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תהילים קיט Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is one of the most amazing passages in the Bible. We can miss a lot of the beauty and structure of Psalm 119 if we do not look at it in the original language it was written, Hebrew.

This psalm is divided into 22 sections: one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each section is composed of 8 verses and each verse begins with the same Hebrew letter. It is likely that this was for both aesthetics and as a memorization aid. This kind of poem is known as an acrostic.

Each verse contains a special word pertaining to Yahweh's law, ordinances, word, commandments, statutes, precepts and decrees. In most cases, each verse contains a single instance of the special word; except in 6 cases where the verse contains two special words; and in 1 case (verse 122), where no special word occurs. The usual verse structure is AB, except in 3 verses with an A structure and 1 verse that adds a cry for help at the end of an AB structure.

The Name of the Creator God is used in interesting ways in Psalm 119. In all cases except one, the Personal Name of the Creator God (Yahweh) is used, appearing 24 times. Multiples of twelve are frequently used in the Bible. In the remaining case, the Hebrew word Elohiym is used, which means Creator God.

Frequency of Creator God names and special words used in Psalm 119:

Hebrew
Transliteration
English Translation (WEB)
Occurrences
יְהוָ֑ה
yhwh Yahweh (Personal Name)
24
אֱלֹהָֽי
elohiym God
1
תֽוֹרָת
torah law
25
מִשְׁפָּטְֶ֥
mishpat ordinances, judgment, judgments, laws, just
23
דְבָרְ
dabar word, words
23
מִצְוֺתֶ֥
mitsvah commandments
22
חֻקֶּ
choq statutes
21
פִקּוּדֶ֣יךָ
piqquwd precepts
21
אִמְרָתְ
imrah word, promise, promises
19
עֵדֹתֶ֑
edah statutes, testimonies
13
עֵדְוֺתֶ֗
eduwth testimonies, statutes
10
דְרָכֶ֥
derek ways
2
אֱמֽוּנָתֶ֑
emuwnah faithfulness
1
חֻקֹּתֶ֥
chuqqah statutes
1

Psalm 119 is telling us that to know the Creator God you must know His law, ordinances, word, commandments, statutes, precepts, decrees, testimonies, ways, and faithfulness.


psalm119 | http://basicsofthebible.org/psalm119/