Psalm 110

V. 1. The wording of the title, ‫ לדוד‬combines Ps 110 with the two preceding psalms. The preposition ‫ ל‬can have two
meanings. It can be understood as a lamed auctoris (“of David"), in which case it would make David the author of the
Psalm, seconding to the traditional Jewish view. Now the real "I" of the psalm is the voice of a court prophet who
speaks of his king ("my lord"). Identifying the prophet with David, would mean that David is talking about a successor, the
Messiah. If we take "for David," we would see in "my Lord" the figure of David himself, identifying it with that of
his successor, or "David redivivus", the Messiah. Both translations are possible.
The preposition ‫ עד‬is usually translated as "until". Such a translation can make a temporal delay delay between the
ascension to the throne and the subjugation of the enemies. The Targum translates thus. The verb ‫ שוב‬has two
aspects, a "sedative" ("sit"), the other "mansio"("remain"). The Targum chooses the second, but here probably it refers
to the first. Moreover, according to the grammar of Gesenius, the proposition ‫ עד‬does not express an absolute
contemporarily but relative, implying that the “sitting” does not end when the enemies are subdued, but goes further.
V. 3. This verse is a famous crux interpretum. G offers a considerably different text, which in part respects the consonantal
Hebrew text, assuming a different vocalization of the MT: μετὰὰ σοῦ ἡ ἀρχὴὰ ἐν ἡμέρᾳ τῆς δυνάμεώς σου ἐν τὰῖς
λὰμπρότὴσιν τῶν ἁγίων ἐκ γὰστροὰς προὰ ἑωσφόρου ἐξεγέννὴσά σε (Vg. tecum principium in die virtutis tuae in
splendoribus sanctorum ex utero ante luciferum genui te), "with you the power on the day of your power, in
the splendour of the saints, from the womb, before the dawn, I have begotten you." Such a version omits the expression ‫טל‬
‫לך‬. Then supposes to read: a) ‫ עעמך‬in place of MT ‫ עעמך‬b) ‫רָחחר‬ ‫עׁש‬
‫"( מ ע‬before dawn") instead of MT ‫רָחחר‬ ‫עש‬
‫"( מ ש‬dawn", secondary
form of ‫רָחחר‬ ‫)ש‬
‫ ח‬c) ‫"( יש על שדתעיך‬I have begotten you”) instead of MT ‫"( יע שלד תתיך‬your youth"). This reading is fascinating, because it
takes the idea typical of Egyptian royal ideology, also expressed in Ps 2, the divine generation of the king (cf. Ps 2.7). In
addition to these corrections of the MT based on G, Barthelemy, along with BHS, proposes to read, instead of MT ‫ ב‬,‫בהדרי‬
‫הררי‬, "on the mountains". He comes to the following translation: "With you is the principality in the day that unfolds your
strength; on holy mountains, from the womb of the dawn, rise like the dawn: I have begotten you." Zenger prefers to
comply with MT, but believes that it represents a re-reading, effected at the time of inserting Ps 110 in the Psalter. The
original text would have been the one proposed by Barthelemy. For our part, we take MT, even if it is difficult.
It, moreover, is recommended by the structure of the psalm. We believe that G represents a reinterpretation of MT,
although an authoritative re-reading, which was inspired by the Christian tradition in the NT.
V. 4. In ‫ דברתי‬the final yod is a hireq compaginis ("in the order of Melchizedek"). The meaning of the expression ‫ על דבר‬is
understood by analogy with Ps 45.5: ‫רכב על־דבר־אמת‬, "rides for the cause of truth." G has κὰτὰὰ τὴὰν τάξιν, so is
Vg secundum ordinem. V. Hamp translates "in imitation of Melchizedek." It is to note that the Targum does not read in
‫ מלכי־צדק‬a proper name, but it makes "in thanks to the merit that you have been a righteous king." Even the modern
authors translate in the in the same way. Von Nordheim rightly believes that the statement "You are a priest forever" does
not combine well with "in imitation of a righteous king." However, next to the reference to the character of Melchizedek,
the meaning of this name is to be kept in mind.
Vv. 5-7. It is difficult to define the subject of the verbs here. From grammatical point of view, the only clue is given in
v. 5a, where the term ‫ אדני‬clearly refers to God (many mss have here the sacred Tetragrammaton ‫יהוה‬, cf. BHS).
Grammatically one does not observe any change in the subject till the end, so Zenger proposes to attribute the 3 verses
exclusively to God. But the fact that God tears to shreds the enemies (vv. 5b-6) provides a nasty framework, and also the
one who needs to drink at the brook (v.7) seems to be an unusual anthropomorphism. Most authors therefore prefer to
attribute vv. 5b-7 to the "king." For our part, we observe that in v. 1 God had asked the king to sit on the throne, while
he personally would have made enemies the footstool of his feet. Now it is for God to fight: The King assists
only. Therefore it seems correct to see God as the subject of vv. 5-6. For v.7 the matter is different. Here it is not to
fight, but to "drink" and "raise the head." It seems difficult to attribute these actions to God. V. 7th finds a parallel in the
discourse on the dew in v.3: here it is the king to receive the dew. Perhaps the ambiguity is intentional, as if to
emphasize the union of two persons, but we prefer to see the king as the subject of v. 7. We have an inclusion with the
beginning of the psalm (v. 1b), the only other place of the poem in which the king is spoken in third person: "Oracle of
YHWH to my lord."
The rhythmical beat of the psalm is controversial. It seems to consist of 10 rhythmic verses (Table 1, p.3).
The double direct citation of the divine discourse in vv. 1 and 4 divides the psalm into two parts: vv. 1b-3 and 4-7, each of
5 rhythmic verses. Each side has 12 stics, for a total of 24. An inclusion between vv. 1 and 7 is given by the polarity
of "feet" (v.1d) -"head" (vv. 6 and 7).

Table 2 in p. 3-4 Italian notes
Within this major division, each side is divided into two stanzas, composed in alternate parallels: in the first stanza is a
direct citation of YHWH (vv. 1 and 4: AA'), in the second it is developed and explained (vv. 2-3 and 5-7, BB'). To speak
now is the psalmist. Each of the four stanzas begins with the Tetragrammaton (vv.1a.2b.4a): only in the fourth, instead of
the Tetragrammaton we have ‫( אדני‬but several mss also have the Tetragrammaton in v. 5a).
The first part is characterized by eight occurrences of the pronominal suffix for second person singular (‫ ך‬-): the ninth is in
the second part (v.5a). The second part is characterised by four repetitions of the preposition ‫על‬. Already this
observation points out a difference between the two parts.
The correspondence between the two parts is emphasized by the repetition of lexemes and images. The lexemes
that match are, in addition to the aforementioned tetragrammaton, the term ‫אדני‬, referred to the king in v.1, while in v.5 it is
to God; the noun ‫ימין‬, "right" (vv.1b and 5a). Here too note the difference: in the 1a it is the king who is seated at the right
hand of God, in v.5 it is God who fights at the right of the king ("king" is therefore on the left). The third correspondence
is given by the expression ‫( ביום‬vv.3b and 5b). In v.3b the expression ‫רָחילך‬  ‫ ביום‬refers to the "king", while in
v.5b expression ‫ ביום־אפו‬refers to God. In general we can say that while the second stanza (vv. 2-3) emphasizes the role of
the king and his people, the fourth, corresponding to it (vv. 5-7), emphasizes God's action.
Another parallel between the two parts, especially between the second and fourth stanza, is the fact that in the first part it
speaks about "your enemies" (‫איביך‬, vv. 1d.2c), in the second, these enemies are concretized in the
"kings" (v. 5b) and "nations" (v. 6a). To the expression ‫( רדה בקרב איביך‬v.2c) corresponds ‫( ידין בגוים‬v.6a). The
context seems to be, in both cases, that of a battle, a confrontation with opponents. In the first part the king and his
people are preparing for battle, in the second, God himself leads the battle, fighting for his king and his people.
According to Saur, the first three verses would have been spoken by a prophet of the royal court and would refer to the
pre-exilic royal ideology, while vv. 4-7 would be messianic and post-exilic. One of the main arguments in favour of this
thesis is that the concept of "priest" is entirely new to v.4: in vv.1-3 one would not speak about theocracy. Now,
according to MT, already in v.3c, the expression ‫ בהדרי־קדשש‬alludes to a sacred context. The plural ‫ הדרי‬is unique in
biblical Hebrew, but it corresponds to the expression ‫" הדרת־קדש‬sacred vestments", which is found in Ps 29,2; ,96,9, 1 Chr
16,29 and 2Chr 20,21. Particularly significant is this parallel: these are the singers of YHWH, who go before the men in
arms ‫" להדרת־קדשש‬dressed in sacred vestments". This corresponds well to the characterization of King as a "priest" in
v.4. The context is that of a holy war, in which God fights with the army and the king of Israel.
The literary genre of Ps110 is clear enough. It is a royal psalm. In this sense, it is aligned with Pss 2; 18; 20-21; 45; 72; 89;
132. It is particularly close to the Ps 2 because both refer to an ascent to the throne (110,1, cf. 2.6), and for their
reference to Zion (110,2, cf. 2,6), and because in both the king is particularly close to God (110, 1.5, cf. 2,2), and also for
their context of war: on the one hand, the kings of the earth battle against God and his king, on the other, the latter
threaten to destroy them "on the day of their wrath."
Controversial is the Sitz im Leben. It is often assumed a cultic Sitz im Leben, in a ceremony of "Ascent to the throne". Of
course such a Sitz im Leben is placed in the time of the monarchy, as the many eastern parallels, especially Egyptians,
suggest. The Psalm would refer to a real king of Jerusalem, and would have been put in the mouth of a court prophet of the
type of Nathan (cf. 2 Sam 7,2 etc.) or Gad (cf. 1 Sam 22,5, etc..). As to the date, the period varies from David himself, to
whom the title refers, to the time of Assyrian domination, i.e., 7th century BCE. Some people think of Jehoakim, the
king deposed by Nebuchadnezzar, and Jonathan and Simon, the Hasmoneans who were both kings and high priests.
Several observations lead to place it the post-exilic epoch.
• The conceptual proximity with Ps 2, which is a messianic psalm and relatively late;
• The proximity of the book of Chronicles (cf. v. 3 and 2Chr 20,21), of late-Persian period;
• The eschatological perspective, which reveals itself especially in the "day of wrath" (v.5), a variant of the "day
of YHWH", and in the "eschatological struggle against the people" (v. 6), these themes suggest proximity to the late postexilic apocalyptic period;
• the recovery of the episode of Melchizedek (Gen 14.18-20). Chap.14 of the Genesis is a late text, post-exilic, and the
figure of Melchizedek is a projection of the high priest of the Jewish period. Precisely the figure of the king-priest
who receives a tenth of everything from Abraham is the legitimacy of the claim of the high priest of this period, who
without the king, played also the role of political leader of the community;
• From the linguistic point of view there are some typical terms of a late Hebrew, like: ‫( ילדות‬v. 3, again only in Qoh
11,9.10); ‫( על־דברתי‬v. 4, and only in Qoh 3,18; 7,14; 8,2).

On the other hand, the psalm also incorporates typical motifs of NE royal ideology, particularly Egyptian, such as
putting the enemies as the footstool of feet, and a scepter-club with which to break the enemies' heads. These reasons do
not necessarily lead to late date of the psalm. In the Ptolemaic period (3rd century BCE.),for example, there is a revival
of ancient Egyptian literature, as is the case of the Song of Songs, in connection with the ancient Egyptian love songs.
The placing of the psalm to a period when the monarchy was no more suggests a reading in eschatological, messianic
sense, not in reference to a concrete ruler. Alonso Schökel, after having reviewed the various hermeneutical possibilities,
concludes: "Faced with these difficulties, it remains as a last resort to consider the psalm as Messianic in its origin, with a
vision of the Messiah who incorporates all the historical and institutional powers of Israel. This should not be
confused with the Messianic reading of the Psalm in a time after its composition, reading of which we cannot doubt."
The voice of the prophet (v. 1b)
The first stanza of the psalm verse includes 1. It is composed of two couplets (3 +2, 2 +2 accents), each of which
is characterized by an internal rhyme (laʾdōnî, lîmînî; ʾōjbêkā, leraglêkā). Also note the recurrence of preposition ‫ ל‬in three
of the four last words of the verse. Prepositions play an important role in the structure of the psalm, as we have already
seen for the preposition ‫ על‬in vv. 4-7.
"The oracle of YHWH to my lord." The term ‫( נאם‬lit.: "whisper") is typical of the prophetic literature, although not
exclusive. In the Psalter, it occurs only in 36,1, also here as the opening words of the psalm; here, however, is the oracle
"of sin", which speaks within the heart of the psalmist. The expression ‫ נאם יהוה‬qualifies the words that follow as words of
God himself, therefore in the mouth of a prophet. Whoever speaks, he speaks in the name of God.
In a canonical reading, if we take seriously the title meaning the ‫ לדוד‬intending ‫( ל‬note still the preposition ‫ )!ל‬in the sense
of the author, comes to mind 2 Sam 23,1: "The oracle of David, son of Jesse ... the spirit of YHWH is speaking in me, his
word is on my tongue," then the prophet is David himself, the author of the psalm, who speaks in the name of God, "to my
lord "(so also understood Jesus, cf. Luke 20,41-44, Mk 12,35-37; Mt 22,41-45), i.e., the Messiah. But if we,
with Kleer, we mean ‫ ל‬in the dative sense ("to David"), then we mean in "my Lord" David himself, not historical, but the
"new David", the "David redivivus", i.e., the Messiah . This second option is suggested by the fact of the
recall between ‫ לדוד‬and ‫לאדני‬: the preposition ‫ ל‬is common to both the terms.
The prophetic oracle concerning the king has an extra-Biblical story behind it, both in Egypt and Mesopotamia. In the OT
we remember the oracles of Balaam (who was a pagan prophet) concerning a future king (cf. Nm 24), and, in relation to
the history of David, the one already mentioned of Nathan (2 Sam 7). The term ‫ אדני‬belongs to the language of the court: it
is typical to address a king (cf. 1 Sam 22,12; 26,17-18, 1 Kings 1,13). But it is interesting to note that the title of "king" is
not pronounced in the psalm with regard to this "my lord", although many clues (like the throne, the scepter) indicate that
it is a king.
Cf. also 2 Chr 20,15-17.20.29. We get the impression that the author of Ps 110 takes the ancient models, both biblical and
extra-Biblical, but interprets them in an original way, as does the book of Chronicles.
"Sit at my right hand" (v. 1c)
The expression ‫ שב לימיני‬uttered by God supposes that God is sitting on his throne, and that he invites the king to sit on
the same throne, in the place of honor, i.e., the right hand of God. Again, the author uses the concepts of ancient Eastern
"Sitting on the throne" means "to be king" (cf. Ps 132,11-12; 1 Kings 1,46). In our text it is not about the throne, but it
refers to the verb "to sit" (‫)ישב‬. It implies therefore that the throne where the king sits is the same throne of God. This is
also the idea of the book of Chronicles (cf. 1 Chr 28,5; 2 Chr 9,8).
Keel thinks the "right" as a cardinal point, namely, in the Semitic conception, South. In the topography of Jerusalem the
royal palace is located south of the temple, the throne of YHWH. Since the verb ‫ ישב‬also means "living", the term refers to
the location of the royal palace on Zion. Zenger rightly points out that this would lose the emphasis of the text, which aims
to highlight the unity between God’s throne and that of the king. It is not two thrones, because there are no two kingdoms.
The kingdom is unique; it is the kingdom of God. The kingdom of the Messiah is nothing else than the kingdom of God.
Indeed this is also the prospect of Ps 2, where the "kings of the earth" (cf. Ps 110,5!) join forces to attack "YHWH and
his Messiah," saying: "Let us break their chains, throw away their yoke from us" (Ps 2,3). Here too the rule of God and the
Messiah are the same thing.

The "sitting" is the equivalent of "accent" to the throne, and therefore expresses power. This is a punctual event, as the
expression "the day of your strength" (v. 3) suggests. Again the parallel with Ps 2 is evident. The enthronement of the king
is expressed in v.6 and 7. In the Egyptian royal ideology, the "generation" took place at the time of accession to the
throne ("today"). In MT of Ps 110 such an expression is avoided (not so in the LXX), perhaps because it is contrary to
the monotheistic concept of Israel.
The victory over the enemy (v.1de)
In the ANE royal ideology the task of the king was to eradicate the forces of chaos, taking part in this work of the creator.
Among the "forces of chaos" were the enemies of the kingdom. To this cultural context belongs the image of the enemies
as the footstool of his feet.
This language is also present in the OT, such as Josh 10,24, when Joshua asks his officers to put their foot on the necks
of five defeated Canaanite kings . Solomon says of his father David that God put his enemies "on the soles of the feet" (1
Kings 5,17). Similar expressions of the king are in Ps 18,39 and 45,6, of the "son of man" in Ps 8,7, and of Israel in
comparison to the foreign peoples in Ps 47,4.
It should be noted that, while in Ps 18 and 45 it is the king who puts his enemies under his feet, in our psalm it is God who
puts the enemies under the feet of the King, as quoted in the Egyptian text, and as in Ps 8; 47 and 1 Kings 5. The king is
passive. He "sits" on the throne, while it is YHWH who is fighting. This is the theme of holy war, already present in Ex
14,14 ("YHWH will fight for you, and you'll be quiet"), and then taken up especially in the Chronicles (cf. 2 Chr 13,3-20,
14,8 -14; 20,22-30). The second stanza of Ps 110 will show that the battle is being led by God himself (cf. vv. 4-6). In this
we may notice a difference with the Ps 2, where the king is much more active: there it is the king who leads the battle in
the name of God (cf. Ps 2,9), here it is God who leads the battle for the king (cf. Ps 110.5-6).
In the biblical texts the metaphor of "stool" (‫ )הדם‬is not used, even in the OT this word always has a positive sense, as it
indicates either the Ark or the temple or also Jerusalem in relation to the throne of God (cf. Ps 99,5; 132,7; Lam 2,1;
Is 66,1; 1Chr 28,2). Von Nordheim concludes that the model of Ps 110 is not the OT, but the Egyptian literature and
iconography. However, in the present context, the expression enhances the dignity of the king, who puts his feet on the
footstool of God, i.e., he sits upon his holy throne.
From the outset it is clear that "on the throne of God" means victory over enemies. The allusion is also to a victory of God
over the enemies of God, e.g., Ps 93. There, the enemies are the forces of chaos: here they are, from the context, of a
historical nature. Reading the Psalms as a continuous lectio, it is clear that the king's enemies are those spoken of in the
two preceding psalms, Ps 108 and 109, both Davidic as this psalm.
In v. 2 the direction of the discourse changes. The addressee is "you" of "king", but now it is no longer who speaks: God is
spoken of in third person. The speaker can not be the same "prophet" who had spoken in 1b. Taking the cue from the
divine oracle now he develops this oracle in his own words. The prophetic discourse includes v.2, a triplet, in which the
two themes of royal investiture and of dominion over the enemies that had characterized the oracle of YHWH, are taken
up. We could say that the dominant figure here is YHWH: it is from him that the king receives his authority. V. 3 is much
discussed. We have opted to take the MT. But in the division of the stics we deviate from it. We believe that in fact the
first part of verse, 3abc, is a triplet that refers not to the king, but his "people" (‫)עמך‬, while the second part directly
concerns the king (see Table 3 on p. 9).
The inclusion between v. 2 and 3de is confirmed by the presence of the preposition ‫ מן‬in 2b and 3a: "from Zion" comes the
sceptre of the ruler, while the dew of his youth is "from the womb of the dawn", a mysterious expression. The two
lines are also united by the rhyme: ʾōjibêkā, jaldutêkā. The second stanza is unified by the double presence, in each
verse, of pronominal suffix of the second person singular ‫ך‬-. This, as well as the resumption of the term ‫( איביך‬1d, 2c),
combines the stanza with the last verse to the previous stanza, v.1de.
The king's power over his enemies (v. 2)
V. 2 takes up the divine oracle of v. 1bcd. As in 1a, it is the prophet to speak, and he does it in an authoritative mode, in the
name of God (see the imperative: "dominate!"). He bases the command to rule on the fact that God himself has given
power to the king, he has not taken it on his own initiative, arrogantly.
"The sceptre of your power." The sceptre is spoken about, in the royal psalms, in Ps 2,9 and 45,7. In the first case, the
sceptre is an iron staff (‫ )ברזל שבט‬with which the messianic king cuts his enemies into pieces. Ps 45 speaks about ‫מישר שבט‬
‫מלכותך שבט‬. The connection of the sceptre with justice is a recurring theme in the ANE, and Von Nordheim’s stand that it is

my holy mountain. as the head of his "army" ( ‫)עמך‬. surrounded by enemies.2. With God we shall do exploits.19. The expression ‫ עז מטה‬appears again only in Jer 48. Note a certain inconsistency with the order given in v.2c. 5: ‫אדני‬ ‫)על־ימינך‬. Here it clearly refers to a king.14). to that of Moab in Jeremiah. has not been broken." v. The term ‫ מטה‬evokes the staff with which Moses worked miracles during the Exodus (Ex 14. or to the persons who offer themselves for voluntary work and in particular for the fight. So ends Ps 108: "in oppression come to our help. because of the sin of the descendants of David. Alonso Schökel has "the day of mobilization". The fact that we have a feminine plural form can be understood as a plural of abstraction ("Your people are spontaneity").11. as in our case. Although in the two psalms mentioned the term used is not ‫מטה‬.17 and Ezek 19." i. 3abc) V. In the "holy war" narrated in 2 Chr 20. Num 17. 2 Chr 17. The term may have two meanings: it can refer to freewill offerings. 21) include "Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem" (2 Chr 20. The expression ‫רָחילך‬  ‫ ביום‬has been understood in diverse ways. The verb ‫ רדה‬originally means "to trample.5 speaks of a "remaining" of "thrones of justice. 3abc is placed to complete the order given in v.e. Before going out to battle against the enemy. where the two aspects. But the verse states that it comes from Zion. but can also have a more comprehensive sense. The parallel and emphatic position that v. he would make the monarchy David reborn in her (Zion): "There I will raise up a branch for David. the psalmist says in virtue of God's eternal love for Zion. 2 Chr 20. for vain is the salvation of man. The king comes out against his enemies. In both cases it is said that the "sceptre of power" has been broken. The formulation is worthy of note. It is interesting to note that the terms in which the future Messiah is presented bring together the figure of the king and that of the high priest. because it is present in the name ‫ צדק‬." Probably. Another parallel comes from 2 Chr 20. Joel 4. Thus it was the "people" who accompanied the king in the war. After recognizing that. Ps 122. Israel had neither king nor army.17). The two expressions that follow are connected by being both introduced by the preposition ‫ב‬.12. In our case the “repressive” aspect of the verb is underlined by the fact that we speak of a dominion "in the midst of your enemies. I will prepare a lamp for my consecrated" (Ps 132.2) and of the Messiah (Ps 72.17. also Aaron's staff . which is in parallel with the "sitting" on the throne of v. "thrones of the house of David" on Zion. in spite of the exile (the assumption clearly in the writings of Jeremiah and Ezekiel). but participates in the battle with his God (v. It is used about man's dominion over animals in Gen 1. We . The king is not sitting now. Israel did not have its own army.28. Ravasi "the day of your military parade". It is another way to express the royal establishment. he will trample over our enemies (‫( ")צרינו יבוס והוא‬Ps 108. who proceed before the men of arms (v. Gunkel has "the day you were born". but the concept is the same. It is said of this "people" that they were ‫נדבת‬. to those of Israel in Ezekiel.5b). 5-6. could mean that instead the power of the king mentioned in the Ps 110 is still intact. it is strong with the strength of God. to put under your feet" (cf.4 [Solomon]) and the eschatological both of Israel (Is 14. The link of the Messianic king with Zion is particularly emphasized in Ps 132. even if at a time when the monarchy no longer existed. the monarchy had failed (Ps 132. and her salvation could only come by prayer and divine help." The two verses clearly indicate two different. 2c takes up the theme of dominion over the enemies. (cf. v.13). In similar terms. in the light of the two preceding psalms. and from the river to the ends of the earth "). And it's the same picture that will be taken to our psalm vv. The voluntary people (v.9 (the song of Deborah). The words are different. 4d). With this it describes the dominion of Israel over the nations (cf. in which all authority is concentrated in the temple. This is the meaning of the word in Judg 5.16 (about the warriors of Jehoshaphat). Nm 24. subsequent aspects of dominion.‫"( מלכי‬king of righteousness. 1c. This suggests that they should be read together (see Table 4. v." Here too there is the same conflict between the king of Zion and the other kings of the earth that we find in our psalm (Ps 110.14.16-26).12). 1 Kings 5. p. The sceptre of this king is more "powerful" than that of which Jeremiah and Ezekiel talk about. king Jehoshaphat and the people gather in the temple: from there they leave for their successful expedition (cf. it is clear that it is a royal insignia.26.20): the levite singers make a fundamental part of them.8: "He shall rule from sea to sea. V. proposed in 1de ("while I make your enemies your footstool").13.13-14). but the synonym ‫שבט‬. the "people" of Jehoshaphat (‫עם‬. the positive of caring as a shepherd and the negative to subdue the rebels by force are present.5).foreign to Ps 110 is wrong. It gives the impression that the psalm reflects the situation of the post-exilic Jewish community. In our hypothesis of a location in the post-exilic period. 11).6: "I have established you as my king on Zion. deriving ‫רָחיל‬  from the root ‫רָחיל‬  "to have labor pains". 2b explains why this sceptre is so strong: because it is given to the king by God himself. 21).1 to "sit on the right. A parallel to this representation comes from Ps 2. Israel lived in a time of oppression.. The term ‫ עמך‬can refer to the army.3 has.

