The Word of God
An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word
vocabulary) on Psalm 119
Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not
in the *Hebrew Bible.
The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word
list at the end explains the other words that have a *star by them.
The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced
Words with a star by them are in the notes the first time that
Jesus said, "If you love me you will obey me" (John
The Story of Psalm 119
Solomon was king of Israel nearly 1000 years Before Christ
came to the earth (B.C.). Solomon built the house of God that was in Jerusalem.
We call it "the *temple". About 600 B.C. a nation called Babylon
fought the *Jews. A nation is a country with a government. Babylon was 800
kilometres east of Jerusalem. The Babylonians won the fight and they took many
*Jews to Babylon. We call this "the *exile". The Babylonians also
destroyed the *temple.
After the *exile many *Jews went back to their own country. About
500 B.C. they built the *temple again. Then they made the Book of Psalms to sing
in the new *temple. Some were old psalms by David, Moses and Isaiah. Other
psalms were new like Psalm 1. Psalm 119 was probably one of these new psalms.
It is a very special psalm. There are 176 verses (or parts) in it. Some people
think that 176 different people wrote one verse each. Other people think that
Ezra wrote all Psalm 119. Ezra was a *Jewish leader about 450 B.C.
There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The *Jews spoke
Hebrew, so they wrote Psalm 119 in the Hebrew language. The first letter of the
Hebrew alphabet is aleph. Verses 1-8 all begin with aleph. Beth is the second
letter. Verses 9-16 all begin with beth. Verses 17-24 all begin with the 3rd
letter and so on. So, there are 22 times 8, or 176 verses in the psalm. We
think that they did this to make it easier for them to remember the psalm. It
was probably a psalm that *Jewish leaders had to remember. We have not made the
verses start with the right letter in this translation. We have put the psalm
into 22 groups with 8 verses in each group.
There are also 8 special words in the psalm. To the *Jews these 8
words were important. They described what God told them to do. They are also
important for Christians, because they tell them the ways that God speaks to
them. The most important way is through the Bible. Christians call the Bible
‘The Word of God’. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. You will
probably find that you can study it more easily in groups of 8 verses.
Here are the 8 special words:
1. word (dabar in Hebrew): it means things like the 10
commandments in Exodus chapter 20. These were the 10 things that God told his
people to do or not to do.
2. saying (imrah): this is another way to say word.
3. statutes (chuqqim): these are the rules that the *Jews
made early in their history. We translate it *laws in Psalm 119.
"History" means the story of what happened.
4. judgments (mishpatim): a later word for statutes. We
translate it "rules" in Psalm 119.
5. law (torah): this means the first 5 books of the Bible.
Later it included other books like Isaiah and Jeremiah. We translate it
"*teaching" in Psalm 119.
6. *commands (mitsvat): what someone with authority tells
you to do.
7. precepts (piqqudim): these give us help when we want to
know what to do. We translate it "*guidelines" in Psalm 119.
8. testimonies (eduth): these are the things that God
tells us to do as *Jews or Christians. We translate it
"*instructions" in Psalm 119.
There are other important words in Psalm 119. They include way
and path; *heart and follow.
Way and path both mean the same thing in the psalm. They
mean: what we do in our lives. Our way can be good or bad. If we obey Psalm
119, our way will be good. Jesus said, "I am the way" (John 14:6). If
we obey Jesus, our way will be good. In Acts 9:2, "in the way" is
another name for "being a Christian".
*heart does not mean the same thing each time it comes:
"a clean *heart" means that God has forgiven us
"in my *heart" means "in my mind"
"all my / their *heart" means "all that I/they
can do in the body or mind"
Your *heart in the psalms often means all of you! When God
*forgives us, he gives our *sin to Jesus. He takes it away. Our *sin is the bad
things that we do.
Follow in verses 4, 14, 15, 56, 63, 87, 100, 133, 168 and
173 means "obey".
people that make no mistakes in the way are very happy.
