Cantos and Strophes in Biblical Hebrew Poetry II

Psalms 42–89

Series:

This volume deals with the poetic framework and material content of the Second and Third Books of the Psalter (Psalms 42-72 and 73-89). It is a continuation of the Psalms Project started in OTS 53 (2006).
Formal and thematic devices demonstrate that the psalms are composed of a consistent pattern of cantos (stanzas) and strophes. The formal devices include quantitative balance on the level of cantos in terms of the number of verselines, verbal repetitions and transition markers. A quantitative structural approach also helps to identify the focal message of the poems. Introductions to the design of biblical poetry and the rhetorical centre of the psalms conclude this massive study. The third volume, dealing with the Fourth and Fifth Books of the Psalter (Psalms 90-106 and 107-151), is in preparation.
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Biographical Note

Pieter van der Lugt, D.D. (1980), Theological University of Kampen, the Netherlands. His publications deal with the rhetorical structure of Hebrew poetry and include Rhetorical Criticism and the Poetry of the Book of Job (OTS 32, Brill, 1995) and Cantos and Strophes in Biblical Hebrew Poetry (OTS 53, Brill, 2006).

Table of contents

Chapter I: Methodology
1 Methodology
1.1 The logical division of the subject matter
1.2 Transition markers
1.3 Verbal repetitions
1.4 Quantitative structural aspects
1.5 Various divisions
2 Presentation
2.1 Comments and summary
2.2 The reproduction of the texts
2.3 Textcritical remarks

Chapter II: The Second Book of the Psalter
1 Psalm 42–43
2 Psalm 44
3 Psalm 45
4 Psalm 46
5 Psalm 47
6 Psalm 48
7 Psalm 49
8 Psalm 50
9 Psalm 51
10 Psalm 52
11 Psalm 53
12 Psalm 54
13 Psalm 55
14 Psalm 56
15 Psalm 57
16 Psalm 58
17 Psalm 59
18 Psalm 60
19 Psalm 61
20 Psalm 62
21 Psalm 63
22 Psalm 64
23 Psalm 65
24 Psalm 66
25 Psalm 67
26 Psalm 68
27 Psalm 69
28 Psalm 70
29 Psalm 71
30 Psalm 72

Chapter III: The Third Book of the Psalter
1 Psalm 73
2 Psalm 74
3 Psalm 75
4 Psalm 76
5 Psalm 77
6 Psalm 78
7 Psalm 79
8 Psalm 80
9 Psalm 81
10 Psalm 82
11 Psalm 83
12 Psalm 84
13 Psalm 85
14 Psalm 86
15 Psalm 87
16 Psalm 88
17 Psalm 89

Chapter IV: The Canto Design of Hebrew Poetry in Terms of Verselines
1 General outline
1.1 The First Book of the Psalter: Psalms 1–41
1.2 The Second Book of the Psalter: Psalms 42–72
1.3 The Third Book of the Psalter: Psalms 73–89
1.4 The Fourth Book of the Psalter: Psalms 90–106
1.5 The Fifth book of the Psalter: Psalms 107–150
1.6 Concluding observation
2 Canto design in terms of verselines
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Type IA: exactly regular cantos
2.3 Type IB: almost regular cantos
2.4 Type IIA/B: the 2.4.4 and the 4.4.2 canto design
2.5 Type IIC: the 2.4.4.2 canto design
2.6 Type III: concentric canto designs
2.7 Summary

Chapter V: Systematic Observations (continued 1): The Mathematical Centre and its Meaning,
or the Quest for the Rhetorical Centre
1 Introduction
2 References to God’s presence highlighting the rhetorical centre
2.1 The divine name, yhwh, and the centre
2.2 The designation ’dny (‘Lord’) and the centre
2.3 The designation ’lhym (‘God’) and the centre
2.4 The title ‘lywn (‘Most High’) and the centre
2.5 The personal pronoun ’th (‘you’), referring to God
2.6 The numbers 26, 17, 13 and the centre

3 Concentric and symmetric word patterns highlighting the rhetorical centre
3.1 In the poem as a whole
3.2 In the centre itself
4 Specific words highlighting the rhetorical centre
4.1 Nouns denoting ‘midst’
4.2 Words denoting ‘(making a) circle’
4.3 The roots spr (‘to count’) and zkr (‘to remember’)
5 A switch in the way God is referred to highlighting the rhetorical centre
6 Conclusion
7 Index of Psalms discussed in Chapter V

Abbreviations 553
Definitions 557
General bibliography 561

Readership

The work is of interest for all who are engaged in the interpretation of classical Hebrew poetry, and particularly for scholars who are focussing on the book of Psalms.

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