speaks in favour of a metaphorical sense of "womb". suggesting that even in our psalm it refers to people. Both the expressions denote the same reality.22). It seems safer to stick first to the biblical data. on the contrary in Greek. The association of dew with light is the source texts like Is 26. the only thing they do is to pray.‫ בהדרת‬appears in Ps 29. where it speaks of a generation of the king by YHWH. who had come against Judah.14: "With God we shall do exploits (‫) נעששה־חיל‬.12. in which God speaks directly to the Messiah.29 in a liturgical sense. then "censored" by the hands of puritans who wanted to avoid all forms of mythology. often compared to rain. a meaning that is suggested by the parallel with v. The regenerative power of the dew is resumed in the second part of the psalm. the noun ‫רָחיל‬  finds correspondence in the aforementioned Ps 108. even when he leads the people to battle. Von Nordheim refers to Egyptian royal texts in which the "dew" is a metaphor to describe the scent.prefer to refer the term to the sovereign himself (so in the sense of "force"). Also this concept is not typical of Israel: we find it in the texts and images of Egyptian royal ideology.7. 5 (p. the king's victory is the result of the intervention of God. 3de) Even against recent suggestions to look behind the MT an primitive version. which not coincidentally is attributed to David: "He satisfies you with good your desire. regenerating force. In fact. where it says that the king is a priest "forever (‫ ")לעולם‬would speak in this way. The king.2. rain is rare in Palestine." This sacred characterization of the battle is explained by the fact that the people should not fight at all: only the Lord is to fight. to whom God gives a prodigious youth. 1 Chr 16. the LORD set an ambush against the men of Ammon. but to a whole group of people (the assembly of the "sons of God". . to be born of light. MT does not speak of the king's divine generation. speaking of YHWH in the third person.10) and hardly refers to the people. 8 etc) Our text associates the dew with the dawn (v. The freshness of a day that begins is associated with the youth: "To you the dew of your youth.." The theme of "rejuvenation" still appears in Ps 103. as the clothes are appropriate for the participation in worship.5. therefore (and not only from v.e.6. when the light makes it shine. Is the idea of a perennial youth in our psalm? The parallel with v.36-40: the fleece of Gideon. It refers to the king himself. so that they were routed" (2 Chr 20. because it is seen early morning. and he will trample down our enemies".9. Is 40. lined up in front of men in arms. 4.21. From the beginning.4.3d). The light that rises makes the drops of dew shine. The morning dew is understood here as a life-giving. Is 45. Ps 103. Mic 5. mentioned in Ps 89. 96. In both cases. The phenomenon of dew is an important phenomenon in Israel. But the passage closer to our text is 2 Chr 20. and it is to compensate for their most of the year from the dew. people). or rather. which is also the day of the strength of the king and the wrath of God. and that the G version is an attempt to match the original text with Ps 2. The people are spectators to the work of God. Then it evaporates. cf. where ἕως is female.7 speaks of the victorious warrior who is said to "drink from the creek on the road. The translation "in the sacred ornaments" supposes an equivalence of ‫ הדרים‬with ‫הדרה‬.6. cf. the male seed of the god Amun who had impregnated the queen mother giving birth to the Pharaoh (of course MT has it differently ‫)ילדתיך‬.13. THE SECOND ORACLE OF YHWH (V. Follows in both cases the divine discourse." The fact that the dawn is masculine in Hebrew (‫רָחר‬ ‫)ש‬. The two times a prophetic voice introduces the divine discourse. where to each "tooth" corresponds one year. 4) the king is presented as a priest. Judges 6. The implicit subject of the nominal phrase is "the dew of your youth". your youth is renewed like the eagle" (‫נעוריכי‬. "And when they began to sing and praise. The dew comes from "the depths" of the dawn. which often falls abundant (cf. 4) V." The term ‫ ילדת‬is very rare (only in Qoh 11. A youth that had been denied to the last king of Israel." In both cases we speak of water that renews strength. Von Nordheim suggests an allusion to Is 14. Moab. It is noteworthy that in these three passages the term does not refer to the king. where the trunk of a palm branch is presented to the new king.28. The context is the war of Jehoshaphat against by Moab and Ammon. Hos 14. as shown in Tab.9. dressed in sacred vestments(‫)להדרת־קדש‬.19 and 2 Sam 23.46: "You have cut short the days of his youth (‫)עלומיו‬.3d says that it is "from the womb of the dawn. Of the dew v. in obedience to the oracle of the prophet-poet Jahaziel. we believe that the MT is reasonable. also Gen 27. The phrase ‫ בהדרי־קדשש‬is hapax legomenon: it is the only time in which the noun ‫ הדר‬is in the plural. i. and Mount Seir. The expression ‫ קדש‬.5b where the expression ‫"( ביום אפו‬in the day of his wrath") refers to YHWH. a minister of worship. Understood in this way. The prodigious youth of the king (v. Italian). when v. "put the singers of YHWH and the psalmists.31). 4 is structured along the lines of verse 1.

composed. in the second of the action of "my lord". there was talk of an eternity in rapport with the descendants of David. 5-7) In v. As for Ps 110. (cf. rather than king ("You are a priest forever"). but to the "king" himself. will keep his word. Even the people who took part in the war of the king are said to be dressed in "holy vestments" (v. but the "new David" shall not be the same old. This is a characteristic of Chronicler’s theology. 7. 1 Macc 1157). "You are a priest forever" (v.11-12. The Chronicler deliberately expunges from his narrative all about the conquest of land by Joshua. but in a different way from the pre-exilic monarchy: the psalmist never attributes the title ‫מלך‬. in other verses. the Chronicler’s history is characterized by a strong pacifist tendency. but also here in a way different from the traditional one. The figure of Melchizedek in the inter-testamental Judaism is so well known that at Qumran a scroll has been found in his honor. .4-5. This verb is used instead. This is also in 2 Sam 7 and 1Chr 17. This agrees well with the title of the psalm. since only the name of Melchizedek is mentioned here. So we have the beginning of a new stanza. as in v.18-20. The traditional priesthood was heavily influenced by Aaron. 4 makes this clear.6. He will be a priest. It has been noted that the psalm does not use the term "king. So the Messiah will be king. The shedding of blood. 1Chr 23. while he speaks of him in the third person in v. 1 Chr 17. one would expect this term here. 3c). not as an indication of the Davidic dynasty." Oddly enough. In Ps 89. as also reflected in 2 Chr 20. But neither in 2 Sam 7 nor in 1Chr 17 the verb "to swear" is used. This fact is underlined in the letter to the Hebrews (Heb. The priesthood of the Messiah will be a different priesthood. this fact reflects the situation of the post-exilic Jewish community..e... About Simon one speaks of a "true prophet" that would have given him the dignity of the high priest (1 Macc 14. like the rest of v. even by David. As already mentioned. other than the connection "King + priest + Jerusalem". ". Hebrews). These findings serve as historical background. The connection of Ps 110 with Abraham is typical rabbinic exegesis. despite the absence of a king. 18-20 were added later. Instead. but with Joshua but with Abraham (2Chr 20. 4ab) " YHWH has sworn and he does not repent. makes a prayer.16). is not David. addresses.14 (Son of Man)) So the Messiah will fulfil the promise made to David. the pious king Jehoshaphat.Others refer to the figure of Joshua the high priest who is awarded the crown (Zac 6. So the stanza is divided into two parts: vv. is seen as an impediment to the construction of the temple. Num 17.18-20 already existed. Like the P source.45. 5-6. 2). which are echoed in the NT (cf. which is based on this enigmatic figure.7). As Ps 110 this also wants to respond to the plea of Psalm 89: God is not coming back from his oath (‫רָחם לא‬ ‫)ינ‬. The first it speaks of God's action.13. according to the priestly tradition (cf. Gen 14. in which the voice of the "prophet" is identified with that of David. His brother Jonathan is also called the high priest (cf. it is interesting. PROPHETIC COMMENT (vv.18). also Ps 72. and takes on characteristics of priesthood. or rather the gift of land. his "descendent".7. 2 Chr 26. Before the battle. 4cd) We notice that the emphatic value of the second person pronoun at the beginning of the discourse of God: ‫אתה‬.14 compared with 2 Sam 7.2. referring to Nathan's prophecy in Ps 89 (89. ‫כהן‬. because even here the Messiah is connected to Zion (cf.36-38. In our opinion. we have observed that the characterization of the priesthood is reflected in the verses above. So the "you" that God and the psalmist himself.1-8).1. Donner sees the Maccabean period as the historical background of this characterization. 50) and 132 (132. according to the Deuteronomic tradition (cf. but what is used instead is "priest". 5-6 and v. but will be something new.5. where the only authority was that of the priesthood. The prophetic speech is addressed to the priest-king in the second person in vv. 7). in the order of Melchizedek. But here it is the later traditions. also the link with Abraham. but the Messiah. Ps 110 seems to attach itself to this psalm (132)." The oath here in question undoubtedly refers to the promise made by Nathan to David. but we must not lose sight of the fact that here we speak not of a real king. the Messiah. about which the notes in the Jerusalem Bible says: that vv. v. as the second of three rhythmic verses (vv. The fact that the priest is "forever" clearly points in this direction. in which he connects the conquest. It is not coincidental that the recipient of the promise of Nathan is not David. which refers to the historical situation of the post-exilic Jewish community. it is assumed that his figure is already known. 5. in our psalm the eternity is not promised to the descendants. or Levi. There is a debate today whether Ps 110 depends on Gen 14 or the contrary.41). On the other hand. i. 36-38. 11-2." In the HB the only other place where we speak of Melchizedek is Gen 14. Deut 18. but the prophet-psalmist speaks of him in the third person. as well as in 132. 17-18). meant personally.5 God no longer speaks in first person.The voice of the prophet (v. or whether both depend on an independent tradition. but his son Solomon (cf.7). but an ideal figure of the king.9-15).20 and Dan 7.

4d and 5b)." The "enemies" are concretized here in the "kings" (v. even if it is logically more likely to say this to God. the right side is the side exposed. "to tear" (vv. The warrior held a shield with the left hand. the last person mentioned is the Messiah (‫)בר נשקו‬. In v. YHWH.5a:"Adonai is at your right. While the second spoke of '"being" of the Messiah. the right is unprotected.5-6 have God as subject. the fourth speaks of his "act". Both emphasize the role of God. v. The combination allows emphasizing the union between God and the king.6d and 7b). here it is God who is at the right of the king. 1. 5 must be read against the background of v.2abc with v. to protect him (cf. The expression "the day of his wrath" matches with "the day of your power. and highlights the close relationship between the two characters. that it is the wrath of God. 2-3abc and vv. A specific chain is found in them. as it requires logic. 6). 5. v. These precise findings speak about the accuracy with which the MT of Ps 110 is made of.3a).10). So v. This is also due to the same principle. The Battle of YHWH (vv. As for the parallelism between vv. In our psalm.7 using the noun ‫( ראש‬vv. v. 5-7. since the discourse is addressed to him (‫)ימינך על‬. v.5 it is clear about ‫אפו‬. The three subjects that characterized the second strophe. 1.4bc joined it to v. Several authors refer the third person pronoun in ‫ אפו‬to the priest-king: wrongly. the fourth is therefore characterized by the action. The recall is willed. When fighting. It speaks of an attack against people of Jerusalem and a final intervention of YHWH. 5-7 are held together also by the fact that each rhythmic verse is characterized by the presence of the preposition ‫( על‬vv. Secondly. 5 and 31).2b and of the divine name ‫ אדני‬confirm. p. then the pronominal suffix in ‫ אפו‬would seem to refer to him. this is to the human “lord”.3 as "day of power" of the king. These two phenomena combine also the fourth stanza with the last verse of the previous stanza.12 it is not so clear. As we shall see. doing what was promised in v. (cf.5) and "people" (v. 5a. The action that is described is the one mentioned in v. V. but we may not notice the reference to the previous ‫ אדדנעי‬of v. consequently. v. 6 is joined to v." In both cases it is the day of battle. vv. which is described in v. The mysterious "womb of dawn" matches equally with the mysterious "spring". So for example in Ps 2. 7 has king as subject. The vv. 5-6) V. however. and as it also requires the parallel with the last line of the second stanza (see Table 6. the theme of the "day of YHWH" is juxtaposed with that of the eschatological struggle against foreign nations. The term ‫( על־ימינך‬v. i.7 is to be included with v. 1a and 7 ).5a) refers to v. however. because it is used to wield the sword.5). the lexeme ‫ ימין‬serves as a concatenation of Ps 110 and 109. but in v.Compared to the second verse. On the other hand. so in every verso a term from the previous verse is taken up. 2: "Rule in the midst of your enemies.5 as the "day of wrath" of God. and in v. if v. the people and "king" return in the same order. from where both the times the king receives the water that renews life.15). as said in v. which is already alluded by the fact that they both sit on the same throne. and indirect speech.6a).3abc was characterized by the discourse on the people (‫עמך‬. 5-6. From the grammatical point of view. Ps16.6c and 7b). There it was the king to stay at the right of God. v.e. with which it is parallel. vv." The king. therefore.1: ‫לימיני שב‬. which also contains twice this lexeme (vv.8.16). on the king himself (only in vv. The term ‫ אדדנחי‬here refers to God no doubt. and make it very reluctant to accept changes in the text.6 by the verb ‫רָחץ‬ ‫מ‬." If. The parallels of the Psalter speak of '"anger" so ambiguous. p.7b) of the king. Now.: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.1. while being at the right hand of the king in the combat is strategic. a willingness to suggest that the actions are attributable to both persons. In reality. the "day of YHWH” etc. 121. as also the use of the Tetragrammaton in v. it moves from preparation to action. participates in the fight.5 using the preposition ‫ על‬and the lexeme ‫( מלך‬cf. 3 had staged the preparations for a battle. it is not the king who subdues the enemies. Evidently now neither the king nor God is seated on the throne. V. That the battle in which God and his Messiah are engaged is not any battle any which the parallels of ‫ ביום־אפו‬emphasize -the destruction of Jerusalem. there is a clear correspondence of v.1d) and the "head" (v. open to two possibilities. But the observation is interesting. To stand at the right hand of God on the throne is a matter of honour.. It is not clear if one speaks of the wrath of God or the Messiah.5b and 6c). in the fourth strophe (see Table 7. also Ps 21. . which destroys the attackers and saves Jerusalem. the eschatological judgment. One should not see an opposition between the two statements. but rather it is God who does it for him. We have seen the difficulty to define the subject of several verbs in vv. as suggested by both the polarity between the "foot" (v. in the third person. 6 is about "people" (‫גוים‬.5 is joined to v.

Such an approach allows to understand the implied object of ‫ שתה‬as "water". The "wide area" on which the bodies are disseminated with crushed heads wants to be seen not in a universal sense (‫ ארץ‬as "whole world"). against the troops of Sennacherib (cf." It is the language of the "day of YHWH". 2 Chr 20. The term is intended to indicate the enormous mass of the fallen.‫ דרך‬and ‫ שתה‬appear again only in 2 Kings 3. 5a: "Adonai is to your right") (cf.4-6 and 1 Kgs 17. v. the Messiah is a priest. and confirms the consistency of MT. Only on another occasion the subject is not the king: it is the hand of Jael. in connection with what precedes. ‫( ירים‬v. V. 5b) and "my king" (see 4d). the discourse is about the people. "dominate in the midst of your enemies. . in the context of the delivery of Joram and Jehoshaphat against Moab. 7 shows clearly the crux interpretum as the text is obscure. 6. Becker: "Even more than a stream. ‫( ישתה‬v. To a war against the "king" (who is the king of Jerusalem) alluded the mention of the enemies in vv. Ps 68.1 and 2. 6a) is unusual. to fill "a broad region. taken up in the three imperfects ‫( ידין‬v. revive the forces. 2) are the "kings" (v. First.35 [Is 37. guardian of life. The theme of the cadavers that fill the land is characteristic of the war waged by YHWH. It is pointed out that in Ps 110 we do not talk about an attack against Jerusalem.3abc finds its meaning in contraposition to "people" of v. It is from Zion that YHWH tends the sceptre of power to the Messiah. the battle field. For either of the translations would take the article. the cannibalistic image seems frankly.36] 2 Chr 32. from the context. The perfect (‫ מלא‬. It is possible that here the term has been chosen to parallel with v.‫רָחץ‬ ‫ )מ‬is a "prophetic perfect" in which an action that will occur in the future is described as already happened. "to judge" is often synonymous with "to rule". also Jgs 7. The comparison is not just between "the kings" (v. the king took part in the battle (cf. for example. both to God for the Messiah.The verb ‫רָחץ‬ ‫ מ‬is a relatively rare verb (12 times throughout OT). 5) and "nations" (v. But the reference to Jerusalem was present in v. is part of the logic of the psalm.4. Becker interprets the "way" (‫ )דרך‬as that of the battle. (cf. an apparition not isolated. The term ‫ ראש‬in parallel with the plural ‫ גויות‬wants to allude with difficulty to a particular character (may be a "head"). Usually the verb ‫ דין‬governs the direct object. when the prophet Elisha gave the order to dig wells and found water to quench the thirst of men and animals. it is an eschatological action. Even if God had to kill the enemies. The term ‫ גוים‬structurally matches with ‫( עמך‬v. Properly. J. he (YHWH =) will drink (the blood of his enemies)" or alternatively: "He will drink from a stream (the blood)". In Ps 110. which depicts well the sweeping movement of the battle. however. It is never used in the Bible.16-20. The Israelite army was without water and reduced to a bad state. 6)." The constellation ‫רָחל‬ ‫ נ‬. it is not the king.25 – battle of Jehoshaphat) The problem then is to understand the phrase "drinking from the stream.22). Jerusalem was also seen in the figure of Melchizedek in v. 6). It is a collective term for the heads of enemies cut into pieces by God. So the images depict the Pharaoh in the act of striking his enemies. nor in reference to the country of Israel. where "enemies" of the Messiah (v. 6a) and "your people" (v. 2 Kings 19. so they could continue the expedition and have victory. It is also interesting connection of water with the battle : the water has the aim to restore.21). More than a king. In both cases. "(My Lord) drinks from the stream by the road". to which the term ‫ גוים‬refers.29). The verb ‫רָחץ‬ ‫ מ‬goes well with ‫ראש‬: it indicates the action of the hammer." The victory of the Messiah (v.7a). There is again the transposition of an action attributed to the king in the first part and in the second to God. 6 is composed of four rhythmic stics (2 + 2 + 2 + 2). The "judgement" of YHWH is explained in the following three stics. We speak here. However. repulsive. which has generally God as subject (8x) or King (3x). 3a). after speaking of God and before speaking of the king. God "fills with corpses." In fact. 7b) confirm. 7) V. 2. the shedding of blood is left to God: it confirms the pacifistic tendency of our author.1-6).24. Despite the apparent crudeness of the image. It is to reiterate that the rule of the king is no different from that of God. but also between "the nations" (v. (cf. as the future ‫( אשית‬v. but God himself who breaks the enemy's head. also 2 Chr 20. The reference to "the people" in v. In any case. which aims at the enemy's head to put him out of action. 2: ‫איביך בקרב רדה‬. But even here the context is that of holy war. The expression ‫( ידין בגוים‬v. (cf.1).3a).

without title: Ps 119 transfers the experience of God to the Torah.3de: a renewal of strength. however. The royal psalms almost constitute.7a. 135-136. one can deduce a relationship of the "stream" with the temple."The book opens with a ‫ הודו‬Psalm (107) and ends with a group of Alleluia psalms(146-150).8). 2b (the sceptre comes from Zion).144) introduce the praise. the immediate context of vv. 131. of which 4 Davidic Pss and one psalm of Solomon) are composed mainly of supplications. This is suggested by the link both with v. the Gihon. also the parallel with v.7a. After the opening of Ps 107. in the hiphil. . Ps 3. like other royal pss of the fifth book. This would result in a change of subject. containing the formula ‫ הללו־יה‬or ‫( הודו‬113. where it spoke of a dew that "rejuvenates".107 118 [Egyptian Hallel].18. which develops in the ‫ הללו־יה –הודו‬pss. Ps 36. Zech 14. where it speaks of the water. Gihon is never called ‫רָחל‬ ‫נ‬. to mark the passage from supplication (Ps 108109) to praise (Ps 111-118). but complementary. b) the Davidic psalms (108-110. but the three royal psalms (110. a psalm of Zion. as if the water has been to ensure the victory.3de.6). p. 127 (Solomon). it is clear that it is God who gives the victory to his king. Silvia Ahn notes that there are mainly two recurring elements in this book of Psalms: a) the Alleluia psalms. Ezek 47.4c). This gives an excellent sense. The first two parts end with Ps 119 and 137.The problem with these interpretations." Ahn stresses the function of Ps 110. 138145). the gift of an extraordinary vital force that enables the king's victory over his enemies. can also mean "to make the head rise”. 124. It is prodigious vital strength given by the water that allows the king to rise victoriously over the head of the enemies. reinvigorated life". 7a and therefore. The two Davidic collections (108-110 and138-145) and the Pss of Ascents (Ps 120-134.32-40.132. Another strand of interpretation connects water with the regal enthronement as narrated in 1 Kings 1. The effect of drinking water at the prodigious stream is similar to that of the dew in v. which is the site of the battle. the source of Jerusalem. that of life and that of victory. Always in typology of the eschatological struggle against foreign peoples. The expression ‫ראש ירים‬. Then the meaning of the "stream" could be found in this direction. If our hypothesis is true. We have opted to keep the same subject of v. 3de ("From the womb before you the dew of your youth") spoke about a renewal of the forces because of water in terms out of the ordinary. And in this ceremony. in which case it would allude to an action of God (cf. in the Psalter. using mythical and eschatological language. On the other hand. monumental praise to the Torah. Von Nordheim notes that the phrase "to raise the head" is part of the language of the royal ideology both in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Ps 137 makes one read the Pss of Ascents as a reminder of Zion to nourish the hope.21-22). which continues the theme of the Pss of Ascents 120-134. The two senses. However. it is difficult to understand the link between "drinking water" and "raise the head. 4 ("Melchizedek" is king of Jerusalem). Davidic pss and the ‫הללו־יה –הודו‬ pss alternate three times. we read the hifil with the same sense of qal: even so. Is 35. 146-150). 133. The association of the eschatological war against other nations and the "river" is present both in Zechariah and Joel (cf. which is the archetypal sign of life ("water of life". in all these there is no “war” as in Ps 110. It seems that this is reflected more accurately the image of Ps 110. the raising of the head is a sign of life.111-112 . both in connection with v. Based on these observations. Whoever raises his head is alive. and Ps 137. Two psalms remain outside – Ps 119. nor it is said that the ceremony would entail the drinking water from the stream. Though there are several references the “source of life” (cf. PS 110 IN THE CONTEXT OF MASORETIC PSALTER The structure of the fifth book is sufficiently debated today. He is awake from the sleep of death and begins a renewed. Ahn proposes a tripartite scheme (see Table 8. ‫רָחיים מים‬ ). and with v. If we add that the Messiah has a sacerdotal character (vv.4)..10. Here "to raise the head" would have the sense to receive the royal authority. 3c. but the eschatological struggle against foreign people. the longest psalm of the Psalter. Joel 4. 122. the "stream" must have a connection with Jerusalem. the realization of eschatological hope. 5-6 is not a normal battle. More interesting is the comparison that Kilian makes with the Egyptian literature: "According to the Egyptian way of thinking. plays an important role. and in connection with v. are not to be understood in an exclusive sense." The conjunction ‫ על־כן‬implies a cause-effect relationship between the two actions.

