Original Research

Another proposal to the unknown female identity of אמרת in Psalm 16:2

Philip S. Chia
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 45, No 1 | a2886 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v45i1.2886 | © 2024 Philip S. Chia | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 April 2023 | Published: 12 January 2024

About the author(s)

Philip S. Chia, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran; and, Department of Biblical Studies, Moriah Theological Seminary, Tangerang, Indonesia


There is a difficulty in determining the subject of אמרת in Psalm 16:2. This problem arises from the context. Psalm 16:1 reveals that the speaker of the whole Psalm 16 is David himself: לְדָוִד and the usage of the first person singular of the verb חסה is to denote that David is the speaker. Psalm 16:2, nevertheless, changes the first person singular from verse 1 to the second person feminine singular. In other words, the subject of verse 1 is David himself or a male speaker, whereas the subject of verse 2 shifts to an unknown female speaker. As a result, this shift creates two difficult questions. Firstly, why does David replace the first person singular in Psalm 16:1 to the second person feminine singular in Psalm 16:2? Secondly, who is this second person feminine singular in Psalm 16:2? This research argues for the influence of Phoenician language to Psalm 16:2; therefore, Phoenician language offers solutions to those difficulties.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article is a combination of Biblical Studies and Linguistics. This article attempts to apply a comparative linguistic approach to Psalm 16:2.


Psalms; Semitic languages; textual criticism; grammatical analysis; ancient Bible translations; modern English Bible translations

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions


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