Major Poems of the Hebrew Bible: At the interface of Prosody and Structutal Analysis - Volume III: The Remaining 65 Psalms

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Volume III: The Remaining 65 Psalms

Each of the 85 Psalms (83 poems) discussed in the previous volume of Major Poems of the Hebrew Bible has the highly remarkable feature of scoring an exact integer as the average number of syllables per colon; sometimes seven or nine, more often eight, which may be called the central normative figure of Biblical poetry.
This can only mean that the classical poets did count their syllables. Moreover, they succeeded in bringing about a creative merger between various forms of numerical perfection and the structure of their songs, which is generally underpinned by the correct articulation in strophes and stanzas.
The breakthrough of this discovery became possible on the basis of (a) a refined recipe for establishing the original (i.e. pre-Masoretic) syllable structure of the ancient Hebrew, and (b) a definition of the colon.
In those poems in which the correct colometry is difficult to delimit, it can be established only by a three-pronged approach tackling syntax, prosody and semantics and able to combine them.
In this third volume, the 65 remaining Psalms are subject of structural analysis, and once more are covered by full syllable counts. Although these songs do not seek to apply the exact integers, they display the other forms of numerical perfection on more than one textual level, so that they embody the same poetics. This will be no different in volume IV, which deals with Job 15-42 and will be published as the final volume in the Major Poems of the Hebrew Bible project.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789023239369
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Series: Studia Semitica Neerlandica Series, #43
  • Pages: 446
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Introduction - Preliminary exercise: Proverbs 15
2. Psalms 15, 16, 18, 23, 24, 29
3. Psalms 34, 36, 39, 44, 45
4. Psalms 47, 49, 50, 53, 54, 57, 58
5. Psalms 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 69
6. Psalms 80, 81, 82, 87, 88, 89
7. Psalms 91, 92, 93, 95, 96, 98, 101, 103, 105
8. Psalms 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117
9. Psalm 119
10. Eleven Psalms lamma(ÂȘlot: 121, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 131, 132, 133, 134
11. Psalms 136, 138, 140, 143, 149
12. Conclusions


I. Full syllable counts of 65 Psalms (division C)
II. Full figures for 65 Psalms (division C)
III. The Psalms laid out: frequency of colon lenghts per Psalm
IV. Additional lists a) Overall figures for 150 Psalms (148 poems)
b) Overview of the Psalms in Division C
c) Pluses and minuses: changes in the Hebrew text of the Psalms in Division C
d) List of the 346 tricola in the Psalter

Select Bibliography
Corrections to Volumes I-II

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2009

    Another Gem from Fokkelman

    Great book on Hebrew structure in the Psalms. Delightful, textual, and technical....everything you come to love and expect from Fokkelman.

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