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Systematic Observations (Continued 1): The Mathematical Centre And Its Meaning, Or The Quest For The Rhetorical Centre

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Chapter Summary

Recent biblical scholarship has indeed developed a keen eye for concentric structures in Hebrew poetry, yet - generally speaking - exegetes focus especially on the semantic aspect of this rhetorical phenomenon and tend to disregard its formal features. If the focal idea of a composition is highlighted by one or more formal features - say, by a quantitative phenomenon - this chapter designates it the rhetorical centre. It presents the numbers in question regularly function as a formal and meaningful device applied by the Hebrew poets to highlight and support the rhetorical centre of their compositions. The chapter discusses all kinds of references to God and symbolic representations of his presence which may be interpreted as highlighting the rhetorical centre of a psalm. The systematic investigation of the rhetorical centre of the psalms once more reveals that the Hebrew poets were skilled architects of literary compositions.

Keywords: Hebrew poetry; psalm; references to God; rhetorical centre



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