Psalm 4

Besides being an example of how psalms are closely related in their context (see the connections to Psalm 3, of which I provided a comparison in the last post), I believe Psalm 4 demonstrates how repetition of key words help structure and understand the psalm more effectively. The diagram has these highlighted, and I’ll let you come to your own conclusions about their significance in showing the confidence that the psalmist has in Yahweh.

Psalm 4


Author: Randy McKinion

Besides being a husband and father, I teach at Cedarville University in Cedarville, OH.

4 thoughts on “Psalm 4”

  1. Randy,

    I, too, am teaching through the Psalms, albeit a Sunday School class. But I still do the translation from the original and try to bring out some interesting points.

    Are the words highlighted in the Hebrew text all of the repeated words? There appear to be a few more (I’m using the English verse designations here, not the Hebrew):

    tsdqy (verse 1) and tsdq (verse 5)
    lbb (verse 4) and lb (verse 7)
    mshkb (verse 4) and ‘shkb (verse 8)
    rbym (verse 6) and rbw (verse 7)

    I’ve “studied out” through Psalm 9 and am currently working on Psalm 10. I have been amazed at the number of repeated words which are found in each Psalm.

    May I add you to my blogroll?

    Jim Brooks

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Jim.

    I have not necessarily highlighted all the repeated words; however, I have made some adjustments based on your points. Initially I had highlighted some because they almost seem as a confirmation of the request and/or proper response of the psalmist (e.g., “Answer me when I call … hear my prayer” becomes “Yhwh hears when I call to Him”; “trust in Yhwh” becomes “You alone … make me dwell in security”). I think some of the ones you pointed out are like this, particularly the references to the heart and the bed/lying down.

    Thanks for your comment and feel free to add this to your blogroll.


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