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Ephraim and Treachery, Loyalty and (the House of) David: The Meaning of a Structural Parallel in Psalm 78

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image of Vetus Testamentum

The parallel between the first and last units (vv. 1-8, 68-72) of the concentric structure that Zakovitch discovered in Psalm 78 is interpreted differently than he does: we should not infer from the first unit that David's election, mentioned in the last unit, is conditional. Rather, in light of language common to both two units [vv. 5, 71], the parallel actually involves the Lord's two gifts to Israel: the Torah and the Davidic kingdom. That is, here David is an object. The emphasis that Ephraim violates the Torah is significant, because that tribe constituted the opposition and alternative to the House of David. It is possible that through the parallel with the first unit the last unit suggests the duty of loyalty to the Lord's second gift—the Davidic monarchy. Similar ideas can be found in 2 Chronicles xiii 5-11 and xxx 7-8.

Affiliations: 1: Bar-Ilan University

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853309x413363
2009-03-01
2016-12-08

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