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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The book of Psalms tackles the anthropological question of what it means to be human. This question is addressed directly in Psalm 8, which portrays the human as one made in the image of God and as God’s representative on earth. The Psalter also takes up the question of how human beings stand in relation to God in terms of two categories: righteous (ṣaddîq) and wicked (rāšā‘). The righteous praise and pray to God when in trouble, whereas the wicked “flatter themselves” and “curse and renounce the Lord.” The righteous claim faith in the reign of God as their ultimate source of security. The Psalter’s concern for the righteous also puts into perspective three other topics sometimes associated with God’s reign: the king, Mount Zion, and Torah. This article explores the Psalms’ notions of righteous and wicked and what they mean for the text’s representation of the human being.

Keywords: Psalms, God, righteous, wicked, praise, Mount Zion, Torah, human being, king

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