Psalms Chapter 119
A prayer in tribulation.
A gradual canticle.
A gradual canticle. . .The following psalms, in number fifteen, are called gradual psalms, or canticles, from the word gradus, signifying steps, ascensions, or degrees: either because they were appointed to be sung on the fifteen steps, by which the people ascended to the temple: or, that in the singing of them the voice was to be raised by certain steps or ascensions: or, that they were to be sung by the people returning from their captivity and ascending to Jerusalem, which was seated amongst mountains. The holy fathers, in a mystical sense, understand these steps, or ascensions, of the degrees by which Christians spiritually ascend to virtue and perfection; and to the true temple of God in the heavenly Jerusalem.
119:1. In my trouble I cried to the Lord: and he heard me.
119:2. O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips, and a deceitful tongue.
119:3. What shall be given to thee, or what shall be added to thee, to a deceitful tongue?
119:4. The sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals that lay waste.
119:5. Woe is me, that my sojourning is prolonged! I have dwelt with the inhabitants of Cedar:
119:6. My soul hath been long a sojourner.
119:7. With them that hated peace I was peaceable: when I spoke to them they fought against me without cause.