Original Research

Who are the “servants” (Psalm 69:36c-37b)? A contribution to the history of the literature of the Old Testament

Alphonso Groenewald
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 59, No 3 | a671 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v59i3.671 | © 2003 Alphonso Groenewald | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 October 2003 | Published: 27 October 2003

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Alphonso Groenewald, Openjournals Publishing, South Africa

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Psalm 69:37a refers to the "servants" in the composite "the offspring of his servants". This composite takes up a concept which already ap-peared as a self-indication of the supplicant of this Psalm, namely in its singular form "servant" (69:18a). The article aims to identify these "servants" (69:37a) who articulated themselves in the voice of the other "person" in Psalm 69. It is postulated that the connections which exist between the servants in Isaiah and the servants in the Psalter are far too distinct to simply regard them as a mere matter of coincidence. The article focuses on the book of Isaiah, as conclusions drawn from Isaiah can shed light on the identity of the "servants" in Psalm 69. Secondly, the focus shifts to the term "servants" in the Psalter, and specifically in book I and II. It shows that the term "servants" not only denotes the pious, but indicates a special group of people who played an active role in shaping the literary heritage of ancient Israel in post-exilic times.


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