‫ .3).7 it is the right hand of God to save his people. who is subsequently ordered to "put them under the feet" (‫רדה‬. they are placed by God under the feet of the Messiah (‫לרגליך הדם‬. vv. Both times. If in Ps 108 the protagonist of this battle is the people. with which God renews the exhausted forces of his chosen one. Also unique is the resumption of the term ‫ימין‬. the other time with the king (Ps 110. In this sense one can say that Ps 110 responds to the lament of Ps 108.4: ‫ בל־אמים‬. 2). however. In 108. Ps 108.בעמים‬Ps 110. 109 and 110. We have found this same relationship with the way in the desert in Ps 110. 30-31). we emphasize the term ‫רָחיל‬ .1. while in Ps 110. who goes into battle ‫רָחילך ביום‬ . O God.3). v. have rejected us. In Ps 108 the context suggests rather a renewal of the conquest of the Promised Land. The second is immediately reflected in the conclusion of Ps 106 (‫)הללויה‬. Apparently the land of Israel was dominated by foreigners.1 and 110. The victorious road of the king. a collective lament. Likewise v. v.7. "the day of your strength". an individual supplication. 4. which shows the warrior God warrior fights alongside the king. Both the times the "enemies" are identified with the "people" (Ps 108. YHWH our God. Italian). The content of the oracle is similar because both the times God incites the battle. which spoke of the return from the exile. The two psalms are juxtaposed by the fact that in both there is a divine oracle. destroying the enemies with his power. Of the "way" (‫ )דרך‬it speaks in vv. from the east and from the west. The body of the Ps says that this praise is due to the fact that God has saved the people from the exile: "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so.19-20).14) and those of Ps 110 (‫איביך‬.14. they are "trampled" by God himself (‫)צרינו יבוס והוא‬. from where comes the dew which renews the youth of the Messiah (110.3 ‫)עמך‬. The fourth book ended with the prayer: "Save us. whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands. This parallelism is accentuated by the fact that both the times the enemies are placed by God under the feet.7: "he will drink from the brook by the way". We are interested in highlighting the links with Ps110. Both the times God speaks in first person. p. in continuation with Ps 107. and the hungry he fills with good things".8-10 and in Ps 110. we also emphasize the content reference between the "sceptre" (‫רָחקק‬ ‫ )מ‬of YHWH in Ps 108. The verbal links with Ps 110 are less conspicuous than those of Ps 108 (see Table 10. p. . with the first begins Ps 107: "Praise (‫ )הדו‬YHWH" (v. In 108. therefore. and God himself fights at "the right" of the king (v. "right". They are the first group of Davidic psalms in the book. besides the title. What battle is this? In Ps 110 we have identified it with the eschatological battle against the people. a parched land into springs of water".1).24. Ps 108.23. both Davidic." The two lexemes ‫ ידה‬and ‫ הלל‬are the Leitwort of the fifth book. It therefore reveals the hand of the final redactor. and the Psalmist sees a new conquest.1 and 109.1 and 2). 22-23. Is 43. overlaps.2. we stress. 2-3). The list is complete. and no longer go out with our armies. 5-20) and ends with an act of thanksgiving (vv. in a continuous reading. even if the people participate in the battle (Ps 110.1 are clearly linked to form a succession (note the chiasm between 108.8-12.9: "For he satisfies him who is thirsty. it is God who fights." Ps 110. once with the people (Ps 108. The pages of Dt-Isaiah echo here that describe the prodigious "desert road" transformed by God in a garden with abundant water (cf. and ps 60.Ps 107 begins the fifth book as a thank you for the return from the exile.1. those terms that are relatively rare such as ‫רָחר‬ ‫ מש‬/ ‫רָחר‬ ‫ש‬. "dawn. 109. We list the verbal cues (see Table 9. because. among the enemies of Ps 108 (‫צר‬. but perhaps some of the terms are not so relevant. The title is certainly significant: the three titles of Ps 108.9 and that of the Messiah (‫ )מטה‬in Ps 110. in Ps 108.12 the psalmist accuses God: "You.3.7-14. In 108. Ps 109 is an individual supplication that results in a long curse (vv. If Ps 107 functions as an opening to the entire book.11. As it stands it looks like collective lamentation in continuation with Ps 107.40. ‫צרינו‬. it is an attribute of the king. to the way of the people: both are characterized by a prodigious inflow of water. the same term reappears in Ps 109.5-6 responds to that accusation. Ps 108 is composed of the recovery of Ps 56. Finally. Ps 108 and 109 are closely connected with Ps 110 through the common title ‫לדוד‬. Italian).14 it refers to the people. who with YHWH "will operate with power" ( ‫)נעששה־חיל‬.35: "He turns a desert into pools of water. Among these repetitions.4. joining the three Pss 108. See for example Ps 107.6: ‫)בגוים‬. in Ps 110. while in Ps 110 the king sits "at the right hand" of God (v. tab. p.1). 5). Italian). 1). in Ps 110 the decisive role of the Messiah king is emphasized. and gather us from among the nations (‫ )הגוים מן‬because we praise (‫ )להדות‬your holy name and glory in your praise (‫)בתהלתך‬." The psalmist wants to choose the dawn (Psalm 108. from the north and from the south"(vv. Here in v. Other than these specific verbal references.13. 1).1 cf. as we shall see.14).

But here the context directs towards the secondary meaning of "food".14a) it is God who exterminates the enemies: ‫( צרינו יבוס הוא‬v. therefore. sustain. ‫ דרושים‬is qal pas ptc of ‫דרש‬. in the background. Another feature that links the three psalms is the active role of God. as in Ps 110. V. The vocalization of this verbal adjective qattel is unusual. Even if the people are involved in the battle (v. "good rewards")." the second as a "success. which would concretely represent this "reward" that God gives to those who keep His commandments. YHWH. stable. "wicked" (109.7 ‫הוששיעה ימינך‬ refers to the mighty hand of God. constituted"." This is probably a divine passive: "(command) incurred (by God)". especially in connection with v. steadfast. as well as that of his people.6. It is different from that of the ancient royal psalms (cf.13. For my part. intelligence." Thus is G: εἰς πάντὰ τὰὰ θελήμὰτὰ ὰὐτοῦ. addresses to a postexilic period. The same curse of vv.6-20 obeys this logic. V. according to the law of supply and demand. Goldingay translates: "He gave meat". p. Vg intellectus bonus. but where the enemy is called by another name (‫איביך‬. 109 and 110. while stressing the role of God.2). "in all its will" (also in Vg in omnes voluntates eius). pleasure. "research. as if God gave the Israelites the booty taken from the enemy. a sense that is present only in late texts. therefore.ḥ "love. In Ps 109 instead of the enemy is internal to the people. As for the sense." The Messiah is no less in the fourth and fifth book than in the previous three. But the most obvious comparison is between Ps 109 and 110.2 (‫)דרושים‬. with most of the authors. such as Job 24. It is therefore not correct to contraposition a "Messianic Psalter" (Ps 1-89) to a "theocratic. you have done this. In both the psalms the term appears twice. PSALM 111 TEXTUAL CRITICISM V. 8. "joy. but it is still present. The person who prays leaves the vengeance to God. but rather explanatory. "who find satisfaction in them"). The three pss 108.12). vv. I observe that this meaning is confirmed . The ancient versions almost unanimously choose the first (cf.2. and it is an enemy of the people.10. a term that links the three Pss 108. satisfy". but that of a priest (Ps 1104: "You are a priest forever").35: "Mine is the vengeance". exquirenda). the verb refers to men (lit. to run". 3).24. the role of the poor is similar to that of the king in Ps 110." The ptc may have a nuance of gerund. Pr 31. are thus held together by the theme of "enemies". as above. 109 and 110. and thus. study. Italian). Zenger for his part prefers the second (guter Lohn. This second meaning is best suited to the context. according to Deut 32. While the enemies accuse him unjustly. It would also be possible to translate "precious" (meaning "sought".8-10). but it is possible it is a guttural. with a chiastic correspondence (see Table 11. vv. Even here. but the other meaning is to be considered. our translation. 10. who is called by the name of ‫רשע‬.4). who gives the faithful and righteous commands. and thus the implied subject would be the man. This is the meaning of the affirmation of v. Tg good understanding). So also in Ps 109. Ps 18). Goldingay translates: "for all their delights". 6. however. This is an individual enemy. that can also be translated as "worthy of being studied" (Jer. and Pardee: "for all their desirableness". 14b).6b: it is a food that comes not from agriculture but from the "hunting". 5. even if they are called by different names.7). who fights (cf. 27: "Let them know that here's your hand. Mal 3." Both are possible and are taken in modern translations. But the expression could also be derived from the noun h ḥēpes ḥ. V. The term. that of the Messiah is not eliminated.. cf.1. are the bullies who oppress the poor. especially in connection with Ps 112. The term ‫ שכל‬can have two meanings. reward. Could derive from the verb h ḥāpēs. 2) "to do. you.15." The other pas ptc ‫ עשוים‬can be understood in two ways: 1) "made. Also discussed is the translation of ‫רָחפציהם‬ ." Thus one can understand that in Ps 110 the figure of the king is not that of a soldier. the subject implied would be God. "solid. The term ‫ טרף‬primarily means "prey". Here the choice of the word is undoubtedly tied to the fact of the acrostic. 2.Significant is also the use of term ‫ימין‬. that goes to the battle dressed with sacred vestments (‫ בהדרי־קדשש‬v. In Ps 108 it is God who acts.14) ‫צר‬. The first as a "common sense. Here the preposition ‫ ל‬followed infinitive construct of the verb ‫ נתן‬not so much a final meaning. Is 62. as in Ps 110.1. G σύνεσις ἀγὰθὴὰ. In Ps 108. "right". ‫ סמוכים‬is pas ptc of ‫" סמך‬support. That the pas ptc has a gerundive value we have already seen in v. his reaction is that of a prayer: ‫( תפלה אני‬v. In Ps 108 the word is (108.5. V.

who sustains the thesis that the psalm has two types of recipients: for the people outside it would be a hymn to the works of YHWH in history. It was an exercise in literary skill typical of scribal schools. 19. where elements of the hymn. the psalm is constructed as an acrostic. This would be for thanksgiving of an individual. to which different elements lead to. v. In this sense it induces both initial acclamation ‫ יה הללו‬. which places it in the ambit of wisdom psalms. but rather with the scribal activities. On the other hand. 3 and 4. Generally it is considered a hymn. make us opt to see also here God as the object of ‫תהלה‬. i. and therefore. of the individual act of thanksgiving. Undoubtedly the Psalm belongs to wisdom circles. not so much linked to oral proclamation. Vg on its part refers to the fear of God: omnibus facientibus eum. but in the third person: this is typical of the hymn. good discernment (is) to those who put them into practice"). we opt to keep the MT. where the three central letters of the Ps ‫ ל מ‬.‫ כ‬also constitute in the reverse form the theme of the psalm: ‫מלך‬. LITERARY GENRE The literary genre of Psalm 111 is controversial. but of the action of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving would be done not for the benefits that God has granted to the person of the Psalmist. of the Hellenistic period. beyond the initial acclamation which is outside of the acrostic. 8-9. A special case of the strophic acrostic is Ps 119. 119. Outside the Psalter. but to the scribal activity. gute Einsicht). of wisdom and of the Torah conflate. Ps 37 offers a strophic acrostic..3b. but a special kind of wisdom. it is dominant in the author's thought. every stic begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. STYLISTIC OBSERVATIONS AND STRUCTURE A special feature of Ps 111. our Psalm is in line to Ps 1. but to the people. referring the pronoun to wisdom (v. not so much related to observation of the world to derive maximum of life.e. The text thus reveals that the theme of the commandments.. As . is that it is acrostic. each starting with the consonant of the first verse. This shows a remarkable literary ability. Allen points out that in this way we obtain a parallel to the term ‫רָחפציהם‬ . The pronominal suffix of the third person masc plural ‫( עשיהם‬ the parallel with Pr 3.10c. that is.7 (‫)פקודים‬.e. in which the sequence of consonants of the alphabet corresponds not to every stic but to every distich and tristic. Despite the grammatical difficulty. common also to the nearby twin Ps 112. this type of wisdom is characteristic of late writers. for the initiated it would be a eulogy of the Torah. the psalm begins with the verb ‫אודה‬.8b) does not find a noun in the context to refer to. not directly.2. made in front of a group ("in the circle of the just and in the assembly". Through all the letters they wanted to convey the idea of completeness and perfection (in the case of Ps 111) of the works of YHWH.10 ("the beginning of wisdom is the fear of YHWH. in addition to these two psalms. while the other two parallels ‫ טוב שכל‬rather argue in favour of the other meaning ("common sense". v. referring the pronoun to the "commandments". like the book of Sirach or Baruch. But on one part the inclusion with v. In the Psalter.4. in the sense of "lasting" as in v. Several modern authors are aligned to these corrections. and the fact that it speaks of YHWH.‫)יה הללו‬. sound understanding. i. but to the study of Torah. The "wisdom" here is supposed to consist in the study of the law of God. but it seems too far away. Outside of the literary genre of the hymn and of thanksgiving is the conclusion of the Psalm. such as Ps 25 and 34. No wonder that G has changed the masc plural with the fem singular. this idea also expressed by the number of verses of the psalm (10) and by the recurrence of the numbers 7. The composition of acrostics is not connected with the desire to help the memory. there are other acrostics. seems to have a redactional character. As we will see. The only plural is found in v. No wonder so many authors consider it an act of thanksgiving. testifies to the lateness of the language. the fact that the initial letters of each stic correspond in the order to each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.10a): πᾶσι τοῖς ποιοῦσιν ὰὐτήν. in which each of the 22 stanzas is composed 8 couplets of couplets. to every verse.10c) the third person singular suffix is referred by some authors to the man who practices the commandments. This is also the case of Ps 145. v. even though the noun does not appear in vv. In this sense. which is not typical of the hymn. So this is a psalm "sui generis". meaning that each verse begins with a consonant of the Hebrew alphabet.1 (‫ יהוה אודה‬. The number 7 is the number of perfection. Also the ptc ‫ עמדת‬in v. which also directs the acrostic form. In the term ‫( תהלתו‬v. "the king". 1). on the other the fact that in all the other cases in Ps 111 the third person masculine pronoun refers to YHWH. The dimension of the Torah is emphasized recently by the Hebrew scholar Zwi Brettler.

we have 7 couplets (vv. The lexeme ‫ עשה‬forms the leitmotif of the psalm. Especially important are the repetitions of the pairs ‫( לעד עמדת‬vv. according to the parallelismus membrorum. According Scoralick. 1-3 The first strophe is divided into two parts. 9 (‫שמו נורה‬. 2-8) and three triplets (v. 7-8.31). 3b.4-6) the works of the beginning of Israel's history. 6) are exhibited. characterized by nominal phrases. (70 + 4). These repetitions show a structural intention.10b). on the other. p.8 respectively) and once in the conclusion (v. The first. 7 . 9c). 5).‫ ב‬times. has the value of conclusion (v. 1-3) and last (v. in which the author expresses an invitation to praise. It is included with the two occurrences of the lexeme ‫( עשה‬vv.4c makes significant exception). it introduces a new element. v. p. consists of vv. 4-9) exhibits precisely the great works of Yahweh. Italian): the two numbers 3 and 7 are sacred numbers. The body of the psalm (vv.1.1a). The strophe is characterized exclusively by the verbal phrases (v.‫ ו‬times and the third. the only one in which the second stic is joined to the first through the conjunction ‫ו‬.30-31). "to do". as we have seen (see Table 14. ‫יה הללו‬. The first strophe (vv. Equally clear is the inclusion between ‫( יה הללו‬v. The second part (vv. with personal observations (see Table 17. Observing the repetitions. the journey in the wilderness (v.1a) and ‫( תהלתו‬v. vv. 3 . (a) the psalm has. without further divisions into strophes and stanzas. the triplets play an important role in determining the structure of poetic unity: they are at the beginning and end. However. ‫ל‬. The first strophe is divided into two parts: v. 1. Scoralick has proposed a chiastic structure (see Table 15. p. R. as the three of v. So even if the expression ‫ יה הללו‬is out of the acrostic. 6b by the lexeme ‫נתן‬.‫ ל‬and ‫ב‬. and the gift of the Promised Land (v. wisdom consists in the fear of YHWH (v. Besides. the center of the structure. v. (b) The lexemes used are 49 (7 x 7). and the last two: ‫( לעד עמדת‬v. 2-3. appearing five more times: twice in each strophe of the body (vv. 3b and 10c) and ‫( בריתו לעולם‬vv.10c). 4).1 is characterized by verbal phrases (‫ אודה‬. but reunited in twos or threes.4a is joined to 5b by the lexeme 5 ‫זכר‬b. They are 14. p. Once the synonym ‫ פעל‬is used. Table 16. Scoralick. (e) In Psalm three monosyllabic particles are used: ‫ ו‬. v. In the first strophe (vv. and vv. it is an integral part of the psalm. as has been noted. As observed by Van der Lugt. cf. are 14 (2x7). which added to the previous forms again the number 7. that of wisdom. which we make our own.10a).6 and 7. 10c). in MT. does not allow grasping a structure of the psalm. but here the expression "fear of YHWH" is perceived as synonymous to "fulfil the commandments" (‫עשיהם‬. is used 14 times (2x7). with their emphasis on "fidelity / truth" of the works of God. They are in parallel: in fact the conclusion of the psalm.5a is connected to v. v. cf. 4. in which the subject is always YHWH. v. (d) The word that is repeated more is ‫עשה‬. the second. Based on these criteria. In favour of an organic structure of the psalm is primarily because of the repetitions. We observe first that the stics are not isolated. 10). Invitation to praise (v. we propose a structure which is fundamentally based on that of Zenger.10c).9 and 10) (see Table 13. 74 words counting alleluia. So the conclusion is closely connected with the third strophe¸ which focuses precisely on the commandments. (f) The Tetragrammaton recurs 4 times (+ 1 in the abbreviated form ‫)יה‬. Another observation concerns the alternation of the nominal propositions and verbal propositions (see. no doubt has redactional value.4a and 6a) and a double connection: on the one hand. 10b). The arrangement of the psalm as it is present in the BHS. According to the wisdom maxim. Specifically. THE FIRST STROPHE. takes up a part of the first two words of the introduction: ‫יה הללו‬ (v. 31-32). even the theme of the fear of God was introduced at the end of v. p. 3b). It seems that the only criterion is that of the sequence of letters of the alphabet. 10.29. v. 5b and 9). (c) The words that are repeated at least once.‫)הללו‬. Italian). It is repeated 6x. 10) has conclusive character. The fourth and final strophe (v. 9c prepares v. and therefore also of the psalm. respectively form the introduction and the conclusion of the psalm. characterized by verbal propositions. V. 29-30. 23) consists of nominal propositions in which the author sets the theme of his song: the "works" (‫ )מעשי‬of YHWH. like the number 10.10c. for the fact of being out of the acrostic and because it . the Exodus (v.10 even by being a nominal phrase. The last verse. 1) The beginning of the psalm. in which each line corresponds to a letter of the alphabet. first to the assembly and then to himself before the assembly. ‫( תהלתו‬v.noted by R. Verbs whose subject is ‫ יהוה‬are again 7.

The same group is elsewhere called with the term ‫רָחסידים‬  . The "totality" is a fundamental dimension of the psalm: the universalizing particle ‫ כל‬appears 4x (v.‫ צדיקים‬or ‫ענוים‬. 106." but the combination makes it clear that these are the works known through the study of Torah.3. It must be remembered that the verb ‫ ידה‬in hiphil has the sense to "confess". who in front of them recognizes his own insignificance.e. 1. an application made not by duty.2).2a). In parallel with "great". respectively." The combination ‫ הוד והדר‬is the third of the psalm. cannot be excluded.1. i.1. especially in v. Ps 119. v. The "works" of God are revealed in his Torah. who had compromised with the Hellenistic fashion. Praise is therefore not only external. "the righteous". The two nouns are intended as hendiadys to indicate "splendor and majesty" of their divine king. 107). his law he meditates day and night" (Ps 1. 2) or. ‫ אודה‬is rather typical of individual thanksgiving." It is characteristic verb for the praise of God in worship and is typical of the "hymn". The theme of the psalm: the works of Yahweh (vv. in 119. The verb that follows. Ps 1. "praise.33). the object of delight is not directly the "commandments". ‫פעלו‬. (cf. my God! You are clothed with majesty and splendor (‫)הוד והדר‬. To this adjective is to be joined the couple ‫ הוד והדר‬of v. These may be the wonders of creation (cf.2. pagans. In this sense the parallel with Ps 119 it is illuminating. in the sense of a profession of faith.This is why the thanksgiving is announced in v. And this is the meaning to be understood in our text. obtained with a light blow on the throat. finding joy in a thing of which one “is delighted”. to express the joyful ringing still characteristic of oriental women today. reflects well the importance that the Torah plays in the Psalter. or love them. Lord. v. and therefore the passionate study of Torah is the exploration of the great works of God in creation and history. liberal Jews. Ps 105. The psalmist does not thank for a personal benefit. with Zenger.7.3). The psalm basically mentions the second. worthy to be sought. The term is in line with "with whole heart" to underscore the seriousness with which its members take the word of God. The works reveal the royal dignity of YHWH.belongs to a feature of the fifth book. We could say. with all the forces of reason and affectivity. The praise/thanksgiving is "with all heart. 2-3 introduce the theme of the psalm: "works" of God (‫מעשי‬. Ps 104) or of the salvation history (cf.2b. .2. and with all thy soul and with all thy strength".155 "your decrees" (‫רָחקיך‬ ). such as to arouse the wonder of man. "to be found. but a reference to the first. But the fact that the two verbs are next to each other confirms that mixture of genres. In this case we have a triplet in v.5: "You shall love YHWH your God with all your heart (‫)בכל־לבבך‬. which is opposed to the "ungodly" (‫)רשעים‬. but spontaneously. "work" (v. v. In our psalm. but "works of YHWH. also the numbers all point in this direction: the 10 verses. 112. but rises from the depths of the soul.2 and 138. They are "big" (‫גדלים‬. transferred to his representative on the earth. Here is the typical postbiblical Jewish use that with the verb ‫ דרש‬indicates the passionate study of scriptures. If the verb ‫ הלל‬suggests a religious assembly.10). where at the beginning and at the end a choral aspect of the praise is expressed. 3) remains undetermined for now. especially of God. the gerundive meaning of the ptc is probable. as in Ps 104. the 22 letters of alphabet. If in Ps 119. hymn" (v. The expression certainly echoes Deut 6. in biblical language. 1a). The passive participle ‫ דרושים‬indicates passionate seeking. Ps 49. But the fact that it is a perfect match to the end of the psalm (‫תהלתו‬. The heart is. and in 119.2.1: "You are so great (‫)גדלת‬. which immediately follows ("sought after by those who love them") leads one to see a group united by the common love of the law.15 ("The upright will rule over them in the morning") allows to understand that it is a group within the Jewish society. v. and in the middle the singular aspect (see Tab 18. not the seat of feelings.45 and 94 are "your commands" (‫)פקדיך‬.2 and 10 the object of the verb ‫ דרש‬is God. What can be known about him is that he can be seen through his works. It is the group that in Ps 1 is characterized as follows: "He delights in the law of YHWH. so the verb came to acquire the sense of "praise. This group is here called with the term ‫ישרים‬. Such a ringing probably expressed jubilation in antiquity during worship. and expresses a joyful dedication. and is of an undivided soul ("all").3a. v.. as also the term ‫תהלה‬." The verb ‫רָחפץ‬  expresses love of friendship and also erotic love. All those among whom the psalmist expresses his thanksgiving (v. in the middle of the fifth book. 119. that the psalm wants to be a fulfillment of the command of Deuteronomy.1c) are called upon to praise YHWH (v. Here it is not directly “seeking” God but to “find” his works.1.10c) confirms." Subject of seeking are "all those who take pleasure in them. What is meant by the term "works" (v. The verb ‫ הלל‬is originally an onomatopoeic verb.1. p. 10c) suggests that it forms at the same time an integral part of the psalm. It is also used in a spiritual sense." The phrase "with all heart" appears in connection with ‫ אודה‬also in Ps 9.35). the king of the universe. 2-3) The vv. but a symbol of interiority. the recurrence of number 7. but for the deeds of God in favour of human beings.

8-23) is the finality of his "wonders": the "works" lead to the encounter with the living God: they must be studied and remembered . 5) "He has given food to those who fear him.45 and Ex 2. The covenant mentioned here no more priestly neither it is deuteronomistic but is synonymous with the “commandments” of God. 6). 4) ‫ זכר‬here has the sense of "memory".1-9. The Torah is not just a set of laws. the text emphasizes "the total gratuity of this food that is offered only by the hand of God and is not produced by the effort and the work of man. The sentence concludes the first strophe. In v. the revelation of God to Moses after the sin of the golden calf. in a broad sense. both as initial liberation as well as the gift of the Promised Land." The important verb ‫ ירא‬is taken in v. As highlighted by Ravasi.4 anticipates the two following verses. The statement is intended to be a comfort to a situation that the previous psalms have shown (cf. 5) and the gift of the land (v. v. which goes from weqatal to yiqtol: "He remembers his covenant forever. The people complained that he had no meat to eat and God provided them with the quails. THE SECOND STROPHE. but two aspects of the same reality. It refers more to community relations. Or even: the origin of the "wonders" of YHWH is his grace and compassion. Behind the rare term ‫ טרף‬we have seen the hint of a particular food. The memory of the past is a reminder that what God did then has an exemplary value: he always does so "for those who fear him. Ps111.24: "God heard their groaning. as if to say that God's works express. may be quails. Isaac and Jacob". This "memory" has been "established" (‫ )עשה‬from the same God who "has done great things" (v. It "endures forever" (‫לעד עמדת‬.4 b). cf. THAT defines the fundamental meaning of the Hebrew lexeme ‫ צדק‬like this: "to be faithful to the community. which are a specification of it. The gift of food (v. the liberation from Egypt. it lasts forever. but wants to remember a definite fact of the past. but above all a memory of the wonders of God. Acc. who can feed his family.24: and Es106. 4a). This is classical epoch of Israel. The reference here is to Ex 34. but also as a father. and therefore the Exodus. To the righteousness of God corresponds the praise that is bestowed to him by his people: since the first never ends. even today. his mercy. As if to say that those who keep the commandments will not go hungry. as in Ps 106." With the specification ‫ליראיו‬.. ." The memory of the covenant is seen as the motive of divine intervention. In these works God's faithfulness to his covenant is shown (v. and God remembered His covenant (‫ )ויזכר אלהים את־בריתו‬with Abraham. which has been revealed in the works of the past. to that '"covenant" which is mentioned in vv. who takes delight in his commandments" (Ps 112." The choice of this noun introduces that kind of works that are shown in vv.6-7. travel in the wilderness and the conquest of the Promised Land. "to those who fear him" the author makes a bridge to the present. v.31). a memory that is concretized in the Torah. to cause salvation. Num 11. This is the "justice" of YHWH. so also the praise never ends.e. Ex 16. The revelation of the face of God (specifically his "shoulders".1). is not over. and is reflected in the conclusion of the psalm. v.In parallel with ‫פעלו‬. The link with the present is emphasized in the following stic. vv. The justice of God.5 and 9. to Ravasi. 4-6 Exodus (v. Ps 108-109).45 2. This comparison confirms that the author does not want to restrict himself to the Passover night. with the '"work" of God. two aspects of the Exodus liberation.9c and 10a and is at the beginning of the next psalm. God has acted not only as a mother (‫רָחום‬ ‫)ר‬. Ex 33. The memory of the Exodus reveals a God of grace and compassion (‫רָחום יהוה‬ ‫רָחנון ור‬ .3 this face is shown in the light of the justice. 4-6. reveal his justice. but has before him the whole event of liberation. The noun ‫צדקה‬ is not so much the order of the universe. where to last is not the "justice" but the "praise" of God (111.3b): the phrase is said with regard to the present. so that the people do not forget them. i. 3b places ‫" צדקתו‬His righteousness". The divine hunter gave his children not only bread but also meat. 2a) and "has established a memory of his wonders "(v. It is not in the context. 5b). God will take care of them as he provided for his people in the desert. complementarily. which consists in "compassion and love" (‫רָחנון‬  ‫רָחום‬ ‫)ור‬. In the context the link is clear with the food that God gave to his people during their sojourn in the desert (cf. here. remembering respectively the food in the wilderness (v. to capture the face of God in them." The past tense of the verb makes it clear that it does not speak in general. of a different thing.10 . where it defines what actually means to "fear God": "Blessed is the man who fears YHWH. The "wonders" (‫ )נפלאתיו‬to which our text refers are mainly those of the early history of Israel. ‫ תהלתו עמדת לעד‬c). In this sense.

