Psalm 119 occupies an important place in the entire Bible. It is the longest chapter Psalm in the Bible with 176 verses. It is divided into 22 sections or stanzas titled with a Hebrew letter serving as the caption of each chapter. So there are 8 verses in each stanza. The most remarkable thing about this great Psalm is that it uses 8 synonyms for ‘Word’ of God. It is used in all the 176 verses of the Psalm excepting in verses 84, 90, 121,132, 149 and 156 where it is to be found that the synonyms for God’s Word is indirectly used. Most scholars agree that verse 122 is the only verse where there is no reference to God’s word, directly or indirectly: “Ensure your servant’s well-being; let not the arrogant oppress me”. So we can see that this particular Psalm is an exceptional Psalm in that it is entirely committed to magnify and honour the life-giving and eternal Word or law of God.
This Psalm uses eight different Hebrew words as synonyms for God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures, which is God revelation to man. The words are: Hebrew word ‘Torah’, meaning instruction, law and even God’s revelation) is used in this Psalter 25 times. The word ‘Dabar’, is spoken word of God and it is used 24 times; ‘Mishpatim’, meaning ‘Judgments’ is used 23 times; ‘Edut’, meaning Testimonies 23 times; ‘Imrah’, meaning anything God has commanded or spoken 19 times; ‘piqudim’ meaning precepts 21times; ‘Miswah’, meaning commandments 22times and ‘huqqim’, meaning authority to give laws 21 times. The 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet are shown here as they are found in both Bangla and English versions of the Bible each serving as a caption for the 8 verses forming a stanza in the Psalm. It is obvious indeed that this Psalm was written to celebrate God’s life-giving Word and instruction to man. “The law from your mouth is more precious to me that thousands of pieces of silver and gold”, sang the writer in verse 74. “How sweet are your Words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore, I hate every wrong path” (verse 103-104). God’s eternal word is kept in heaven for eternity. Thus the writer wrote, “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (verse 89). God’s word is truth and beautiful for all people for all generation for the world without end. So we see the Psalter declaring, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it that I will follow your righteous laws” (verse 105-106). Some particular verses in this great spiritual hymn are: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (verses 9-11).
The writer is a Christian Theology teacher and a Church leader