIGHT, etc. (zedek, masculine), is from zadak, to be right, upright, just, righteous. Hence the noun means rightness. By comparing the first occurrence (Leviticus 19:15) with the second (Leviticus 19:36) we get the idea that the word has special reference to equal balancing. Zedek (masculine) occurs twelve times, and is rendered "righteousness": verses 123, 142 (second), 144, 172; "right", verse 75 (margin righteousness); "righteous" verses 7, 62, 106, 138, 160, 164; "justice", verse 121. Zedakah (feminine), first occurrence, Genesis 15:6. In Psalm 119, "righteousness", verses 40, 142 (first). Zaddik (adjective), spoken of a king (2Samuel 23:3), once, in verse 137. The three words fifteen times in all.

 (ix)  STATUTE (hok and hukka) is from hakak, to hew, cut in, engrave, inscribe; hence, to decree, or ordain. The noun = a decree or ordinance. First occurrence, Genesis 26:5 (hukkah feminine). In Psalm 119 it occurs twenty-two times: namely: verses 5, 8, 12, 16 (hukkah, feminine), 23, 26, 33, 48, 54, 64, 68, 71, 80, 83, 112, 117, 118, 124, 135, 145, 155, 171.

 (x)  WORD, WORDS (dabar), is from dabar, to arrange in a row; hence, to set forth in speech. It refers to the articulate form of what is said, whether spoken or written (compare v above); to the mode or manner by which the ipsissima verba are imparted. The first occurrence is in Genesis 11:1 ("speech"). In Psalm 119 it occurs twenty-four times, three of them in plural, namely: verses 9, 16, 17, 25, 28, 42 (twice), 43, 49, 57 (plural), 65, 74, 81, 89, 101, 105, 107, 114, 130 (plural), 139 (plural), 147, 160, 161, 169.

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