v. law" (‫ )משפט‬of God's works. who gives them solidity. This is indicated by the inclusion of the lexeme ‫( עשה‬vv. Therefore. 6 the order is reversed: the first stic highlights the quality of God (power)." The combination is rare in the OT.8 forming inclusion. 7-8) The third strophe begins speaking of "works of his hands" (‫)מעשה ידיו‬. the participation of man in the doing of God. vv. It is the same sequence in this Psalm. to which the commandments are now aligned. but the context requires referring it to man. combined through ‫ ל‬+ inf cst.2a (‫)גדלים מעשה יהוה‬. but as a gift. but indirectly. THE THIRD STROPHE. If God does his work ‫ומשפט באמת‬. by not keeping His commandments. stability. it is likely that the term "works" is alluded to here. presented as a paradigm of "solidity. The specification ‫ מעשה ידיו‬suggests the works of creation (cf. and this is placed at the foundation of the commandments. It only appears in two more passages . p. 8a is still dedicated to the part that God has in the commandments.37-38). It is YHWH who has "torn" (‫טרף‬. which makes us think that God does his works in the Torah. and God is eternal. The verb ‫ נגד‬is in fact a verb of communication. with a gerundive value. The subject of the verb ‫ עשה‬in v. v." and therefore of "truth"(‫ )אמת‬and "justice. From the context. Similarly. "loyalty and justice.4a.18 and 119 (21 times). The observance of the commandments makes man a share in the eternity of God. YHWH reveals the "strength (‫רָח‬ ‫ )כ‬of his works. The term is exclusive of the Psalter. 5) the Canaanite people and gifted it (‫נתן‬. V. vv. The recipient of the proclamation is the people of YHWH (‫)עמו‬. 6) to his people. Ps 8.2 and Zech 8. in v.7 is God. the gift of the earth and vv.4a and 6a). they are not presented as an imposition. The subject of the proclamation is God himself. which indicates the "care" that YHWH takes of his people (cf. 7-8 form a unit and the verb ‫ עשה‬is taken at the end of v. correspond to the two poles of the book of Exodus respectively. In doing so man becomes part of the "doing". 103. 7b specifies the works: they are ‫פקודים‬. vv. through the Torah. the second is the reminiscent of his action (gift of land) (Tab 19.3). but it is also used in a broader sense. Since it is God who sustains them. In Ex 34. . 10). have part in the eternity of God." The action. Both the times the it refers to the commandments.7-9 the commandments. The passive ‫ עשוים‬could still mean a passivum divinum. language. which only appears in three other psalms: 19. the man should do/observe ‫וישר באמת‬. 4-6) and to Sinai (vv. 11. who must "do/execute" the precepts of his God. in v. and then expressed the qualities of God revealed through this action (grace and compassion. the "great works" of God.8 speaks about the "commandments" (‫)פקודיו‬. "sustained ") is a divine passive which has God as its subject: it is he who sustains them.7).The gift of the land (v. the covenant promise is immediately followed by the promise to drive away the people from the land of Canaan as a gift to Israel. v. The language is deuteronomistic as in parallel with Dt 4. 5) it is perhaps possible to understand a condition to the gift: if Israel forgets the fear of God. through the historical "memory". So the works of God are ‫ומשפט אמת‬. the absolute gratuity of the "conquest". perhaps chosen because it derives from the verb ‫פקד‬.Jer 4. It was a pure act of love as a Ps 136 constantly repeats: "for His love is everlasting. the gift of land is no longer valid.6b. 8b instead emphasizes man's part. 6) V. Is 5. through which God has manifested his prodigious strength. they are "reliable"(‫)נאמנים‬: man may rely on them his life. a sign of God's love.4 and 5. Ps 8. 29.8b the subject of the verb is man. v. reference is to the latter. From the second part of v. without being disappointed. And on the other hand the way to get back the land is precisely the fear of God and the observance of his commandments (v. It can be said that the two strophes that make up the body of the psalm. It is one of several terms which indicate the commandments of the Torah.5b speaks of the alliance. vv. The psalm underlines. so also here the gift of the land is seen as a "proclamation" (‫ נגד‬hifil). The pas ptc ‫( סמוכים‬lit. with the same "fidelity / truth". 7-9 The work of the commandments (vv.16. evoked an action of God (Exodus. v.37-38. 7 and then v. to the liberation (vv. an expression that reminds of v.12. so also his commands are ‫לעולם לעד‬. 6 is a conclusion of the historical memory of the Exodus. in which the Exodus is evoked indirectly. 7-9). and often refers to the word of God. V.4-6 and 7-9. In v. the close union of the two stics. The verb is placed in complementary parallelism with ‫( ידיו מעשה‬7a).16." In the insistence on the element of "fear of God"("he gave food to those who fear him". V. is the gift of the land. Ex 3.5). Therefore the commandments are aligned to the great deeds of God. Since they are made of "solidity" ( ‫)אמת‬.9. with the resumption of the verb ‫נתן‬. food in the desert). It is he who does with "fidelity / truth" (‫ )אמת‬his works (commandments). The parallelism expresses in an exemplary manner. the chiastic inversion compared to the two previous verses. So the gift of the land is not mentioned directly. memory of the covenant). to indicate God's actions in history (cf.

in the vision of the OT. its most beautiful fruit. that of condescension (v. for parallel Dt 4. to know how he is dependent on him. The two phrases are parallel. which ends in the recognition of God at its highest point: he is the crown.30). 9b). therefore of worship (v. to the "fear of God". And so the "fear of God" is the humility of the man who recognizes dependency on his creator. returns to the style of the vv. Then the parallelism with v. Indeed. With this. All wisdom can be traced back. Vg have a noun. v.4-6.7-8. as if to highlight the two complementary aspects of God's face. v.23-34. Coherently. The plural pronoun "them" refers to the "commandments". redemption". it seems that the context points to see a re-enactment of Exodus. 5 is clear: YHWH "remembers his covenant for ever" (‫לעולם יזכר בריתו‬. Sir. in the later wisdom of Israel. 2-9). p. It is expressed in v. Here in v. 9b).7.9c) corresponds to the divine Tetragrammaton ‫( יהוה‬4b) and the two adjectives ‫( ונורא קדוש‬v.4b) and transcendence (v. 9c is coupled with the next verse. while v.10b). Bar 4. it is practically synonymous with "obedience to the Torah". 41). 10 The concept of "wisdom" (‫רָחכמה‬ ) seems at first sight entirely new in the psalm. 9. to the liberation from Egyptian slavery.2) refers to the second exodus. Pr 1. Tg. The second (Is 50. 7-8 are composed of nominal phrases. The insertion of v. 15.10. The very fact of being a triplet confirms the conclusive character of the verse.28).e. introduced in v. From the point of view of content.1-4). Sir 24. ‫בישר‬. The verb ‫ עשה‬resumes v.33 the fear of God is connected with the '"humility".a temporal sense. The fear of God is realized. With this expression it is linked to the discourse in vv. i.The term ‫ישר‬. "He has commanded his covenant" (v. They are to be executed with "fidelity" because God has commanded them "forever". composed of a nominal phrase.19. 9.10a). it is linked to vv. as "the best". along the lines of vv. here too the language is dtr (cf. it appears only in Ex 8. not an adjective).10a in the context is explained by the fact that the "wisdom" of which we speak is intimately connected with the Torah (cf.9a summarizes the second strophe. "He has sent liberation to his people. on the other hand. By doing the commandments. passage from the theme of the commandments (vv. The wisdom of the OT is not atheistic.8b. 9c instead. 7-9). Is 50.8. as "the beginning". 8b). the other nominal phrase at the beginning of the body of the psalm. apex of wisdom. The element of the fear of God. 4-9). The third (Ps 130. The first refers to Exodus.1. 9b: "He has commanded his covenant for ever.4b: ‫רָחום‬ ‫רָחנון ר‬ ‫ו‬. while still speaking of the commandments (v. condensing in global term ‫פדות‬ "ransom.7) is the De Profundis. The term ‫ ראשית‬has three connotations . Job 28.9. 2.4. v. V.6. 9b that of the third ("he commanded his covenant").7.33. THE FOURTH STROPHE. The theme of the "fear of God". 7-8: "(Precepts) to be executed (‫)עשוים‬ with fidelity and righteousness" (v. is a pendant to v. Ex 21. v. detaches from the two previous verses. But the fear of God is not only the beginning. in the observance of the Torah. The noun ‫ פדות‬is rare.9ab returns to the qal perfect. under which the next of kin was obliged to redeem the family fallen into slavery (cf. 9 thus takes the conclusive character not only for the third strophe (vv.1) and the history of salvation (vv.10c) (see Table 20.9c) are antithetical to the two of v. while vv. "Beginning of wisdom is the fear of God" is a typical sentence of the wisdom of Israel (cf. 9c passes from verbal phrases to a nominal phrase. 9) V. 10. which was mentioned in vv. V. . v. To the "doing" of God. Until now there was talk of praise of God.8b ("to be done with fidelity and righteousness").7-8. 9c. v. but also the end of wisdom..4-6.10b: "Good discernment (is) to those who put them into practice". for this now the same loyalty is asked from Israel:‫( צוה־לעולם בריתו‬v. Ps 130. v. 10) is perfectly coherent. the return from the Babylonian exile. it is profoundly religious and expresses this dimension in the "fear of God". without exploiting or falsifying them. 7-9) to that of wisdom (v. is an introduction to the theme of v. is the recognition of the creatureliness of man in front of the creator.7 corresponds the "doing" of man (vv. the believer participates in the creative and salvific work of God. because the noun ‫( שמו‬v.13).2. In Pr 15. Apart from here. which opens with this concept (cf. introducing the theme of the fear of God." As in 9a. V. the origin. The author summarizes what he has said in vv. but for the whole body of the Psalm (vv.‫ ישרום בסוד‬are the ones that "do" the commandments of YHWH "with righteousness". 4b. to obey him is the meaning of life. the source of wisdom. the various "works" of God during the Exodus. but it also forms an inclusion with v." The lexeme ‫ פדה‬originally belongs to the family law. So the fear of God is first and foremost the beginning. which stated that the praise resounds ‫ ישרים‬. perhaps to be vocalised as ‫( יושר‬actually G. Hence the general meaning of "freedom" from bondage or danger: in this sense the term has exclusively God as the subject and it points out the gratuity.5b). the sense of "first fruits". Therefore.9a is coupled with v.

1). i. to the liturgical vestments of the people in Ps 110. wisdom") is recommended by the context of v. Ps 107.44). 112. In 3b to "last forever" is an attribute of God. 2-8) and three triplets (vv.6.10 b talked about: the fear of God frees from the fear of man.‫יהוה את ירא‬b). What is most striking is that not only single words but entire phrases are common to the two psalms like ‫( לעד עמדת צדקתו‬11 1.9). God’s "justice". 10a. 10b) of wisdom ("common sense.‫יהוה יראת‬a.3.3.3. here in connection with the lexeme ‫קדש‬. The lexeme ‫( ירא‬Ps 111. It was like a hinge between the lament (Ps 107-109) and praise (Ps 111-118). In effect. the people of YHWH. 1-3). also this becomes a divine act of "redemption.4.9. which also combines the two psalms (111. 4-9) that includes two parts: 4-6 and 7-9.4). p. discernment. the people of the Messiah. it is suggested that the "praise" of God is concretized in the fulfilment of His commandments. the binomial ‫רָחנון‬  ‫רָחום‬ ‫( ור‬111. with which Ps 111 concludes (‫ )לעד עמדת תהלתו‬is resumed in the incipit of Ps 112 (‫)יה הללו‬. PS 111 IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MASORETIC PSALTER The initial Alleluia of Ps 111 connects it with the psalms that follow.3). beginning with the acrostic form.e. The opening psalm of the fifth book.10 b.1).4 and 112. even if the second ("reward") is not to be excluded.6. Both are said to last forever (111. his justice. Both the psalms are composed of 10 verses including 7 couplets (vv. 10c) forms an inclusion with 1a. But the most important clue to the desired concatenation of the two psalms is the verb ‫רָח‬ ‫( של‬111. one conclusion (v.1b is concretized in ‫ טוב שכל‬of 111.4.10) is resumed in Ps 112. the same transposition that we found for the verb "do" operates. The praise of God can not fail. because the doing of man is the participation in the doing of God. with its Davidic title.e. this fear is specified to be equivalent to the observance of commandments: Ps 112.9. Psalm 111 is part of the praise that characterizes the entire fifth book of psalms. On the other hand. On the other hand. because it is confirmed by the following Psalm. in which each stic begins with a letter of the alphabet.10.1 . p. In Ps 110. so too the doing of man who through the obedience to his commands participates in the doing of God." More consistent are the links of Ps 111 with Ps 112. .1.6). the sceptre of his power. Even the "people of God" (‫ )עם‬has an important role in the two psalms (Ps 111.. Praise is in fact human activity: it lasts forever as God's justice. Ps 111. p. Ps 111stands as the execution of this program with the opening words: ‫( יהוה אודה‬Ps 111. In both the psalms the "people" are opposed to the "nations" (111.‫ גוים‬and 110.5. The eschatological victory of the Messiah and his people is so inserted in the wonders that God has done in the past.3 and 112.1c (‫רָחפץ במצותיו‬  ‫ )מאד‬resumes and specifies what has already been said in Ps 111. As the doing and being of God last forever. as long as there are people who will live in obedience to the Torah. The words common to the two psalms are as follows (see Table 22. and ends with his praise (‫)תהלתו‬. the theme of the fear of God is common to the two verses (111. Yet the links that unite Ps 111 with the preceding psalms are not absent. The psalm began with an invitation to the praise of YHWH (‫)יה אללו‬.‫ לעולם‬and 110. The final stic of the psalm (v.3) is attributed to the Messianic king (‫ )צדק מלכי‬in Ps 110. From a structural standpoint. as if to suggest the continuity between the two psalms (Table 23. On the one hand.2). Also the finale of Ps 107 ("Let righteous [‫ ]ישרים‬see and rejoice") introduces a term characteristic of Ps 111 ("In the council of the just [‫ ]ישרים‬and in the assembly".9 and 110.6 . 9-10).1). while Ps 110. it refers to the cult of life. already observed in Ps 110. fact the similarities between the two psalms are many. The verbal links between the two psalms are not numerous. the theme of praise. his faithfulness to the covenant (‫צדקתו‬. looked over the preceding psalms. scholars have outlined a similar structure: a strophe of introduction (vv. 10) and a body of the psalm (vv. but they are absent (see Table 21.. If we say now that his "praise" lasts forever. which said: ‫לעד עמדת צדקתו‬.8.9 . Moreover. the expression ‫ לעד עמדת‬resumes the conclusion of the first strophe.9 and 110. Finally. Ps 111 talks about ‫עמו‬.10 and 112.10b (‫)שכל טוב לכל־עשיהם‬.5. This combination emphasizes the almost divine character of the Messiah.7.10 . the ‘happiness’ of 112.4) and the expression "to fear God" (111.8: here it is the fear of man which the man who fears God does not have. 110. Ps 111.3). The theme of the royal splendour of YHWH (‫ )הדר‬is referred to JHWH in Ps 111.Of the two meanings of the term ‫( שכל‬v.43). God "sends" on his Messiah. began with an invitation to thanksgiving which is a Leitmotif of the fifth book. Already this is the reward of which Ps 111. v. In the context of v. This last correspondence is particularly striking because it occurs at the end of Ps 111 and in the beginning of Ps 112.3b. while Ps 110 ‫עמך‬. in Ps 111 he "sends" redemption to his people. The entire Ps 112 can be considered as "good reward" that God gives to those who keep the commandments.44). lasts forever. i. The first meaning is reflected in Deut 4. Really the inspiration of the psalm is not cultic. cf.

V. two psalms are different . While Ps111 is theo-centric.6b).3c and v." meaning "in my life") and has the support of ancient versions. YHWH always hears the prayer. against the proposal of BHS.5: "Good is the man who has compassion (‫רָחונן‬ ) and lends.4 ‫ זכר‬was the memorial of great works of God ("he has set a memory of his wonders"). It.4b they express the face that God has shown in the liberation from Egyptian slavery. while in 112. v. the verb ‫נתן‬. refer to the righteousness of God (v. The imperfect is witnessed by versions (G εἰσὰκούσετὰι.3. 5).6) it has God as its subject. given the context.From the formal point of view. The two times it appears in Ps 111 (vv. because Ps 111 is a hymn/psalm of thanksgiving to God. Tg ‫) ישמע‬." Here we find the author's intention to present the action of man as an imitation of God's action.‫ )אמצא‬which. while Ps 112 is a macario. which therefore is understood as present. 8).3. and this fact is emphasized (cf. however. V. Even in respect we may note the anthropological evolution. More significant still is the reference to man of the two typical adjectives of theophany.8.3 is resumed in 112. in 112 to be "sustained " (‫ )סמוך‬by God is the heart of the righteous. ‫)" לאביונים נתן פזר‬. while Vg reads clearly a construct case: vocem orationis meae. since it is the man who sings the praise of God This is taken up and expanded in Ps 112.10 affirmed: "His praise endures forever. like Ps 1. MT ‫ ישמע‬not be changed to perfect ‫( שמע‬against BHS).10. in 112. proclaims man's happiness (‫)איש‬.47)." With MT is the Tg. The same appears also in v. Through the observance of the commandments. So Ps 112 concretizes a practical behaviour of “mercy” with which man imitates the creator. The entire phrase ‫ לעד עמדת צדקתו‬from Ps 111. 3. to the righteous himself (v. the one that brings man near to God. note the difference of the reference. Object of the verb here is poor ("He gives to the poor. In 111. his remembrance of the covenant (v. which therefore cannot be dejected by the difficulties of life.9 it refers to man.g. Contrary to what BHS suggests MT ‫ אהבתי‬does change by the addition of ‫יהוה‬. v. both the times in reference to man. If Ps 111 sings the righteousness of God. There is also the notion of eternity." If in Ps 111 to be "sustained" (‫ )סמוכים‬by God. to the commandments (v. expressed through the adverbs ‫ לעולם‬and ‫לעד‬. are his commandments (v. stable.9) is that of love. 4. referring to man that which refers to God in Ps 111. which are also found in Ps 103. as the parallel ‫ האמנתי‬in v.3 (also in 111. 3.9). to man. for the more usual ‫( יושיע‬cf. The two second person singular pronominal in ‫רָחיכי‬ ‫ למנו‬and ‫ עליכי‬are aramaisms. however.9) and to his praise (v.6a) and to his memory (‫זכר‬. ‫רָחנון‬  ‫רָחום‬ ‫ור‬. In v. The "justice" that lasts forever (v. Ps 112 sings that of man. as confirmed in the next verse. PSALM 116 TRANSLATION AND TEXTUAL CRITICISM V. The verbal form ‫ יהושיע‬is late. e. as if this is the salient feature of the commandments. The transition from the perfect to imperfect is characteristic of the psalm and should be maintained: it is the passage from a punctual past of the event of salvation to the present and the universally valid.5). 5. V. This aspect is taken up and deepened in the next Ps 113: "Blessed be the name of Yahweh.. Even the expression of 1c: ‫רָחנוני‬ ‫ את קולי ת‬should maintained. The verb has an absolute value.9. At the same time. This is what 111. ‫רָחנוני‬ ‫ ת‬in this case is asyndetic apposition of ‫קולי‬: "my voice. aramaicized. Ps 112 is anthropo-centric. MT is perfectly plausible ("in my days. The same phenomenon returns in v. 6b. Vg exaudiet. now and forever (‫( ")מעתה ועד־עולם‬Ps 113.19 (‫)בתוככי‬. 2b. In Ps 111 the two adverbs.4 they are referred to along with the third attribute ‫צדיק‬. It is a stative verb. Different lexemes of Ps 112 present the same phenomenon. while in 112. 3. 112. In this last case. 10). and therefore solid. because while in 111.6 it is the memory of the righteous ("Eternal will be the memory of the righteous"). Object implied is ‫יהוה‬. So. Also to reject the proposal of BHS to replace the plural ‫ בימי‬with the singular ‫ביום‬. where the eternity refers to the justice of man (v.3). also 1 Sam 17. in 112. This is confirmed by the fact that in Ps 112 the adjective ‫ צדיק‬appears twice. refer to the past. (v.9 it is the righteous.41 we have two imperfects (‫ אקרא‬. man imitates the action and being of God. my supplications.10 c) the pronominal suffix refers to YHWH. 1. V.6b. Janowski prefers to think of repeated action in the past. 7. In 111. . there is a passage from God to man.2). G (εἰσὰκούσετὰι κύριος τῆς φωνῆς τῆς δεήσεώς μου) is ambiguous because the verb ἀκούειν governs the genitive.6).3-5. when from the perfect (‫ )דלותי‬it goes to the imperfect (‫)יהושיע‬. alone or in pairs.

In vv. We have to imagine a person who has received an extraordinary grace. The sense of the particle ‫ כי‬is in 10a is polyvalent. the first of which looks to the past of mortal anguish (vv. vv. such as healing from a deadly disease. but. We prefer to consider.141. The initial question of v.14b and 18b we are dealing with an anomalous expression in several ways: ‫ נגדה־נא‬the ‫ ה‬added to ‫ נגד‬can be understood as paragogic. 12. Followed (2) the narration of the pardon obtained: the situation of need in which the psalmist was and how God had delivered him. which was handed down in the "psalms of thanksgiving. Ps 69. could be used for various cases. in which part of the victim is sacrificed on the altar. Prof Barbiero. Before offering the sacrifice.18).19) surrounded by a festive group of relatives and friends (‫נגדה־נא לכל־עמו‬.9: ἐνὰντίον πὰντοὰς τοῦ λὰοῦ ὰὐτου. but could also be addressed to God. the parallelism with the beginning of v. in your heart. there is a clear parallelism between the initial absolute of v. 1-11 and 12-19 (Tab 24. Followed (4) the announcement of the sacrifice of thanksgiving that the psalmist was about to do. the expression as a poetic variant of ‫נגד‬. and that of v. One group proposes a chiastic type of structure. It is divided into two parts. can save. p. 10.13. 4-6). Once the grace is received. also has this connotation: confession of one’s own sins as well as the fact that YHWH only. An integral part of this story was the (3) confession. STRUCTURE The authors' proposals. . G has the third person (ἐξείλὰτο τὴὰν ψυχήν μου ἐκ θὰνάτου. The term ‫ תודה‬other than "thanksgiving”. or "I have believed. Ps 56. 118.V. or added to particular particles such as ‫ אוי‬. Tg translates ‫" אמליל ארום המנית‬I believe that I shall speak" (Stec). Now it is not only words but also facts. Ps 115.10: ‫האמנתי‬. G: ἐπίστευσὰ διοὰ ἐλάλὴσὰ. 14. Barré proposes to replace ‫ נגדה־נא‬with ‫נגידה־נא‬. It is not unusual neither in poetry (cf. LITERARY GENRE The literary genre of Ps 116 is the "song of thanksgiving" (‫)תודה‬. leading to the translation of v. and part is divided among the participants in the sacrifice. the offerer recited a prayer.‫ אל‬. which expressly mentions also the aspect of worship to be performed "in the halls of the temple. It consisted generally of (1) an introduction. yet another liturgical type of structure. with the verbs in imperative or imperfect.12: "What shall I render to YHWH?" introduces a new theme of the psalm. The 3rd person masc singular suffix in ‫ תגמולוהי‬is aramaicization. 4-9 takes place the story of salvation of which the psalmist has been the object. In times when the sacrifice was not possible. 13) joined to invoke the name of YHWH.31-32). the second towards the present and the future which the salvation received has opened to the faithful (vv. 19). which is explained as an expedient to enliven the discourse. it is a secondary division. The particle ‫ נא‬usually has an exhortative nuance. therefore I will speak" (Cook). the psalm was to replace the sacrifice itself (cf. 8. O Jerusalem" (v. But the Hebrew ‫ כי‬as a causal particle has the sense of "since" (in Greek ὅτι). G begins a new psalm here. The psalm speaks also of libation of a "cup of salvation" (v. It was accompanied by the "sacrifice of thanksgiving" (also called ‫)תודה‬. 14b (= 18b): lead now his entire people." so also Vg and S)." The content of this prayer was standardized. 1 is obvious. The transition from the third to the second person in relation to God is abrupt. 138. V. the last one with modifications: vv. he goes to the temple (v.‫ אם‬. Starting from this observation. Usually the story was done to those who were surrounded. 51) In the first part. v. Of course.14.8) nor in prose. not the people nor the gods. and invoked the name of YHWH. V. Fokkelman and Rendsburg propose to understand ‫ נגדה־נא‬as a verb. with the value of direction ("opposite "). Here he makes his sacrifice of thanksgiving. This is not the case of Ps 116. To the initial confession (vv. Ps 116 as present in MT. In vv. which have multiplied recently.‫ הנה‬or ‫איה‬. followed by Vg credidi propter quod locutus sum. Vg in conspectu omnis populi eius) and traditional exegesis. Tg and S is perfectly unitary and the division into two psalms is artificial. 1: ‫אהבתי‬. in which the person expressed his intention. 1-2) corresponds that of the final section (10-11).18) to God. V. G 115. another offers a symmetrical structure. "he has ripped my life to death.14. and in this circumstance has made a vow (‫נדר‬. translating: "We will proclaim it to all his people". 7-9) . cf. It never appears after a preposition like ‫נגד‬. focused mainly in three directions. with the ancient versions (cf. but MT is lectio difficilior. which essentially consists of a "sacrifice of communion". not "therefore " (in Greek διὀτι).

