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An Intertextual Reading of Psalms 22, 23, and 24

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Chapter Summary

The writers of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark consider that Jesus spoke the opening words of Psalm 22 in his dying moment as he hung on the crucifixion cross. In addition, Psalm 22 is the traditional psalm read at the feast of Purim, words placed on the lips of Esther as she risks her life to save her people. But Psalm 22 is poignant in itself, without any connection to the heroic efforts of Esther or to the passion narratives of the Christian scriptures. This chapter highlights that Psalm 22 is a usual psalm and yet an unusual psalm, and discusses the ways in which it is usual. Then, it focuses on Psalm 19, which celebrates God's sovereignty over the created world. Psalm 23 is classified as a psalm of trust in the LORD. Psalm 24 is an entrance liturgy. Psalm 22 is classified as an individual lament.

Keywords: Esther; feast of Purim; God; Gospels of Matthew; Psalms

10.1163/9789047414797_009
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