Psalm 41:14, or the Unity of the Masoretic Psalm 41

  • Gianni Barbiero


Against the almost unanimous consensus over the editorial character of the doxology of Ps 41:14, this essay defends v. 14 as belonging to Ps 41. First, the author indicates the link between v. 14 and the previous v. 13,
then with the incipit of the psalm. In fact, beatitude (v. 2) and benediction (v. 14) form a typical pair in the Psalter. In a second stage, the author delineates a structure for the whole of Ps 41 with the inclusion of v. 14. He recognises four stanzas (2-4, 5-7, 8-11, 12-14) which correspond with one another chiastically. The psalm intends to contrast the care which Yhwh, the God of Israel, gives to the weak with the behaviour of men who tend to marginalise them. The inclusion between vv. 2-4 and 14 has the sense of holding up God’s behaviour for the imitation of his people.