only in the Bible.12. it turns out to be very carefully structured. From the context. 6. AB') with the 'I' of pray-er as subject. ‫"( שוב‬return. Another word that characterizes the entire Psalm is the first person singular pronoun.10. The superficial view that we have right now allows to grasp the unity of the psalm. it is clear that the object of the verb "love" is YHWH." vv. The prayer has several times in his life experienced this "listening" to God and now he draws a universal principle.g. but something habitual.17b. combining the two confessions 10-11 and 16-17. V.These are listed in two parallel strophes. Other lexemes common to the two are: ‫"( גמל‬do".10 suggests: ‫האמנתי‬. to say that it is not a punctual fact. YHWH. 18. The theme of death ( ‫המותה‬. according to the canons of the literary genre of the psalms of thanksgiving. 1019). "I love". It could be taken as a feeling that is born in a specific time in the past. my appeals to compassion.6. as if to express a contemporaneity between the two. A'B). decisively rejecting the choice of G to divide it into two psalms 114 (vv. But it is a sui generis introduction. while B and B' (1b and 2b) are imperfect.13. letting oneself to be guided by the text without superimposing on it preconceived schemes.13-14 (liturgical action I). ‫"( ישע‬to save".‫אהבתי‬. "I cry". which speaks of the cup and the invocation of the divine name. where it appears in full v. it's something that lasts even now. The two verses are composed of four propositions chiastically constructed (Table 25. The parallelism between the first and the second part is confirmed by the many words common to both. which appears four times.12. the emotional situation from which he gushed.9).14.19: one for each verse). 1-2 constitute the introduction of the psalm. the letters that correspond to the short form of the Tetragrammaton.14 is resumed in v. but lasts to the present. The pray-er turns to himself for an introspection and description of his feelings.3 and 8 (‫)מות‬. twice in the first part (vv. Thanksgiving is ritual..16. Although proposal is to change the MT.7. Twice the movement is from the pray-er to God (AB '). 7.From the point of view of tense the four propositions are parallel. my voice. and in vv. In the middle of the second part are vv.4 (2x). halves internally for a mental dialogue with himself.13). At the beginning (1a) and end (2b) there are two propositions (‫ אקרא‬. The psalm is thus far from messy: it has a well structured programme: it is to grasp it patiently. but it is not said. 52). 17-18 (liturgical action II). vv 7. The motivation for this love (‫ )כי‬is given in v. however. and twice from God to pray-er (A'B). the tense passes to imperfect. in parallel with ‫הטה‬. 1-2) vv." From perfect. but the stic 13b is resumed in v. as the parallel in v. There is no mention of enemies.5. THE FIRST PART (vv. while ‫אהב‬.15.18. The parallelism between the two strophes is macroscopic because the entire v. 1-9) and 115 (vv.17. p.‫כי ישמע‬. the massive presence of the divine Tetragrammaton is characteristic of the entire psalm. Certainly in the case of ‫ הטה‬it is a punctual action ("he inclined his ear" at a given time). ‫"( עין‬eye". Thus. He questions before proposing". not only. which speaks of the true and real sacrifice (‫רָח‬ ‫)זב‬. i..16. 8x in the second (vv. vv. vv. the prayer is intensely personal.12). God always does so. A link with the first part of the psalm is also given by the resumption of the exclamation ‫( יהוה אנה‬v. The verb is in perfect. The number 15 corresponds to the numerical value of the two letters ‫ י‬and ‫ה‬. present in the last words of this Psalm: ‫הללו־יה‬. cf. He remembers what he said and thought.1. 31. to emphasize the thing in itself. it was anticipated in vv. The psalm begins with an unusual declaration of love: ‫אהבתי‬. 8. The use of time is not random but has a deep theological meaning.24. Alonso Schökel emphasizes the personal dimension of the psalm: "Ps 116 impresses us with the intensity of feeling. communitarian.18.15) does not come suddenly in the psalm. 4).4.12).15). "reciprocate". These are the two basic attitudes of man before God. marked by a strong individual character: it begins with a declaration of love. v. while in the center (1b and 2a) the other two propositions introduced by ‫ כי‬whose subject is YHWH (‫ הטה כי‬.15-16. e. as a feeling.1b: "he listens. This stic further unites the two passages 13-14 and 17-19 with the first part. The verb is to be understood in absolute form. Such a declaration of love to God is not found elsewhere in the Psalter or the Bible though there are close similarities: Ps 5.2. "I believe”. "I" and "God” are the two protagonists of the psalm. The absolute form of the verb is confirmed by the fact that in 2b the corresponding verb is also without an object: ‫אקרא‬.e. 1-11) Introductory confession: I love (v. because A and A' (1a and 2a) are in perfect. a reflective-wisdom passage in which the psalmist reflects on salvation received adding a general affirmation on the ability that God has to save his faithful from death.11) and twice in the second (16 and 17). The God of . It appears 7x in the first part (vv. in vv.

in various stages: from mortal danger. the second psychological. The Tetragrammaton is the most used word in the psalm (15x). which anticipates the divine attribute ‫רָחנון‬  (v. he will not stop crying to him all his life (‫)בימי‬. besieged.Israel is a God who listens. 3c resumes the verb ‫מצא‬. putting the experience of the psalmist in the background of the liberation of the Exodus. he has inclined his ear unto me. in which the pray-er describes his salvation as "breaking the chains" (‫)מוסרים‬. the way he felt at that moment (nominal propositions and ptc). in his personal search for salvation. i. The mention of the "name"(‫ )שם‬fits well in context. These are the radical enemies of man.15 is supposed here: "the death of the faithful is precious in the eyes of YHWH. as if Sheol was after the psalmist. are not in a construct chain. it is important to pay attention to the tenses of the verbs (Table 26. In v.3 begins the story of salvation.2a the perfect reappears: "Yes. 13b. What is made explicit in v. as in most of the Psalms. The second. the two words. a God who melts the chains. Ex 3. where the absolute form appeared.3-4a. The verb ‫פלט‬/‫ מלט‬is used frequently in the Pss. Love comes from this listening in times of need. a call to attention and at the same time an expression of desolation (‫)אנה‬. To this semantic field belongs also the noun ‫רָחנוני‬ ‫ת‬.. The prayer is simple. ". finds nothing but prison and suffering.3-4a. vv. These are the "appeals to compassion. The two terms ‫רָחבלים‬  ("ropes") and ‫מצרים‬ ("anguish") express this . but embraces all life. The love expressed in v. The danger in which the psalmist was found is not clarified. One can say that the whole Psalm is an explanation of this name. Since he has experienced that God knows to listen.16. The God of Israel is not like the idols who "have ears and do not hear" (Ps 115. The story consists of two parts: 3-6 and 7-9.7). changing the subject and tense: "I find anguish and pain". as if that the Psalmist. the verb ‫ אקרא‬resumes v. 6b he returns to the narrative of the experience. 5). Since there is no mention of enemies. The first part concentrates on the past.e. In vv.2b there is again a change of tense which is imperfect now: the response of the pray-er is not limited to the time of liberation. The image is striking and refers basically to the Exodus experience: no chain and no prison from which YHWH cannot deliver.6-7. the life of the pray-er was at stake. 54). appearing twice more (vv." Unable to find in himself ways of salvation. The continuity between "finding oppression and pain" and "invoking YHWH" is expressed by the conjunction ‫ו‬. before whom he is experiences powerlessness. The liberation itself is not explicitly mentioned: it expresses the theological side.. p." .. one would think of a fatal disease. The metaphor used is that of feeling cornered. and in my days I invoke/will invoke". The ‫ ו‬expresses the link between the divine listening and the invocation of his faithful. He is basically a liberating God. the past (vv.the first in a material sense. The experience of salvation: the first part.4a: "I called upon the name of YHWH". resuming taking the two tenses used in vv. benevolence" of YHWH. going from perfect to imperfect (iterative or historical present). He feels that an enemy was always on his trail. To incline the ear expresses the downward movement of God towards the pray-er.17b). is about the present and the future of the person saved. Again the psychological side is stressed. the psalmist turns to God. so to speak: the experience of God’s love that the psalmist had. But the fact that in v.6). so that the psalm could be prayed in different circumstances." A punctual fulfilment in the past is now described by the prayer of the faithful.5-6a he draws from the recounted experience a picture of God. It is said however that it was a mortal danger. which has the exclusive subject YHWH. To understand the structure of the passage." Perhaps the type of danger is left deliberately vague. 3-6) With v. In v. To the description of the mortal danger corresponds the request: the life of the psalmist at stake.2b. On the other hand. It begins with a sigh. in MT. In vv. The noun is placed as apposition to ‫קולי‬. The besieger is characterized by two synonyms: ‫"( מות‬death") and ‫( שאול‬Sheol). which is an integral part of the action of grace. It corresponds to the will expressed in v. To the verb "surround" in v. to prayer. with no way out.1a is the response to the love shown by God to his servant by inclining his ear. V. The holy Tetragrammaton is joined to it.6 this name will be "explained" with the "formula of grace" of Ex 34. The concept will be taken up in v. "I called upon the name of YHWH. because in v. the psalmist recounts his experience. He is a God who knows how to listen (cf. 7-9. The phrase is ‫יהוה בשם‬ ‫ אקרא‬a leitmotif of the psalm.6 it speaks of God as "protector of the ingenuous (‫ ")פתאים‬points towards a victim of tricks of the "cunning.3b combines "find" (‫)מצא‬. In v. "Save my life" is the SOS launched by the psalmist.

The rare term ‫רָח‬ ‫ מנו‬usually has a locative sense: it is the "resting place". mixing perfect (‫ )דלותי‬and imperfect (‫)יהושיע‬. and "walk" (v. while in 1 Chr 6. The phrase ‫ יהוה לפני‬is in parallel with ‫רָחיכי‬ ‫למנו‬.57). The triplet of v.18. v. "inexperienced. V.10-11.9a. cf.23-32. The Experience of Salvation: second part. and he wants to convey it to his friends. the conjunction that joins the two verbs has the value of a consequence: "since I was poor. 103. who now speaks directly to God as in the prayer of v. in the case of the psalmist as "guardian of the simple" (‫)פתאים שמר‬.17. v.7a). cf. 3-4 (see Table 28. More on the material side of the term than the spiritual. and so it is in v. 94. but the psalmist instead sings the attributes of divine mercy. The author is not alone. Ps 42. who can resist and therefore is exposed to the harassment of the violent. where the tense used is imperfect.7b-8. where the life of the pray-er is imprisoned (v.4bc.9).6. the opposite of wise. This is the inner side of salvation. So from death (‫מות‬. The action takes place in the present.8 echoes also formally the two triplets of vv.12. O my soul. the psalmist has experienced that God is love.9b).7a and 9 are in parallel also to be characterized by the movement: ‫ל שובי‬. 9). 40. The tense in v. the face of God that our fathers have handed down to us is true. from "underground" (‫שאול‬. Suddenly the author switches from first person singular to first plural: he does not say "my God".7 to the second in v.16d).16 the temple of Jerusalem. The "return" is realized in the "walking". which was described in the previous verse in an indirect manner.9): ‫רָחיכי‬ ‫ מנו‬of v. a punishment." Ex 34. v. But here it has a negative value.7). The lexeme ‫ גמל‬in itself is neuter. is the fact that God "has acted (well) on my behalf" (‫)עלי גמל‬.4bc: 'Oh YHWH save my life". to the free movement of "return" (v. but becomes common term to indicate the poor. In v. with his soul.One would expect at this point to hear the result of prayer.7) and ends in the "land of the living" (v. "I was weak. To that '"soul" which God has saved (vv.The two vv. in contrast to the situation of v. He uses the "formula of grace. to move freely. can also express a negative action. simple-minded" reminds rather of the wisdom literature.8 is perfect.3) give the same meaning of "fall" "I will walk in the presence of YHWH. does not mean a simple loss of balance. the author returns to the story of salvation." From reflection on the being of God. The action begins in the underground kingdom of the dead. with the meaning of present/future. Like vv. 66. v.2.7a. The divine intervention. Between v. What he had asked in v. 5 reminds of Deuteronomy. who is revealed.65 alludes to the promised land. as in vv. where there is an allusion to the temple. 7-9) The second part of the story of the saved begins with a present imperative (v. The term ‫רָחי‬ ‫" ד‬collapse". and he saves me. Sheol.3.7b is the reason cited (‫ )כי‬for the soul to return to peace.5.7a. ‫ל‬ ‫ אתהלך‬. v.9. but it corresponds with the feeling of the author. as in the noun ‫( תגמולוהי‬v. he has obtained:"You tore my life from death. the story of salvation.14 and 18 make us understand. which in Deut 28. The links are with previous strophe are by the resumption of the term ‫( נפשי‬vv. more common is the noun ‫דל‬.8a) the pray-er asks to return to peace (v.9b). vv. to "rest" ( ‫רָחיכי‬ ‫מנו‬." The transition from the third person with whom God was nominated in v. v.7a corresponds the motivation of vv.1-5). I can attest it with my life.8a. ‫אלהינו‬. This communitarian dimension of thanksgiving is typical of thanksgiving Pss: cf. 121. The weak is an easy victim of the strong. when the pray-er was a prisoner of the "strings" of the death and Sheol (v. the present and the future (vv. If the language of v. This allusion is confirmed by the expression ‫יהוה לפני‬. The parallels (Ps 38." The dialogue of the Psalmist with himself appears in other Psalms (cf. Here too. but "our God". through the attributes of divine mercy. the thanksgiving is done "in front of all his people" ( ‫)נגדה־נא לכל־עמו‬. is now described in narrative form.9. p.6-7.7b is drawn instead to the past: the salvation. As if to say. which . Ps 22. The strophe ends with v. 43. told here. renewing the faith of the fathers.8a) to life (‫רָחיים‬ . opens the possibility that the order of v. the person is "foolish"." "To live" is felt here as a "to walk".9 a spiritual journey takes place.9. "Return.4c. as in 3ab: it is about the punctual liberation in a critical moment in the life of the psalmist. The construction is logical: to the order of v. but here.7a takes place in ‫רָחיים ארצות‬  of v.7a): the psalmist speaks with himself.3a.3. v.3 is finally done (v. The "simple" are placed under the special protection of God.4c). God saved/saves me". The third person of G and of Peshitta is clearly lectio facilior to be rejected. to your rest. the term ‫פתי‬. The verb ‫ דלל‬is rather rare. 8 (both verses are introduced by the causal/emphatic particle ‫)כי‬. 1-2.3 and v.7) and to the "land of the living" (‫רָחיים‬  ‫ארצות‬. 73.12) it expresses a benefit. from being a prisoner of the "cords of death" and "bonds of Sheol". The lexeme originally meant "to be weak".8 may seem abrupt. In his salvation.3b).

"your peace". the verb ‫ האמנתי‬is in continuity with vv. with the realism of the condition of poverty perhaps attached to the fact of professing the faith in God. "I believe even if I have to say: 'I am much oppressed'".7: it is the same wisdom language.19b). Sheol. not trustworthy.9 the expression remains generic. in absolute form (v.1-2. For this faith is like love: one believes only if he knows that he is loved. In v. The lexeme ‫ אמן‬connotes the element of stability. This confession of faith is found often in the Psalms (Ps 146 3-4.9). expressing a "profession of faith.8 and 3) and "Sheol" (v. in v. and consequently of "truth". but Barré has suggested that here we see a link with v. Especially the expression of v. ‫עניתי‬. because it is an imperfect. it has been clarified. "to trust".13). "to surrender". not past. For the first. Here the perfect of the verb ‫ אמרתי‬refers to the past: it is the time of trial through which the psalmist has passed. the end of the psalm." Between "peace" and "faith" there is a close connection (cf.19. The thoughtful question of the Psalmist aligns to the introspection of v. the verb does not express something positive here. a term that literally means "hurry". open to different meanings. The man lies (‫ )כזב‬because he promises to save and can not. even if the action proposed is liturgical.‫ האמנתי‬and ‫ עניתי‬are taken in the present."To love" and "to believe" go together: they express the appropriate response of the man at the discovery of God’s love. with the stic that follows ‫( בתוככי ירושלם‬v.7) and a "walking in the presence of YHWH in the land of the living" (v. as opposed to "lie" (‫)צזב‬.7a ‫רָחיכי‬ ‫מנו‬. whereas the singular ‫רָחיים ארץ‬  or ‫רָחיים ארץ‬ ‫ ה‬appears 14 other times(e. there is contrast between ‫ אמן‬and ‫כזב‬. base one’s "stability" not in oneself but in the other.11is different. spiritual but also dynamic ("towards the face." To ‫אהבתי‬. "I believed. the presence"). so "agitated") the psalmist realized: "Every man is a liar. Contrary to the opinion of Barré.10). The phrase in plural appears only here in the OT. are the only cases in the psalm in which the particle ‫ ב‬has locative value. to rely on him. for the third. In this sense we can speak of spiritual poverty. 14. Is 7.1-3. the reason is that it is a stative verb. 7-9. ‫כי‬. unjust accusation in court) he was disappointed and abandoned by men. Keep the faith even if it does not involve particular social and economic benefits (cf. "To believe" is to consider another reliable. Secondly. The liar is not reliable. but rather to put it into crisis. Only God can actually save. . with which the author expresses a basic attitude like the first. corresponds another absolute form ‫האמנתי‬. How to explain the strange plural? It is perhaps an emphatic plural. these." Between ‫ בארצות‬and ‫רָחצרות‬ ‫ ב‬there would be a deliberate paronomasia: among other things.4.The term ‫רָחיים‬  can in fact have these two meanings. it means that the "return to peace" and "walking in the presence of YHWH in the lands of the living" does not exclude suffering. In contrast to the "death" (vv. THE SECOND PART (vv. 12.8. It indicates in general the world of the living.3) the author defines the place where he can walk with the hapax legomenon ‫רָחיים ארצות‬ ‫ה‬. 12) The question of v. 9) are the temple of Jerusalem. 17. "lands of the living" or "of life ". It is the acceptance." It is possible that the psalmist had some negative experience: perhaps in the moment of trial (illness. prepares the profession of faith ‫האמנתי‬. because what follows is not an act to establish the faith. If the verb is to be understood in present.7) and the "lands of the living" (v.10a has concessive character. Final Confession: I believe (vv. The preposition ‫ ל‬in fact can have a static sense ("in the presence").9).2-3. 12-19) Introduction: What shall I render to YHWH? (v.14b-15) The tense of v. The three verbs: ‫ אדבר‬. for the second no problem. Ps 27. which expressed the result of salvation brought about by God as a "return to peace" (v. "I am much oppressed". 62. but here he comes to a claim that is not moral but metaphysical. where it is said that the sacrifice will be offered "in the “lobby” (‫רָחצרות‬ ‫ )ב‬of the temple.1a). Therefore both the times the verb is translated in the present. From the semantic point of view. that deals precisely what the psalmist will do to "reciprocate" in some way what he has received. So at the end of the psalm it is suggested that the "place of rest" (v. a spiritual poverty but oppression. reliability. At the time of the trial (‫רָחפזי‬ ‫ב‬. as opposed to that of the dead. personal.g. Ps 4. to express the vastness of this land.often refers specifically to the temple. 12 assumes the conclusion of the story of salvation received (‫ )תגמולוהי כל‬and introduces the second part of the psalm. 10-11) These are first of all in parallel with vv.

14a speak is clear from Ps 66. In fact. the attestations in OT are many (e. The first term expresses the individual relationship of the person in need with his Saviour. hiphil: "to give back. both in OT and NT." This is a confession of faith. here it is "proclamation".5 directs to another meaning of "cup". Whose "vows" does v.22). liturgical value. and he saves me (‫)יהושיע‬. However. Here." giving the sentence a performative. Thanksgiving in Hebrew ‫ תודה‬is something fundamental in the biblical theology. vv. This meaning of the cup is also that of the Jewish traditional world. If by cup we mean a sacrifice of libation. At the time of trial. The personal relationship now becomes communitarian. as an instrument of divine justice ("cup of wrath". Through the ritual of the cup the Psalmist enters into communion with the God who saved him. Kimchi understands ‫ כל תגמולהי עלי‬as a nominal proposition in itself: "All his benefits are to above me". the psalmist knows it well. described in v. But it could also refer to a multiple acts of salvation. before the brothers. repay. in the Paschal Vigil. It is the beneficial act of God. The parallelism of the two elements is underlined by the fact the two passages have three stics: vv. What follows must therefore not be understood as a reward. The man cannot "repay" God.. Here it seems more than the liturgical action itself. therefore of "salvation". but is shared among the participants in the sacrifice. Drinking from the cup is a symbol of drawing life from it. 17 . For this the question: "How can I repay all the benefits of God?". If the first part of the verse emphasizes the relationship between pray-er and his God. This is the dynamic of the liturgical action of ‫תודה‬: the chalice should not be drunk alone. 23.e. . the second a joyous confession. the original meaning of the gesture was. most of the time.13-14: "I will enter your house with burnt offerings. The liturgical action I: The cup of salvation (vv. but shared among the participants. Is 51. The implicit answer to the question is: it is impossible. as an ancient custom (cf. pronounced by my lips. Ex 29. The phrase ‫ אקרא יהוה בשם‬resumes v. The vows are fulfilled not in private but ‫נגדה־נא לכל־עמו‬.6.4 allows us to grasp the connection between the raising of the cup and "proclaiming the name of YHWH.The link with the preceding is given by resumption of lexemes ‫( גמל‬v.17. that salvation received is the work YHWH.19). The offerer proclaims the name of God to the people of God and recounts salvation. In the context. Ps 11.15-16 have little to do with the liturgical action..13b-14ab =17b-18ab.g. like the sacrifice of animals. 1 Sam 1. especially in relation with the verb ‫( גמל‬v. in conjunction with the fourth cup of wine. which consists of two parallel elements: to raise the cup of salvation (vv. whose sense. The gesture of drinking the cup in a sacrifice of thanksgiving is also found in the iconography of ANE. In a positive sense we speak of the cup only Ps 16. "rewards". promised by my mouth at the time of anguish".5. here the meaning is different. It is God who "returns". The plural ‫ ישועות‬is probably to be understood as a plural of abstraction. in a negative sense. which Ps 116 recites along with other of Hallel. the second puts the community in the field. to obtain in exchange the same effect for the life of the offerer. 13-14) In response to the benefits of YHWH the Psalmist will make a liturgical action.g. e.7) is clear. it connects with v. which is expressed by the liturgical gestures.4a. The parallel with Ps 23.40-41): it is a widespread custom among all the peoples of the Mediterranean and the ANE.11-12. Thanksgiving must involve the whole people of God. the pray-er has made a vow. the term ‫ ישועות‬does not have the meaning of "victory" over particular enemies. retribution. make my vows to you (‫)נדרי לך אשלם‬. The causative form of the second lexeme is used here. ‫ תגמול‬is hapax legomenon. here by the fact that the "cup of salvation" is drunk not only by the offeror. Comparison with Ps 16. through which the pray-er confesses publicly the author of salvation of which he was the object. Not only the offerer but the whole community of “believers” participate in the communion with God. but death.5. however. i.7b) and ‫( שוב‬v. A "cup" (‫ )כוס‬is spoken. but drunk as a sign of communion with it and with the participants in the sacrifice of thanksgiving.24-28). with an emphatic value. as also the sacrifice.3.4 it was "invocation". As Keel suggests. Vincent translates the verb in the present: "I raise the cup.. the proclamation it. While in v. The universalizing particle ‫ כל‬expresses the inadequacy of return. render.13-14) and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving (vv. to "refresh" the heart of the deity with oil or wine. but as "thanksgiving"." Of the 28 times this form appears in the Psalter. In the case of Ps 116.7a). 21 times it has God as its subject. the cup is not offered to the deity. But here the meaning of the verb ‫ קרא‬is different .6b: "I was weak.

