Psalm 119

Submitted by admin on Sat, 2008-02-23 14:21.

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In the Septuagint, Psalm 119(118) opens with the expression “Hallelujah” (Praise Yah), but this invitation to praise YHWH is not included in the Masoretic Text.

The composer is not identified, as there is no superscription. In the psalm itself, he does reveal aspects about his personal life. He was a young man who had deep love for God’s law, which led to his coming to be wiser than his teachers. On account of suffering affliction, probably serious illness, he became aware of his need for God and the inestimable value of his law. Among princes and others who had no love for God’s ways, the psalmist became an object of intense hostility. (119:23, 67, 71, 75, 84-87, 99, 100)

The mention of princes suggests that he may have been a member of the royal family and lived at a time when many had no appreciation for God’s law. Among members of the royal line of David, the circumstances could fit those of Hezekiah. His father Ahaz proved to be one of the worst monarchs of the two-tribe kingdom, participating in abominable idolatrous rites. At a young age, Hezekiah rejected the lawless path of his father. This would have made him distinctly different from the princes in the realm and resulted in their displeasure. (2 Kings 16:2-4; 2 Chronicles 28:1-4, 22-25; 29:1-10)

The alphabetic arrangement of this psalm probably served as a memory aid.