Psalm 119:9-16

Psalm 119:9-16

to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice

July 16, 2019 – Tuesday

Psalm 119:9-16

ב Beth

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your word.
10 I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands.
11 I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.
12 Praise be to You, Lord; teach me Your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways.
16 I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word.


The very first thing I want to bring your attention to is the header for these eight verses ב Beth to let you know it is in error. In fact every translation viewed at had the same error if it has the Hebrew letter. There are two forms for the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet and if it is to be Bet (not Beth) with a sound as the b in boy, then it should have a sizeable dot centered between the upper and lower horizontal lines. If it has no dot there then it has the sound Vet as the v in vine.  Go to here and you will find the first letter of each verse (9-16) does indeed begin with the letter Bet בְּ although it will vary with dots below for various changes in sound especially in conjunction with other letters. Look at this short video for variations in Bet and this short video for variations in Vet.

There is much in Hebrew commentary about why Bet is the first letter in the Torah instead of Aleph. You may see it here as the first letter of the word translated as In beginning. Oddly the BlueLetterBible misses the letter Bet as the first letter in Genesis 1:1.

Now to the verses themselves. They revolve around the question asked in the first verse (9) How can a young person stay on the path of purity?  Then it immediately provides the answer By living according to Your word. The next seven verses tell how this might be accomplished.

First by seeking God with all of one’s heart and asking His help in not straying from His commands. Then to avoid sinning against God, hiding His word in one’s heart. This is followed by praising God and at the same time asking Him to teach His decrees.

The second half of this stanza begins with (v13) speaking aloud what one has memorized of Gods laws. Followed by rejoicing in following His laws as one rejoices in great riches. One would not only rejoice, but mediate on God’s laws while considering His ways. Finally delighting in God’s decrees while do one’s best not to neglect His word.

If we continually recall that Jesus is the word made flesh…

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14

…we should do our best to never neglect Him and what He has done for us.

RileyD, nwJ
 (to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)