Original Research - Special Collection: Foundation subjects - Old and New Testament Studies

Psalm 32 as a wisdom intertext

Philippus (Phil) J. Botha
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 70, No 1 | a2710 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v70i1.2710 | © 2014 Philippus (Phil) J. Botha | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 May 2014 | Published: 10 October 2014

About the author(s)

Philippus (Phil) J. Botha, Department of Ancient Languages, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Psalm 32 is considered by the majority of investigators to be a psalm of thanksgiving with a mix of wisdom poetry. In this article, the thesis is defended that it was devised from the beginning as a wisdom-teaching psalm although it simulates the form of a psalm of thanksgiving in certain respects. The case for this is argued on the basis of the complete integration of its parts, as well as its similarity to Proverbs 28:13–14 and some other wisdom texts. The aim of the psalmist seems to have been to argue (on the basis of a personal experience) that stubbornness in accepting the guilt of sin causes suffering, but that Yahweh is eager to restore an intimate relationship with those worshippers who confess their guilt and are willing to accept his guidance on the way of life.


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