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Your hands made and formed me

Make me discern, that I may learn your commandments.

May those who fear you see me and rejoice,

for I hope as you have spoken.

Lord, I know, your judgments are just:

you afflicted me in faithfulness.

Oh, let your kindness be comfort to me,

As you promised your servant.

Let your mercies come to me, and it shall be

For I delight in your law.

May the mockers be ashamed for they twist me with lies,

Still I ponder and pray over your precepts.

Those who fear you will turn to me

And then will know your testimony.

Let my heart be blameless in your precepts

So that I will not be put to shame.

Hebrew Text & Notes 

יָדֶ֣יךָ עָ֭שׂוּנִי וַֽיְכוֹנְנ֑וּנִי

Your hands – plural construct; pronominal suffix

They made me: Qal perfect, pronominal suffix

And they established me: waw + polel imperfect form, kun, to establish, set up. The two verbs are joined as parallel.

“Your hands” is a phrase commonly used in the OT to refer to God’s work of creating and upholding, see, e.g., Exodus 15:17, Psalm 8:7, Psalm 92:5, Job 10:8, et cetera.


הֲ֝בִינֵ֗נִי וְאֶלְמְדָ֥ה מִצְוֹתֶֽיךָ׃

Cause me to discern and I will learn your commandments

Hifil imperative: bin: to discern. Thus, causing the event of understanding, discernment.

The prayer for discernment leads to the end of learning. The things learned as the commandment of God.  An imperative followed by a waw + imperfect sets for the purpose of the imperative.

And yet the prophet does not call upon God, as if He were under any obligations to him; but, knowing that God never forsakes the work which he has begun, he simply asks for new grace, by which God may carry on to perfection what he has commenced. We have need of the assistance of the law, since all that is sound in our understandings is corrupted; so that we cannot perceive what is right, unless we are taught from some other source. But our blindness and stupidity are still more strikingly manifest, from the fact that teaching will avail us nothing, until our souls are renewed by Divine grace. What I have previously said must be borne in mind.. That whenever the prophet prays for understanding being imparted to him, in order to his learning the Divine commandments, he condemns both himself and all mankind as in a state of blindness; for which the only remedy is the illumination of the Holy Spirit.


John Calvin, Psalms, electronic ed., Calvin’s Commentaries (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1998), Ps 119:73.

יְ֭רֵאֶיךָ יִרְא֣וּנִי וְיִשְׂמָ֑חוּ

Those who fear you: nominative + pronominal suffix.

They will see me: Imperfect + pronominal sufficx.

And they will rejoice.

כִּ֖י לִדְבָרְךָ֣ יִחָֽלְתִּי׃

Ki sets out the basis for the prior clause.

Lamed designates the direct object of the hope.

Imperfect: I hope (in) or wait for. The concepts are tying bound in this verb.


יָדַ֣עְתִּי יְ֭הוָה כִּי־צֶ֣דֶק מִשְׁפָּטֶ֑יךָ

I know YHWH that righteous [are] your judgments/determinations

The ki sets out the content of the knowledge

Your judgments: construct, pronomoninal suffix.


וֶ֝אֱמוּנָ֗ה עִנִּיתָֽנִי׃

And [in] faithfulness/trustworthiness you have afflicted me.

Emunha: Used 49 times in the OT. It can refer to something which doesn’t move, such as Moses’ hands in Exodus 17:12. Or one who is trustworthy (2 Kings 22:7) or truth (Jeremiah 5:1)  When used of God it refers to his faithfulness:  “A God of faithfulness” (Deuteronomy 32:4), Psalm 36:6, Psalm 89:2.

Ribba accent sets up the relationship between the noun and the verb.

He knows that God’s acts of judgment are pure righteousness, i.e., regulated by God’s holiness, out of which they spring, and by the salvation of men, at which they aim; and he knows that God has humbled him אֱמוּנָה (accus. adverb. for בֶּאֱמוּנָה), being faithful in His intentions towards him; for it is just in the school of affliction that one first learns rightly to estimate the worth of His word, and comes to feel its power.

In ver. 75 it is not God Himself who is called אֱמוּנָה after Deut. 32:4 (Hengst.). The word is employed either as an adverbial accusative: in fidelity (most), or as in apposition and parallel to צֶדֶק, the following word becoming a relative clause, attached at the end of the verse (Hupf.).


John Peter Lange, Philip Schaff, Carl Bernhard Moll, et al., A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Psalms (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 591.

Ver. 75.—I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right; literally, are righteousness—have in them nothing that is not just and good. And that in faithfulness thou hast afflicted me. The Prayer-book Version brings out the full sense of the words, “And that thou in very faithfulness hast caused me to be troubled” (comp. vers. 67, 68, 71, with the comment furnished by Heb. 12:5–11†).


H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Psalms, vol. 3, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 107.

יְהִי־נָ֣א חַסְדְּךָ֣ לְנַחֲמֵ֑נִי

Please let it be your hesed to comfort me.

The piel infinitive construct with the lamed indicates the purpose or result of the hesed: Let your hesed be to comfort me. The piel will emphasis the state coming to pass.

In v 76 חסד, “loyal love,” in the form of deliverance (cf. v 41) is now requested for Yahweh’s עבד, “servant,” a bonding combination that also occurs in Pss 31:17 (16); 69:17–18 (16–17); 143:12. V 78a reverts to the motif of v 69. A contrast with v 75 is intended, though whether the enemies’ slander is a consequence of the divine humbling or an aspect of it is not clear (Klopfenstein, Lüge, 64, 65).

