Justification of God in His Word in Ps 51:6 and Rom 3:4

In: Vetus Testamentum
Jože Krašovec University of Ljubljana Slovenia

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The penitent’s confession in Ps 51:6-7 contains the root ṣdq, generally denoting God’s righteousness, which designates God’s redemptive plan and fidelity to a faithful people and, thus, God’s steadfast love. Verse 6b reads: lěmaʿan tiṣdaq bědobrekā tizkeh bešopṭekā. The conjunction lěmaʿan has been understood in two different ways: some maintain that the conjunction expresses the purpose of the foregoing confession of sin, others that it introduces a consequence clause. In this exploration of the meaning of the passage we shall repeatedly encounter the question: what can and what cannot be deduced from the context of the psalm and from the broadest context of the Bible? To what degree may we rely on thematic, linguistic, literary, and stylistic properties of the psalm? How to explain the connection between the psalmist’s sin and the justification of God’s treatment of him in terms of redemption and judgement in the broadest Biblical context?

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