The law is Eternal……right????

One of the arguments I often see spouted by those that claim we are under the law given through Moses today, is that the Bible says that the Law is eternal.

Psalm 19-9 Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. NLT

Psalm 119-60 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. NIV 

If the law is eternal then this would mean that the law would still be in effect today. 

It must be noted that neither Psalm 19-9 nor Psalm 119-160 says that the LAW is eternal in the KJV. The KJV uses the word judgements.

Psalm 19- 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. KJV

Psalm 119- 160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. KJV




However those that assert the law will not normally cite the KJV in these 2 verses but rather use a different translation, one that DOES use the word law such as the NLT for Psalm 19-9 and the NIV for Psalm119-16 as already shown.

We must note that 2 separate versions of the Bible are having to be referenced here as neither actually agree with each other in these 2 verses. The NIV does not use laws in Psalm 19-9 but rather states decrees

Psalm 19-9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. NIV

And the NLT does not use laws in Psalm 119-160 but rather regulations

Psalm 119-160 The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever. Shin

What’s more important is to point out the Hebrew word for Law, Torah, does NOT occur in either of these verses. 

The Hebrew word in Psalm 19-9  translated as Law in the NLT, Decrees in the NIV and Judgements in the KJV is מִשְׁפָט mishpat and means judgements. It does not mean law. 

Furthermore when we actually analyse the text of Psalm 19-9 we will see that it isn’t even saying that the judgements of the LORD are eternal. It is the FEAR of the LORD that endures forever.

Psalm 19-9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

The Hebrew reads יראת יהוה ׀ טהורה עומדת לעד משפטי־יהוה אמת צדקו יחדו

The Fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever. The Judgements of the LORD are stated as being TRUE and RIGHTEOUS.

Even if the correct word was indeed law, which it clearly isn’t, it still wouldn’t be saying that the law was eternal.  

NEITHER the NIV or the NLT state that the LAWS/Decrees are Eternal.  The NIV states that the FEAR of the LORD is pure, enduring forever and that the DECREES of the LORD are Firm and all of them are righteous. 

Psalm 19-9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. NIV

The NLT changes fear to Reverence but still says that it is this that is pure,lasting forever. The LAWS of the LORD are stated as being true and each one fair.  

Psalm 19-9 Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. NLT

It’s just the same in Psalm 119- 160 

The word Torah, law,  does NOT appear in the Hebrew text. 

ראש־דברך אמת ולעולם כל־משפט צדקך׃

Again the word translated as Law in the NIV, Regulations in the NLT and judgements in the KJV is  מִשְׁפָט mishpat which as we have already seen is judgements. 

While the NIV does say that his LAWS are eternal and the NLT says his REGULATIONS are eternal the Hebrew states JUDGEMENTS as correctly translated by the KJV. 

Older English versions of the Bible that use judgements in both these versions are 

Coverdale 1535
Psalm 19-9  The feare of the LORDE is cleane, & endureth for euer: the iudgmentes of the LORDE are true and rigtuous alltogether.

Psalm 119-160 Thy worde is true from euerlastinge, all the iudgmentes of thy rightuousnesse endure for euermore.


Bishops Bible 1568
Psalm 19-9 The feare of God is sincere, & endureth for euer: the iudgementes of God are trueth, they be iust in all poyntes.

Psalm 119-160 The beginning of thy word is trueth: and all the iudgementes of thy ryghteousnesse endure for euermore.

Geneva Bible 1587 

Psalm 19-9 The feare of the Lorde is cleane, and indureth for euer: the iudgements of the Lorde are trueth: they are righteous altogether,

Psalm 119-160 The beginning of thy worde is trueth, and all the iudgements of thy righteousnesse endure for euer.

We must note that even most modern versions of the Bible do not use laws in either of these verses either. 

The ESV uses rules in both verses and the NASB has judgements in Psalm 19-9 and Ordinances in Psalm 119-160.

The JPS Tanakh 1917 has ordinances in Psalm 19-9 and ordinance in Psalm119-160.   

It can’t go without mention that the Hebrew word עוֹלָם olam which is translated as forever in Psalm119-160  while it can mean a literal forever does not necessarily mean as such. Olam simply means the fulness of any specific time.


Jonah stated he was in the belly of the whale forever

Jonah 2-6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars wasabout me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.

Forever being Olam. Jonah was in the belly of the whale the fulness of the 3 days and 3 nights.

The Hebrew עַד Ad used in Psalm 19-9 does however mean perpetual but as already shown it is the fear of the LORD that is being stated as being עַד Ad, perpetual. 

The Bible simply does not say that the laws of the LORD are forever. It is the judgements of the LORD that the Bible states are forever.