It seems that the text of Ps 116 does not allow reading v.15 (‫)מותה‬. On the other hand. So on the one hand the assertion of v. Perhaps alluding to ‫( עמו‬v. the second personalizes this bond. he draws from the past theological affirmations and practical consequences for the present.16a). v. the verse should be understood in its context. it refers to a collectivity. Rabbinic exegesis takes “precious” as “painful”. referring it to the psalmist. it joins with v. mentioned in v.11). and translates: "Loose my fetters". which is emphasized in this second part of the psalm. Stressing that he is "the son of your servant" the Psalmist declares himself to belong to the family of Yahweh. 2) by that you have shown yourself a God for whom the death of the faithful is precious. 3 and 8.16). Ps 86.15ab). v.5). From the logical point of view. 3) speaks against such an interpretation. theological character.15b (‫רָחסידיו‬ ): the death of the psalmist is dear to YHWH.The presence of the community. which accentuates the personal (I . 2) The Psalmist is the servant of YHWH (16bc). According to the typical movement of the psalm. V. The verse would thus be understood as an affirmation of life after death and is often considered an addition. As if in v. on the other. The two designations are synonymous. 118. Such a thought is typical of the book of Maccabees. since according to the spirituality of the Psalms to live is to sing the praises of YHWH.17-18. The link with that which precedes is evident: not only "death" looks back to vv. 17. 16 The initial invocation resumes v. by which the believer clings to YHWH.‫רָחבלי‬  ‫)מות‬. (God is spoken of in third person). The first and third statements are closely linked: the "chains" (‫)מוסרי‬.you). Ezek 18. But we can also retain the usual meaning of "valuable". in which a poor man was saved from death by a miraculous intervention of God. the thought that God is pleased with the death of people is alien to the concept of OT (and also NT) (cf. Besides. detaches from the following verse. the order should be: 1) You have broken my chains. in the sense that such a servant is distinguished from the one "bought in the market". while the other two are nominal phrases. are those of death. however. On the other hand. Confession: YHWH saves from death (vv. However. meaning "dear.15b) to "your servant" (v. Dahood considers the perfect as an example for a "precative perfect". cf. (cf. Further. He feels one of his "faithful".16d). 3) For this I am your servant. the group of "faithful".16bc explains and personalizes v. 4b.5: "our God" (‫)אלהינו‬. V.16d).4b. had been anticipated in the first in the sudden transition from "I" to "we" of v. The close link with v. then. The first emphasizes the love (‫רָחסד‬ ) with which the man responds to the love that God has shown (cf.63).17-18 and also 118.16 as a prayer.17). The lexeme ‫ עבד‬connects it semantically . where even the mention of his mother ("the son of your servant") suggests. 15 By itself. 33. a sigh closed in itself. Ps 115. while in v. From "his faithful" (v. from which God delivered the psalmist (v. but also the "chains" resume the theme of v. the invocation ‫( יהוה אנה‬v. whose belongingness to the master's family is less strong. 16a) resumes v.15 the general principle is established. but perfect: "You have broken my chains" (v. 15-16 are composed of three statements. which are interrelated: 1) The death of the faithful is precious to YHWH (v. for he is his servant. "chains" are those of death. the text could suggest a value of martyrdom. Such an understanding is supported by the parallel with Psalm 86. p. The expression "son of your servant" also has a legal value. This would transform into a thanksgiving prayer. 15-16) The vv. because such a thought seems absent from the rest of the psalm. highlighting the death of those who are faithful to God.15 with its impersonal. 3) YHWH has broken the chains that bound his faithful (16d) (Table 30." where.16d.16d ("you broke my chains.32. whose resemblance to Ps 116 is often stressed (cf. 6 this principle is illustrated with the life of pray-er. and the sigh wants to express it in a sensible and affective mode. which is in past. recounts the liberation of which he has been the object." "expensive" or "too expensive". But there it was followed by the supplication: "Save my life". This thought is strongly asserted at the end of Ps 115. Here the verb that follows is not imperative. From the chronological point of view the last statement comes first. on the one had the psalmist looks back.3 (‫ שאול מצרי‬. ‫ יהוה אנה‬remains. v. In the sense that if the faithful die God does not have anyone who sings his praises.18).

with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams. but also communion with the people. we see that the liberation from slavery in Egypt is a key for the other liberations of history of the people of Israel. "in your midst. around 113-118: to these the three the common element is the acrostic form and the theme of the law. i. recited other than on the feast of Easter.13-14. Liturgical action II: The sacrifice of thanksgiving (vv. The transition to direct speech has an emphatic value. The first observation that strikes the eye by reading Ps 116 in the context of the paschal Hallel is the fact that it is the only individual psalm in a group of collective psalms. Just because he has been freed from the bondage of death (‫רָחת‬ ‫ למוסרי פת‬v. expressed by the holy city: ‫בתוככי ירושלים‬.with the term ‫מוסרים‬.13-14. It is true that this liturgical usage is rather late: but somehow it suggests a special relationship between the Ps 113-118.17-19 are connected. Jerusalem".1-3).19. concretizes the "land of the living" and of the freedom in which YHWH has led his faithful.13-16: "I will come into thy house with burnt offerings. together with Ps 119. also on the feasts of Pentecost. on the other hand. would form a frame. instead of the "cup of salvation" it speaks of the "sacrifice of thanksgiving". also vv. God has a duty of solidarity with him. The only difference between the two passages is the initial stic (17a). Ps 118 is a psalm ‫ הודו‬with the function of conclusion.. The description of the sacrifice of thanksgiving is found Ps 66. On the other hand.that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble. The expression is coupled with paronomasia with that of v. The temple of Jerusalem plays the earthly paradise." PS 116 IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MASORETIC PSALTER Ps 111-117 are united by the fact that all (with the exception of 114) are Alleluia psalms.47. Ps 114 is the psalm of the group which that directly evokes the Easter liberation and that characterizes the group as the Egyptian Hallel. This is a confession of faith that aligns to two of the vv.19a the communion with God is highlighted. 107. Come and hear.16c). where there was the '"tree of life" and where the man was in communion with God and in projection anticipates an eschatological "paradise". as they have the acclamation ‫ הללו־יה‬either at the beginning or the end of the psalm. The sacrifice is the response to the liberation received. The final invitation to praise YHWH. or simply Hallel. which states the place of sacrifice. 111-112. Ps 113 has both at the beginning and end: perhaps for this it is not in Ps 114. 19a situates the sacrifice ‫רָחצרות בית יהוה‬ ‫" ב‬in the courts of the house of YHWH".17-19 want to be an answer to the question of v. The temple is the sacramental place not only of communion with God. of Tabernacles and the Dedication. in the heart of Jerusalem. Like vv. The temple of YHWH. by way of inclusion. with vv. I will offer to thee burnt offerings of fatlings. and dependence on. a place of presence and communion with him. even for being acrostic psalms. In the Jewish tradition. called the Egyptian Hallel. "servant of YHWH ". the psalmist declares. the center of Jerusalem. "in the lands of the living". Ps 106. in particular .1 (‫ )אהבתי‬and 10 (‫)האמאנתי‬. If in v. It renews the dynamics of the Exodus: from the "slavery" of Pharaoh to the "service" of YHWH. V. fits easily in v. I will pay thee my vows (‫)נדרי לך אשלם‬. thanksgiving for the deliverance from exile (cf. in which. 17-19) vv.19.9: ‫רָחיים‬ ‫בארצות ה‬. Ps 113-118 constitute a particular group of psalms. by the fact of being freed from the bondage of death.15-16. and therefore is joined to the preceding Alleluia psalms. the nearest context of Ps 116 Ps is precisely that of the 113-118. Although the links of Ps 111-112 and 119 with our psalm are not present. in which not "I. closely united. The relationship is two-way: as a "servant of YHWH". in the courtyards of the temple of Jerusalem. I will make an offering of bulls and goats. he has become "servant of YHWH" (v. If we link this fact with the general theme of the fifth book. which ended with the memory of the liberation worked by YHWH: "You have broken my chains". But they also fit without discontinuity with vv. all you who fear God. and I will tell what he has done for me”. in which stood the great altar of sacrifice. as opposed to the "cords of death" and "snares of Sheol". and v. it expresses the affection of the Psalmist. belonging to his family. The first two psalms. 12. In particular there must be a reference to the court of the priests.16d). as the ‫ הללו־יה‬at the end of Ps 113 in some way also serves as the beginning of Psalm 114. The first two psalms form a particular couple. which can be considered as a triplet. The temple is the heart. in 19b the emphasis is on his people. The psalmist invites participants in the sacrifice to praise God "in the courts of the temple. perfectly coherent. where one renews the communion with all the people of God. ‫הללו־יה‬. "chain".e." but "we" is the subject.

Ps 118. In this way the "I" of the psalmist of Ps 116 is superimposed on the "we" of Ps 115.14. cf. One gets the impression that Ps 118 was composed redactionally as a conclusion of the Hallel.13. Ps 116. YHWH.28.67).69). Ps 116. the bonds with Ps 116 with the immediately preceding Psalm are considerable (Table 31. because here the psalmist declares himself a poor man whom God has saved: "I was poor (‫ )דלותי‬and you save me" (v.21.8. God of mercy and grace .8. In Ps 116 the psalmist was an individual person.11.1.12. as well as in short ‫( יה‬3x in Ps 115.5. 116. but they hear not ( ‫( ")ישמעו‬Ps115.14. This conclusion introduces Ps 116. The resumption of the singular noun ‫( מצר‬Ps 118. contrasting divine salvation to the fallibility of human help (‫אדם‬.19.‫ .7). The rare lexeme ‫רָח‬ ‫רָח‬ ‫ד‬/‫רָחה‬ ‫ ד‬occurs in Ps 118.13).28).17-18. cf. 6). that of the Passover.25 [2x]. in the form ‫)אנה‬.. 118. who with his mercy overcomes sin of his children. expressed in a paradigmatic way in Ex 34. reversing the values of the world. Ps 116.17. 116. for example. The psalmist involves the entire People of God in his thanksgiving (116. Ps 116.25: ‫רָחה נא‬ ‫ הצלי‬. the "I" of Ps 118.26. The image of God.1. As in Ps 116.26).5. Gen 1. cf. p. and among the Hallel Psalms Ps 118 is the only one. finds correspondence in Ps 116. "I" of Ps 116 acquires a collective dimension: it is Israel who thanks its God for salvation from that death was the Babylonian exile (cf. Ps 118. which recounts precisely the praise of YHWH by the one he saved from death.8 in nominal form (‫רָחי‬ ‫)ד‬. "Blessing" and "life" are two closely related realities in the vision of the OT. both in extended form ‫( יהוה‬8x in Ps 115. from the dunghill") become the explanation of the Exodus event. In Ps 116. the psalmist of Ps 116 says.14. The most obvious is that both are psalms of thanksgiving (‫ ידה‬hifil. in Ps 118. an individual psalm.8-9).. As in Ps 116. In the light of Ps 114. comes to mind without effort the polemic against the idols of Ps 115. which occurs twice in both the psalms (118. The other criticism of the idols: "They have feet but do not (‫( ")יהלכו ולא רגליהם‬Ps 115. The liturgical aspect of thanksgiving. in Ps 116. Ps 118. The assertive suffix ‫ נא‬is characteristic (18. nor those who go down into silence. (cf.17. 1-2).21. with regard to the final redaction. 15x in Ps 116)..19) is common to both the psalms. The most obvious is the exclamation ‫אנא יהוה‬. The holy name is joined to the formula of divine mercy. at least in part. which is an element of union between the two psalms (115. the Holy Tetragrammaton is pronounced15 times (16 with the short form ‫)יה‬. .10. 116.1 to 14).16. Ez 37. Ps 116. and ps 114 remembers the primordial.. whom Ps 116 recognizes as a "liar" (Ps 116.4. of which Ps 112 spoke. cf.הושיעה נא‬cf. The theme of "death"(‫ )מות‬with that of "praise" (‫ )הלל‬thus joins the end of Ps 115 with the beginning of Ps 116. giving him life in a prodigious way (‫רָחיה‬ .26). At the Passover.3 .‫שם‬.the liberation from the Babylonian ‫גולה‬. to be performed in the temple of Jerusalem (‫יהוה בית‬.29. Ps 118. cf.1. The liberation from exile to indeed revealed to Israel a God who is merciful father. 116.11). The theme of the name runs through the Hallel (see 115.he has inclined his ear (‫ )אזנו‬to me" (vv.2.6.17).. cf.4. 117.3. including two twin Ps 111 and 112. so that he can walk ( ‫ )אתהלך‬in the lands of the living (Ps 116. an image of idols! The corresponding clues between Ps 116 and Ps 118 (Table 32. while Ps 115 is a collective hymn. the '"man" (‫)אדם‬.2. cf.6-7: "YHWH.10-21) like Ps 116. On the other hand.6). Ps 116 is an individual thanksgiving. but we bless YHWH now and forever" (vv. it is Israel to thank for the salvation obtained.17. Ps 118. Ps 116. 118. cf. 5-9. 116. The more macroscopic is certainly the end of Ps 115: "the dead do not praise YHWH.25. When. The propositional recall between the two psalms is suggested by rare words and expressions occurring in them.16). Ps 113 is connected with Ps 116 especially for the theme of the divine name (113. so also in Ps 118 YHWH has saved the psalmist from death (‫מות‬. Ps 116.9). The temple is a place of nearness to God and blessing (Ps 118. In this context. 116. vv. Ps 115.15.1319). suggesting even for Ps 116 a collective reading in reference to Israel.5). confirming the importance of the "name". The theme of "name" is concretized in the frequency with which the holy Tetragrammaton is invoked.3.3.15). is equivalent to the idols. 116.11). so in Ps 118. Ps 118. p. This confirms the “conclusive” character of Ps 118 with respect to the other Hallel psalms.3): the only other attestation in the Hebrew Bible is Lam 1.17). cf." The formula recurs in Ps 111-118: 111. "works of human hands (‫אדם ידי מעשה‬.13 in verbal form (‫רָחיתני‬ ‫רָחה ד‬ ‫)ד‬. in a synchronic reading. Now this illuminates Ps116.18. the general statements of Ps 113 ("He raises the poor [‫ ]דל‬from the dust.4. But the "we" resonates also in Ps 116 in the term ‫אלהינו‬. In both cases the Psalmist thanks YHWH for having saved him (‫ישע‬. In this sense. In particular. 1x in Ps 116). here is the land of life (‫רָחיים ארצות‬ ‫ה‬. "YHWH listens (‫ )ישנע‬to my voice .18: ‫)נגדה־נא‬.17-18). paradigmatic salvation. God is revealed as the God who takes care of the poor.4) ". which speaks of the liberation from Egyptian slavery. written in first person singular (cf.9). assumes a collective character.1-4."to live" means "to recount the works of YHWH" (Ps 118. when the psalmist thanks YHWH for having liberated his foot (‫)רגלי‬. They "have ears (‫)אזנים‬.

in 113 at the beginning and end. introduced by ‫( כי‬v. 2b has a non-temporal value. Here the inclusion between ‫( הללו את־יהוה‬v. Ps 117 being composed of only two verses. On the other hand. In this structure the final Alleluia is an integral part of the psalm. In fact. then. in modern translations the verb is translated in the present.72). while the nominal phrase of v.1). For the divine name. that the author refers to the past. However. in 115-117 at the end. This would be a "post-cultic" psalm of a theological nature. The Gentiles to whom the invitation of v. is out of the strict parallelism which unites the two couplets vv. .3-6). in which the pagan people are actually invited to sing the praise. it is an affirmation on the being of God universally valid. and the final invitation to praise (v. MT should be followed. Vg confirmata est). Such a correction is not necessary. in which are listed the great attributes of God. LITERARY GENRE Ps 117 is the shortest psalm in the Psalter. many authors (cf.1a) and ‫הללו־יה‬ (v. in vv. And so the Sitz im Leben of this composition would not be liturgy. 5. V. cf. The rare verb ‫רָח‬ ‫ שב‬is an aramaism.11.2ab). By itself. In the Hebrew Bible the noun ‫ אמה‬is found. Ps 117 has the essential elements of the hymn: (1)invitation to praise. which denotes the late. The translations differ depending on the understanding of the tense of the verb ‫גבר‬. where the author went from an evocation of the experience of salvation to theological statements on the being of God (cf. Zenger thinks rather of a fictitious liturgy. G ἐκραταιώθη. Another aramaism is the plural ‫האמים‬. in which converge also the "proselytes" as representatives of pagans. Ps 116. 2. as in Ps 116. 1. The verb ‫ גבר‬has a parallel in Ps 103. in the imperative (v. Dan 2. while in MT it is is different: in 111 and 112 ‫ הללו־יה‬is at the beginning. (3) the final invitation to praise (2c: ‫)הללו־יה‬.23. As lectio difficilior. G puts Alleluia at the beginning of all the Psalms. there is a chiastic construction. which is to be translated as: "As the sky is high on the earth. Weiser thinks concretely of the feast of the covenant. So we prefer to distinguish the time of the two propositions of v. cf. But the phenomenon of proselytism is discussed and certainly not typical of OT. because the plural ‫ אמים‬is current in Aramaic. Despite its brevity. to which 36 Hebrew mss and two printed medieval Bibles join Ps 117 to the previous Ps 116. Therefore.PSALM 117 TEXTUAL CRITICISM V. STRUCTURE The study of the literary genre also determines the fundamental structure of the psalm. This view is confirmed by the textual tradition. the Israelites are invited. ‫הללו־יה‬. The same oscillation between past and present is found in Ps 116. in 118 absent (instead here we have ‫)הודו‬. BHS) propose to correct with ‫לאמים‬. Here the reference is to the history of salvation. with the plural ‫אמות‬. (2) the body of the hymn.1a and 2b. Often.1).1 and 2ab. Often liturgical Sitz im Leben is assumed in the psalm. post-exilic. 2ab: the verb ‫ גבר‬refers to the action of God in the past. Vg manet in saeculum . There are three parts: the invitation to praise (v. to sing the praise would not be the people who are invited. Wagner thinks rather of a "rhetorical imperative". as in Ps 148 are not present the various categories mentioned. We prefer this interpretation. is the Tetragrammaton. parallel with the second stic. 2c). in which at the beginning and end.23). however. 2ab). it would naturally be translated into past ("was strong". (Table 33. but the group of the faithful. G also translates 2b in present: μένει εἰς τοὰν ὰἰῶνὰ. from 111 (G 110) to 119 (G 118). while 26 Hebrew mss join it to the following Ps 118. but occlusion or introduction of some other psalm. in a kind of thanksgiving.4. as perfect. in 114 absent. character of the composition (cf. some authors think that it is not a independent psalm. as instead. which is a nominal phrase ("The faithfulness of YHWH is forever"). acc.31. the last stic. in Ps 118. his love has been strong (‫רָחסדו גבר‬ ) on those who fear him".1 is directed would not be present. introduced by ‫( כי‬v. p. 4. most of the Hebrew mss as well as the ancient versions consider it an independent psalm. the body of the hymn. One would suppose.34. 2c) is clear.

03.2b speaks of an infinite future ( ‫)לעולם‬. We can say. a communitarian psalm ("strong was his love for us. 35. 2 paradoxically narrows the perspective to the people of YHWH (‫)עלינו‬: paradoxically. From the perspective of content. 1 is constructed of two closely parallel stics (Tab 36. ‫רָחסדו‬ . . in the sense of involvement of all the people in the praise of the God of Israel. Ps 2. From the sonoric standpoint. in front of all his people. the salvation of the psalmist interests all people.2b) (tab. After the praise of the people of God. Alleluia" (Ps 116. while v. while to ‫( האמים‬v. p. because it would be logical to ask the people who praise God for the blessings granted to them. Ps 107. as to ‫( גוים‬v." v. 2ab: THE FAITHFUL LOVE OF YHWH FOR HIS PEOPLE The paradoxical nature of motivation v.2a) (Table 34. Since only YHWH saves from death.15).30: "Yea. V. My vows to YHWH I will fulfil. not for those granted to a foreign people.72).v. usually presented as enemies of Israel. the two universalizing particles ‫ כל‬clearly match. that in both verses there is a tension between particular and universal (Tab 38. yes. The third part of enlargement. accompanied by the noun ‫( גוים‬Ps 22.2a speaks of the past (‫)גבר‬.. and I will call on the name of YHWH.2a: How can the Gentiles. 1. one could say that v. This is also why all men are involved in the salvation of the poor. praise God for his love for Israel? Zenger thinks that the term ‫" עלינו‬for us" refers not only to Israel but both Israel and the nations together. Ps 117 is exposes horizontally the enlargement of the praise spoken of in vv. even in this second verse a type of universality is expressed. people outside of Israel. V. is the universal extension of kingship of YHWH.7-10). in your midst. to the divine name ‫( יהוה‬1a) corresponds the pronominal suffix of the third masculine singular ‫ הו‬. in a temporal sense: in fact. i.2 of Ps 117. Twice the universalizing particle ‫ כל‬resonates in both the psalms. p. Such a historical context is all the more impressive. and it is not new in the Psalter (cf.1 expresses the universality (‫ )כל‬in terms of so-called "special". p.10-12a). especially the liberation from the Babylonian exile. before him shall bow all who go down to the dust. described in Ps 22.while the two central stics vv.1b.28-30 of Ps 22. v. The link of the invitation of the Gentiles to praise YHWH with the theme of the kingdom of YHWH is constant in the Psalter (e.72).e.28.31-32.2a the predicate (‫ )עלינו גבר‬precedes the subject (‫רָחסדו‬ ). p.2) . Ps 117. If this general background it is likely. V.1b) corresponds ‫( אמת‬v. While admitting that Ps 117 is a psalm in itself. Here too note the correspondence with the Ps 116.finds its counterpart in v. to Ps 22. then the immediate context is that of the previous psalm.73). Ps116 just ended with the proclamation of the praise of YHWH to brothers: "I shall offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving. On the other hand. another prophet of the exile. where the theme of death plays a central role (cf. whose message is centred on the proclamation that the God of Israel is the only true God. while in v. p.. acc.17-19).08.1).1b and 2a.2a). in the courts of the temple of YHWH. it is well understood as a redactional continuation of of the thanksgiving of Ps 116. V. If it is true that Ps 117 is read in the context. From the historical point of view. so that in v.1-3). But in Ps 22 the kingship of YHWH is intimately connected with the salvation of the psalmist: YHWH has shown himself king by saving the poor man from death. Jerusalem. Deissler recalls the prophecy of Ezekiel. The reason for this universal enlargement.(1b). that Israel has the duty to announce to the nations his great works.72). roughly. This is established in Ps 22. 96. Not that Ps 117 is the direct continuation of Ps 116: it is a psalm of individual thanksgiving while Ps 117 is a hymn.72). to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down. the temporal. neither the psalm nor its immediate context directly recalls the exile. Note again the assonance between the two predicates (‫ עלינו גבר‬and ‫)לעולם‬. vv. the parallelism of the two verses is linear. V. v.1a) corresponds ‫( גבר‬v. since the fifth book of the Psalter is itself a thanksgiving for the return from the exiles (cf. To the verb ‫( הלל‬1a) synonymously corresponds the verb ‫רָח‬ ‫( שב‬1b). therefore.2b it is the opposite: the subject comes first ( ‫)אמת־יהוה‬. it presupposes the preaching of the Deutero-Isaiah.g. and he who cannot keep himself alive". the tetragrammaton is replaced by the third person singular masculine pronoun ( ‫רָחוהו‬ ‫שב‬.29. 1: UNIVERSAL PRAISE TO THE GOD OF ISRAEL The invitation to praise God the praise is to be taken seriously. 2 instead is structured chiastically (Tab 37. then the synonymy between ‫ גוים‬and ‫ האמים‬is clear: both the terms designate the "gentiles". then the predicate (‫)לעולם‬. Ps 22 seems to reflect exactly the logic that unites Ps 116 and 117.

while YHWH is the living God who gives life (Ps 115.2a. in which he showed his true love.1a. all you peoples". V. To ‫רָחסד‬  (love. the reference is to the fact that he has saved the psalmist from death.1 all people are invited to YHWH. In v. also115. acknowledging what he has done for his people. On the other hand. In Ps 115 the connection with Ps 117 is more evident.2 the suffix of ‫ עלינו‬undoubtedly refers to the Jews. Ps 115. especially towards the future. The deliverance of Israel from the Egyptian slavery is a prodigy which the lordship of God has shown over all creation. V.2b refers to the past: the phrase is nominal.11). PS 117 IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MASORETIC PSALTER The theme of the people (‫גוים‬.1. as well as in v. so at first. solidity.17). And the adverb ‫ לעולם‬accentuates the duration of this fidelity: "The faithfulness of YHWH is forever". and lead to death anyone who adores them (cf.1 there is a tension between the particular God of Israel. remaining out of the parallelism of vv. referring to Israel.2) ‫(. reliability. but they exalt him. Paradoxical as it may seem. If this is true. It follows that it also invites the pagans to worship him (Ps.1. forms an inclusion with v. The idols of the pagans are dead. v. says Alleluia.6-9) In Ps 114 the perspective of the people is resumed in the final exhortation. Ps 115 explains why this is so: because apart from YHWH there are no other gods.2). In Ps 113. but that of God (Ps.1 which the "servants of YHWH" are pre-occupied with (cf.1-3). that is. From the grammatical point of view.1a. then it is not a mere repetition of v. the "we" of v.2-4). truth. the "strength" of the love of God is revealed in the victory over death (cf.6-7.1). In the context of Ps 116. which led us to consider it as an integral part of the psalm. The verb ‫גבר‬. Unlike v.2a cannot but refer to the Israelites. therefore refers to the being. v.2b ‫אמת‬.18) ‫עולאם ועד מעתה‬. which Ezekiel describes as a valley of dry bones (Ezek 37. לעולם‬115. It would be said that Ps 117 is placed as an antithesis to the question of Ps 115: "Why should people (‫ )הגוים‬say: 'Where is their God?'" (v. Ps 117. approaches the universality in time.17-18). 1171). 115. in perfect.7). 2 of Ps 117 places rather as a motivation for the praise of the people expressly the faithful love of YHWH ‫עלינו‬. if the "you" of v. not to the action of God. that is for the people of YHWH. The love is shown "strong" (cf. Is 43. 2ab. It is possible. 1) as well as that of Israel (v. (cf. in which the subject of the verb ‫ הלל‬was pagans.2 there is a tension between universal and particular. the text is unambiguous. the combination ‫ ואמת הסד‬refers to the covenant relationship. "fidelity. The universality of the space. refers to the past. (cf. In Ps 103 the "strength" of God's love is shown in forgiving the sins of his people. in contact with the people. given the plural. This is underlined by Kimchi: "As at the end of the psalm. During Israel's exile. That is the love and the faithfulness of YHWH for his people are not exclusive but inclusive. have the value of revelation for all people." The two terms form almost hendiadys "faithful love". also Songs 8. Zenger: this call has a conclusive character. . YHWH. Both in v.1 refers to non-Israelites. that it alludes to the liberation from the exile. also Ps 100. Israel is not jealous of her belonging to God: the sense of election is not in function of the glory of Israel. so the psalmist invites the whole world to "tremble" in the positive sense of reverential fear.4-8). solidarity. referring to them all says: Praise the Lord. seeing the in Holy Spirit that all nations will praise him still. Ps 103.6-7. Ps 115 is joined to Ps 117 also because they both end with the recalling of eternity: (117. the author is aware that YHWH is not only the God of Israel but of all the earth (113. and it is therefore suggested that to praise YHWH is at least Israel too. he realizes his mediatric mission with respect to all the other people of the earth. before (114. therefore confirms what the grammar had already indicated. Ps 116). In the context of Ps 117. to one or more actions of YHWH on behalf of his people. in Psalm 117 is attributed to the pagans. feeling responsible for the life of the alliance partners) corresponds v.1) runs through the paschal Hallel. In Ps 117 the "people" not only do not make fun of the God of Israel. which is characteristic of the biblical revelation of both in OT and NT. They point to the same "self" of YHWH of Ex 34. 2c: HALLELU JAH The final stic of the Psalm has to be a part of a redactional character. 2ab). it is clear that the "we" of v.1ab2ab. all nations. and therefore encompasses both the praise of the nations (v. emphasized in v. and foreign peoples. This formula of divine mercy is particularly dear to the post-exilic Israel. "for us". The love of God is stronger than sin.Duhm’s opinion is contrary: "Although in v. because it is only for them the love and faithfulness of YHWH is valid". in v.1-14): the psalm is open to multiple meanings. The “praise" (‫ )הלל‬in Ps 113. 2 spoke of Israel. celebrate him.4-5.

