A Study of Psalm 19
Verse By Verse
Fortunately for myself, I was able to listen to a teaching about Psalm 19 from the person who originally taught me God's Word. The rightly dividing of this Psalm is unknown to most people and yet it contains dynamic principals about the Word of God. Many do not know that the Word of God was not only written in the Bible. This teaching is going to illustrate to you from God's Word that the Bible was also written in a different but fascinating format. Actually, it is difficult for me to explain the magnificence of the teaching and what it will reveal to you. I should now let God speak to you through this teaching as we will go through each verse one by one. As in former teachings like this, we will quote the Scripture from the King James version and then we will give the literal translation according to usage. Enjoy the teaching. I believe it is one you have never heard before. Let's get right to God's Word.
Psalm 19: 1 -- The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Literal: The heavens continue to declare the glory of God and the expanse sets forth His handiwork.
What exactly does this mean? Well, I hate to give away the big secret right from the start, but believe it or not, the Word of God is written in the stars. That's why the literal translation of the verse says that "the expanse sets forth His handiwork."
I am going to have to explain something to you that is documented in the Word of God, but I am not going to quote those scriptures right now. After our atmosphere ends, there is a huge firmament or expanse of water. After this water ends, the atmosphere begins again. Before this firmament of water begins past our atmosphere, God has placed millions and millions of stars and other foreign bodies into the atmosphere. But God does not do anything by chance. Did you ever stop to wonder how the prophets of old time were able to understand things from the Word of God? God showed them how to read and to understand what was written in the stars. All of the Word of God is written in the stars. There is a book published by E. W. Bullinger that is called "The Witness of the Stars". You should take the time to read this book as it will greatly help you to understand this teaching. This book will also blow your mind as to the accuracy and perfect timing that God has set to the movement of the stars and all the foreign bodies such as planets in the universe.
You should also know that God has many different names and one of them is God the Creator (Elohim). The first six verses of Psalm 19 refers to God as Elohim - which is God the Creator. These first six verses stress God's creation so this name used for God is obviously accurate and appropriate.
Since we have set a good foundation for you to be able to understand this teaching, I should mention to you that I can see figures of speech used in this Psalm. You should know by now that figures of speech are the Holy Spirit's markings as to what is important in the Word of God. To keep it simple, I will tell you that the 14 verses in this Psalm reflect a figure of speech referred to as Correspondence. This simply means that all the scriptures are referring to one subject. Correspondence is seen in the repetition of subjects.
Psalm 19: 2 -- Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
Literal: Day after day the heavens tell us about God, and night after night the stars show us or sets forth His knowledge or knowledgeable information.
Isn't that amazing? It says that every day the heavens tell us about God Almighty. Well how can this be? Again, it is because the Word of God is written in the heavens. Night after night, the stars set forth God's knowledge. So the next time you are gazing into the stars while you hold your girlfriend’s or your spouse's hand, it becomes 100 times more romantic than you can ever imagine because you are looking at God's perfect Word. That is why scientists are baffled at the movement of the stars and planets in the atmosphere. They move in perfect harmony and their timing is exactly perfect. The only reason this can be is because God Almighty set it up that way -- because He is perfect and everything He does is also perfect.
Psalm 147: 4 -- He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
God made the stars to declare HIS Word, not worldly knowledge. The stars and planets do not forecast who you are going to marry, or how much money you will make, or any of the other claims made by astrologers. That’s all devilish and practically permeates our country and the world today. You keep following your horoscope and the adversary will surely destroy everything you have – slowly but surely. You’ve been warned.
Psalm 19: 3 -- There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Literal: They declare without a voice. They have no speech nor language.
In the King James version of the Bible, words in italics and punctuation marks are added by the translators. These were not in the closest to the original texts. If we eliminate the words in italics and punctuation marks in the verse, we get a clearer understanding of the accurate meaning of the verse.
The heavens do not speak so that we hear them with our ears or read words with our eyes, but they do proclaim the greatness of God.
At times, the New English Bible offers a beautiful and clearer translation of God's Word. In this particular situation, I would like to present the New English Bible's translation of Psalm 19: 3.
. . . . . . . and this without speech or language or sound of any voice. – NEB
Psalm 19: 4 -- Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
Literal: Their inheritance is gone throughout all of the earth, and their teachings are gone throughout the ends of the world. In the heavens God set a tabernacle for the sun,
There is a figure of speech here referred to as a Metonymy (of the cause) or change of noun. This is the change of one noun for another related noun. Again, this is a figure of speech by which one name or noun is used instead of another, to which it stands in a certain relation. This may appear difficult to understand at first. That is why I spent 18 months studying figures of speech used in the Bible. If you think about it, and the English grammar, it is not hard to understand.
