A Word Fitly Spoken: Poetic Artistry in the First Four by Les D. Maloney

By Les D. Maloney

A note Fitly Spoken explores major poetic units in the 4 alphabetic acrostic psalms present in publication I of the Psalter. nearly all of scholarly opinion has been that those acrostics are poetically and artistically poor as a result of writers’ and editors’ preoccupation with the alphabetic development. unlike this view, A notice Fitly Spoken proposes that the acrostic trend contributes to, instead of detracts from, the poetic artistry of those psalms. so as to advertise a holistic, canonical interpreting of the 4 acrostic poems inside of ebook I of the Psalter, this learn additionally examines the linguistic and grammatical connections in the textual content. this sort of shut examining many times demonstrates the emotive energy and the mind's eye of this literature in contradiction to its supposedly stiff, wood nature. A note Fitly Spoken is attuned to the widespread performs on note and sound that happen all through those 4 poems and as such will be beneficial in graduate classes on biblical interpretation, Hebrew poetry, or the Psalms.

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Extra info for A Word Fitly Spoken: Poetic Artistry in the First Four Acrostics of the Hebrew Psalter (Studies in Biblical Literature, Volume 119)

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Finally, additional areas for further study in connection with the Book I and Book V alphabetic acrostic will be suggested. ╬ CHAPTER TWO Psalm 9/10 T Introduction he focus of this chapter is specifically on the first acrostic psalm in the Psalter’s Book I—Ps 9/10. Since this is the first chapter of this study to focus on the text itself, this chapter will be paradigmatic and so a few preliminary comments on format are in order. I will work through Ps 9/10 with a working translation in mind, looking for certain poetic devices and commenting on these when found.

During such times one needs reassurance of faith in the old securities that are apparently no longer able to provide personal or communal security (see especially 10:1). The psalm makes use of satire to provide that reassurance and to give hope to the singer in the midst of his/her suffering. While the song describes resentment and suffering at the hand of the evil enemy, the song also points to better times ahead. Thus satire becomes a rhetorical tool of persuasion, used within the psalmist’s song of lament—used to persuade the hearers of this song that there is light (“hope”, v 19) at the end of the dark tunnel of despair.

There is also a sarcastic wordplay in Ps 9 between tx#$ in v 16 and lw)#$ in v 18. 36 This wordplay is sarcastic because the “pit” made by the wicked nations for others, into which they themselves fall, foreshadows the “pit” (Sheol) which they have not made but to which they will be turned. This play on words can also be viewed as yet another case of intensification. The “pit” in v 16, the destination of the nations, could be a temporary fate; but in v 18 we read of the ultimate “pit” from which there is no escape.

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