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Psalm 19

New International Version

1 For the director of music. A psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. 11 By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
English Standard Version

1 To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, 5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy. 6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; 9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. 13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
King James Version

1 {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 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, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 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. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 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. 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.
New American Standard Bible

1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. 6 Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. 13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.
New Living Translation

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David. The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. 2 Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. 3 They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. 4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. God has made a home in the heavens for the sun. 5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. 6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat. 7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living. 9 Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. 10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. 11 They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. 12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Christian Standard Bible

1 The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. 3 There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard. 4 Their message has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming from his home; it rejoices like an athlete running a course. 6 It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat. 7 The instruction of the LORD is perfect, renewing one's life; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, making the heart glad; the command of the LORD is radiant, making the eyes light up. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are reliable and altogether righteous. 10 They are more desirable than gold--than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. 11 In addition, your servant is warned by them, and in keeping them there is an abundant reward. 12 Who perceives his unintentional sins? Cleanse me from my hidden faults. 13 Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed from blatant rebellion. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.

What does Psalm 19 mean?

This psalm of David begins by referring to the heavens and the sky as proofs of God's creative work. The first verse uses Hebrew terms similar to those found in the first verses of Genesis. The existence, structure, and details of nature shout the reality of a Creator (Psalm 19:1).

David states this revelation continues both night and day. The point is not merely that nature looks impressive. The function of the universe also announces the incredible design of God. A vivid example of this is how earth is affected by the sun. The sun rises in full strength, traverses the sky, and sets at the opposite end of the horizon. The sun's warmth and rays touch everything on earth (Psalm 19:2–6).

As well as nature, God can be seen in the inspired Word He gives mankind. God's revelation in Scripture is perfect, trustworthy, right, pure, clean, and true. It revives the soul, brings wisdom, creates joy in the heart, gives enlightenment, and endures forever. God's written revelation in Scripture is more valuable than the finest gold and sweeter to the taste than honey. These are framed in a poetic, repeated structure, which echoes some of the book of Proverbs. God's servant finds warning and great reward in His written revelation (Psalm 19:7–11).

David concludes the Psalm with prayer. He asks for deliverance from the grasp of presumptuous sins—meaning the kind of arrogant actions that invite harsh consequences. He asks God to accept his speech and the meditation of his heart. David not only wants to obey God, he seeks to please Him, in words and thoughts, as well. David addresses God as Lord, rock, and redeemer. This final verse has served as a model, not only for prayer, but also for songs of praise for much of Christian history (Psalm 19:12–14).