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Weeping in the Psalms

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image of Vetus Testamentum

AbstractThe motif of weeping in the Psalter has not been a subject of previous study. Scientific study of weeping indicates that crying is a behavior motivated by the need for relationship and care-giving and that tears generate powerful reactions in those who witness them. In the Psalms, speakers draw on the powerful non-verbal eloquence of weeping by mentioning their tears in the contexts of their prayers in order to motivate God to help. This article describes how the motif of weeping functions in the Psalms and analyzes its distribution in the Psalter.

Affiliations: 1: The Catholic University of


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