They may be individual e. Although they usually begin with a cry for help, they develop in various ways. The description of the distress is couched in the broad imagery typical of the Bible one is in Sheol, the Pit, or is afflicted by enemies or wild beasts, etc.
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However, Ps 51 cf. Several laments end on a note of certainty that the Lord has heard the prayer cf. Ps 7 , but contrast Ps 88 , and the Psalter has been characterized as a movement from lament to praise. If this is somewhat of an exaggeration, it serves at least to emphasize the frequent expressions of trust which characterize the lament. In some cases it would seem as if the theme of trust has been lifted out to form a literary type all its own; cf.
Among the communal laments can be counted Ps 74 and They complain to the Lord about some national disaster, and try to motivate God to intervene in favor of the suffering people. Other Psalms are clearly classified on account of content, and they may be in themselves laments or Psalms of thanksgiving. Many of the royal Psalms were given a messianic interpretation by Christians. Certain Psalms are called wisdom Psalms because they seem to betray the influence of the concerns of the ages cf.
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Ps 37 , 49 , but there is no general agreement as to the number of these prayers. It is obvious that not all of the Psalms can be pigeon-holed into neat classifications, but even a brief sketch of these types help us to catch the structure and spirit of the Psalms we read. Print Share Calendar Diocesan Locator.
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Within thy paths that are most pure. How perfect is the law of God. The Lord the just man's steps doth guide. Our God ascended up on high.
Touch thou my lips, my tongue untie. I glory in the word of God. The singers go before with joy.