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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The book of Psalms concludes with “hallelujah” repeated five times as an emphatic command to praise. In general, the structure and artistry of the Psalter moves participants (readers, listeners, singers, pray-ers, etc.) to ultimately heed this command. The individual psalms, which are divided into “prayers” and “proclamations,” are characterized by persuasive aims. The Psalms are organized into five books with varying lengths, from seventeen psalms in Books III and IV to forty-four psalms in Book V. This article examines the rhetoric of the Psalms and considers how individual psalms and the five books contribute to the Psalter’s larger persuasive aims. It examines the contents of Book III and considers the image of the straight path of justice in Psalm 1, as well as the resounding summons to praise in Psalm 150.

Keywords: Psalms, praise, Psalter, prayers, persuasive aims, rhetoric, Book III, justice, Psalm 1, Psalm 150

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