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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.21 no.2 Pretoria  2008


'Killing them softly with this song...' the literary structure of Psalm 3 and its Psalmic and Davidic contexts1: Part II: A contextual and intertextual interpretation of Psalm 3



Phil J. Botha; Beat Weber

Department of Ancient Languages, University of Pretoria





In this article, the second in a series of two on Ps 3, the contribution which its immediate literary context and its heading makes to the interpretation of Ps 3 is discussed. It seems that Ps 3 is connected to its immediate neighbours, Pss 1-2 on the one hand, and Pss 4-14 on the other, with the help of key-words and shared motifs. The heading draws attention to intertextual connections it has with the narrative of Absalom's revolt in 2 Sam 15-19 and with David's song of triumph in 2 Sam 22, and through this last mentioned text also with the rest of the Psalter. Ps 3 can consequently be viewed as part of the 'overture' of the Psalter consisting of Pss 1-3, but simultaneously as the first exemplaric prayer of David which he formulated under difficult circumstances. The connections with 2 Sam 22 also suggest that the psalm can only be properly understood from the perspective of David's victory over 'all' his enemies.


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Beat Weber
Theologisches Seminar Bienenberg, Liestal, CH, in conjunction with the University of Wales, Lampeter, UK (Associate Lecturer)
Research Associate of the Department of Ancient Languages, University of Pretoria
Pretoria 0002, RSA. Birrmoosstr. 5, CH-3673 Linden BE (Switzerland)

Phil J. Botha
Department of Ancient Languages
University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa



1 This article and a preceding one by the same authors have grown out of investigations and discussions between them during 2005 and again during 2008 at the Department of Ancient Languages, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Phil J. Botha is professor of Semitic Languages at this institution and Dr. Beat Weber is associated with this department as research associate and has spent time there as part of his Sabbatical Leave.

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