Additional elements of alphabetical thinking in psalm XXXIV

Victor Avigdor Hurowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This article develops a suggestion by A. Ceresko (VT 35 [1985], pp. 99-104) and finds that Ps. xxxiv may contain six alphabetizing sequences: 1) an abbreviated alphabetic acrostic with no 1; 2) an overriding array made from the initial letters of the first and middle lines of the acrostic and the last line of the psalm; 3) an initial verse with an array; 4) a twenty-two verse reversed partial alphabetic mezostic; 5) a twenty-one verse reversed telestic; 6) a final verse with an inverted array. Analogy of cuneiform acrostics and tablets decorated with wreaths of wedges suggests that Ps. xxxiv's acrostic and telestic uses of the alphabet and the letter may signify God, to whom the texts are addressed, and/or the author scribe himself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-333
Number of pages8
JournalVetus Testamentum
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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