Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 119:21

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Thou hast rebuked the proud - This was done often in the case of David; and was true also in reference to the Babylonians, who held the Israelites in subjection, and whose kings were among the proudest of human beings. Instead of זדים zedim, the proud, some MSS. read זרים zarim, strangers, and one reads גוים goyim, the heathen; and so the Syriac.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Thou hast rebuked the proud - Compare Psalm 9:5. The meaning is, that God had done this not by word but by deed. The proud were everywhere rebuked by God, alike in his law, and in his providence. The connection seems to be this: the psalmist is meditating on the benefit or advantage of keeping the law of God; of a humble, pious life. His mind naturally adverts to what would be the opposite of this - or to this in contrast with an opposite course of life; and he says, therefore, that God had in every way, and at all times, manifested his displeasure against that class of people. Such a course, therefore, must be attended with misery; but the course which he proposed to pursue must be attended with happiness.

That are cursed - The accursed; those who are regarded and treated by God as accursed, or as objects of his disapprobation.

Which do err from thy commandments - Who depart from thy law. The sense is, “I propose and intend to keep thy law. As a motive to this, I look at the consequences which must follow from disobeying it. I see it everywhere in the divine treatment of those who do disregard that law. They are subject to the displeasure - the solemn rebuke - of God. So all must be who disregard his law; and it is my purpose not to be found among their number.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
If God deals in strict justice with us, we all perish. We ought to spend our lives in his service; we shall find true life in keeping his word. Those that would see the wondrous things of God's law and gospel, must beg him to give them understanding, by the light of his Spirit. Believers feel themselves strangers on earth; they fear missing their way, and losing comfort by erring from God's commandments. Every sanctified soul hungers after the word of God, as food which there is no living without. There is something of pride at the bottom of every wilful sin. God can silence lying lips; reproach and contempt may humble and do us good, and then they shall be removed. Do we find the weight of the cross is above that we are able to bear? He that bore it for us will enable us to bear it; upheld by him we cannot sink. It is sad when those who should protect the innocent, are their betrayers. The psalmist went on in duty, and he found comfort in the word of God. The comforts of the word of God are most pleasant to a gracious soul, when other comforts are made bitter; and those that would have God's testimonies to be their delight, must be advised by them. May the Lord direct us in exercising repentance of sin, and faith in Christ.