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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 19


1 For the leader. A psalm of David.


The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder's craft.


One day to the next conveys that message; one night to the next imparts that knowledge.


2 There is no word or sound; no voice is heard;


3 Yet their report goes forth through all the earth, their message, to the ends of the world. God has pitched there a tent for the sun;


it comes forth like a bridegroom from his chamber, and like an athlete joyfully runs its course.


From one end of the heavens it comes forth; its course runs through to the other; nothing escapes its heat.


The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.


The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye.


The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The statutes of the LORD are true, all of them just;


More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.


4 By them your servant is instructed; obeying them brings much reward.


Who can detect heedless failings? Cleanse me from my unknown faults.


But from willful sins keep your servant; let them never control me. Then shall I be blameless, innocent of grave sin.


Let the words of my mouth meet with your favor, keep the thoughts of my heart before you, LORD, my rock and my redeemer.


1 [Psalm 19] The heavenly elements of the world, now beautifully arranged, bespeak the power and wisdom of their creator ( Psalm 19:2-7). The creator's wisdom is available to human beings in the law ( Psalm 19:8-11), toward which the psalmist prays to be open ( Psalm 19:12-14). The themes of light and speech unify the poem.

2 [4] No word or sound: the regular functioning of the heavens and the alternation of day and night inform humans without words of the creator's power and wisdom.

3 [5] The sun: in other religious literature the sun is a judge and lawgiver since it sees all in its daily course; Psalm 19:5b-7 form a transition to the law in Psalm 19:8-11. The six synonyms for God's revelation ( Psalm 19:8-11) are applied to the sun in comparable literature.

4 [12] Instructed: the Hebrew verb means both to shine and to teach. Cf Daniel 12:3.

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