I'm meditating on Psalm 37:5, and I can't grasp the meaning of gālāl at the beginning. I suspect it has the same meaning in Psalm 22:8 and Prov. 16:3.

What is the precise meaning of commit your way to the Lord?

Ps 37:5 - Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Ps 22:8 - “Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”

Prov 16:3 - Commit your works to the LORD, And your plans will be established.

  • 2
    Is that word used in Psalm 22:9? Including quotations of these specific verses would improve this question. Commented May 19, 2023 at 16:17
  • I think your reference should be Ps 22:8 rather than V9. I will correct this for you.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 22:46
  • @Dottard Thank you. Commented May 20, 2023 at 12:06

2 Answers 2


The Hebrew Verb גָּלַל (galal) means, "to roll", either to roll away or roll onto. It occurs 18 times in the OT, always with this meaning, but sometimes with a secondary meaning as follows:

  • to roll a stone, Gen 29:3, 8, 10, Josh 10:18, 1 Sam 14:33, Prov 26:27, Jer 51:25
  • to roll guilt upon, ie, to seek occasion to bring an accusation, Gen 43:18
  • to roll guilt away, roll away reproach/shame, Josh 5:9, Ps 119:22
  • to roll blood, ie, wallow in blood, 2 Sam 20:12
  • to roll in like a rabble, Job 30:14
  • to roll commitments onto the LORD, ie, trust the LORD with everything, Ps 22:8, 37:5, Prov 16:3
  • to roll in blood, ie saturate with blood, Isa 9:5
  • to roll a scroll, Isa 34:4
  • to roll like water, Amos 5:24

Thus, in Ps 37:5, to (literally) "roll you way on YHWH" (eg, ISV, YLT) is to trust or commit your ways to YHWH/Jehovah/LORD. The Cambridge commentary summs this well:

  1. Commit &c. Lit. Roll thy way upon Jehovah: shake off and devolve upon Him all the burden of anxiety for life’s course. Cp. Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 5:7.

The Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament is similar:

... roll the burden of cares of thy life's way upon Jahve, leave the guidance of thy life entirely to Him, and to Him alone, without doing anything in it thyself: He will gloriously accomplish (all that concerns thee)

The same idea is expressed (using different words) in other places as well:

  • Ps 55:22 - Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.
  • 1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

According to Young's Analytical Concordance, in Psalm 37:5 gālāl simply means "to roll". This would give the idea of rolling one's ways on to God, so the believer would roll his or her ways upon the Lord, in trust. I see that in the sense of unburdening their ways by entrusting them in faith to the Lord, for his approval and help. Other parts in the Psalm speak of not fretting, and of waiting upon the Lord. "Rolling" one's cares on to the Lord fits in with all of that.

It also has Proverbs 16:3 as only the second occurrence in the Hebrew scriptures for this word with this nuance. It reads, "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established". Again, that fits in with rolling one's works on to the Lord, in trust and faith, which results in reassurance and an established stance.

However, I cannot find Psalm 22:9 as using that word, gālāl. Indeed, it is not in Young's Concordance under any of the meanings of 'commit' (and he gives 17 subtleties of meaning for gālāl, all with reference to the A.V.) Other translations may have 'commit in Psalm 221:9, but the A.V. has 'hope'. Certainly, rolling one's ways, or concerns, or thoughts on to the Lord, in faith and trust, would harmonise with hoping in the Lord.

  • Maybe "simply means to roll" is too simple ;-) Strong's also says it can mean "commit"... and translators overwhelmingly use that word here. "Depend on" or "rely on" also work, Commented May 19, 2023 at 20:11
  • The reference to Ps 22:9 should be Ps 22:8
    – Dottard
    Commented May 19, 2023 at 22:51

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