They obey the *teaching of the *LORD.
people that keep to his *instructions are very happy.
They look for him with all their *heart.
they do nothing that is wrong.
They walk in his ways.
have made *guidelines for me.
I must follow them all.
v5 I want
to make sure
that my ways obey your *laws.
v6 Then I
will not be ashamed
when I remember all your
v7 I will
*praise you with a clean *heart
when I learn your *righteous
v8 I will
obey your *laws.
Do not ever stop giving me help.
can a young man keep his path clean?
He must obey your words.
v10 I have looked for
you with all my *heart.
Do not let me forget your *commands.
v11 I have hidden
your *sayings in my *heart
so that I do not *sin against you.
v12 *LORD, you are
Teach me your *laws.
v13 My lips repeat
all the *commands of your mouth.
v14 I am happier
following the way by your *instructions
than having a lot of money.
v15 I want to think
about your *guidelines
and follow your paths.
v16 I am very happy
with your *laws.
I will not forget your word.
v17 Be kind to your
Then I will live and obey your word.
v18 Open my eyes
and I will see *wonderful
things in your *teaching.
v19 I am a stranger
in the earth.
Do not hide your *commands from me.
v20 I love to obey
your rules so much
that I have no interest in
v21 You are angry
with the people who think that they are important.
Bad things will happen to them
when they walk away from your
v22 Some people say
bad and *unkind things about me
because I keep to your
Take me away from those people.
v23 *Princes sit down
and make plans against me.
But your servant thinks only about your
v24 Yes! Your
*instructions make me really happy.
They are like people that tell me what to
v25 I am lying on the
Give me the life that your word promises
v26 I told you about
my ways and you answered me.
Teach me your *laws.
v27 Make me to
understand what your *guidelines mean.
Then I will always think about the
*wonderful things that you do.
v28 My very great
*sadness has made me tired.
Make me strong again as your word
v29 Take the false
way from me.
Be kind to me in your *teaching.
v30 I have chosen the
I will not forget your rules.
v31 I will keep to
your *instructions, *LORD.
Do not make me ashamed.
v32 I will run in the
way of your *commands
because you give help to my
v33 *LORD, give me
help to understand your *laws,
then I will always obey them.
v34 Explain your
*teaching to me, then I will always obey it.
I will do it with all my *heart.
v35 Make me to walk
in the path where your *orders send me.
Do that because it will give me much pleasure.
v36 Turn my *heart to
and not to wanting *riches.
v37 Turn my eyes away
from looking at things that have no value.
Give me the life that is in your word.
v38 Do for your
servant the things that your *sayings promise.
This will make him be afraid of you.
v39 I am afraid of
Do not let it happen, because your rules
v40 I really want
Keep me alive as you are *righteous.
v41 *LORD, I want
your kind love to come to me
and I want your *sayings to
make me safe.
v42 Then I will have
something to say to the people that laugh at me.
They laugh at me because I *trust in your
v43 Do not take a
true word away from my mouth,
because I put my hope in your
v44 I will always
obey your *teaching,
I will never stop.
v45 I will be free to
because I look for your
v46 I will talk about
your *instructions before kings.
I will not be ashamed.
v47 I love your
and I am very happy with them.
v48 I lift up my
hands to your *commands, which I love.
I am always thinking about your *laws.
v49 Remember your
word to your servant.
You made me put my hope in it.
v50 Your *sayings
*comfort me when I am sad.
They comfort me because they give me life.
v51 *Proud people
laugh at me all the time,
but I do not turn away from
v52 *LORD, I remember
the rules that you made long ago.
They make me feel better.
v53 I get very angry
when *godless people turn away
from your *teaching.
v54 Your *laws are my
in the house where I live.
v55 *LORD, in the
night I will remember your name.
I will keep your *teaching.
v56 I do this
because I follow your
v57 *LORD, you are
everything to me.
