n Journal for Semitics - Ethics of the Psalms : Psalm 16 within the context of Psalms 15-24

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1013-8471


The values and norms of the Old Testament are not in themselves the proprium of Hebrew ethics, since every one of them also features in other ancient cultures such as Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece. Rather, the centre of Hebrew ethics should be sought in the idealistic framework and structure which legitimises its values and norms. The temple theology in Jerusalem was firmly connected to the theme of ethical norms and values, which presumably originated in Yahweh as the divine king. Psalms 15 and 24 demonstrate the ethical dimension of the temple theology of Jerusalem. In Book I of the Psalter Psalm 16 belongs to the compositional unit which starts with Psalm 15 and ends with Psalm 24. Although Psalm 16 does not belong to the traditional category of the wisdom psalms, wisdom terminology permeates this psalm. This paper focuses on the ethical implications of Psalm 16, as well as the ways in which they link to other psalms on a compositional level.

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