What kind of "lamp" was this in Psalm 119:105?

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.  (NIV)

Psalms 119:105

NKJV - 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.

Clarify Share Report Asked October 17 2020 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The Hebrew word translated as "lamp" in the cited verse is used in many other places in the Bible to refer to an object that is used as a source of illumination (including hand-held devices), just as an electric lamp or flashlight would be today. (In biblical times, the light would have been provided by burning oil, either by itself (as in a lantern or other vessel that can hold the oil), or by application to a rag that is soaked in it and then placed in a stick and ignited.) 

For me, this verse evokes an image of a person walking in the darkness in an area where the path is not distinct or cannot be clearly seen, and is using a lamp in order to avoid being tripped by objects that might not be detectable in advance, or to avoid taking an incorrect path that might be missed, in the absence of the light.

October 17 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Grant Abbott Child of Father, Follower of Son, Student of Spirit
This verse uses a metaphor to describe the Word of God (the bible) as a lamp or light. All human beings are born in spiritual darkness because of our sin. As a result we are like the blind leading the blind and everyone is bumping into walls, trying to find God and make sense of this human life.

We are all hopelessly lost until God provides illumination through the revelation of his Word - his laws, statutes, decrees, precepts, etc. In the bible - that show us (reveal, be a lamp and light) how to live a God pleasing life.

The light of God's word always leads us on a path towards Jesus Christ. Why? Because Jesus is the light of the world.

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).

But many people reject God's word and refuse to come into the light. 

"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).

When people come into the light that Jesus gives and become Christians, they see exactly what God is like, because Jesus is the exact image of his Father in heaven. Christians also see clearly to know God's plan and purpose for their lives. Christians can see on the path ahead the good works that their Father in heaven has prepared for them to do. Christians are able to see what God has planned for the future, so they can accomplish the will of God in their lives.

Jesus also said that every Christian is a light. 

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven," (Matthew 5:14-16).

Why is that true? Because we have the Holy Spirit living in us.

"And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit," (2 Corinthians 3:18).

The glory that people see in Christians is the spiritual light of Jesus radiating out of our lives.

October 18 2020 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Missy Greene
The verse seems to allude to the times we must walk our path in the dark, and assures us that in those times God’s word will shine like torch in our hand to light each step of our way. “Your word is a flashlight shining on my path, to keep my feet from tripping in the dark”.

September 14 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
119:105 "a lamp to my feet" -- In Old Testament times the word ner (נֵר־) describes a small clay lamp with a single wick, or as one Bible Glossary had it: a lamp was a small open pottery bowl with one or more lips to hold wicks for the oil. The lamp allows the psalmist to see along his path so that he does not leave it and go astray. 

The figurative use of "lamp" is used in the sense of a guide in Ps 119:105; Prov 6:23. The allusion is to the lamps and torches carried at night before an Eastern caravan. As light on a path in darkness, the Word of God shows us how to follow the right and avoid the wrong way. 

It is "to show the path round many snares, the way to the pearly gate." 
It is also, as another hymnwriter put it, " our guide and chart wherein we read of realms beyond the sky." We are told that this is “an enlightened age,” but we live in a dark world (John 1:5; 3:19; 8:12; 12:46; Col. 1:13; 1 Peter 2:9) and only God’s light can guide us aright. --WWW

"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." (Psalm 119:105 NLT)

October 19 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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