Psalm 119 – ל Lamedh

meditateLə·‘ō·w·lām, forever Your word will endure
eternal, O Lord, it is steadfast and sure.

Likewise Your faithfulness ever shall last
the earth You’ve established and it will stand fast.

Laws You establish remain true today
for all You have made must do all that You say.

Likely it is that I would have been dead
except I delighted in Your law instead.

Life You have given through learning Your ways
I will not forget them for all of my days.

Liberate and save me for I am Yours
Your precepts I seek and Your laws underscore.

Lying in wait, wicked seek to destroy
Your teachings I’ll ponder they bring me much joy.

Limits there are to perfection, I see
but from boundaries Your commandments are free.

© J Dan Small

Psalm 119 – כ Kaph

desperate-prayerCraving salvation my soul nearly faints
I’ll hope in Your word without any constraints.

Comfort?  Where is it?  Your promise to me?
my eyes fail from searching so diligently.

Kə·nōḏ, like a wineskin in smoke dry and cracked
yet Your laws and Your statutes I will not neglect.

Count the days of Your servant, how long must I wait
‘Till Your judgment my foes will receive as their fate?

Calamity, that’s what the proud plan for me
but none of their thoughts with Your law would agree.

Constant and true Your commands we can trust
protect me from foes whose attacks are unjust.

Close to death they have brought me right up to the brink
yet from Your good precepts I refuse to shrink.

Covenant love must revive and preserve
so the words from Your mouth I can closely observe.

© J Dan Small

Psalm 119 – י Yodh

potterYour hands shaped and fashioned me
help my heart learn from Your decrees.

Ye ones who fear the Lord rejoice
because I’ve made His word my choice.

Yes, Lord, Your laws are just and right
Your discipline keeps me contrite.

You promised cov’nant loyalty
now may Your word my comfort be.

Your law, O Lord, is my delight
in mercy, come, that live I might.

Yê·ḇō·šū, shame on those who slander
but on Your precepts I will ponder.

Yet may all those who fear You see
that in Your statutes we agree.

Yielded and pure my heart would be
that from all shame I might be free.

© J Dan Small

Psalm 119 – ט Teth

TorahTo Your servant, O Lord, You have been so good
just as You promised and said that You would.

Teach me good judgment and all I should know
I trust Your instructions that help me grow.

Too many times I would go astray
now that You’ve chastened, Your word I obey.

Truly, O Lord, You are good through and through
Teach me your statutes and what I should do.

Treacherous, arrogant men slander me
yet all Your precepts I’ll keep faithfully.

Touting their wealth, by possessions misled
I find my pleasure in Your law instead.

Trials and suff’ring for me have been good
they taught me to learn from You all that I should.

Tons of pure silver and gold can’t eclipse
the Torah You’ve taught me, that’s come from Your lips.

© J Dan Small

Psalm 119 – ח Heth

midnite prayerChoosing You as my portion, O Lord
I have promised to obey Your word.

ḥil·lî·ṯî, I beg for Your grace
which You promised as I seek Your face.

Considering which way to go
Your statutes the best paths will show.

Commands You set forth I’ll obey
I will hurry and will not delay.

Cords of wicked men seek to ensnare
I remember Your law and go there.

Choruses of thanks I recite
for Your laws when I rise at midnight.

Companions I choose who fear Thee
and all who obey Your decree.

ḥas·də·ḵā, Your great love fills the earth
teach me, Lord, Your decrees and their worth.

This Hebrew letter is not what it appears –rather than an “h” sound it is a “ch” as in Bach –coming from the back of the throat.  Two other Hebrew letters also make a similar sound so I have stretched the phonetics by including the word “choosing.”  There is no Hebrew equivalent for the English “ch” as in choose.

© J Dan Small

Psalm 119 – ז Zayin

PetitionZə·ḵōr, recall Your word to me
my hope is in Your guarantee.

Zōṯ, this my comfort in my grief
Your word revives and brings relief.

Zê·ḏîm, the proud make fun of me
yet from Your law I will not flee.

Zā·ḵar, recalling statutes of old
is how my soul can be consoled.

Zealous fury grips my heart
‘gainst those who from Your law depart.

Zə·mi·rō·wṯ, songs Your laws inspire
as I sojourn are my attire.

Zā·ḵar·tî, remembering Your name at night
helps me to keep Your law in sight.

Zōṯ, this defines who I’ve become
I keep Your precepts, every one.

It is apparent that the Z sound is much more prevalent in Hebrew than in English, hence the extensive use of Hebrew words to start each verse.  Makes me want to play Scrabble using Hebrew words!

© J Dan Small

Psalm 119 – ו Vav

Walk in TruthVerify, O Lord, Your steadfast love for me
as You have promised, salvation let me see.

Vouch for me against the taunting enemy
relying on Your word, Lord, I put my trust in Thee.

Voicing forth Your truth do not remove from me
I have put my hope in Your judgments and decrees.

Verily Your law I will keep continually
forever and always it will be the way for me.

və·’eṯ·hal·lə·ḵāh, I will walk in liberty
seeking Your precepts is what truly sets us free.

Valiantly ‘fore kings Your testimonies share
never be ashamed Your commandments to declare.

və·’eš·ta·‘ă·ša, I delight in Your command
I love all Your ways and all that You have planned.

Valuing Your mitzvoth*, I lift my hands in praise
contemplate Your statutes and ponder every phrase.

*mitzvoth = commandments (Heb)

© J Dan Small

Psalm 119 – ה He

focusHo w re ni, teach me Your ways, O Lord
keeping them will be my great reward.

Ha bi ne ni, please make me understand
with all my heart I’ll do what You command.

Help me walk in paths You say are right
that is where I find my true delight.

Hinder me from seeking selfish gain
Incline my heart to what You have ordained.

Hide my eyes from seeking worthless things
to want Your way and the true life it brings.

Ha qem, fulfill the promises You swore
Your servants will respect You more and more.

How good the rules which You have set in place
please shield me from reproach and all disgrace.

Heartfelt longing Your precepts to pursue
in righteousness revive me through and through.

© J Dan Small

Psalm 119 – ד Daleth

runDust and ashes are my bed
revive me by Your word instead.

Declared to You my wayward steps
You answered, teach me Your precepts.

Describe and make me understand
Your precepts, ways, and wonders grand.

Depression, grief, eat at my soul
through Your word, strengthen, make me whole.

Deceitful ways keep far from me
and teach me Your law graciously.

Determined to walk faithfully
I’ve set Your judgments before me.

Do not let me face disgrace
Lord, Your statutes I embrace

Deftly down Your paths I stride
so much insight You’ve supplied.

© J Dan Small

Psalm 119 – ג Gimel

Kid BibleGoodness show to me today
so Your word I can obey.

Grant that my eyes may behold
wonders that Your law unfolds.

Groping my way through the land
hide not from me Your commands.

Great with longing my soul yearns
Your instructions to discern.

Grave rebukes await the proud
straying from what You’ve allowed.

Give relief from scorners taunts
Your decrees are all I want.

Gathered princes slander me
still I dwell on Your decrees.

Guided by advice that’s right
Your commands are my delight.

© J Dan Small