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Bibil Identifier bibil:200558
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) 'I Hate Them with Perfect Hatred' (Psalm 139:21-22)
Author Peels, Eric
Journal Tyndale Bulletin (Volume: 59, Issue: 1)
Year (Publication) 2008
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2008
Year (Copyright) 2008
Year (Reference) 2008
Year (Second publication) 2008
Language English
Pages 35-51 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract In this article the offensive prayer of Psalm 139:21-22 with its dubious utterance of hatred is investigated with regard to its particular language, context and intentions. First, it is argued that the central notion of 'hatred' does not necessarily imply malicious intentions. Subsequently, the immediate context of verses 21-22 is studied. The structure of the psalm strongly favours the idea of an original unity of the psalm, which prevents us from discarding verses 21-22 as a redacitonal addition. On the contrary, these verses form an integral part of this psalm, which is a meditative confession with three theological motifs in particular: a) God's knowing and searching, b) the ethical issue of the two 'ways', and c) the rejection of the wicked-themes that are strongly interrelated. Within this context, verses 21-22 function as a confession in the negative mode. To the poet hating the enemy is primarily the reverse of his turning and dedication to YHWH. The emphasis is not so much on the emotions of the poet as well as on his choice to take a stand and on his attitude. Next, the utterance of verses 21-22 is examined within its own conceptual and spiritual framework, and its own religious and social life-scene. By hating God's enemies the poet relates to God's own hatred of the wicked and his curse on them. Finally, the question is discussed whether in today's Christian faith and worship such prayers can still have some function.
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Enemy
Pericopes Psalms 139,21-139,22
Terms שׂנאה
Last modification 2017-10-27