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Psalm 119

Psalm 119

Excerpt
This psalm is special in several ways. It is the longest psalm (176 verses), and it is an acrostic psalm, following the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In most editions of the Bible, the twenty-two sections of this psalm are headed by the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph, Beth, Gimel, etc.). In theHebrew Bible, each verse in a section begins with that Hebrew letter. For example, all the verses in the “aleph” section (vv. 1–8) begin with the Hebrew letter “aleph.” Look at the “teth” section (vv. 65–72) and start v. 67with “Til” and v. 71 with “Tis,” and you will have each line starting with the English letter “T” (which is the same as the Hebrew “teth”). The Jews wrote in this fashion to help them memorize the Scriptures so they could meditate on God’s Word. We do not know who wrote this psalm, although the writer refers to himself many times. He was suffering from his love for God’s Law (vv. 2250–539598115), yet he had determined to obey the Word regardless of the cost. All but five verses mention the Word of God in one way or another. The exceptions are vv. 8490121122, and 132. God is referred to in every verse. The number eight is stamped all over this psalm. Each section has eight verses; there are eight special names for God’s Word listed; there are eight symbols of the Word given; the believer has eight responsibilities to the Word. The word “eight” in Hebrew literally means “abundance, more than enough”; it is the number of new beginnings. It is as though the writer is saying, “God’s Word is enough. If you have the Scriptures, that is… More
Wiersbe, Warren W. Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1993. Print.
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