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Old Testament Essays

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

Old testam. essays vol.25 no.1 Pretoria  2012


Pride and the suffering of the poor in the Persian period: Psalm 12 in its post-exilic context



Phil J. Botha

University of Pretoria





This paper contends that Ps 12 should be read, as part of the composition Pss 9-14, as a response to and an explication of Prov 30:1-14 by exponents of Wisdom thinking in the Persian period. The suffering of the righteous people in Ps 12 is described as the result of arrogant Jewish and also non-Jewish rulers who use speech as an instrument of deception, fraud, flattery, boasting, and questioning Yahweh's authority in order to oppress and intimidate believers. It is proposed that the historic context of the final form of the text was that of the "piety of the poor, " a theology which developed from the need to restore dignity and provide hope to victims of social and religious oppression in the post-exilic era. It would seem that these people sought comfort in the word of Yahweh and that they found vindication for themselves in those sections of the developing "canon" which promised that Yahweh would intervene on behalf of those people who represented true humility and piety.



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

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