Original Research

The poetic structure and strategy of Psalm 79

Phil J Botha
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 25, No 2 | a274 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v25i2.274 | © 2004 Phil J Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2004 | Published: 06 October 2004

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This paper endeavours to analyse Psalm 79 as a poetic composition and  an ideological document. From the analysis, it seems that the psalm primarily served a Judaean community of believers as a means of coping with their feelings of indignation, shame, and frustration some time after the destruction  of  the temple in Jerusalem. The argument used is that Yahweh’s efforts to exact punishment from his people for their contravening stipulations of the covenant have become detrimental to his honour. It suggests that it is time for Yahweh to act on behalf  of his honour. The psalm simultaneously seems to have served as a confession of the community’s faith that Yahweh can and will intervene on their behalf.


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