December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 For the leader. A psalm of David.
- The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder's craft.
- One day to the next conveys that message; one night to the next imparts that knowledge.
- 2 There is no word or sound; no voice is heard;
- 3 Yet their report goes forth through all the earth, their message, to the ends of the world. God has pitched there a tent for the sun;
- it comes forth like a bridegroom from his chamber, and like an athlete joyfully runs its course.
- From one end of the heavens it comes forth; its course runs through to the other; nothing escapes its heat.
- The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.
- The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye.
- The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The statutes of the LORD are true, all of them just;
- More desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest gold, Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.
- 4 By them your servant is instructed; obeying them brings much reward.
- Who can detect heedless failings? Cleanse me from my unknown faults.
- But from willful sins keep your servant; let them never control me. Then shall I be blameless, innocent of grave sin.
- Let the words of my mouth meet with your favor, keep the thoughts of my heart before you, LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
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1 [Psalm 19] The heavenly elements of the world, now beautifully arranged, bespeak the power and wisdom of their creator (Psalm 19:2-7). The creator's wisdom is available to human beings in the law (Psalm 19:8-11), toward which the psalmist prays to be open (Psalm 19:12-14). The themes of light and speech unify the poem.
2  No word or sound: the regular functioning of the heavens and the alternation of day and night inform humans without words of the creator's power and wisdom.
3  The sun: in other religious literature the sun is a judge and lawgiver since it sees all in its daily course; Psalm 19:5b-7 form a transition to the law in Psalm 19:8-11. The six synonyms for God's revelation (Psalm 19:8-11) are applied to the sun in comparable literature.
4  Instructed: the Hebrew verb means both to shine and to teach. Cf Daniel 12:3.
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