What does Psalm 19:9 mean?
ESV: the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
NIV: The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
NASB: The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.
CSB: The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are reliable and altogether righteous.
NLT: Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.
KJV: The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
NKJV: The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Verse Commentary:
The "fear of the LORD" seems like a strange term for the law God gave to Israel, but the Law was intended to teach the people of Israel to fear the Lord. The meaning of "fear," here, is the archaic sense of profound respect, humility, and acceptance. This is not a sense of panic, but of deference. This statement points out that reverential fear of the Lord is clean and endures forever. Unlike false religions that are defiled, God's Word is undefiled and everlasting. A judge may render an inaccurate decision, but God's judgments are true, David writes, and they are thoroughly righteous.

One of the instructions the Lord gave to Israel's king appears in Deuteronomy 17:18–19. It directs him to "write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it in all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them." In Psalm 34:11 David wrote, "Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD."
Verse Context:
Psalm 19:7–14 introduces the law of the Lord—meaning Scripture—as God's perfect revelation of Himself and His will. The prior passage identified nature as a revelation of God. Psalm 119, as well, extols God's Word as His perfect revelation and cites the blessings which come to those who love and obey it.
Chapter Summary:
David refers to the details of creation as evidence for God's power and design. The appearance and function of nature are evidence of God's majesty. The second half of this psalm also celebrates God's revelation, but in the form of His Word. The law, precepts, and commandments of God are hailed for their perfection and benefit.
Chapter Context:
This psalm of David celebrates two separate revelations which God has given human beings. He has revealed Himself in nature and in Scripture. Psalm 8 is a companion psalm because it, too, refers to nature as revealing God's majesty. Romans 1:18–25 also points out that God revealed himself through nature, but the passage indicates that disobedient people rejected this revelation.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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