What the book of Psalms and Proverbs. Parallelism

What are parallelisms in Hebrew poetry? Relationships between lines of text are often called “parallelisms.” they are ubiquitous throughout the Hebrew scripture. It is, in particular, more repeated in the book of Psalms and Proverbs. Parallelism makes an available flow of thought in a poem that is Inimitable in Hebrew poetry. Much recent discussion of Hebrew poetry has built on the rock of Robert Lowth in the mid-eighteen centuries ( Lucas 67).” He described, ‘there are three main types of parallelisms.” (Lucas 67).

    Diverse types of parallelism become apparent in the Old Testament writing. Why is it an essential element of Hebrew poetry? “But it is equally important to recognize that literary expression abhors complete parallelism, just as language resists true synonymity, usage always introducing small wedges of difference between closely akin terms.” (Alter 10) That is to say; identifying parallelisms gives us confidence, and they can help us interpret a passage from the Bible. Parallelism makes an available flow of thought in a poem that is Inimitable in Hebrew poetry. Some say think that similarity that occurs between lines in Hebrew poetry;  they can be the most crucial in construing poem or a message.

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   There is a different type of parallelisms. The three types of parallelisms and most common ones are synonymous, antithetic, and synthetic parallelisms. To begin with, an example of synonymous parallelism is the Psalms 33:10-11 (Lucas 67). There is a similar idea stated in the first line then repeated in the second; however, the words are different.

To exemplify,

” The Lord brings the counsel of the

   Nations to nothing;

   He frustrates the plans of the peoples.

  The counsel of the Lord stands for


   The thoughts of his heart to all

   Generations (Psalms 33:10-11). ”

Here, the second line uses a carefully correlated speech to the first line to expand the argument. Next, the second type is antithetic parallelism. In such situations, the second line contradicts what is said in the first line in some way. One example of antithetic parallelism is the 30th psalms and (v.5).

For his anger is but for a moment;

his favour is for a lifetime.

Weeping may linger for the night,

but joy comes in the morning. (Lucas 67)

 The third type is synthetic parallelism. Under this category, ‘Lowth included all those pairs of lines in which the second line did not either repeat or contrast the first.” (Lucas 68)  an example of antithetic parallelisms is Psalms 34   (v. 10)

The lions may grow weak

and hungry,

but those who seek the

 Lord lack no

good thing. (Psalms 34:10),

  There are some eight parallelisms related to the Hebrew Text. Of those eights, here are three Parallelisms and Their Meanings I would like to explain! First, synonymous parallelism frequently occurs in the book of Psalms. It is the case of Psalms 33:10-11 (Lucas 67). There are pairs of line in that demonstrates psalm demonstrates the synonymous parallelism. Another type is semantic. It means ‘parallelism’ here; there are conflicts in definition between Berlin Kugel. (Psalms 32:1), third is grammatical. It meant morphology ( Lucas 70). One example is also Psalms 33:8.

    To summarize, Biblical scholars believe that Israel practices Hebrew poetry in diverse settings. They assume they might exercise it in prophetic circumstances. That is the case of the prophets who wrote in the stylistic form of a poem to communicate God’s word to his people. Another setting is the psalms which they practice for praise and worship. Such method and style used to compare, or contrast ideas that have different meanings in Hebrew poetry. Michael O’Connor described, “Hebrew poetry strictly regarding the way in which sentences are structured as far as their grammar is concerned.” (Lucas 68)

1. Robert Alter, “The Art of Biblical poetry.”

2. Ernest, C. Lucas, “Exploring the Old Testament.” A guide to the psalms and wisdom literature

3. Ps. 34:10 (Holy Bible, NIV)


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