More common is לְפָנֶ֥יךָ for before you, etymologically toward your face, while נֶגְדֶּֽךָ has the idea of opposite or across from you. Is there significant to the use of these different words?

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    Psalm 102 expresses 'descendants' before, that is to say face to face. Psalm 119 expresses 'ways' laid out before, rather as a pathway. They are differently locative scenarios, I would suggest.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 11, 2023 at 4:03

1 Answer 1


There is very little difference between the two words in practice. BDB lists this passage specifically:

a. locally (rather stronger and distincter than לִפְנֵי), (a) Gn 31:32 נֶגֶד אַחֵינוּ הַכֶּר־נָא in front of our brethren own it, now,...with collat. idea of being open or known to, Pr 15:11 שׁאול ואבדון נגד י׳, Jb 26:6; ψ 38:10 ‏נגדך כל־תאותי (|| ‏ממך לא נסתרה), 69:20 (|| יָדַעְתָּ), 119:168, (BDB, s.v. “נָגַד,” 617.)

BDB concludes that it's "rather stronger and distincter". But the list of passages isn't that convincing. More likely, it's just stylistic variation in poetry.

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