Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Read Chapter 119
Augustine of Hippo
1. From its commencement, dearly beloved, doth this great Psalm exhort us unto bliss, which there is no one who desireth not. ...And therefore this is the lesson which he teacheth, who saith, "Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord" (ver. 1). As much as to say, I know what thou wishest, thou art seeking bliss: if then thou wouldest be blessed, be undefiled. For the former all desire, the latter fear: yet without it what all wish cannot be attained. But where will any one be undefiled, save in the way? In what way, save in the law of the Lord? ...
Alleluia. There is no title in Hebrew. But (Haydock) this psalm contains the praises of the Lord, and of his holy law, under fourteen different names, (Worthington) of way, testimony, repeated in every verse, except the 122d, (Muis) with surprising variety, so as to avoid tautology, and to give a most perfect system of moral doctrine. It is written according to the order of the Hebrew alphabet, (Haydock) that we may learn it from our infancy. (St. Hilary)
Eight verses begin with each of the twenty-two letters. St. Jerome (ad Paulam Urb.Proem. in Lam.) moralizes on the signification of these letters, which he renders, 1. Aleph, "the doctrine
2. of the house; 3. the plenitude, 4. of the tables (or holy scriptures)
5. This 6. and 7. this 8. of life
9. a good 10. beginning
11. the hand 12. of discipline (or the heart)
13. From them 14. everlasting 15. help
16. the fountain (or eye) 17. of the mouth 18. of justice
19. the calling 20. of the head 21. of teeth 22. the signs. "By thus connect...