The Lesson Of The Lamp -- By: Gary A. Byers

Journal: Bible and Spade (Second Run)
Volume: BSPADE 27:4 (Fall 2014)
Article: The Lesson Of The Lamp
Author: Gary A. Byers


The Lesson Of The Lamp

Gary A. Byers

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path”

Ps 119 is an anonymous Psalm which stands alone between two separate groupings of chapters. After the Hallel Psalms (Ps 113-118), sung at the Passover, and before the Songs of Ascent (Ps 120-134), sung by pilgrims as they ascended the hills to Jerusalem for the holiday festivals, Ps 119 had its own unique meaning.

Michael C. Luddeni

A hand-made ceramic oil lamp from the Holy Land in Old Testament times. The bowl was filled with olive oil. One end of a fiber wick sat in the oil and the other, which hung out over the spout, was lit to provide minimal light in an ancient house. This lamp, dating to the tenth century BC, is the type known to King David and most of the writers of the Psalms. A lamp like this is referred to in Ps 119:105.

The longest chapter of the Bible (176 verses), Ps 119 is also an acrostic poem where every eight verses start with successive letters of the 22-letter Hebrew alphabet. Many Bibles indicate this arrangement by headlining each section with that Hebrew letter (verses Ps 119:1-8 aleph; verses Ps 119:9-16 beth; verses Ps 119:17-24 gimel; 8 verses x 22 letters = 176 verses, etc.).

David’s name is associated with 73 of the 150 Psalms, and another 50 are anonymous. Of the remaining 27 Psalms, most of the names are understood to be those of priests and Levites serving in the sanctuary during David’s reign. Since Ps 119 is anonymous, it, too, originated from the circle of those who wrote most of the Psalms within the time of David or, at least, his son Solomon (to whom two Psalms—Ps 72 and Ps 127—are attributed).

While the author isn’t clear, the focus of this chapter is. Commonly known as the Word of God Psalm, 171 of its 176 verses reference God’s Word. Using a variety of terms—”law,” “statutes,” “precepts,” “decrees,” “commandments,” “word”— appreciation of God’s Law above all else is the priority here.

Lamps In The Old Testament

The first...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()