By Les D. Maloney
A observe Fitly Spoken explores major poetic units in the 4 alphabetic acrostic psalms present in ebook I of the Psalter. nearly all 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 notice Fitly Spoken proposes that the acrostic development contributes to, instead of detracts from, the poetic artistry of those psalms. in order to advertise a holistic, canonical studying of the 4 acrostic poems inside e-book I of the Psalter, this examine additionally examines the linguistic and grammatical connections in the textual content. this sort of shut studying time and again demonstrates the emotive strength and the mind's eye of this literature in contradiction to its supposedly stiff, wood nature. A note Fitly Spoken is attuned to the common performs on be aware and sound that ensue 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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Additional info for A Word Fitly Spoken: Poetic Artistry in the First Four Acrostics of the Hebrew Psalter (Studies in Biblical Literature, Volume 119)
There is expressed joy at the ultimate demise of those who forget God. There is also a cultural expectation that the words of the worshipper, as a righteous person who serves Yahweh, will set in motion the deserved destruction. Another question arises as to the effect of political satire upon the hearers and fellow singers of the psalm. I cannot say whether or not the poet intended such an effect, but the effect is the same regardless of intention. 30 The effect or function of the satire in vv 4 and 18 is what is important for this study.
As a psalm of disorientation, the lament language of Psalm 9 does make use of this type of imagery and language. One last observation about the use of satire in Ps 9 is in order. 33 The motivations give God reason to act decisively. 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)?
10 Jakobson’s insights, therefore, provide a powerful refinement and focus to generalized statements about biblical poetry made by biblical scholars. ”11 A similar point is made by C. S. Lewis in his comments on the Psalter: What must be said…is that the Psalms are poems, and poems intended to be sung: not doctrinal treatises, nor even sermons…. The Psalms must be read as poems; as lyrics, with all the licenses and all the formalities, the hyperboles, the emotional rather than logical connections, which are proper to lyric poetry.