“law.” Psalms, the first book of the “Writings” in the Hebrew Bible, begins by pointing the reader back to Torah. Studying the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, is essential to learn how to think and reason the way God does. In a similar fashion, the book of Joshua, the first book of the “Prophets” in the Hebrew Bible, begins with a reminder to be anchored in the Torah (Josh. 1:7).
[For more on the meaning of “law,” Torah, see commentary on Proverbs 1:8.]
“meditates.” The translation “meditates” is okay, but not a perfect match, and can lead to misunderstanding. The Hebrew word is hagah (#01897 הָגָה), and when used of humans its basic meaning is to utter a sound. Thus, it can mean to mutter, moan, utter, speak. It can mean to read out loud in an undertone. Its extended or applied meanings can include to recite, muse, imagine. In any case, what it does not mean is to think about in silence, like the silent monks. God wants us to read, recite, think about, and dwell on His Word and works, especially out loud. The idea is to memorize it, if not word for word, to certainly get to the point we know what God’s Torah says and means. Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible tries to capture the sense with the translation that in God’s law the man talks with himself day and night.