I promise to obey your words.
v58 I ask you, with
all my *heart,
to *have *mercy on me as
you have promised.
v59 I have thought
about my ways,
and my feet are going back to
follow your *instructions.
v60 I will hurry to
obey your *commands
and I will not be slow.
v61 People who do not
know God are all round me.
They tie me up but still I do not forget
v62 I get up in the
middle of the night to *praise you
because your rules are
v63 I am a friend of
everyone that is afraid of you.
And I am a friend of those who follow your
v64 *LORD, the earth
is full of your kind love.
Teach me your *laws.
v65 You do good
things for your servant, *LORD,
as your word says.
v66 Teach me. Then I
will choose and know what is right.
I will do that because I *trust your
v67 Before I was in
trouble with you I made mistakes.
But now I keep to your *sayings.
v68 You are good and
you do good things.
Teach me your *laws.
v69 *Proud men have
told me lots of lies,
but your *guidelines are of
great value to me.
v70 #Their *heart is
fat and they are *stupid;
but I love your *teaching.
v71 My trouble was
good for me.
It made me learn your *laws.
v72 *Teaching from
your mouth is better for me
than a lot of *silver and
#This is the *heart of the *proud men in verse 69. It means that
they cannot think clearly.
hands*created me. And they made me what I am.
Help me to understand and learn your
v74 The people that
are afraid of you will be happy.
They will be happy when they see me.
This is because I am *trusting in your
v75 *LORD, I know
that your rules are *righteous.
You were right when you sent me trouble.
v76 Now your kind
love makes me feel better.
You promised this to your servant in your
v77 Send your love to
me and I will live!
Your *teaching makes me really happy.
v78 *Proud men will
because they say lies about me
without any reason.
v79 The people that
are afraid of you will turn to me again.
They understand your *instructions.
v80 My *heart will
make no mistakes about your *laws.
I will not be ashamed.
v81 I feel weak while
I wait for you to save me.
My hope is in your word.
v82 My eyes are
closing while I look for your *sayings.
I say, "When will you *comfort
v83 I am like #a
*wineskin in smoke
but I will not forget your *guidelines.
v84 The life of your
servant is not very long.
When will you make the people that
*persecute me obey your rules?
v85 *Proud people
have made *traps for me.
Your *teaching says that they must not do
v86 All your
*commands are true.
But people still *persecute me with lies.
Give me help!
v87 People on earth
almost destroyed me,
but I did not stop following
v88 Your kind love
gives me life.
I will obey your *instructions.
# We are not sure what this means.
v89 *LORD, your word
will always rule in the *heavens.
v90 Your *truth will
continue from one century to the next.
You have fixed the earth and it will
v91 #They remain
today as your rules say they must.
They are all your servants.
v92 If your *teaching
had not made me happy
then my great *sadness would
have destroyed me.
v93 I will never
forget your *guidelines
because in them you give me
v94 I am yours, save
Do it because I have looked for your *guidelines.
v95 The *godless wait
to destroy me,
but I am studying your
v96 I see that all
that is good on earth will finish.
But your *commands have no end.
#"they" probably means the earth and the stars in the
v97 I love your
*teaching very much.
I think about it all day long.
v98 Your *commands
teach me more than my enemies.
Your *commands are always with me.
v99 I understand more
than all my teachers
because I think about your
v100 I understand more than the
because I follow your
v101 I do not let my feet walk in
any *evil path
because I obey your word.
v102 I do not turn away from your
because you teach me.
v103 Your *sayings are like
*honey to me.
They are like something that tastes good.
v104 Your *guidelines give me
help to understand things,
so I hate every wrong path.
v105 Your word is a *lamp to my
and a light to my path.
v106 I have really promised to
keep your *righteous rules
and I will do it.
v107 People have hurt me very
Give me the life that your word promises.
v108 *LORD, I pray that you will
be happy with what I say.
