What are God’s “testimonies?”


by Shawn Brasseaux

The Authorized Version refers to God’s “testimonies” three dozen times, the vast majority of the verses being in Psalm 119 (we will quote the passages later). A “testimony” in this sense is a commandment or direction given as a rule of action or conduct. It is a solemn or serious declaration, something not to be taken lightly. Our English term “testimony” is from the Latin word “testimonium,” from “testis,” meaning “witness.” In other words, these laws are a witness to the LORD’S righteousness, proof of His holiness, and also evidence that the sinner is unable to measure up to those standards (see 2 Kings 17:15 and Nehemiah 9:34 below). God must work in the Jewish saint who believes and loves His words, for that saint to act in accordance with those declarations.

  • Deuteronomy 4:45: “These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Moses spake unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt.”
  • Deuteronomy 6:17: “Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.”
  • Deuteronomy 6:20: “And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you?”
  • 1 Kings 2:3: “And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:….”
  • 2 Kings 17:15: “And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.”
  • 2 Kings 23:3: “And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.”
  • 1 Chronicles 29:19: “And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.”
  • 2 Chronicles 34:31: “And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.”
  • Nehemiah 9:34: “Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.”
  • Psalm 25:10: “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”
  • Psalm 78:56: “Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:….
  • Psalm 93:5: “Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever.”
  • Psalm 99:7: “He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.”
  • Psalm 119:2: “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.”
  • Psalm 119:14: “I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.”
  • Psalm 119:22: “Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:24: “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.”
  • Psalm 119:31: “I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.”
  • Psalm 119:36: “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.”
  • Psalm 119:46: “I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.”
  • Psalm 119:59: “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:79: “Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:95: “The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:99: “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.”
  • Psalm 119:111: “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”
  • Psalm 119:119: “Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:125: “I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:129: “Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.”
  • Psalm 119:138: “Thy testimonies that thou hast commanded are righteous and very faithful.”
  • Psalm 119:144: “The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.”
  • Psalm 119:146: “I cried unto thee; save me, and I shall keep thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:152: “Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.”
  • Psalm 119:157: “Many are my persecutors and mine enemies; yet do I not decline from thy testimonies.”
  • Psalm 119:167: “My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.”
  • Psalm 119:168: “I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.”
  • Jeremiah 44:23: “Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.”

Also see:
» How does one know if he or she is maturing in the Word of God?
» Has God’s Word failed?
» Why is Jesus Christ called “The Word of God?”
» Did not Jesus speak words not recorded in Scripture?