Classification of Psalms 13, 112, 117, 119 According to their Themes

Psalm 13 is a psalm of lament because I recognize the following elements:

1.      Invocation

2.      Plea to God for help

3.      Complaints

4.      Confession of sin or an assertion of innocence

5.      Curse of enemies (imprecation)

6.      Confidence in God’s response

7.      Hymn or blessing

Psalm 112 is a wisdom psalm that falls under the category of acrostics wisdom psalms in which verses or lines begin with succeeding letters of the Hebrew alphabet. It contains the characteristic of wisdom, such as the doctrine of the two ways, the contrast between righteous and wicked, right speech, use of wealth, and fitting into the social structure (440, Lasor).

Psalm 119 is a wisdom psalm too. Number of verses in this psalm uses the language and style of the wisdom literature of the Old Testament: Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes. There is use of the literary technique used in proverbs beginning with “blessed is/are…” It also has an obvious intent of teaching how to live a good and holy life. Overall, Psalm 119 is perhaps the best-known example, devoting 176 verses to extolling God’s law.

Psalm 117 is a definite hymn because this psalm begins with a call to worship, continues by expanding on the reasons why God should be praised concludes with further call to praise.


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