Psalm 119

Introduction to Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is a chapter of instruction of what to do with God’s word. It is formatted in poetry in acrostic form in 22 stanzas, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The writer is unknown, but believed to be King David.

The terms used to describe the Word of God are:

  • Law (Torah) – used 25 times – Ps 119:44 Instruction & direction, first five books of the OT (pentateuch)
  • Word (Dabar, Imrah) – Used 18 times – Ps 119:11 What God has spoken
  • Judgements/Rules (Mishpat) – Used 20 times – Ps 119:7 What the divine judge has ruled to be right/ordinance
  • Testimonies/ordinances (Eduth) – Used 22 times – Ps 119:2 What God solemnly testifies to be His will
  • Commandments (Mitsvah) – Used 22 times – Ps 119:166 What God has commanded to those in relationship with Him
  • Statutes (Chuqqah) – Used 22 times – Ps 119:8 What the divine lawgiver has laid down
  • Precepts (Piqqud) – Used 21 times – Ps 119:69 What God has appointed to be done (orders/guidelines)
  • Way/Path (Derek/Orach) – Used 7 times – Ps 119:30 The lifestyle required by God’s law


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