Leslie C. Allen, Psalms 101–150 (Revised), vol. 21, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), 189.

76. I beseech thee let thy goodness be for my consolation. Although he has acknowledged that he had been justly humbled, yet he desires that his sorrow may be alleviated by some consolation. He implores God’s mercy, as what was essentially necessary to relieve and cure his miseries. He thus shows that nothing can remove sorrow from the faithful, until they feel that God is reconciled to them. In the Word in which God offers his mercy, there is to be found no small comfort for healing all the grief to which men are liable. But the Psalmist is now speaking of actual mercy, if I may use that term, when God by the very deed declares the favor which he has promised. Confiding in the Divine promise, he already cherished in his heart a joy, proceeding from the hope of receiving the communications of Divine grace. But as all our hope would end in mere disappointment, did not God at length appear as our deliverer, he requests the performance of that which God had promised him. Lord, as if he had said, since thou hast graciously promised to be ready to succor me, be pleased to make good thy word in effect. The observation which I have previously made ought to be remembered, That it is not in vain to remind God of his promise. It would be presumption for men to come into His presence, did he not, of his own mere good pleasure, open up the way for them. When the Psalmist says, to thy servant, he does not claim God’s mercy exclusively to himself, as if it had. been promised to him alone by some special oracle; but he applies to himself what God has promised to the whole Church, which it is the peculiar province of faith to do; for unless I believe that I am one of those to whom God addresses himself in his word, so that his promises belong to me in common with others, I will never have the confidence to call upon him.


John Calvin, Psalms, electronic ed., Calvin’s Commentaries (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1998), Ps 119:76.


כְּאִמְרָתְךָ֥ לְעַבְדֶּֽךָ׃

According to your word to your servant

The “word” here is something given before upon which the psalmist hopes, hence, a “promise”.

But trouble, though sweetened by an insight into God’s salutary design, is nevertheless always bitter; hence the well- justified prayer of v. 76, that God’s mercy may notwithstanding be bestowed upon him for his consolation, in accordance with the promise which is become his (לְ as in 49a), His servant’s.



יְבֹא֣וּנִי רַחֲמֶ֣יךָ וְאֶֽחְיֶ֑ה

Let them come/go out to me your comforts/compassions and it shall be

Let them come/go: The form is imperfect, the meaning jussive.

Your compassions/mercies: Used in prayers of repentance/for grace:  Psalm 25:6, “Remember your mercy ….remember not the sins of my youth”

Psalm 40:12, a prayer for deliverance.

Psalm 51:3, a prayer of repentance and for mercy.

Psalm 69:17, a prayer for deliverance.

Psalm 79:8, a prayer for mercy despite former sins.

Daniel 9:18, a prayer for repentance and mercy despite sin:

18 O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. Daniel 9:18 (ESV)

כִּי־תֽ֝וֹרָתְךָ֗ שַֽׁעֲשֻׁעָֽי׃

For (in) your torah I delight

Ki is causal.

Delight is used in Psalm 119:24, 77, 92 & 143.


יֵבֹ֣שׁוּ זֵ֭דִים כִּי־שֶׁ֣קֶר עִוְּת֑וּנִי

Let them be ashamed (the) insolent ones, for lyingly they subvert me

The sheqer is adverbial (Zemek, 202).

‘wt in the piel means to bend or twist, hence, subvert

אֲ֝נִ֗י אָשִׂ֥יחַ בְּפִקּוּדֶֽיךָ

But I meditate upon your precepts.

Shyh: has an idea of being consumed with some idea, whether to speak, praise, lament, meditate, muse, et cetera.

Ver. 78.—Let the proud be ashamed; i.e. put them to shame (comp. Pss. 35:4, 26; 40:14; 70:2; 83:17, etc.). For they dealt perversely with me without a cause; rather, for with lies they subvert me (comp. ver. 69). But I will meditate in thy precepts. Repeated from ver. 15.


H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Psalms, vol. 3, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 107.


יָשׁ֣וּבוּ לִ֣י יְרֵאֶ֑יךָ

Let them turn to me those who fear you

וְ֝יֹדְ֯עֵ֗ו עֵדֹתֶֽיךָ׃

And they will know your testimonies.

This is a waw relative construction: “then”. See discussion in Waltke & OConnor, 32.1 et seq. Page 525 “In most instances we in this construction is equivalent to English ‘then’.”

Ver. 79.—Let those that fear thee turn unto me; or, “return to me;” i.e. recover their confidence in me, when they see that I am not forsaken of thee (see vers. 76, 77), but am the recipient of thy “tender mercies.” And those that have known thy testimonies; or, according to another reading, “and let them know thy testimonies;” i.e. “let them learn from my experience to know thy precepts better.”


H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Psalms, vol. 3, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 107.

יְהִֽי־לִבִּ֣י תָמִ֣ים בְּחֻקֶּ֑יךָ

Let it be to my heart perfect/blameless in your precepts

May my heart be blameless in your statutes: i.e., may I be the blessed man in the first verse.

לְ֝מַ֗עַן לֹ֣א אֵבֽוֹשׁ׃

That not I will be ashamed.

Again echoing the first stanza, Psalm 119:5-6.