In the margin of your Bibles, you will see that the word 'line' says "their rule or direction". According to Bullinger, the authorized version interprets this incorrectly. The word should be "inheritance" which means the whole earth was the sphere through which their words and speech went forth, and where the knowledge imparted by the stars was made known. Isn't this a beautiful understanding of this one word? So by studying figures of speech, we are now able to rightly divide this verse of Scripture. You must remember that center references are added by man and are not a part of the original Word of God and in many cases, they are erroneous such as in this example.
Psalm 19: 5 -- Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
Literal: And he as a bridegroom comes out of his chamber, rejoices as a strong man ready to run a race.
Verse five (5) is an analogy which describes the sun as a bridegroom coming out from underneath his wedding canopy, rejoicing as a strong man ready to run a race. Doesn’t this gives us such a greater visual image than merely reading that the sun rises in the morning? There is no greater author than God. Only God Almighty can put such magnificence to an everyday occurrence. And we must remember the context of this Psalm. It is referring to the heavens and of course, the sun is such a great part of the heavens. Remember, when you read the Word, that understanding the context is one of the three ways that the Bible interprets itself.
Psalm 19: 6 -- His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
Literal: The sun's orbit goes from one end of the heavens to the other. There is no place on earth that does not feel the effect of the sun or its orbit. It is one of God's creations that touches every living thing.
As a reminder, remember that the first six verses of Psalm 19 refers to God as Elohim - which is God the Creator. Obviously, these first six (6) verses coincide to what God has created.
In the remaining verses, God is referred to as Jehovah and this is where the tone of the Psalm changes. Instead of reading about God the Creator (Elohim), we now read about God the Lord (Jehovah) – referring to God's relationship to man.
Psalm 19: 7 -- The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
Literal: The Word of God [doctrine of the Lord] is perfect restoring and reviving the soul: the Word of God is perfect and never fails, blessing the simple person who has no guile, with precious wisdom.
[Note that the center reference, number 15, says “doctrine” and in this case is correct.] Nothing else in the world is perfect except the Word of God. The doctrine of the Lord restores or revives the soul, if a person, by their own free will, confesses Jesus Christ as Lord in his or her life and believes that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead (SEE ROMANS 10: 9, 10). That is the only way to eternal life.
The word ‘soul’ here is used in the sense of our physical life and God promises His saints that He will quicken (make alive) his or her mortal body. If we are breathing, we have soul life (See related teaching on Body, Soul, Spirit). By studying God's Word, we can revive and restore our physical bodies as well as our spirit. The 'testimony of the Lord is sure' means that the Lord's instructions never fail. If we minutely follow the instructions that God gives us by renewing our mind to His Word, we cannot fail. The love of God never fails. What a promise!
This instruction (the Law or Word of God) makes a simple person very wise. This simple person must be without guile, deception or slyness. The true God does not allow His mighty wisdom to be known to the unbeliever or the evil person.
Psalm 19: 8 -- The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Literal: The statutes (Word of God) are perfect. Statutes are also referred to as precepts so that we can say that the statutes or precepts of God Almighty are perfect and will always cause a person who believes and applies them to rejoice in their heart. The commandments of the Lord are pure and gives light to the eyes as the sun.
Pay close attention to a principle that I have taught you many times. If you take a close look at this verse, you will see that God says the same thing twice. This means that what God is saying is established and will not change. However, I do not expect you to take my word for it. Let's take a look at the book of Genesis.
Genesis 41: 32 -- And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
You should always remember that revelation given twice will not change. You may receive revelation just one time, but God can change that revelation. If He gives you the same revelation twice, He will not change that revelation. Twice in Psalm 19: 8, God promises that those who believe His Word will rejoice in their heart and feel the warmth of the sun.
I cannot help but bring up one more important research point concerning God's Word. When you examine the eighth verse, you will see that the word commandment is used instead of commandments. Then after the word commandment is used, you will see that the word ‘is’ is in italics. This, of course, means that it was added by the translators. Obviously, God is not talking about one verse of Scripture, but He is talking about all of His commandments. The proper literal translation according to usage is: “The commandments of the Lord are pure.” 'Commandment' means 'charge', like a judge charges a jury. We are given instruction by the One in ultimate authority. This instruction is pure, or perfectly clear, and gives light to our eyes. Now the Word fits like a hand in a glove.
