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Reading the Psalms 25-33 in Context

Kim, Sung-Soo 1

1고신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The paper tries to read Psalms 25-33 in their literary context in order to figure out not only their theological theme(s) in their own location in the midst of the book of Psalms, but also the literary and thematic relationships among the psalms of this group. Reading the Psalms 25-33 in context needs to investigate the common literary and grammatical features with which the psalms of this group share. The genres, common vocabularies, literary figures of speech, and common themes should be considered. Because the structure of Psalms 25-33 is Chiastic, the relationship between the pair psalms(Pss. 25-33, 26-32, 27-31, 28-30) and their roles in this group also should be examined. Following John Stek's opinion about the structure of Psalms 25-33 and their demarcation from the preceding and following psalm groups, the paper defines Psalms 25(alphabetic acrostic) and 33 as the outer frame, each of which has 22(Hebrew alphabet number) verses, placing Psalm 29 at the center, which is a hymn praising Yahweh's Kingship in the creature and history. Through the study of the literary and thematic relationships of each pair of Psalms 25-33, we are able to grasp their close connectedness and their common themes. For examples, Psalms 27 and 31 focus upon the house of Yahweh as a refuge and a loving place of the psalmist, while Psalms 28 and 30 make petitions and give thanks for not letting the psalmist go down to the pit. Furthermore, the close relatedness of Psalms 25-33 shows their common concerns for the themes of trust in Yahweh, his vindication of the wrongly accused by their enemies, deliverance based upon Yahweh's righteousness, steadfast love, and mercy, teaching upon Yahweh's way, and forgiveness, etc. Through reading the Psalms 25-33 in their literary context, we come to acknowledge their close relationships in their literary features and unity in their themes. The theme of this group could be summarized as follows: those who suffer from their own sins, or many distresses, or false accusations and attacks from their enemies, should take refuge in the house of Yahweh to pray for their deliverance, forgiveness, and vindication, and to express their trust in his steadfast love, to learn his righteous ways, and to praise the sovereign King.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.