5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

Deuteronomy 29
Psalms 119:49-72
Isaiah 56
Matthew 4

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Psalm 119:54 (CSB): “Your statutes are the theme of my song during my earthly life.

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

What is the longest chapter in the Bible? If you answered, “Psalm 119,” you are correct. It contains 176 verses, even though we know that the Bible wasn’t divided into chapters and verses until A.D. 1227.

But there are even more reasons why this Psalm 119 is so incredible.

First, in most of our English Bibles, Psalm 119 is divided into 22 sections. Each of those sections has exactly 8 verses.

If your Bible is open and you are looking at Psalm 119 right now, you will notice (in most English Bibles) that each section of 8 verses has a heading that isn’t an English word. In reality, each of those headings is a letter of the Hebrews alphabet, in order.

So, verses 1-8 has at the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet (aleph) as a heading. Since we read those first 8 verse in English, we may not realize that in the Hebrew Old Testament, every single one of those 8 verses begins with a word that starts with the first letter of the Hebrews alphabet.

Verses 9-16 has the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet as a heading. Every verse in that section, in the Hebrew Bible, starts with a word that starts with the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

As the Psalmist used this literary device, it is thought that it made it easier for Hebrew worshippers to memorize this chapter. Every section of 8 verses started with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet and progressed until the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet (taw) was used in Psalm 119:169-176).

But, there is something else that makes this chapter special. Every single verse is written to express the beauty and usefulness of God’s Word. If you look carefully, every single verse has a word that is used to describe God’s Word.

Consider reading through Psalm 119 and writing down the word that the Psalmist used to describe God’s Word in each verse. To demonstrate what I’m talking about, here are the words used in Psalm 119:1-8 as translated by the CSB:

v. 1 – LORD’s instruction
v. 2 – his decrees
v. 3 – his ways
v. 4 – your precepts
v. 5 – your statutes
v. 6 – your commands
v. 7 – your righteous judgments
v. 8 – your statutes

If you kept going through each verse in Psalm 119, you would compile a lengthy list (with many of the designations being used repeatedly).

Sure, Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. But, it is so much more important to realize that the longest chapter in the Bible celebrates the Bible and what it can do for us as we love it, study it, and apply it.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, thank You so much for giving us Your Word. Thank You that I can open my Bible at any time of day or night and listen to You speak to me. I pray that I would grow in my love of it and my desire to listen to it and comply with it so that I can become more like You. This is my desire. Amen.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash