Psalm 119: Nun

In Psalm 119:106, we read: “I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments” (KJV).

This verse puzzled me.  A person is swearing that he will keep God’s word!  That’s pretty serious, considering how strict God in the Hebrew Bible is about oaths and vows.  Ecclesiastes 5:4 says that it’s better not to make a vow than it is to make a vow and not keep it.  Numbers 30:2 affirms that a man who makes a vow or an oath must perform what comes out of his mouth (but Numbers 30 allows for a father to nullify his daughter’s vow, and a husband to nullify the vow of his wife).

Why would the Psalmist swear to keep God’s word, when there was a good chance that he (like all of us) would fall short of keeping God’s commandments?  Isn’t that kind of an oath unrealistic?

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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