Psalm 25 – A to Z plus one

Psalm 25 is an Acrostic – each verse in Hebrew begins with the successive letters of the Hebrew Alphabet.  This literary device is used throughout the book of Lamentations, in Psalm 119 and some other locations.  It provides a structure for reflection, and for memory. 

Psalm 25 is personal psalm of trust from a person in some distress – see verses 16-20 where troubles, enemies, affliction and distress are mentioned.

Then we have verse 22 – this last verse does two things. It breaks the acrostic structure.  So it would appear that verse 1-21 is a complete thought.  Then it applies what has been said to the nation – “redeem Israel from all their troubles…”

This is an interesting link of the individual to the group.  While we are part of a family or a church, a culture and a nation which form us, we are also individuals.  Faith then is individually held but also held together. 

Derek Kidner writes, “Right outside of the alphabetic scheme, the final verse claims for Israel what David had petitioned for himself, so making of a personal plea a hymn for the whole congregation.”  (Psalm 1-72, Tyndale O.T. Commentaries, p. 115)

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