Psalm 119 is a wonderful composition that should delight the believer. It is the longest chapter in the Bible at 176 verses. Although no name is ascribed to the author we tend to agree with Spurgeon who called it “David’s pocket book” [Treasury of David, Vol. 3, p 130].
It has a unique structure being an “alphabetic Psalm” consisting of twenty-two stanzas of eight verses each. Each stanza is preceded by a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and each verse starts with that letter.
Psalm 119 has but one subject – the Word of God. Almost every verse contains reference to the Word. There are nine synonyms for the law starting with the law itself – “Torah.” Then the words for “testimonies,” “judgments,” “statutes,” “commandments,” “God’s word,” “precepts,” “promises,” and “ways.” The excellence of the law is considered in almost every aspect.
Some have suggested that a poem of this length with only one subject would be monotonous to read. That is far from the truth. Those who take time to meditate on its precepts will be greatly blessed.
Spurgeon called “this sacred ode a little Bible, the Scriptures condensed……This Psalm, like the whole Scripture which it praises, is a pearl island, or, better still, a garden of sweet flowers”