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If one takes deClaissé-Walford's focus of the Psalter, I wonder how thinking about psalms 138 and 140 inform a reading of the 139th? Singing a lament sandwitched between "Do not forsake the works of Your Hands" (138.8b) and "Rescue me, O Lord from evil men" (140.1) It's always a bit up in the air how much to think about the shape and shaping of the psalter, but even the super scripts (even 137) lend to a good lament reading of 139.

Thanks for the notes. I have a problem imposing form criticism on the psalms. I agree with you that the words are more than simple praise piety. I doubt that the originators thought in terms of genre.

Though the blog postings are generally always good, Walton's post here on Psalm 135 is especially good. I tend to favor the arguments for viewing Psalm 139 as a lament psalm myself. But I would appreciate, all the more, if both Walton and Bill Mounce clearly identified their own views in addition to simply raising the interpretive issues. I realize full well that the point of these columns is to raise issues in interpretation (which is great and serves a need). But, at the same time, I would just like to see the two state, briefly, their own positions in these posts.

I definitely see it as a lament. And I should also comment that even though authors may not consciously think in genre terms they tend to follow literary conventions. All the conventions observable in this psalm point to a lament. If we read it as if in the mouth of Job, we will get close to the sense of it.

John H. Walton

Thank you, Dr. Walton. Hesed v'Shalom. Irving Salzman

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