Psalm 119 is an example of the most fully developed form of alphabetic acrostic. Each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet is represented by an eight-line stanza. All eight lines of each stanza begin with the appropriate sequential letter. This psalm is a didactic meditation on the characteristics and blessings of God’s law. Eight distinct terms for God’s law appear repeatedly throughout the psalm. This may explain the eight-fold repetition of each letter in the psalm.
The purpose of this acrostic and the dozens of other alphabetical acrostics in the Scriptures seems to be there to show the comprehensiveness or completeness of the text and subject matter. With 176 verses, I didn’t need an acrostic to see the fullness of Psalm 119!
This blog was originally written by Pastor Doug Bartel of Hillcrest Church, starting in Spring 2009. Keep that in mind if you read anything that doesn't quite add up to the time of year.