And I pray that you will teach me your
v109 I am always in danger,
but I never forget your
v110 *Wicked people have made a
*trap for me,
but I do not go away from your
v111 Your *instructions will
always be with me
and they make my *heart very
v112 I will make my *heart obey
your *instructions always, to the end.
v113 I hate the people that do
not believe you.
But I love your *teaching.
v114 You are my secret place
where I can hide.
I put my hope in your word.
v115 Go away from me, you bad
I will obey my God's *commands.
v116 Give me help and life, as
your word promises.
And do not make me ashamed, because I hope
v117 Give me help and I will be
I will always obey your *laws.
v118 You turn away from people
that do not follow your *laws.
This is because they speak lies.
And they are not honest.
v119 You destroy all the bad
people in the world as *rubbish.
For this reason I love your *instructions.
v120 Am afraid of you and it
makes my body *shiver.
I am afraid of your rules.
v121 I was *righteous and I
obeyed the rules.
Do not give me to my *oppressors.
v122 Make sure that good things
happen to your servant.
Do not let *proud people become my
v123 My eyes have stopped seeing
that you are saving me.
They do not see your *righteous *sayings.
v124 Do with your servant what
your kind love suggests.
Teach me your *laws.
v125 I am your servant. Explain
your *instructions to me
so that I understand them.
v126 It is time for the *LORD to
People have not obeyed your *teaching.
v127-128 I hate every wrong path because:
I love your *commands more than gold, *pure gold
I think that all your *guidelines are right
v129 I obey your *instructions
because they are *wonderful.
v130 When I read your words they
They help people that do not know enough
to understand things.
v131 My mouth is wide open as I
This is because I am so *eager for your
v132 Turn to me and have *mercy
Your rules say that you will do this.
You will do this to people that love your
v133 Make my feet follow your
Do not let *sin rule over me.
v134 Make me free from
and I will follow your
v135 Show a kind face to your
and teach me your *laws.
v136 Streams of water come from
because people do not obey
v137 *LORD, you are *righteous
and your rules are good.
v138 The *instructions that you
gave are very fair.
And we can *trust in them.
v139 I am so *eager that it makes
me feel weak.
But my enemies do not listen to your
v140 We have found that your *sayings
Your servant loves them.
v141 I am not important and
people do not like me.
But I will not forget your *guidelines.
v142 You are always *righteous
Your *teachings are true.
v143 An enemy brought me trouble,
but your *commands make me
v144 Your *instructions are
Make me understand them and find life.
v145 I cried with all my *heart.
"Answer me, *LORD".
"I will obey your *laws", I cried.
v146 "Save me
and I will keep to your
v147 I woke up before dawn and
cried to you for help.
I want all that you promised in your word.
v148 I stayed up all night
and thought about your
v149 Listen to my voice, because
you are loving and kind.
*LORD, keep me alive as your rules promise
v150 The people that *persecute
me are coming near.
They want to do something very bad to me.
They are far away from your *teaching.
v151 *LORD, you are near to me.
All your *commands are true.
v152 I have known about your
*instructions for a long time.
And I have known that you made them to
v153 Look at my trouble!
Save me because I do not forget your
v154 Fight my fight for me and
Keep me alive as your *sayings promise me.
v155 *Godless people are far away
from being safe.
They do not look for your *laws.
v156 *LORD, your love is great,
because your rules keep me
v157 Many enemies *persecute me
but I do not go away from your
v158 I see people doing such bad
things that I hate them.
But, I do not stop obeying your *sayings.
v159 See how I love your
Keep me alive through your kind love.
v160 All your words are true.
All your *righteous rules will continue
v161 *Princes *persecute me for
no good reason.
But it is your word that really makes my
v162 I am very happy with your
I am like someone that finds great riches.
v163 I do not like *lies, I hate
Your *teaching is what I love.
v164 I *praise you 7 times every
because of your *righteous
v165 People that love your
*teaching have a lot of *peace.
