Visual Illustration of Acrostic Psalm 119

Ps 119 copy

A little while back I preached
a series through some selected Psalms. Psalm 119 was one of the Psalms I chose to preach. I made this image as a way to demonstrate the acrostic nature of the Psalm. Click on the image for a full-sized rendering of the first 72 verses of the longest Psalm in our Bibles. (Note: The image is quite large, so your web browser may resize it to show the full image. You may need to click the image or take other steps to see it in full resolution.)

The 22 stanzas of Psalm 119 are made up of 8 lines each, each of them beginning with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Another feature of Psalm 119 is that almost every line (4 exceptions*) contains one of the eight terms used as synonyms for "Torah", often translated "law" but probably better understood as "instruction" or "teaching." The eight terms used throughout the Psalm: Torah (instruction), ordinances, decrees, word, statutes, precepts, commands, and promise. The translation of those terms may vary slightly deepening on which Bible translation you're using.

Psalm 119 is clearly a well-thought out, well-ordered piece of literature. Note the repetition of the eight terms but the variety of ways the psalmist expresses honor for the word of God. The sermon I preached on Psalm 119
is available here.

*The four exceptions: Verses 3 and 37 have "ways", verse 15 has "paths", and verse 90 has "faithfulness". Each in context is virtually synonymous with "instruction".

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