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

Coping in a harsh reality: The concept of the ‘enemy’ in the composition of Psalms 9 and 10

Martin J. Slabbert
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a3123 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.3123 | © 2015 Martin J. Slabbert | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 July 2015 | Published: 25 November 2015

About the author(s)

Martin J. Slabbert, Department of Ancient Languages, Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, South Africa


In this paper, Psalms 9 and 10 are read together from a literary, post-exilic perspective, arguing that the construct of the ‘enemy’ in this composition primarily serves to strengthen the position of the righteous. It seems that a variety of strategies are employed in this composition to establish dichotomic-ideological categories. This results in the formation of a polarity between YHWH and the enemy on the one hand and the righteous and the enemy on the other. This seems to have been a technique through which the author or authors of this composition sought to break free from their current social experience in order to create a new, just and fair reality for the righteous.


Psalms 9 and 10; righteous; enemy; dichotomic-ideological categories; Semantic


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