Nothing will make them fall down.
v166 *LORD, I am waiting for you
to save me
while I obey your *commands.
v167 I will keep to your
because I love them so much.
v168 I follow your *guidelines
because you see all that I do.
v169 I am calling to you for
I want to understand your word.
v170 Hear what I pray and have
*mercy on me.
Save me, as your *sayings promise me.
v171 My lips will pour out
because you are *teaching me
v172 My *tongue will sing your
because all your *commands are
v173 I want your hand to come to
because I chose to follow your
v174 *LORD, I want you to save
Your *teaching makes me very happy.
v175 Give me life so that I can
May your rules give me help.
v176 I have become like a lost
Look for your servant,
because I have not forgotten
Something to do
1. Find which 8 verse groups have all 8 special
words in them. (See The Story of Psalm 119.)
2. Learn to say some of the verses without looking
at the words. Try verses 11, 33, 97, 105 and any other verses that you like.
3. Find the verses that talk about
(a) being very happy;
(b) what the *psalmist did in the night;
(d) people that *persecute me.
4. Find all the verses with "*heart" in
them and decide what each means. Look in The Story of Psalm 119 for
blessed ~ someone that God has said or done good things
breathe ~ air going through our mouths.
comfort me ~ make me strong and/or happier; say kind
things to me and give me help.
command ~ tell someone to do something.
covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do
(here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.
create ~ make.
eager ~ want very much for something to happen; wanting to
do something very much.
evil ~ very, very bad.
exile ~ away from your own country.
forgive ~ take away the results of *sin. (But look in the
notes on Psalm 85:2.)
godless ~ people that do not obey God, and that fight
grapes ~ the fruit of a plant called the vine. People use
them to make drink that has alcohol in it. The drink is wine.
guidelines ~ See The Story of Psalm 119.
have mercy on ~ be kind and *forgive when you do not have
heart ~ part of the body. *Jews believed that you thought
in your heart.
heavens ~ the skies (with sun, moon and stars) or the home
honey ~ a special sugar made by insects called bees.
instructions ~ See The Story of Psalm 119.
Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
and their children.
Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything to do
with a *Jew.
lamp ~ light that you can carry with you.
laws ~ the rules in a country. In Psalm 78 the rules in the
first 5 books of the Bible.
lie ~ say words that are not true.
LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you
agree with someone).
mercy ~ being kind when you do not have to be kind.
oppressors ~ people that hurt me. They can hurt me because
they are stronger than me.
order ~ these words tell someone what they must do.
peace ~ when there is no fighting with God or with people;
when there is no war and everybody is happy.
persecute me ~ do bad things to me because of what I
praise ~ to say how great someone is; or, words that say
how great someone is.
prince ~ son of a king.
proud people ~ proud people think that they are good and
clever. But they may not be.
psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm (or psalms).
pure ~ very, very clean.
redeem ~ buy back from the enemy.
riches ~ a lot of money and other things of value.
righteous ~ very good (only God is really righteous). God
says that the people who love and obey him are righteous. Sometimes we say they
are "the righteous", meaning "righteous people". Look after
Psalm 5 in Book 1 of the Psalms of David for more about the word
rubbish ~ what people throw away.
sadness ~ to feel very sad.
sayings ~ words that God has said.
shiver ~ feel very, very cold.
silver ~ a metal of great value, like gold.
sin ~ not obeying God; or what you do when you do not obey
stupid ~ opposite of clever.
teaching ~ (in Psalm 119) part of the first 5 books of the
temple ~ a place where people meet to worship God.
tongue ~ the part of our mouth that we talk with.
trap ~ thing that you catch animals or birds in.
trust ~ believe that someone (usually God in the psalms)
will be kind to you.
truth ~ words that are true.
unkind ~ the opposite of kind.
wicked ~ very, very bad.
wine ~ a drink with alcohol in it. People make it from
wineskin ~ a wineskin is like a bottle. People made them
from animal skins. People store *wine in wineskins.
wonderful ~ great and surprising.
© 1999-2002, Wycliffe
This publication is
written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).
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