[b-hebrew] Psalm 8:5

Steve Puluka steve at puluka.com
Thu May 10 18:50:43 EDT 2007

on 5/10/07 4:06 PM, Philip at philipengmann at yahoo.com wrote:

> In MT Psalm 8:5, (L) two synonyms are used: ENOWSH and ADAM.
> Why did David use these synonyms, instead of repeating one word, say ADAM?
> What was David trying to say by varying the terms?
> How are these synonyms different from each other if at all?
> I would be interested in your views.

I think this is likely simply poetic effect.  Parallelism is a common
feature of Hebrew poetry in scripture.  I'd hesitate to read too much into
the shifting terms.

An excellent discussion of these features is found in Alter's work.  I found
his explanations most helpful.

Alter, Robert. The Art of Biblical Poetry. New York: Basic Books, Inc.,

Alter, Robert. The Art of Biblical Narrative. New York: Basic Books, 1981.

Steve Puluka
1249 Biltmore Avenue
Pittsburgh PA 15216
steve at puluka.com

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list