Gimel – Psalm 119:17-24

Overview: Psalm 119 stands out in the Book of Psalms not only for being the longest chapter in the Bible, but also for its unique structure and profound devotion to the theme of God’s Word.

  • This psalm is an acrostic poem, meticulously crafted with each of its 176 verses corresponding to the Hebrew alphabet.
  • It is divided into 22 stanzas, each containing 8 verses.
  • Every verse in a stanza begins with the same Hebrew letter, following the order of the alphabet.

“Gimel” is the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is used as a heading for the third section of Psalm 119, verses 17-24. Each verse in this section starts with “Gimel” in the original Hebrew text. The use of “Gimel” and other letters in Psalm 119 follows the acrostic pattern that characterizes the entire chapter.

In the context of Psalm 119, the “Gimel” section, like the others, continues to explore themes related to the value, beauty, and importance of God’s law and commandments. It reflects on how adherence to God’s word impacts one’s life, providing guidance, wisdom, and spiritual insight.

The use of Hebrew alphabet letters such as “Gimel” in Psalm 119 is not just a literary device but also adds layers of meaning and aids in memorization and meditation on the psalm’s themes. Each section, under the header of a different Hebrew letter, offers a unique perspective or emphasis, together forming a comprehensive meditation on the Torah, or God’s law.

Psalm 119:17-24: Verse by Verse Analysis

Verse 17:

“Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word.”

Reflection: The psalmist begins by asking for God’s blessing, not for material gain but for the strength and ability to live a life that honors God’s word. It reflects a dependence on God for spiritual vitality.


  • Psalm 116:7 – “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”

Verse 18:

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”

Reflection: This verse is a request for spiritual insight. The psalmist seeks a deeper understanding of God’s law, recognizing that the true wonders of God’s word can only be understood when God enlightens the believer.


  • Ephesians 1:18 – “The eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.”

Verse 19:

“I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!”

Reflection: Acknowledging his transient status on earth, the psalmist pleads for God not to conceal His commandments. This reflects a view of life as a temporary journey, with God’s commandments as the essential guide.


  • Hebrews 11:13 – “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

Verse 20:

“My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.”

Reflection: Here, there is an intense expression of desire for God’s laws. The psalmist’s longing is continuous, illustrating a deep, insatiable hunger for spiritual truth and righteousness.


  • Psalm 42:1-2 – “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”

Verse 21:

“You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments.”

Reflection: The psalmist acknowledges God’s rebuke of those who arrogantly disregard His commandments. This verse serves as a warning against the folly of straying from God’s law.


  • Proverbs 3:34 – “He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.”

Verse 22:

“Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies.”

Reflection: The psalmist asks for relief from scorn and contempt, possibly faced due to his commitment to God’s testimonies. This reflects the challenges of living a godly life in an ungodly world.


  • 1 Peter 4:14 – “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”

Verse 23:

“Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes.”

Reflection: Despite facing opposition from powerful figures, the psalmist remains committed to meditating on God’s statutes. This demonstrates unwavering dedication to God’s law, even under pressure or threat.


  • Daniel 6:10 – “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”

Verse 24:

“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.”

Reflection: God’s testimonies are not only a source of joy but also guidance for the psalmist. They are seen as counselors, indicating that the psalmist looks to God’s word for wisdom and direction.


  • Psalm 32:8 – “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Key Takeaways from Psalm 119:17-24:

  • These verses reflect a deep yearning for spiritual enlightenment and understanding of God’s law.
  • The psalmist views life on earth as a temporary journey, with a constant reliance on God’s commandments for guidance.
  • There is an intense desire for God’s rules and a recognition of the dangers of straying from them.
  • The psalmist faces challenges and opposition but remains steadfast in his commitment to God’s statutes, using them as sources of delight and counsel.