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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.24 n.1 Pretoria  2011

 

Pleading poverty (or identifying with the poor for selfish reasons): On the ideology of Psalm 109

 

 

Eben H. Scheffler

University of South Africa

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

In this article the popular view that the "voice of the poor" is expressed in the Psalms (the so-called Armenfrömmigkeit) is challenged. Although the psalms contain many references in which a positive concern for the extremely poor are expressed, this is not always the case. Psalm 109 is discussed as an example in which the supplicant identifies with the poor for his own interest. It is argued that the reader of the psalms should not merely accept that all references to the poor in the psalms could (from a hermeneutical perspective) positively be appropriated. "Pleading poverty" to selfishly justify feelings of enmity should be exposed in the psalms-not only for honesty's sake, but also for the sake of the really poor.


 

 

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Correspondence:
Prof. Eben H. Scheffler
Department of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, University of South Africa
P. O. Box 392, Unisa, 0003. South Africa
Email: schefeh@unisa.ac.za

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