73.  THE TEN WORDS OF PSALM 119.

The number of the words which are frequently repeated in Ps. 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 (Ap. 30).

The rubric on verse 122 is as follows :  "Throughout the whole of the Great Alphabet [i.e. 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 :  viz. verse 122."  (Massorah, Ginsburg's Edition, Vol. 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 Gen. 3:24.  It occurs in this Psalm thirteen times :  vv. 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 Gen. 21:30 (edah).  It occurs in this Psalm twenty-three times; nine times ('eduth), vv. 14, 31, 36, 88, 99, 111, 129, 144, 157; fourteen times ('edah, fem. sing.), vv. 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 Ps. 119 twenty-one times :  vv. 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 Gen. 26:5.  In Ps. 119 it occurs twenty-two times :  vv. 6, 10, 19, 21, 32, 35, 47, 48, 60, 66, 73, 86, 96 (sing.), 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 (No. x below), which refers to the articulate utterance of it.  The first occurrence is in Gen. 4:23, and is rendered "speech".  In plural only once, Ps. 12:6 (the only place where the plural is found).  In Ps. 119 it occurs nineteen times :  viz. 11, 38, 41, 50, 58, 67, 76, 82, 103, 116, 123, 133, 140, 148, 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 (Prov. 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 Gen. 26:5 (pl.).  In Ps. 119 it occurs twenty-five times :  always in the singular :  viz. vv. 1, 18, 29, 34, 44, 51, 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 (cp. Eng. right, and German richten and recht); hence, to judgeMishpat means judgment.  Its first occurrence is in Gen. 18:19 (in Jehovah's mouth).  In Ps. 119 it occurs twenty-three times (always in plural, except four times), viz. :  vv. 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, &c.  (zedek, masc.), is from zadak, to be right, upright, just, righteous.  Hence the noun means rightness.  By comparing the first occurrence (Lev. 19:15) with the second (Lev. 19:36) we get the idea that the word has special reference to equal balancing. Zedek (masc.) occurs twelve times, and is rendered "righteousness" : vv. 123, 142 (second), 144, 172; "right", v. 7, 62, 106, 138, 160, 164; "justice", v. 121.  Zedakah (fem.), first occurrence, Gen. 15:6.  In Ps. 119, "righteousness", vv. 40, 142 (first).  Zaddik (adj.), spoken of a king (2Sam. 23:3), once, in v. 137.  The three words fifteen 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, Gen. 26:5 (hukkah fem.).  In Ps. 119 it occurs twenty-two times :  viz. :  vv. 5, 8, 12, 16 (hukkah, fem.), 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 (cp. v above); to the mode or manner by which the ipsissima verba are imparted.  The first occurrence is in Gen. 11:1 ("speech").  In Ps. 119 it occurs twenty-four times, three of them in pl., viz. : vv. 9, 16, 17, 25, 28, 42 (twice), 43, 49, 57 (pl.), 65, 74, 81, 89, 101, 105, 107, 114, 130 (pl.), 139 (pl.), 147, 160, 161, 169.

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