or as object of “sing”. The participial form suggests not so much the original "creation" of Israel. V.27).12-14).1). the term clearly has singular value. Jdt 15. whose first 4 verses are a development of 117.6b seems to hint at. This contrast between "the people" and "Israel" resumes the perspective of Ps 114. referring to God. Tg). but a "continuous creation". The term ‫רָחסידים‬  derived from ‫רָחסד‬ . there are conjectures: BHS suggests ‫רָחתם‬ ‫"( משפ‬according to their clans"). who at the time of Nehemiah. However. The formula is introduced first in 115. Against Rabinowitz. and by extension the people united by an alliance. 1. The versions have unanimously read in this sense (G ἐπι ὰ τῶν κοιτῶν ὰὐτῶν. which brings together two quite disparate things: one is "exaltation of God in their throat". which are used both for rest and also for prayer: even today.7). V. Another theme that runs through the Hallel is the formula of mercy (Ex 34. Let those who fear the Lord say: 'His love endures forever'"(Ps 118.5: "YHWH is compassionate and righteous. therefore. who refers the participle plural ‫ עשיו‬to ‫רָחסידים‬  of v. but as enemies of Israel (cf. YHWH our God. as in the case of Judith (cf. 2. The recall of Ps 106 is interesting. as well as in active ("those who love"). Taking the expression literally . but something that happens in the eschatology. ‫ תהללתו‬can be considered as a subject of a nominal phrase (so G. referred to in 117 by the binomial ‫ אמ‬+‫רָחסד‬  ‫( ת‬v. It can be understood both in passive ("loved"). Therefore we prefer to stick to the fundamental meaning of the expression.6.The theme of "people" is taken up again in Ps 118. V. "at their great tabernacle. couch". which is used for sleeping and usually found in the most private part of the house. 4 suggests.47). for he is good. being introduced already in the last psalm of the fourth psalm (cf. In Ps 116. because it is not a public place. The expression ‫רָחסדו לעולם כי‬  is a leitmotif of the fifth book of Psalms.2: "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. The love and faithfulness of YHWH are concretely revealed in the liberation from ‫ גולה‬and in the return to the Promised Land (cf. at the end. Ps 118. Tg ‫)דמכיהון על‬.1-3 and also seems implied in the verbs ‫ עלז‬and ‫רנן‬.10-13).1: "Save us. 6. It can be said that at the level of composition of the Hallel the text proposes dialectic between the perspective of Ps 117 (open to the people) and that of Ps 118 (opposed to people). the rare verb ‫רָח‬ ‫ שב‬is used. Some people think of a “sword dance" to celebrate a victory.1-4). Such a place seems to fit neither to a liturgical action. the other "a two-edged sword in their hands". for his love is forever (‫רָחסדו‬  ‫)כי לעולם‬. "barbarous people" (Ps 114. where the "glory" of YHWH is motivated ‫על־חסדך על־אמתך‬. 1.1).1-3). The term ‫ משכב‬usually indicates "bed". or ‫"( משמרותם‬in their postations "). which is described in vv. It ends as it began: "Give thanks to the Lord. Muslims pray on carpets.2. Of course. Psalm 149 TEXTUAL CRITICISM V. gather us together from the nations to thank your holy name: to extol you with your praise (‫רָח‬ ‫להשתב‬ ‫(")בתהלתך‬Ps 106. Vg. nor to a military action. Let Israel say: 'His love endures forever'. because here. signifying the judgement of the faithful after their resurrection. Note that G and S have singular.2).10. Ne 4. Here is another crux interpretum. suggests the underlying reason on which to read the praise of Ps 117.1. The second part of the verse is a crux interpretum. . when the repatriated Jews worked for the reconstruction of the Jerusalem wall with one hand and held the sword in the other (cf. Let the house of Aaron say: 'His love endures forever'. and then is developed especially in Ps 118.106. it can be understood as a plural of majesty or emphatic (cf. but in the ambit if the present. Vg in cubilibus suis. The parallel joins together the two lexemes ‫רָח‬ ‫ שב‬and ‫ הלל‬that appear in Ps 117.5)." D’Souza : their graves. as the present of the two verbs of v. 5. Historically this comes true in the revolt of the Maccabees (cf. to which the "sword" of v. also Ps 107. With most of the authors we choose the first alternative. which spoke about ‫לעז עם‬. Job 35. Is 54. But here they are presented not as united with Israel in the common praise of YHWH. a term that basically means solidarity which unites the members of a small family group.29). which appears in Ps 117.11-12). "bed. for his love is forever" (v. the formula is recalled v. vv. 2 Mac 15. Gunkel has ‫"( מערכותם‬according to their battalions"). the faithful would be the warriors who on one hand fight with the sword drawn and on the other hand pray. 5-6 do not speak about something that happens after death. Others have thought of "carpets". Briggs propose ‫ משכנותם‬offer. on this side of death. our God has mercy". Therefore some authors have thought that this is a "military camp". which takes place even today. where soldiers returning from battle celebrate the victory.

1-3 there is an invitation to praise (A).9b with the final ‫ . equivalent to a comparison.e. which basically speaks about the vengeance of the "faithful". In vv. in reference to what precedes (so Tg and most modern translations).g.15) or ‫( בעמים‬Ps 57. exactly twice in each verse. 57. so also Ravasi.5. nor the king. This last option seems to be grammatically more correct.. but they "bind" them. express the reason for the praise in the form of final propositions.7-9 (B '). and like (‫רָחיך‬ ‫ )ו‬a two-edged sword in their hands. p. He concludes: "The psalm is important because it shows us very clearly the political hopes of Judaism.1-5). The expression ‫ בל־אמים‬occurs 4 times in OT. The strongest argument for this structure is the fact that vv. and a final reference to the invitation. included between the two terms ‫( תהלתו‬v.6." So is Barbiero. The sword is not needed to take prisoners but to kill. with the exception of vv. as well as at the end of the second part of the psalm. where it appears only once (Tab 39.7 and 9 clearly form an inclusion (7 . i. We divide the psalm into two strophes: 1-4 and 5-9.7.9c is clarified that the "he" of v. as parallel with ‫( בגוים‬Ps149. In Ps 149 the pattern is repeated twice (Tab 40. The entire psalm is included by a chiasm. Vg gloria haec east omnibus sanctis eius ). and so the two strophes would be vv.5): v. Such a division is suggested by the literary genre. also because it allows us to understand the bond that unites v.5-6). He translates: The praises of God in full voice. p. He situates it in the spiritual world of the Maccabees. 7-9 are clearly joined together. The first part is included by the Tetragrammaton ‫( יהוה‬vv. vv. but God. Alonso Schökel makes a very negative judgment about it. as following pronominal suffix also does (‫רָחסידיו‬ ). The pronoun ‫ הוא‬may be interpreted either in a neutral sense (although generally feminine is used for this). as holding a two-edged sword). where Israel is the instrument of divine vengeance (e. while in the second ("a two-edged sword in their hands ") would introduce the last strophe (vv.. From the grammatical point of view. or in reference to God. that is to say. B). in which also enter the two expressions of the frame (Tab 41. V. It is developed in the inter-testamental literature (Enoch). the recitation of psalms. at Qumran (see Roll of the war) and even in some passages of the NT. V. STRUCTURE Tournay divides the psalm into three strophes: vv. for whom.‫לעשות‬a. or as an adjective in reference to ‫( הדר‬cf.81). And.6b as a waw adaequationis. Vv. followed by a reason for the invitation introduced by ‫( כי‬v. 5 and 9 (which are also characterized by the presence of the key term ‫רָחסידים‬ ) are at the beginning of the first and second part. In addition.4a).10. 4. the faithful do not cut the enemies into pieces. 5 and 9. focusing on praise of YHWH. it is not Israel who fights. confirms this structure. since the three "different" verses. But this is not the prospective of Psalms.e. but v. A VICTORY SONG? Ps 149 is a difficult psalm. 5 and 9.149.1c) and ‫( הללו‬v.9b). This verse in the first part ("exaltation of God in their throats') would sum up the first strophe (vv. The same sense was intended by Tg: "Let the praise of God be in their throats. only in Psalms: Ps 44. 5-6 A') the invitation to praise is resumed with the two cohortatives ‫ יעלזו‬and ‫( ירננו‬v. however. 6. 108.8." . In favour of this proposal is that the term ‫רָחסיסים‬  appears in the Psalm exactly thrice in vv.80-81).1-4 and 6-9. the preposition ‫ ב‬is distributed in a regular manner in the psalm.1." Zenger prefers to speak of an explanatory waw which has a value of "that is. by the fact that all three begin with an infinitive construct preceded by the preposition ‫ל‬. p. on the other hand. saying that its author "does not seem (. the "just vengeance" for a people persecuted by over their oppressors.. 4-6 and 7-9. It is not said elsewhere that Israel holds sword in the hand to kill her enemies. which is closely intertwined among themselves. highlighted in the tab. Gunkel describes the psalm as an eschatological hymn meaning it as the song of victory after the final battle of the "faithful" against the kingdoms of the world. 44. In vv.. 9. The hymn includes an invitation to praise. Tournay proposed to understand the ‫ ו‬of v. the second by the term ‫רָחסידים‬  (vv. and is attested in other passages of OT.5a. i.1b. which sets out the reasons for the praise. Also the distribution of the preposition ‫ב‬. 7. Prinsloo proposes a structure in two strophes: 1-5 and 7-9. A similar chiastic structure is proposed by Ceresko. 108.3a).9a). 39.. 1. Israel is the spectator of the "vengeance" fulfilled by God.1.This reading is possible.) touched by the poetic inspiration". It is to be read ‫בלאמים‬. sung during the victory procession in which the vanquished kings were led in chains to the gallows.4. constructed around a central pivot.7. in v.10.4) suggests. a body. As we saw in Ps 110.7-9). 6 is modal apposition. v.הללו־יה‬in v. The sword would be the praises of God. the pivot would not be v. 1-3. which expresses the modality with which praise is to be raised. G δόξὰ ὰὕτὴ ἐστι ὰν πᾶσι τοῖς ὁσίοις ὰὐτοῦ. 9b is "Yah". which is obviously a hymn.82).15. Is 26.

The "new song" in them goes along with the affirmation of the sovereignty of YHWH: it is an affirmation of the eschatological character.1c and 3a). the song of victory of Judith.14 and 1492b).1-3.10) from a mortal danger. In addition. Ps 149 has numerous contacts with these two psalms.14).1b). p. ‫( תהלה‬148.16. 1-3) As the first part (vv. vv. In 144. 149. 48. though. this fact is of an eschatological character: is it the coming of the kingdom of God is realized (cf. Ps 144. 66.4a). THE FIRST PART: vv.. v. Is 52. to the Deutero-Isaiah. the people loved by God (v.‫שיר‬. 3 + 3. 144. Among the Psalms of divine kingship is also Ps 97. v.1a). v.1a "Sing to YHWH a new song.6) ( Tab 43.12-15).16-19. 40. so also its first strophe.2b. the other three are in the plural.3). In Ps 33. which begins with praise of Israel.3a. (Table 42. The resumption of significant lexemes between the last verse of Ps 148 and in the first two vv. but it is exegetically incorrect.1c). The other two verses are composed by jussive.4a.because here the term ‫רָחסידים‬  (Ps 97. This call announces precisely the theme of Ps 149. like Alonso himself emphasizes. praise Yah!" (150.The Christian commentators often to emphasize the superiority of Christian ethics over the vindictive ethics of Judaism. and ends by narrowing the field to Israel.1a).1-10).1 and 3 speak of outward expression of praise (‫ הלל‬. ‫( ישראל‬148. Ps 148 calls "the kings of the earth and all nations" to praise the name of YHWH (vv.9 and 40.14 and 149.9. v. 98. it is connected with the kingship of YHWH (cf. i. Those who love YHWH (v.4.1 . already from the beginning we can see that the author uses expressions typical of other OT passages. also Is 56.83). Cf. each of which is characterized by this expression of praise at the beginning and the end of the psalm. having the subject Israel (‫רָח‬ ‫)ישמ‬.‫רָח‬ ‫)שמ‬. 96. Now such an interpretation. In this sense the term is also used in Jdt 16.3. basically with the liberation of Israel from Babylonian slavery (Is 43. The unit is delimited by the inclusion formed by the tetragrammaton (vv.1.2a). 83).3b) is synonymous with ‫( שיר‬v. v.3b). v. albeit still inchoate. which is connected with the universal judgement (Ps 96. This context makes it clear that the horizon on which the praise of Israel to be seen is the praise of people. The new song. The construction of the strophe is chiastic. the strophe consists of six stics. v. or Hitler's military campaigns. having the subject the "sons of Zion" (‫יגילו‬. resumes the noun ‫רָחסידים‬  of v. v. against this background.2a).1b. then moves to the world of people. v. The call to praise is preceded by the acclamation ‫הללו יה‬.4b. the internal aspect. ‫( בני‬148. to see Ps 149 as a song of victory is not only morally dangerous (think of the Islamic Jihad!).14.13. inviting all peoples and kingdoms of the earth to praise YHWH (vv.1a).‫רָחסידים‬ c). the "new song" is connected with the "victory/salvation" (‫תשועה‬.10).6). i. also from the semantic point of view the term ‫עמו‬.1-4 vv.1. so also the plural ‫ענוים‬.e. throughout the history of Christianity. This suggests that Ps 149 is the work of a scribe rather than a cantor of the temple.4). 98. is characterized by the inclusion formed by the lexeme ‫הלל‬ (vv. Acc. This is undoubtedly the context of the statement in Psalm 96 and 98. ‫יזמרו‬.2 speaks of “joy”.4.‫הלל‬.14 and 149. of Ps 148 clearly shows the hand of the editor: ‫( יה הללו‬148. Ps 148 begins with a cosmic praise (vv. Is it possible that the following psalm calls on Israel to exterminate the kings and pagans? Thus. vv.1b. In addition to this initial acclamation (v. and while v.14 and 149. The first of them is singular. The parallel expressions in the Psalter are: Ps 33.11-14). which is also confirmed by the next Ps 150.1. cf. In particular. which leads the praise (‫ גיל‬. 1-4 form a unit consisting of an invitation to praise (vv. which ends with the words: "Everything that breathes.. is a key term in Ps 149. which inserts Ps 149 into the series of 149-150. to emphasize is the link between the end of Ps 148 and the beginning of Ps 149. which echoes that of ‫( יה הללו‬v.4. goes against the usual view of the Psalter. p. like the revolt of the Boers in South Africa. Here the "new song" is connected with the announcement of the "new things" created by God on behalf of his people.e. It is therefore a "re-readings". as vv.1b-3) followed by a justification (v." As also the next psalm shows. the verb ‫( זמר‬v.1a). resumes ‫( ישראל‬v.1b) . as in the case of Ps 116. Only the first couplet is characterized by the imperative (‫שירו‬.1-4). that of Thomas Muenzer in Germany. especially that of the fifth book. ‫ זמר‬. ‫יהללו‬. ‫רָחסידיו‬  (148. in the third person. Ps 149 was also understood by Christians as a justification for different wars more or less just . cannot be to exterminate the peoples! First call to praise (vv.1.3. three couplets quite distinct (4 + 3.10). The purpose of Ps 149. 3 + 3).11-13).9). The background of the "new song" is the message of Deutero-Isaiah (Is 42.7).

The verbs that are associated (‫ הלל‬. In Ps 97. suggests that there is a part of Israel that remains out of that designation: they are ‫רשעים‬..8. Since YHWH is the "creator" of Israel.6). the reference is primarily to the psalms of YHWH's kingship (e. "Drums" and "harps" (‫ )כנורות‬are mentioned together only in another time. a victory of the Creator God against the forces of chaos and death that constantly threaten the existence of his people. The verb ‫ גיל‬combines Ps 149 with Ps 2. the two psalms structurally connected with Ps 149.31-34). the verb ‫עשה‬ appears in 95. not foreigners. they claim to represent all of Israel. it is in parallel with "Israel" and "sons of Zion" (v.31. 4) . here is the concept of "new". Jgs11. The "kings of the nations" are the opponents of the "king of Israel". mother of "children" (Ps 147. who do not take seriously the commitments of the covenant. Praise him with sounding cymbals . The same constellation is in Deutero-Is: among other things. is worthy of the name. eschatological Israel.13). Is 30. It is an ideal. praise him ringing cymbals ringing".14 ‫רָחסידים‬  is in parallel with "the sons of Israel. but it is just an image to express the reality of the establishment of the eschatological kingdom of YHWM.10 ‫רָחסידים‬  are opposed to ‫רשעים‬. not a particular political party.9. where the city is personified as a woman. The reason for the praise (v. people close to him".6. not only in the sense of an initial act. The return from exile is also seen here as the realization of eschatology. to the rebuilding of Zion (Ps 149.6 and 100.4) and elsewhere. On the other hand." The participle ‫ עשיו‬has a strong value of "Creator". This goes against the context of Ps 149. In parallel with "Israel" v. Another reference is Jer 31. where ‫רָחסידים‬  claim to represent all of Israel. Here the orchestra grows in number: "Praise him with the sound of the trumpet. In both the psalms the memory of "creation" of Israel is a source of joy. but also that of a "creatio continua".1-3). in the context of a military victory: cf.2b puts the "sons of Zion". the "new covenant" (‫רָחדשה ברית‬  .2 and Joel 2.1. The author sees in the "reconstruction" of Zion.20).2 b → Trito-Isaiah ). Dt 32. who alone. praise him with the harp and lyre (‫)בכנור‬. Even here. The creator and king of Israel (v. In the final Hallel of the Psalter the theme of Zion is found specially in Ps 147. he is also "their king" (‫)מלכם‬. In the psalms of King YHWH. the theme is introduced in the initial psalm (146. In the final Hallel Psalms. where the exultation is connected with the return from the exile.10).23. Praise him with tambourine and dancing (‫רָחול בתף‬ ‫)ומ‬. 93.‫ )שיר‬suggest the latter alternative. behind which is to be understood the members of the people of Israel.34.. to the return from exile (Ps 149. The expression "sons of Zion" is rare. praise him with strings and flutes.g. Ex 15. as is the plural ‫מלכים‬.4. Lohfink says. In 148. the reason for praise: it is exactly the perspective of Trito-Isaiah.6).e. “Judgement “is spoken in the psalm in v. where the term ‫ מלכיהם‬is opposed to ‫מלכם‬. 2) "Let Israel rejoice in its maker.6). (cf.3-5.3. Dance and drums are still spoken twice. Deut 32.12 and 97. here the image is that of a military victory. So we have an actualization of "creation": from Exodus (Ex 14. Ps 107. From Ps 90 onwards the noun ‫ מלך‬in the singular is never referred to an earthly king.13.‫ קהל‬is a generic term for a group meeting. or is used for foreign kings.32. the primordial event of the salvation of Israel in which the kingship of YHWH is manifested (cf. Undoubtedly.31. The term ‫רָחסידים‬  is controversial.. 1 Sam 18. 3) The two terms ‫רָחול‬ ‫"( מ‬dance") and ‫"( תף‬drum") confirm the reference to Ex 15. i. In the context. The expresses the joy that comes from the fact that the kingship of YHWH is recognized around the world.1.Jer 31. the parallel with ‫( ענוים‬v. i. seeing in Ps 149 a document typical mystical warrior of this group who wielded weapons in defence of its faith. with "his people" and "the poor". also Ex 14. with ‫( צדיקים‬Ps 1. it is used only in Lam 4.1). In the context of the final Hallel the festal musical instruments appear in Ps 147.2). after all. In our Psalm the plural is in v. verb Praise with dance and drum (v. ‫רָחסידים‬  "are 'real' Israel." Although a minority group. on the occasion of divine justice over Assyria.e. because they want to usurp the role of lord of the universe.7(‫ )בכנור לאלהינו זמרו‬and 150. and further.42. And it is the background perspective of the fifth book of Psalms (cf. the establishment of the time of salvation.e..2a  Deutero-Is). i. to the Messiah: it is reserved for YHWH. Many exegetes identify ‫רָחסידים‬  with the Hasidims of 1 Mac 2. of course. It can have a military significance but in the pss it usually the worshipping assembly.5.

In both cases. It should be noted the tense of the verb: ‫ רוצה‬is ptc. The verb ‫ עלז‬expresses the joy voiced by shouts of triumph for a victory (2 Sam 1. From the point of view of Israel is "salvation". he does not like (‫ )ירצה לא‬the race of man.5a and 9b).2.2-3.12).1-4. 7-9 expresses the purpose (‫ )ל‬of it. the reason (‫ )כי‬of praise.1-3).2. so here the subject of the "glory" are "the poor" (‫) ענוים‬.6-7).5. It is for the "salvation" achieved. the connection of ‫ רצה‬with ‫רָחסד‬  confirms the link between ‫רָחסידים‬  and love. It is pleasing to YHWH (‫ )יהוה רוצה‬those who fear him. The second strophe (vv.12 and Zeph 3. the attitude of the poor is opposed to the "rich" (Ps 146. as is typical of the hymns. The theme of “glory" is taken up from the last verse of the first part (‫יפאר‬. .1. It is the attitude of dependence on God that goes beyond material poverty though does not exclude it. that of praise.2. 98. in v. vv. 5-9 vv. which is seen in the first part within Israel. 55. the second part too consists of two strophes.5. It is indeed a "victory".5-9 are included on the one hand by the resumption of the important substantive ‫רָחסידים‬  (vv.7-9) is structurally unified. 6 there is no verb. v. 61. because they feel loved by him (‫)רצה‬. 4a is rich in inter-textuality. In our text too.‫)יעלזו‬.9.10).20 (salvation at the sea of reeds).7.8. Ps 96.13. where poverty emphasizes the spiritual dimension.30. the link of the word ‫ ישועה‬with ‫ ענוים‬prefers the translation "salvation". as in v. The combination is important because it gives reason for the combination of the verb ‫ רצה‬in Ps 149. 52. Is 12. two very significant passages. but durable.20). 61. a theme that runs throughout the fifth book of the Psalter.3. Like the first.2. 10-11). In this context we understand the reason for the judgement that God does on "kings" and "glorious " of the world (Ps 149. Although in itself it could be two nominal propositions. corresponds to the second strophe of the first part: while v.21. the working and respectively the loving of God.3. The two parts therefore are not to be understood as subsequent.4 gives. in the second for its reflections in the world.7-9).3-4).7-9): they represent the opposite attitude to that of spiritual poverty. The "poor" are crowned of ‫ישועה‬. 49. Second call to praise (vv. Secondly. from Ex 14.10).5-9 do not ask the faithful anything different from what was asked in vv. 15. the call is to the praise of God and in the second is to war. 5) "Let the faithful rejoice in glory". as if the in the first.14.4b).1. vv. Striking are the contacts with the book of Isaiah – both Deutro and Trito. Is 61.6 is subordinate to v. V. The verb ‫ רצה‬belongs to the semantic field of love. (Is 42.4 with the attitude of spiritual poverty.23. There are only two texts in which the two lexemes ‫ פאר‬and ‫ ישע‬appear together (Jgs 7. 5-6) resumes the first strophe of the first part.1c.4 highlighted the reason (‫ )כי‬of praise. The recall is above all to the other psalms of the final Hallel. those who hope in his love (‫רָחסדו‬ ‫(" )ל‬vv.5.9. so it illuminates the meaning of the term ‫רָחסידים‬  (v.2-3.5) and Trito (Is 60. 62. The holy name is connected with the revelation of divine mercy (Ex 34.5-6 are grammatically not on the same plane. The imperfect of the verb that follows (‫ )יפאר‬confirms the link with current events. The two synonyms ‫ עלז‬and ‫ רנן‬appear together only in Ps 96. on the other. continuing the series of jussives of vv. Even in Ps 146. In the context of the Hallel psalms the recall goes to Ps 146. The theme is taken up in Ps 147. The term returns in the parallel stics of the psalm. by the semantic parallel between ‫( כבוד‬v. The second makes understand the relationship of our verse with ‫ ענוים‬of the previous verse (Zeph 3. expressed in Ps 149 with the term ‫ענוים‬. the "servant of YHWH" despised by the powerful.12-13).. 5a) and ‫( הדר‬9b).v. THE SECOND PART. but this is up to YHWH.2-3(the psalms of Yahweh's kingship). we prefer to understand the two stics as modal circumstances that specify the two verbs of v. and in Ps 147 with the expression ‫רָחלים‬ ‫רָחסדו המי‬ ‫ל‬. The verb ‫ רצה‬appears twice in Ps 147: "(YHWH) does not appreciate the vigour of the horse. It consists primarily in the fact that "YHWH finds pleasure ( ‫ )רצה‬in his people".3.13. At the same time we understand the reference to the divine "name" in v. it emphasizes the not occasional aspect. consistent. The first (vv. The first confirms the link of Ps 149 with YHWH’s kingship (Ps 96. vv.4.9): they are the people who love YHWH (‫רָחסד‬ ). valid even today.11 (salvation from exile and the rebuilding of Jerusalem). that emphasizes also the material dimension of "poverty" (146.e. The close parallelism of the two parts makes it clear that it is actually a single event. crown" is typical of Deutero (Is 44. 5 we have two jussives ( ‫ ירננו‬. The relatively rare lexeme ‫" פאר‬glorify. two propositions coordinated asyndetically.7. to be "glorified" is Israel. 5-6) vv. As in Isaiah. as ‫ עשיו‬in v. i. The joy on their beds (v. So v.10. It is therefore correlated with ‫ ישועה‬of v.

