By Les D. Maloney
A note Fitly Spoken explores major poetic units in the 4 alphabetic acrostic psalms present in ebook I of the Psalter. the vast majority of scholarly opinion has been that those acrostics are poetically and artistically poor because of the writers’ and editors’ preoccupation with the alphabetic development. unlike this view, A note Fitly Spoken proposes that the acrostic development contributes to, instead of detracts from, the poetic artistry of those psalms. on the way to advertise a holistic, canonical studying of the 4 acrostic poems inside of e-book I of the Psalter, this learn additionally examines the linguistic and grammatical connections in the textual content. any such shut analyzing time and again demonstrates the emotive strength and the mind's eye of this literature in contradiction to its supposedly stiff, wood nature. A notice Fitly Spoken is attuned to the widespread performs on note and sound that happen all through those 4 poems and as such will be precious in graduate classes on biblical interpretation, Hebrew poetry, or the Psalms.
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Extra resources for A Word Fitly Spoken: Poetic Artistry in the First Four Acrostics of the Hebrew Psalter (Studies in Biblical Literature, Volume 119)
Here the poet alludes to the 9:16 term t#$r (“net”) and the term xk#$ (“to forget”) found in 9:13, 18 and 19. In Ps 9 the “net” catches the wicked, a display of Yahweh’s judgment for all to see (9:16–17). In Ps 9 the nations who “forget” God go to Sheol while the needy are not (ultimately) “forgotten” (9:18–19). In Ps 10, however, as Yahweh stands at a distance and even “hides,” the wicked person carries off the afflicted person after having drawn him into a net (v 9). Similarly, 10:11 depicts the wicked person as secretly boasting that “God has forgotten”—a sentiment that apparently the psalmist shares (vv 1– 2a).
The verse form of poetry is not merely ornamental and thereby extraneous to meaning. Rather, the form or structure of verse is constitutive to meaning! These principles will be borne in mind while reading through the poetic language of Ps 9/10. 13 Therefore, this study will search for poetic devices and repetitive patterns and sounds not only in each of these individual psalms as they stand in the Masoretic text but will also extend the search across the division between Ps 9 and Ps 10. 14 In what follows, I will highlight certain poetic components and will comment on their function in these individual psalms noting any devices that extend from Ps 9 into the language of Ps 10.
But on the other side of the relationship, the satirical, disdainful34 rhetoric of the psalmist on the joyful occasion of the destruction of the enemy gives the auditors reason to do something—to hope (v 19)—just as the motivations give God reason to do something. But why is it necessary, in the internal world of the psalm, to diminish the power of the wicked enemy who has been destroyed (vv 4, 6–7)? 35 That is, the wicked enemy who was putatively destroyed once and for all is back. This surprising development is actually hinted at in 9:19, in the midst of the wordplays that are emphasizing the demise of the wicked (vv 16–19).