According to Psalms 63:4 in the NAB:

For your love is better than life; my lips shall ever praise you!

Now, according to the commentary contained therein: For your love is better than life: only here in the Old Testament is anything prized above life--in this case God’s love.

Does anyone know if this is gloss is true? That is, is there another instance in the Old Testament where something is considered to be better than life?

Because of some other (questionable) commentary I have seen in the NAB, I am skeptical; and so, I am posing this question.

Also, it seems that the words "love" and "mercy" may be interchangeable, as the word "mercy" is used in place of the word "love" in the Douay-Rheims Bible--Psalm 62 (Vulgate numbering).

2 Answers 2


Wisdom The book of Proverbs places a high premium on wisdom:

Wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desires can compare with her. (Proverbs 8:11)

For whoever finds me finds life, and receives favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 8:35)

It was stated that the FIRST thing ever created was Wisdom, before His deeds of old. (8:22) So wisdom must be placed extremely high on the scale of priorities and values preceding LIFE.


This verse comes close:

Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 8:15, KJV)

And, so far as I can ascertain, there is none that comes nearer to answering this question.

Regarding the love-mercy issue, check the Hebrew: if the root for the word is "hesed" (het, samed, dalet root letters), as it is in Psalm 63:3(4) as quoted in the OP where it was translated as "love", then this word actually means much more than love. Many translations use "lovingkindness." The word implies faithfulness, continuance/constancy, mercy, love, compassion, and kindness--all wrapped up in one. There is no good word in English for this.

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