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Wisdom Psalms

Psalms > Info on Psalms > Classifying Psalms > Categories of Psalms


Wisdom psalms are not flagged by a pattern of structure, but by content.

Wisdom psalms often have characteristic vocabulary.  Such as:
    
    1.  Pronouncement of blessing, "Oh, how blessed is the one
          who..."

    2.  Synonymous wisdom: insight, learning, understanding or
          comprehension

    3.  Has the word "wisdom" in the psalm

    4.  Has 'the fear of Yahweh' or 'the knowledge of the Holy
         One'

    5.  Has sweeping contrasts, such as:  righteous and the wicked

    6.  Formal patterns like acrostics (alphabet in columns with
         first word in alphabetic sequence)

    7.  Games with numbers, such as numerical parallelism: 'For
         three transgressions of Moab, yea for four.'

    8.  Strophic structure: movement in a psalm: Psalm 1 (for
         example) has two parts: the righteous compared to the evil

    9.  Theological themes, such as:
    
         a.  The Sovereignty of God (speaks of God in wonder)
 
         b.  Creation Psalms

         c.  The Supremacy of the Most High

   10.  The Final Destiny: Writers of wisdom psalms emphasize
          strongly that this life is not the end. Wisdom psalms talk
          about the life to come. They talk about the eternal state.



   11.  Torah psalms celebrates the wonder of Torah, the law of
          God. Psalm 119 is an example. A representation of the
          Word of God is in every verse.

[all of the above is taken from Unit 5, BE 109, Transcript, 7-17]

Wisdom psalms:
1, 8, 15, 19, 34, 35, 36, 39, 49, 50, 62, 64, 65, 73, 78, 82, 103, 104, 106, 107, 111, 112, 119, 127, 128, 139, 145, 148

[ categories identified by Radmacher, 646-744]


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