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Loyalty, Dependency and Status with YHWH: The Use of 'bd in the Psalms

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image of Vetus Testamentum

An exploration of the use of 'bd in the Psalms shows that it is almost exclusively used metaphorically. As a verb, this study affirms translations such as 'to worship' in reference to deity, and 'to be subject to' in reference to human power. As a noun, it is used to describe a wide range of things or people, all in relation the YHWH. Of interest is how 'bd is used as a metaphor ('bdk/'bdyk) for the voice in a number of psalms, effectively being a substitution for 'I' or 'we'. This use is always connected with supplication and or claims of loyalty to YHWH, and shows that 'bd indicates the relationship of the voice in the psalm to YHWH is that of dependency, submission and loyalty. When used to describe others outside of the voice in the psalm, the term can indicate status, but always derived status.

Affiliations: 1: Macquarie University, Sydney


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