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Psalm 119:44-45:

I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever,
and I shall walk in a wide place,
for I have sought your precepts.

What, exactly, is the "wide place" in this context and what does it symbolize? Is it referring to a place that is safe to walk, or to a place that is easy to walk? Or something else entirely?

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In Ps 119:45, the ESV gives this:

and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.

Other versions provide a more interpretive translation:

  • NIV: I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
  • NLT: I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.
  • BSB: And I will walk in freedom, for I have sought Your precepts.
  • KJV: And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
  • NKJV: And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.
  • NASB: And I will walk at liberty, For I seek Your precepts.
  • CSB: I will walk freely in an open place because I study your precepts.
  • HCSB: I will walk freely in an open place because I seek Your precepts.

Note the comments of Cambridge Bible:

  1. And I will walk at liberty] Lit. in a broad place, for God’s commandment is “exceeding broad”; its observance is no restraint but the truest freedom. Or the meaning may be, Let me walk at liberty, free from the constraint of anxiety and persecution. Cp. Psalm 119:32; Psalm 118:5.

The Pulpit commentary is similar

Verse 45. - And I will walk at liberty. Rekhabah is literally "the open square of a city," hence "a wide, open, free space." In obeying God's commandments the psalmist will not feel himself under constraint, but a wholly free agent. For I seek thy precepts. Inclination, not constraint, makes him obey God's precepts - he "seeks" them, "loves" them (ver. 47), "delights in" them (vers. 16, 24, 47). Psalm 119:45

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