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date: 20 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The book of Psalms contains 150 psalms that were arranged and redacted into five books in stages over many years. The order in which the individual psalms appear in the Psalter reflects deliberate design and did not happen by chance. This article examines the ordering of the sequence that begins with Psalm 136 and continues to the final psalm, Psalm 150. It analyzes the rationale behind the arrangement, any exegesis conveyed by the arrangement, and the various stages through which the sequence developed. It shows how the incorporation of individual psalms (137) or blocks of psalms (139–144) give rise to a network of connections and relationships that could break and displace previous connections. It also considers how the psalms’ superscriptions contribute to the melding of psalms and multiple layers of connections between adjacent psalms and between blocks of psalms.

Keywords: Psalms, Psalter, ordering, sequence, Psalm 136, Psalm 150, arrangement, exegesis, superscriptions

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