(7) The law.—The ear catches even in the English the change of rhythm, which is as marked as the change of subject. Instead of the free lyric movement of the preceding verse, we come suddenly upon the most finished specimen of didactic poetry in regular metre, exhibiting a perfect balance of expression as well as of thought, so perfect in the original, that in Psalm 19:7-9 the number of words is the same in each clause. In each clause, too, the Law, under one or another of its many names and aspects, is praised, first for its essential character, then for its results.The law . . . . the testimony.—These are collective terms embracing, under different regards, the whole body of statutes and precepts in the Jewish code. The law, tôrah, means in its primary use “instruction,” and therefore is used of prophecy (Isaiah 1:10Isaiah 8:16), but here undoubtedly bears its common and more limited sense. Testimony, from a root meaning “to repeat,” suggests the solemn earnestness and insistence of the Divine commands.

The description “perfect” and “sure” suggests the lofty ideal prescribed by the Law, and the reliance which the Hebrew might place upon it as a rule of conduct. The word “simple” is generally used in a bad sense, but here has its primary meaning, “open,” “ingenuous,” “impressible,” easily led either towards folly or wisdom.

7The law of the Lord] Instruction, teaching, doctrine, are the ideas connected with the word torah, rendered law. See on Psalm 1:2. Like Jehovah’s work (Deuteronomy 32:4), and His way (Psalm 18:30), it is perfect, complete, flawless; without defect or error; a guide which can neither mislead nor fail. Observe that the name Jehovah now takes the place of God (Psalm 19:1); for we have entered the sphere of the special revelation to Israel.