Psalm 32: A social-scientific investigation.

  • Phil J. Botha University of Pretoria


The article identifies the root metaphors used in Ps 32 and uses these to identify the purpose and strategy of the psalm as a means of communication between its author and its original audience. It argues that the psalm should not be read as a psalm of thanksgiving with wisdom elements, but a wisdom-teaching psalm which replicates a psalm of thanksgiving. The author and/or editors used the composition, which is ascribed to King David, as a means of exhorting members of the in-group in a post-exilic setting in Judah to trust in YHWH and to stay faithful to him. The implied author’s experience of suffering because of pent-up guilt, as well as an authoritative first-person address by YHWH, was used in conjunction with a range of wisdom features by the author to communicate this message to its original audience.

Author Biography

Phil J. Botha, University of Pretoria
Professor, Departmet of Ancient Languages and Modern Languages and Cultures


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