Psalm 119 is one of the most studied chapters in the Bible. There are countless studies by various commentators and bloggers. One of my favorite studies for it is by David Guzik from BlueLetterBible. I encourage you to check it out to deepen your Bible reading time!
It’s been on my heart for a few months now to express some thoughts on Psalm 119. I’ve studied and mulled it over a lot. And though I don’t have it all figured out, I hope you join and stay tuned for the series! We can broaden our insight, deepen our study, and widen our perspectives together. I believe God will speak to us through these posts, so share with me what you hear and learn 🙂
You’ll see some references from David Guzik’s commentary on BlueLetterBible throughout this post and some future ones. I used the information for my own study and educational purposes and do not intend to copy, sell, or share information without fully crediting original sources for providing the information.
Now, if you’ve never read Psalm 119, here’s a quick snapshot:
The Psalm is all about God and His Word. It’s arranged in an acrostic pattern, with 22 letters from the Hebrew alphabet representing each section. Each section has 8 verses (totaling 176). The author (unnamed) gave every section to a letter in the alphabet, and each line begins with that letter.
Since it’s primarily about God’s Word, there are 8 words to note:
- Law (torah) – law, direction, instruction.
- Word (dabar) – speech, speaking; direct spoken word.
- Judgments (mispatim) – justice, a verdict pronounced judicially.
- Testimonies (edut/edot) – testimony, witness.
- Commandments (miswah/miswot) – command, the right to give orders.
- Statutes (huqqim) – an enactment, something prescribed, due.
- Precepts (piqqudim) – a mandate of God; commandment.
- Word (imrah) – utterance, speech, word; from God.
Each word signifies God and His written Word (or revelation), so it’s important to understand the meaning of it. This helps to draw out the meanings of each verse. As we read through it, it may seem repetitive, but I love how David Guzik describes it:
The sections and verses are not like a chain where one link is connected to the other, but like a string of pearls where each pearl has equal, but independent value.David Guzik Commentary
I like to use the analogy of a colorful bouncy ball: when you throw it against the ground and catch it; you’ll see one unique side. When you throw and catch it again, you’ll see a different unique side. The ball remains a ball, but every point you focus in on looks unique on the outside but is equidistant from its center.
Though we’ll see these words often, it’s fascinating to know that each reference to the scriptures relates to its Author, exalting Him above all. The Word always leads us back to Him!
“This wonderful psalm, from its great length, helps us to wonder at the immensity of Scripture. From its keeping to one subject it helps us to adore the unity of Scripture; for it is but one. Yet, from the many turns it gives to the same thought, it helps you to see the variety of Scripture… Some have said that in it there is an absence of variety, but that is merely the observation of those who have not studied it. I have weighed each word, and looked at each syllable with lengthened meditation; and I bear witness that this sacred song has no tautology in it, but is charmingly varied from beginning to end. Its variety is that of a kaleidoscope: from a few objects a boundless variation is produced. In the kaleidoscope you look once, and there is a strangely beautiful form. You shift the glass a very little, and another shape, equally delicate and beautiful, is before your eyes. So it is here.”(Charles Spurgeon)
As a closing point, I’ll be using the NASB version, since it is most closely translated from the original writings. I always have writing utensils on hand to mark up my Bible and encourage you to do the same. I’ve heard someone say, “the Bible is not a coloring book,” before, but I’ve learned the papers aren’t worth much: it’s the WORD that is important. So, I encourage you to mark up your Bible as you study it.
Whether you string pearls, bounce balls, or shift kaleidoscopes, I hope you tune in on my Psalm 119 Series! I invite you to share your thoughts and revelations and hope this blesses you as it does me!