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Psalm Hebrew Parallelism

  1. Synonymous parallelism. The two consecutive lines are very close in thought or terms. Examples include Psalm 1:2; 3:1; 7:17; 22:18; 105:23.
  2. Antithetical parallelism. The two consecutive lines contrast thought. Examples include Psalm 1:6; 90:6.
  3. Emblematic parallelism. One line is a truth and the other line pictures the truth or gives an emblem clarifying the truth. Examples include Psalm 1:3; 23:1; 42:1; 103:13.
  4. Synthetic parallelism. Here the second line develops or expands the first line. Examples include Psalm 1.1; 95:3
  5. Climactic parallelism. The first line makes a statement and the second line repeats the statement and completes the thought. Psalm 29:1; 96:7 are examples.
  6. Alphabetic or acrostic Psalms. In these psalms each line begins with a letter of the alphabet in order from aleph (the first Hebrew letter) to tav (the last Hebrew letter). Psalm 119 has each section divided according to letter. For example, Psalm 119:1-8 is the aleph section and each line begins with aleph. There are 22 sections corresponding to the 22 letters (sin and shin count as the same letter, so 22 sections, not 23) of the Hebrew alphabet. This alphabetic structure aids in memory. The acrostic psalms are Psalm 9-10 (taken together), Psalm 25; 34; 37; 111; 112; 119; 145.