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Half Way between Psalm 119 and Ben Sira: Wisdom and Torah in Psalm 19

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates that Psalm 19 serves as an important link merging the Torah theology of Psalm 119 with other wisdom literature from the Hebrew Bible. As such, the psalm can rightly be seen as a precursor for the teaching of Ben Sira. The first part of the chapter discusses some textual observations on Psalm 19 that investigate its literary unity and the underlying concept of Torah and wisdom. The second part focuses on the relationship between Psalm 19 and Psalm 119. It argues that Psalm 19 represents a sapiential exegesis of Psalm 119. The third part deals with the literary traces of Psalm 19 in the post-biblical wisdom of Ben Sira. Finally, the results allow for some concluding remarks, seeing Psalm 19 as part of an exegetical discussion that aims at understanding Torah in the framework of a sapiential worldview.

Keywords: Ben Sira; Hebrew Bible; post-biblical wisdom; Psalm; sapiential exegesis; Torah



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