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Are idols hiding in Psalm 139:20?

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Chapter Summary

Thirty-five years ago, the author suggested-while stressing the literary coherence of Psalm 139 that the psalmist under suspicion of idolatry appeals to Yahweh as the Sun of Justice. The psalmist, perhaps suspected of idolatry, places himself before the only true God, the real Sun of Justice. The Revised Standard Version translates: 'they burn incense to false gods'. Compare the New English Bible: 'They burn sacrifices to a mere idol'. Many translations support this rendering of laššāw’ in Jeremiah 18:15. In the wider context of a growing awareness of polytheistic texts in Tenak (Cees Houtman) and accepting the specific meaning of Psalm 139 as a protest against charges of idolatry (Jan Holman), in combination with grammatical niceties such as 'double duty suffix', 'an abstract for a concrete noun', ellipses, and, last fully respecting the integrity of the Masoretic Text (MT).

Keywords: Cees Houtman; God; idolatry; Jan Holman; Jeremiah; Masoretic Text (MT); Psalm; Tenak; Yahweh



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