Psalm 19: 9 -- The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Literal: Reverence or respect for God provides a continuous, active, ongoing cleansing in our lives which will endure forever. Every one of His judgements or decrees written in His Word are always true and are always righteous because God is perfect.
We must remember that the word 'fear' is old English and means reverence or respect. Many people to this day think that they must be afraid of God because of the mistranslation of this word. We are going to once again turn to the New English Bible where, in this case, this version gives a very clear interpretation of Psalm 19: 9.
The fear [reverence, respect] of the Lord is pure and abides for ever. The Lord's decrees are true and righteous every one, -- NEB
Psalm 19: 10 -- More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Literal: Fine gold in great quantities is less desirable than the judgements of God. And His judgements are sweeter than honey -- they will taste better than our favorite dessert.
Be sure to remember that we must always take into consideration the context of the section that we are studying. In the literal translation above, we mentioned the judgments of God. In the previous verse, again in a literal translation, we clearly state that judgments are the same thing as decrees. And we know from the previous context that decrees are referring to the Words of God. Also examining the literal translation according to usage we see that His judgments, which are His Words are sweeter than honey. This is a figure of speech telling us that to know the Word of God is sweeter than anything we can experience in our lifetime. The word taste can be substituted for experienced. In other words, there is nothing in life sweeter than the Word of God.
To extend this explanation even farther, we need to take a look at the first word in the King James version which is 'More'. This word is a continuation of the conclusion of verse nine which is talking about God's judgments. Also, in the King James, there is another lesson that we should be well aware of by now and that is the fact that anything written in italics is added by the translators. In the King James verse number 10, we can see that we can remove or delete the words in italics which are 'are they'. The verse would then read "more to be desired than gold". The words in italics are simply not necessary in this particular case.
Psalm 19: 11 -- Moreover by them [thy words] is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Literal: Moreover, by God's Word is His servant instructed: in keeping or applying God's Word, that servant wins a great reward.
Take note how the word "warned" is used in this verse. This is another usage similar to old English which, to most people, has a negative connotation. As we can see, the proper usage is to use the word 'instructed'. Now the verse fits and makes more sense. Notice how the context is still talking about the Word of God so that in the King James version of verse 11, in place of the Word of God, twice the word 'them' is used. Obviously and again, I am purposely being repetitious to illustrate a most important point regarding the rightly dividing of the Word of God. You cannot pull one verse out of context -- you must consider the verse in light of the context unless the verse interprets itself right in that verse, or it interprets itself where it was used before in the Word of God. These are the three ways that the Bible interprets itself.
Psalm 19: 12 -- Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
Literal: Who can understand his wanderers? Set me free, God, from my secret sins and matters that bind me.
The use of the word 'errors' is a very poor translation in the King James version. According to the available Greek and Aramaic texts, the word for errors should be wanderers. The first part of this verse is referring back to the subject matter or context of the first six verses of this Psalm. It is asking the question: “Who can understand His 'wanderers'?” - which are the planets seen in the night sky. The second half of the verse is asking God to acquit us, or set us free, from hidden matters that would bind us.
Psalm 19: 13 -- Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Literal: Protect me, my God, from arrogant men. Do not let these men control, influence or have any dominion over my life and over my thinking. Then I shall be upright and I shall be innocent from many transgressions.
We have free will to keep away from any man who is arrogant and overly confident -- full of pride. This is clearly fellowship with darkness and God warns us a number of times in the Church epistles not to have any fellowship with those people who He refers to as darkness. This is one way a man can be declared innocent of any rebellion against God.
Let's take note again at how the word in italics in the King James version helps only to misinterpret and mistranslate the Word of God. The correct word in the text is 'men'.
Psalm 19: 14 -- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
Literal: The words that come from our mouth, and the thoughts that we think, are to give pleasure to God Almighty. He is the Lord Jehovah, our rock and our redeemer.
We are to speak God’s Word and we are to think God’s Word. We are to stand approved before God and doing these things gives pleasure to God. Philippians 4: 8 speaks clearly on this subject. When we apply God’s Word, God is then our Rock. He can then protect us and give us great wisdom to manifest the more than abundant life. With Him, we stand on firm, unmovable ground. As our redeemer, He is someone charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his wrong (See teaching on Redemption).
Psalm 19 is a beautiful example showing God's glory and great love for us. We see how the heavens proclaim Him and His Word, so that it is visible to every creature on earth. We read also that God is our Redeemer and Lord. His Words make us wise, and are to be more desired than great wealth. His Word is true. Finally, our words and thoughts are supposed to be in alignment with God's Word. When we are in alignment and harmony with God, we stand on firm ground and cannot be moved.