1). The "vengeance" among the peoples (v. It can be said that the Ps 149 transposes on a collective level of the messianic idea of Ps 2.5a . 134. While the second strophe reveals the cause of praise (‫)כי‬. "Sword of mouths' (literal meaning) can have another meaning. therefore the restoration of the trampled justice . The term ‫ פיפיות‬is the plural of ‫פה‬. as an instrument of the "vengeance " mentioned in v.1 the exultation and praise of God took place "in the assembly".4b). in fact. Is 41. 149. together with its synonym ‫ הדר‬of v.7-9). however.11-13.62. We have the same constellation of Ps 149. it introduces the final ‫הללו־יה‬ proleptically anticipating the divine name with the personal pronoun ‫הוא‬. Undoubtedly.2. where it refers to the sharp sword of Ehud. 59.. in the liturgical action. 63. but from this he has re-dressed his "poor".3. The plural of ‫ פה‬occurs together with ‫רָחרב‬  in Judg 3. v. 55. thus becoming "king" (‫במלכם‬. because the room in the OT is basically to sleep (Deut 6.4).‫רָחסידיו‬ . YHWH does not choose his people for himself (v. Fuglister has rightly pointed out that Ps 149 forms an inclusion with Ps 2. and therefore at night.9b).‫בל־אמים‬b).e. The contrast is not racial. The faithful are invited to "enjoy" with exaltation of God in their throats. vv.16. v. ‫הדר‬. On the other hand. so there is no contradiction between the two references. for it is he who has won the battle. Only that here the attributes of glory are not referred to the king. since these actions are performed by the faithful "on their beds".7 corresponds to v. As the parallel Ct 3. v.5. The fourth and the last strophe of the psalm corresponds structurally to the second (v. "mouth" (cf. 8b). The two-edged sword (v. The verb ‫ רום‬polel appears significantly.5 b) is the weapon with which Jehoshaphat wins the battle.9b falls outside of this parallelism: it has the conclusive function for the second part (see the double inclusion: ‫רָחסידים‬ . the "praise" is identified with the "sword". 77. Syntactically.4). and the people of YHWH (‫עמו‬. in connection with the words "sharp as a sword": cf. are songs of thanksgiving for the salvation with which God has crowned his poor. v.15). i. now this happens ‫משכבותם על‬. those who really ‫רָחסיד‬ .9a). In fact.7. 7-9) vv. in the context of Ps 149.‫רָחסידיו‬ . king". who therefore assume royal dignity. In our interpretation. In these cases. also Ps 1. 7-9 are arranged in a concentric form around v. The shouts of exultation. Ps 149 has a parallel in 2 Chr 20. 119. v.6). speaking with God "in bed" is just one who loves." A prayer in the privacy of their room. it is one and the same reality.‫גוים‬ 7a. in Ps 145. Ps 21.4a) is opposed to the pagans (. 4). The comparing the word with a sword is very common in the Pss (52.Salvation has brought glory to the "lovers of YHWH". The "exaltations of God" (‫ )אל רוממות‬specify in what sense the "joy” is to understand . 6) In v.1b .5. "mouth" has a figurative meaning: it refers to a "voracious sword which devours". the fourth expresses the purpose (‫)ל‬. that is.5a . In terms of the content. Ps 149 says of the "faithful" or "poor". i.7-9 are straight to the call to the praise of v. but "judgement".9b). Since YHWH has crowned the poor of salvation (v. "with a double-edged sword in their hands".9b) and for the entire psalm (‫רָחסידים‬ .1.17: "His praise (‫ )רומם‬was already under my tongue".7a. It cannot be otherwise.8.7a) is taken up and clarified in the term ‫( משפט‬v. Apparently they are two different circumstances. v. The purpose of praise (vv. 92. V.4-5. Pr 5. v. They share the dignity of their king. but also the concept of ‫( נקמה‬v.5. "on their beds. 7 . v.9a: not only the incipit is the same (‫לעשות‬.. Even here the term resumes the synonym ‫ פאר‬of the previous verse. 6 are shown two ways of '"joy" mentioned by v. they are now "in the glory". acc.9a). v. v. the theme of "the sword" is also felt. The horizon of the psalm widens.‫ענוים‬b) and the "glorious" ( ‫נכבדיהם‬. 90).8 (tab 43.4b. ‫כבוד‬.‫הדר‬. in connection with the kingship of YHWH: "I will exalt you (‫)ארוממך‬. cf.21-22.9b. The term ‫כבוד‬. v. are typical attributes of God and the king (cf. but theological: the contrast between the "poor"(4 .The joy for the salvation obtained by God is expressed in his praise. 4. 64.4.1 enables us to understand. It is therefore of the glory of God..7) (cf. because the "two-edged sword" is precisely the "exaltation of God in their throats". The context is a psalm of thanksgiving. The song of praise (‫רנה‬. my God. the final propositions of vv. v. An understanding of the "sword" that is not in a metaphorical sense is not included. What Ps 2 says of the Messiah. taking the perspective of Ps 148.22. but a universal mission entrusted to them (vv. V.2).7. to the translation we have proposed. then. this sense of the term finds the only parallel in Ps 66." i. p.e.4b (the theme of glory ‫פאר‬. 57. 7) . publicly. the eschatological people of God. It is not an instinctive vengeance.9b reflects v.e. If in v. but to the people.

This is the “vengeance" of God.20-21 asks that YHWH "judge" the nations. The "chaining" of the king (v. YHWH. whom Israel leads to worship God. The participle nifal ‫ נכבדים‬has the meaning of "to be honoured.1-22.2-5. "the kings of the nations" (v.‫)פאר‬. Precisely the "servant" Israel.9. on the other. as the kingdom. In Ps 146 not only the "powerful"(‫ )נדיבים‬are condemned . The opposition does not have a national character. and the second ‫( ענוים‬v. that the "vengeance" should not be construed as bloodshed is also suggested by the term that is placed in parallel. as "word.‫ כבוד‬.9). as opponents of the kingdom of God. Upsetting the hierarchy of the world.2). is a divine attribute. the concept of "peoples" is a non-racial concept. We have noted the parallel with Ps 2. The term ‫ זקים‬leads again to Deutero-Is (cf.5. enjoy reputation”.6b. "the poor" (v.9). who is the true king of the universe. mentioned above : on the one hand Israel as a priestly people (cf.11-13. Again in Ps 149 is the fact that this "vengeance" is not performed by God. The "ropes" are a common metaphor in Egypt to express the condition of "vassals" or "allies" of the Egyptian pharaoh. and destroys the arrogance of the "glorious".3). Moreover. which coincides with the establishment of his kingdom. identifying the "wicked" with "nations" and "oppressed" with Israel. suggests that also in Ps 149 it is both the "people" as well as their "kings" put on the same level. Undoubtedly.5. Lev 19. On the other hand. It is the "correction".7-9 are in tension with Ps 148.17). of "those who love YHWH" (‫רָחסידים‬ ). as they present themselves as alternatives to the kingdom of God. noble. The text speaks of the conversion of pagan people. While the "poor" are crowned with "glory" (‫כבוד‬. The "written judgement" (v. but theological.6). whose pride is downsized on the day of Judgement (Is 23. the other hand it "collectivizes" the concept of the Messiah. ‫פאר‬. cf.9: ‫ הדר‬.As the "sword" which was mentioned in v. as well as between ‫נכבדיהם‬. YHWH. v. 8) and ‫מלכם‬. and "lovers of YHWH" even among pagans. but to the worship of YHWH in his temple. We noticed that the two terms placed in parallel. but the concept is the same. but his conversion (cf. It appears in a significant form in the lament over the city of Tyre. 21 explains of what consists the "judgment": "Put. vv. The parallel with Ps 2. There is no question of "imprisoning" the kings of the earth. 8) The parallel with Ps 2 helps to understand the meaning of "chains" mentioned in v. On the one hand.8. V. Ex 19.3-5). v. What Ps 146 establishes within the people of Israel. Is 55.4. 8.e. people are not of a political greatness. "their glorious" (v.9c). discourse".10. the "king of Israel" (v. which can also be painful. However. Compared to Ps 2.2b). In Ps 2. but as restoring the "law" to be mentioned in v.8)and ‫ענוים‬. invites all peoples of the world to worship its God(Ps 148). but the ideal Israel. v.7-9b) and on the other. Even here. and in that of the city of Thebes (Na 3. they want to replace the kingdom of God with the kingdom of man. And God gives it to the humble . The plural ‫רָחת‬ ‫ תכ‬has an emphatic value.4). leads people to the "service" of YHWH. but spiritual in the sense that there may be "pagans" even within Israel. The choice of this term confirms precisely that the "sword" of v.4. throw away their ties (‫)עבתימו‬. the "glorious" are reduced in chains. 60. (Is 45:14).1-2 in which the "people" and "kings" are united in the same revolt against God. 9a) . by ‫רָחסיסים‬ . who transfers the Davidic covenant to the people of Israel (cf. ‫ מלכיהם‬and ‫ נכבדיהם‬are opposed. Ps 9.. but spiritual. the annihilation of the "wicked" (v. The "king of the nations" wanted to usurp the place of the "king of Israel". Ps 149 on the one hand rereads the "vengeance" in a non-violent sense." The terms are different. but also "those who trust in them"(Ps 146. where the divine vengeance is performed by the Messiah.4). ‫הדר‬.6 is to be understood metaphorically. so the "vengeance" (‫ )נקמה‬is not intended to be bloodshed. to those who do not attribute it to themselves. the first to ‫( מלכם‬v.3 in fact the revolt of the kings of the earth against YHWH and His Messiah is expressed as follows: "Let us break their chains (‫) את־מוסרותימו‬. it is opposed to them. i. The "chains" are symbolic language to show obedience to the king of the universe. In Psalm there is a contrast made between ‫מלכיהם‬. which establishes the one hand the rise of the oppressed (vv. and of the "poor" (‫)ענוים‬. but not aimed at the destruction of one who is punished. The "glory" in fact. "Israel" is not the historical Israel. but by Israel. The establishment of the kingship of YHWH is the downsizing of the "king of this world". a teaching (‫ )מורה‬for them: let the people know that are (only) men". Therefore the "parade" of which we speak does not lead to the destruction of the prisoner kings . The lexeme ‫רָח‬ ‫ יכ‬belongs to the sapiential language. In the final Hallel this is the theme of Ps 146. It is the theme of the pilgrimage of the people to the temple spoken of in Is 2. which the "kings of the earth" do not want to accept. it takes the idea from Deutro-Isaiah. God redresses the poor with glory (v. with the word ‫)זקים‬. Ps 149 establishes it at international level. so that they do not continue in arrogant attitude.

9b is a conclusive function not so much for vv.9a).7-9) is a consequence of the "judgment" carried out by God. but rather for vv.4): they receive their glory from God. who arrogate the glory to themselves. which is spoken of in vv. which is a divine attribute.9bc) As has been highlighted in delineating the structure of the fourth strophe.9a. 13. The parallels in Dt 28. they return it to their creator through praise. The second occurrence of the lexeme ‫ שפט‬in the final Hallel is Ps 147.7. It is the "doing" of YHWH (Ps 149. And so the "doing justice" of Israel (Ps 149.11-13.19-20: "He announces his word to Jacob. has not made known to them his judgments ( ‫")משפטים‬. the "splendour" passes from God to "all those who love him". 9a spoke of the judgement (of condemnation) for the kings and the "glorious". The purpose of the judgement is not annihilation. More generally some think of the Word of God written in the Bible. of which v. In contrast to ‫נכבדיהם‬. PS 149 IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MASORETIC PSALTER . glory. Some think of a judgement in general "already fixed in writing". YHWH frees the prisoners". If the Hallel final has value of inclusion.8.9b). and on the other hand raises the honour of his faithful (v. In our view. 5).e. i. This is the great judgment of God.7). As ‫כבוד‬. About this. particularly close to Ps 149. Even here. cf. it has a cosmic value: it is the tool for the establishment of the universal reign of YHWH. In v. The pas ptc ‫ כתוב‬is understood in different ways. according to the same transfer that was expressed in v. The lexeme ‫ שפט‬appears in the final Hallel in two particularly significant passages. which in turn is the sum of the Torah. it could not miss a resumption of the great theme of Ps 1. but "written". gives food to the hungry. magnificence") is generally a divine attribute (cf. rising against God. but the establishment of justice: this is the sense of the "joy" that the divine judgement in the world arouses. has been gifted to them (v. Here the term ‫ משפטים‬clearly refers to the Word of God. This is the weapon that the faithful have in hand to perform the judgment on people. They can judge.6 etc). We prefer the personal pronoun ‫ הוא‬as referring to YHWH: "He is honour for all those who love him". a relation of contrast. sometimes referred to the king (cf. because the "glory". Several authors refer to the prophetic oracles against the nations. The praise intonated there has its foundation in the manifestation of the eschatological kingdom of God. the Torah. Pss 1.7-9.9b speaks of '"honour" which instead comes to ‫רָחסיסיו‬ . v.13 have this sense. Ps 29. which is a leitmotif of the Psalter (cf. eschatological judgment on the people. as v. 119).9. which founds the "doing" of Israel (v.7.9 is not characterized by the close parallel that marked the other two verses.16 etc). The prayer of the Pss is not only an intimate relief.9). punitive against those who put themselves in the place of God. V. end inviting the creation to joy for the approximating of divine judgement (Ps 96.4.3 ‫ הדרי‬is an attribute of the people accompanying the Messiah in his eschatological combat. 21. but in a general sense. in the Psalter. 98. YHWH was the implied subject of the passivum divinum ‫ כתוב‬in v. the ‫רָחסידים‬  are poor (‫ענוים‬. In Ps 110. Conclusion: the glory of those who love YHWH (v. his statutes and his judgments (‫ )משפטיו‬to Israel.6.3).4 spoke specifically: "(YHWH) crowns the poor with salvation". the "kings" and "glorious". The term is a passivum divinum. but in v. As Ballhorn highlights. The first is Ps 146. this happens through the pas ptc ‫כתוב‬.6 and explains better what constitutes the "two-edged sword". 5-9 and for the entire psalm. and therefore irreversible. speak Ps 9 and the Pss of YHWH king.2-4. If we want to concretize. which indicates in God the author of Judgement. Both Pss 96 and 98.The "judgement" which is spoken of here is not any judgement: it is. Moreover. the meaning is similar to that of v.61. So God on the one hand writes an irrevocable judgement against the proud in the world (v. from the context. the "judgment" of Israel (vv.9) is a consequence of the fact that God himself has "done justice" to the poor (Ps 146. But in Ps 149 the verb ‫ עשה‬appears two more times. It connects with what was said in v. Dn 9.14. The "judgment" that the faithful perform is not any judgments.1.2: "Let Israel rejoice in its maker ‫"בעשיו‬. that is. In Ps 149. Ps 8. while v. so its synonym ‫"( הדר‬honour. However.4:"he crowns the poor with salvation". The novelty in Ps 149 is that now the subject of the verb ‫ עשה‬is not YHWH. v.7 to 9). the "written judgement" is the prayer of the Psalms. 19. the subject of the verb is YHWH. Ps 40. certainly the reference is to the written Word of God. But there is also a certain relationship with v.7: "(YHWH) renders justice (‫ )משפט עשה‬to the oppressed. of which the judgement of the poor is a consequence.. Those who love YHWH do not take the glory for themselves. the divine judgement undoubtedly has a negative side. The final ‫ הללו־יה‬is consequent. but the people of ‫רָחסידים‬ . Neh 8. 9. 90. No other nation (‫ )גוי‬has done like this.

they are not addressed directly to God. thus doing justice to the oppressed. i.e. God not only takes care of the poor. but in parallel with Ps 149 it leaves little doubt that the "poor" of which it speaks is an allusion to Israel.‫)רשעים‬.. cf.. "noble".2. ‫משפטים‬. 149.2).9) of whom YHWH takes care.15. The conflict is not so much between Israel and other nations. It is reflected in Ps 149. people oppressed by the powerful in the world and saved by God. It is not the return to the land. i.5.19-20) and that of creation (147. cf.6). Ps 146 speaks in general. The contrast is between the "poor" and the "wicked" (147. the "poor" are opposed to the "peoples" (Ps 149. Ps 146 lists a series of personae miserae (‫ אסורים‬.‫עשוקים‬. vv.1. v.‫גרים‬. vv. Praise YHWH. even if the terms are slightly different (‫כל־בששר‬. the term ‫רָחסידים‬  in 149. Ps 149 and Ps 146 (tab 45. "praise". so included. as an anticipation of the eschatological judgment. cf. p.95) Ps 147 is connected with Ps 149 through the theme of Zion (Ps 149. where the kingship of God is connected with Zion. p.21 is clear .. The final verse of Ps 145 reads: "Let my mouth speak the praise of YHWH. Ps 149.‫. cf.4).6. A major theme of Ps 147 is the "word of God" (‫דבר‬. i.12. of David (cf.10). רצה‬146. But praise is the final and fundamental attitude of the Psalter. And Ps 150 ends thus: "Let very breath that breathes give praise to Yah.9). I will sing hymns to to my God till I exist "(Ps 146. O my soul: I will praise YHWH all my life.10. 9).3) ‫נדיבים‬. Ps 146 is related to the Magnificat through the attention to the poor. Therefore both the psalms propose a radical reversal: the "despised" of the world are "honoured" by God. The other aspect of divine judgement is to confuse the powerful of this world.1-2). Ps 146 begins with the praise in the mouth of the Psalmist. before the community ("Praise Yah). promising a salvation (‫ישע‬.The context of Ps 149 in the Masoretic Psalter is the final Hallel. a keyword that introduces Ps 147 and resumed in Ps 149 (146.7. The "reconstruction" of Jerusalem puts the psalm in the post-exilic period.15-18). This is a judgement that is already there. usurping the place of God.6 .11 . ‫ ואמלמנה יתום‬.19. are resumed here in the term ‫( ענוים‬Ps 147. cf. 149.2). 147. 149. in fact. which realizes the eschatology. understood more in spiritual sense than material (cf. a term that is common with Ps 147 and 146 (cf. even though most of them (the first 3 books) are laments. have some peculiarities that distinguish them from the previous ones: • All of them begin and end with the phrase: "Praise Yah" (‫. but the "reconstruction" of Zion. v.4 . Ps 149 and Ps 147 (tab 46.3. i.18. The "poor". YHWH is shown king (‫מלך‬.20).19. the privilege of Israel (147. in Hebrew the Pss are called Tehillim. Ps 150.2).20). This aspect too is crucial for the Psalter and the final Hallel.10. Ps 146-150.21.‫אהב‬.e.5.e.e.‫רָחסד‬ . and is present in Ps 149 in the expression ‫( כתוב משפט‬v. let every being of flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever" (Ps 145. Ps 146.9) is the task of the king in the oriental ideology.2. because it belongs only to YHWH. Praise Yah". The vocabulary of love (149. but they know to hope in YHWH. Ps 145. which goes from lament to praise.e. v 7. already introduced at the end of Ps 146. ‫הנשמה כל‬. ‫ כפופים‬. to express the relationship that unites YHWH with his people. 149. waiting from him the realization of their desires (147. Here the reference to the second part of Ps 145.13. Significantly.1):"Praise Yah. but he loves them (147. This fact is significant.. with his poor / righteous.9 [‫רָחסידים‬ ]).21). Ps147. while in Ps 149.. 149. cf. Secondly. Ps 146.20). he is pleased in them (147. Ps 147 has a parallel between the word of the Torah. The term (146. 4).. Here is the individual pray-er who praises YHWH. and are identified with the "children of Zion" (147.12). Pss 146-150. implementing the first part of the program of Ps 145. parallel with the preaching of Trito-Isaiah. The "rendering justice" (‫ )משפט עשה‬to the poor (146. Ps 51. 149.‫רצה‬.1.7). but within Israel.8) ‫נכבידים‬: they are "grand" of the world. of whom Ps 146 spoke.4) which they cannot give.94) Ps 146 is called the "Magnificat" of the Psalter.e. Poverty is given a spiritual dimension in Ps 147 : the poor are those who do not put their trust in physical strength. Ps 146.")הללו יה‬ • They are not really prayers. is parallel with the (149.‫ רעבים‬.8 . i. but rather an invitation to prayer. 149. In Ps 147 this is shown at the end. From the parallel results on the one hand the efficacy of the word of the Torah. • The first couplet of each psalm is characterized by praise. while the "glorious" of the world are "confused" by him. concretely by the presence of the lexeme ‫הלל‬. It can be said that the Psalter as a whole presents a typical itinerary of prayer. here the term ‫ גוי‬has a more neutral meaning (Ps 147.9). v. Although it lacks the term ‫( ענוים‬Ps 149.21.11 . in the last verse. which has the .‫עורים‬. 8.7.4). but only in an inchoative way. i.

because Ps 149 resumes chiastically the two main themes of Ps 148. in this case with the ‫כנור‬. and the "judges of the earth" (148. "to chant psalms".7. The two psalms are read together. but the "temple" of the new creation. because the theme of creation itself is universal.5) and ‫( הדר‬v.2 . In 148. introduced by the noun ‫ הוד‬in 148 (v. Ps 149 and Ps 148 (tab 47. and this theme characterizes the beginning of Ps 148 (vv.14) redactionally unites this psalm with the next (149. is developed in 149 by the synonyms ‫( פאר‬v.14. On the one hand the ‫ מלכי־ארץ‬of 148.5-9). p. replacing the kingdom of God (149. all people will be one. in the sense that the subject of praise is expressed only at the end. 5). Gen 7. outlined in Ps 148.11 – 13 wants.7.19. In addition. In the eschatology. as in 117.7) suggests a song accompanied by musical instruments. In fact. the two are opposed. forming a chain with the previous psalm. Well.‫גוים‬ 149.10-11 are also very clear.3).4).‫ )מלכם‬with the kingdom of man (149. and so the singing of Psalms.14.same creative power as that of the other divine word.6a: "Let every being that breathes praise Yah".9) ‫ כתוב משפט‬with (146.9). but precisely the recitation of Pss.5-9 in 148.‫ )מלכיהם‬want to usurp the place of YHWH (148. Ballhorn gives good reasons for the latter alternative. the "people" (. and the noun ‫כנור‬.1-10). References of 149. "harp" (147. Because the kingdom has come. Also the (148. as in 118. . The "judgment" and "vengeance" is already accomplished by God in the eschatological dimension as 146 and 148 have shown: YHWH has covered the glory not of the great of the earth but the poor (149.1-2). It is taken up again in 149 in the noun ‫( רממות‬v. The "poor . "Everything that breathes" is unified in praise of the creator.1-3). and thus to join in the praise of Israel. Also the verb (148. In addition to the lexeme ‫הלל‬. in fact. there will be no distinction between Israel and the pagans. Decisive for the interpretation of the psalm is v. 96) The end of Ps 148 (v.8. the two are joined by the verb ‫זמר‬. although their distinction is established in v. namely: the role of the people of Israel (148.8). together with his people and all creation.‫ נכבדיהם‬.5-9 adds that the praise of the poor also has the function of anticipating the eschatology. In 149. are manifestations of jubilation over a victory. This theme was not expressly carried out in the other two psalms of the Hallel. but cooperation between the two.20) ‫משפטים‬ Note also the "musical" correspondence of the two psalms. And it is hard to think of animals that can play musical instruments . contrasting Israel with other nations. the expression is cataphoric throughout the psalm.1-4) in front of other people (148. also 149). praise of the poor is that two-edged sword with which the kings of the world are reduced in chains. correction). to a certain extent. There is no conflict.‫ )ארץ שפטי‬introduce the theme of "judgement" (‫ )משפט‬of which 149. The verb ‫ זמר‬is typical of the recitation of Psalms: it indicates the song accompanied by a musical instrument.13). after the eschatological victory of God over the kings of the earth of which Ps 149 spoke.97) To understand the function of Ps 150 with respect to Ps 149 one needs to clarify that the “sanctuary" (‫ )קדש‬mentioned in v. the "people" are invited to the praise of YHWH. also by the noun ‫( נכבדים‬v.7) and their "leaders" (149.11) ‫ לאמים‬to ‫( לאמים‬149. on the other hand the universal scope of the revelation made to Israel.13).11. 149. which were placed instead on the internal level of Israel.4). Note the overlap of (149. attributing the glory to themselves which instead belongs only to him (148.11 correspond to the ‫מלכיהם‬ of 149. because her God is the creator of the world. but it is yet to come: the mighty still usurp the place of God and the poor suffer. 147. Ps 149 and Ps 150 (tab 48.22). as Ps 148. The sequence 148+149 proposes once again. including the animals (cf. and 149.wicked" contrast which characterized Ps 146147 is now on an international level.‫ בל־אמים‬.14. The term ‫ נשמה‬can mean either "living beings". so also the (148. While Israel is identified with the "poor" and "those who love YHWH".1 is neither the temple of Jerusalem. united in their praise of their king. as noted above (cf. hence comes the praise of Israel (149. the God of Israel. Here the universal liturgy of praise to which 148 invited the whole cosmos and all people is realized. With Ps 150 ends not only the Hallel.11-13 and 149.13). p. But 149. that of 117 with 118. or more frequently only the people.11)‫ שרים‬are related to ‫ נכבדיהם‬of 149. The ‫ כנור‬however. nor the heavenly sanctuary of YHWH. however. they are also led to the obedience of the sovereign God.8.9 speaks. ‫( כבוד‬v.14) ‫ רום‬belongs to the semantic field of glory.8 .1. Already the creational perspective of Ps 147 was preparing this transition. but the Psalter as well. which in Ps 149 is defined as the "two-edged sword" with which to fulfil the divine justice. 8). Note that there is no more conflict between Israel and the nations that had been proposed in Ps 149. It is not so any music that is recommended here. when YHWH will establish his kingdom. and therefore the singing of the Psalms (one of the most common titles of the Psalms is precisely ‫)מזמור‬. and not even the distinction between the two greats. the theme of glory. The dance and drum (cf.

Proposed structure for the final Hallel (see notes in Italian. p. 98-99) .