Car toi, tu as agi: Etude structurelle du Psaume 39

TitleCar toi, tu as agi: Etude structurelle du Psaume 39
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsAuffret, Pierre

The present article, based on the recent propositions formulated by J. Trublet & J.N. Aletti (1983) and especially by M. Girard (1984), intends to establish the literary structure of Psalm 39. The parts of the Psalm: 2–4, 5–7, 8–12 and 13–14 are considered in succession and we try to identify precisely their internal structures which are very different amongst themselves: 2–4 and 5–7 are both built according to chiastic structures, despite the fact that the types of these chiasmi are very different. 8–12 is arranged in very regular concentric symmetry. As for 13–14, it has a highly original structure. Then, if we consider the connections between these four parts of the Psalm, we find that the links between 2–4 and 8–12 and between 5–7 and 13–14 are the most important ones. This could lead us to think that the whole poem is built according to a parallel symmetry (I + II // I' + II'). This hypothesis may seem plausible, but it hides the introductive character of 2–4 and obliterates the close connections between 5–7 or 13–14 and 8–12, which make 5–14 into a real unit. Therefore we must retain that the introduction 2–4 is mainly connected to the centre, 8–12, of the unit 5–14. In conclusion, we consider the connection from a structural point of view, between Psalm 38 and Psalm 39 which are consecutive in The Book of Psalms.

Ps. 39