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Psalms 119 – The “Alphabetic Psalm” - El Shaddai Christian Ministries

Psalms 119 – The “Alphabetic Psalm”

Meditations and Prayers Relating to the Law of God

Test Psalm 119 is one of the more popular Psalms and is the longest Psalm in the collection. It is a hymn of praise and the appreciation for God’s instructions to his people. The psalmist constructs this hymn as elaborate acrostic poem that moves artfully through each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Essentially, all the elements of the Psalm combine to emphasize the importance of God’s Word to his That people, to the praise and glory of the one true God.

Let’s take a look at the Hebrew alphabet, the individual letters and their meanings. Hebrew letters are not just ordinary letters. Each letter is a symbol, full of many inner meanings, from a literal straight-forward meaning to a deeper spiritual meaning. Understanding the letters provides essential insight into the deeper meanings of the Torah or the Bible.

Acrostic Design of the Alef-beit in the Bible

An acrostic as defined by Wikipedia is; “ a poem (or other form of writing) in which the first letter (or syllable, or word) of each line (or paragraph, or other recurring feature in the text) spells out a word, message or the alphabet.

THE ALPHABETIC PSALM 119

First we will take a very brief look at the book of Psalms. It is the longest book of the Bible containing 150 Psalms. There are a lot of prophecies hidden within the Psalms. Psalm 119 is sometimes called the Psalm of eights or the alphabetic Psalm. Psalms has 176 versus if you divide that by 8 a gives you 22, the exact number of the Hebrew Aleph-beit starting with the Aleph and ending with the Tahv. So if we take the first eight versus, they correspond with the spiritual meaning of the Aleph, the second eight with the Bet and the third eight with the Ghimel and so forth. The Talmud refers to the Psalm as “a repetition of eight whereas the number seven symbolizes the power of this world, which was created in seven days, eight symbolizes a written lease from the desires of the mundane world which distract a person from a spiritual application”. It is symbolic according to rabbinic teaching of the spiritual struggle or growth we call it the number of new birth or the new covenant. It is through this that one obtains the new covenant through a new birth. I will list each of the letters below with a very brief description of the spiritual meaning of the letter and the first 3 verses of the Scripture so you can get an idea of how they relate to the meaning of each letter. If you open up your Bible to Psalm 119 you will see the other 5 verses and each one also corresponds with the sacred meaning of the letter.

A –  Alef [א]

Letter for God as “Creator and King.”

  1. How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD. 2.  How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, Who seek Him with all {their} heart. 3.  They also do no unrighteousness; They walk in His ways.

B – Beit [ב]

Letter for “House and Temple.”

  1. How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping {it} according to Your word. 10.  With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11.  Your word I have treasured [hid] in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

G  – Ghimel [ג]

Letter for “loving kindness and culmination.”

  1. Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word. 18.  Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. 19.  I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me.

D – Dalet [ד]

Letter for “the door.”

  1. My soul cleaves to the dust; Revive me according to Your word. 26.  I have told of my ways, and You have answered me; Teach me Your statutes. 27.  Make me understand the way of Your precepts, So I will meditate on Your wonders.

H – Hey [ה]

Letter for the “breath of God.”

  1. Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, And I shall observe it to the end. 34.  Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all {my} heart. 35.  Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.

V –  Vav [ו]

Letter for “completion and redemption.”

  1. May Your loving kindnesses also come to me, O LORD, Your salvation according to Your word; 42.  So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, For I trust in Your word. 43.  And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, For I wait for Your ordinances.

Z  – Zayin [ז]

“Focal point of sustenance and struggle.”

  1. Remember the word to Your servant, In which You have made me hope. 50.  This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me. 51.  The arrogant utterly deride me, {Yet} I do not turn aside from Your law.

C –  Cheit [ח]

Letter for “transcendence, life, and grace.”

  1. The LORD is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words. 58.  I sought Your favor with all {my} heart; Be gracious to me according to Your word. 59.  I considered my ways And turned my feet to Your testimonies.

T  – Tet [ט]

Letter for “serpent and objective good.”

  1. You have dealt well with Your servant, O LORD, according to Your word. 66.  Teach me good discernment and knowledge, For I believe in Your commandments. 67.  Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your word.

Y  – Yod [י]

Letter for “creation and metaphysical.”

  1. Your hands made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments. 74.  May those who fear You see me and be glad, Because I wait for Your word. 75.  I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are righteous, And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.

K –  Kafך]

Letter for “crowning accomplishment.”

  1. My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word. 82.  My eyes fail {with longing} for Your word, While I say, “When will You comfort me?” 83.  Though I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget Your statutes.

L –  Lamed [ל]

Letter for “teaching and learning.”

  1. Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. 90.  Your faithfulness {continues} throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. 91.  They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants.

M  – Memם]

Letter for “water,” “revealed, and concealed.”

  1. O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98.  Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. 99.  I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.

N –  Nunן]

Letter for “faithfulness, soul, and emergence.”

  1. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. 106.  I have sworn and I will confirm it, That I will keep Your righteous ordinances. 107.  I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word.

S –  Samech [ס]

Letter for “support and divine presence.”

  1. I hate those who are double-minded, But I love Your law. 114.  You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word. 115.  Depart from me, evildoers, That I may observe the commandments of my God.

W  – Ayin [ע]

Letter for “sight and insight.”

  1. I have done justice and righteousness; Do not leave me to my oppressors. 122.  Be surety for Your servant for good; Do not let the arrogant oppress me. 123.  My eyes fail {with longing} for Your salvation And for Your righteous word.

F –  Peh [פ ף]

Letter for “mouth and speech.”

  1. Your testimonies are wonderful; Therefore my soul observes them. 130.  The unfolding of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. 131.  I opened my mouth wide and panted, For I longed for Your commandments.

Q  – Tsadeץ]

Letter for “righteousness and humility.”

  1. Righteous are You, O LORD, And upright are Your judgments. 138.  You have commanded Your testimonies in righteousness And exceeding faithfulness. 139.  My zeal has consumed me, Because my adversaries have forgotten Your words.

J  – Qof [ק]

Letter for “holiness and growth cycles.”

  1. I cried with all my heart; answer me, O LORD! I will observe Your statutes. 146.  I cried to You; save me And I shall keep Your testimonies. 147.  I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.

R –  Resh [ר]

Letter for “the wicked.”

  1. Look upon my affliction and rescue me, For I do not forget Your law 154.  Plead my cause and redeem me; Revive me according to Your word. 155.  Salvation is far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.

E  – Shin[שׂ]

Letter for “divine power and provision.”

  1. Princes persecute me without cause, But my heart stands in awe of Your words. 162.  I rejoice at Your word, As one who finds great spoil. 163.  I hate and despise falsehood, {But} I love Your law.

: Tahv [ת]      

Letter for “truth and perfection.”

  1. Let my cry come before You, O LORD; Give me understanding according to Your word. 170.  Let my supplication come before You; Deliver me according to Your word. 171.  Let my lips utter praise, For You teach me Your statutes.
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