Psalm 121: YHWH is always saving me! That’s why I’m going to sing! Rhetorical Analysis: weaving a “seam” that binds and unites

Alessandra Serra Viegas, Waldecir Gonzaga


Psalm 121 is a song of the pilgrims to Jerusalem, belonging to a set of fifteen psalms (120-134) in which the same title appears: “Song of the Ascents” or “Song of the steps”. From this set, and in relation to the “steps”, the psalms often use the gradual rhythm: the same words or expressions are echoed from one verse to another. This remarkable characteristic in the Hebrew poetry present in the book of Psalms and very well marked in Psalm 121 makes it possible to study it according to the presuppositions and methodology of Semitic Biblical Rhetoric Analysis, perceiving similarities and contrasts in its verses, parallels and antitheses, besides of inner chiasms – even in a single verse – and other elements found in the beauty of the rhythm of the psalm. Linking poetry to daily activity, the image of a seam that ties smaller and larger points in the same fabric or unites it to another comes to mind and points out that YHWH weaves, helps and saves the life of the one who seeks in him the strength to continue his journey in the steep climb of the steps of life.


Psalm 121; Rhetorical Analysis; Guardian; “Seam”.


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