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Yahweh’s Torah and the Praying “I” in Psalm 119

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Chapter Summary

Psalm 119 contains twenty-five instances of the word "Torah" and thereby a tenth of all occurrences of the word in the Hebrew Bible. But what exactly is meant by the expression "Torah of Yahweh" that is mentioned immediately in the first bicolon? In debate with different approaches found in exegetical literature, this chapter presents the horizon of this Torah by using the various terms employed within the psalm. It then discusses the "praying I", as the full meaning of Torah in Psalm 119 can only be unlocked in synopsis with the praying "I". "I" provides a voice for different persons in different situations of their life. Corresponding to this, different aspects of Torah are invoked. Such a multiperspectivity seems to be programmatic: praying Israelites in a wide variety of situations and with a wide variety of understandings of Torah can identify themselves with the "I" of Psalm 119.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible; Israelites; Psalm 119; Torah of Yahweh



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