Changing One’s Tune: Re-reading the Structure of Psalm 132 as Complex Antiphony

  • Wen-Pin Leow School of Theology English, Singapore Bible College, Singapore
Keywords: Psalm 132, structure, complex antiphony


Complex antiphony, which allows dialogue between non-linearly adjacent cola in a psalm, provides the potential for re-reading problematic Hebrew texts such as Psalm 132. This article studies the two main structural options that have been proposed for Psalm 132, arguing in preference for the minority view that places a major break after v. 9. It is then argued, based on this minority structure, that the multiple distinctive types of literary bonds between the two halves of the psalm point towards a form of complex antiphony known as steady responsa. It is then shown that such a steady responsa reading of Psalm 132 addresses some of the critical exegetical problems of the psalm, such as the referent of the pronominal suffixes in v. 6. In addition, this reading also reveals a coherent and rich petitionary rhetoric in Psalm 132.


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