Psalm 102

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Psalm 102 is the 102nd psalm from the Book of Psalms.

The Form of the psalm 102[edit]

Psalm 102 is complicated to understand, with many questions. Most of it makes it an individual lament, but the petitions for 'Zion' are inclined to sound a communal lament, and then the identity of the author of this psalm, who he was. And it assumes the destruction of Jerusalem. Then when and why was this psalm written? Is this psalm still considered an individual psalm?

It's clear to figure out the composition of individual lament parts of this psalm. Appeal to Yahweh vv 02-03 the prayer of a sick person Describing what is wrong vv 04-12,24 Petition v 25 So other parts of the psalm 102 have been controversial, and scholars have argued their interpretations. (If you want to study more about what scholars have been arguing, go for commentaries and books)

According to J. H. Eaton, Psalm 102 is a blend of individual and collective elements without recourse to reuse of the psalm.[1] The author was a leader of the community speaking as its representative. He laments in the style of an individual in vv 02-12, 24, 25, but reveals his representative colors plainly elsewhere. Moreover, he argues that it was used in the penitential rites of the festival with evidence of references to God's kingship (v 13), creation (v 26), and the new era of salvation (vv 14, 16, 17), and that the psalm has nothing do to with the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.[2][3]


(102:01 ) Heading

(102:02-12) Petitions and Lament

(---------------)102:02-03 Introductory petitions for a divine hearing

(---------------)102:04-12 Recital of personal suffering, exacerbated by enemies and Yahweh

(102:13-23) Confession of trust and hope

(---------------)102:13-15 Yahweh's everlasting kingship as a guarantee of divine intervention for Zion.

(---------------)102:16-18 Worldwide reaction to such intervention

(---------------)102:19-21 Israel's subsequent praise in Zion

(---------------)102:22-23 Praise from Israel and the nations in Zion

(102:24-29) Lament and petition, praise and hope

(---------------)102:24 Suffering at Yahweh's hands

(---------------)102:25-27 Petition for a regular life span based on Yahweh's everlastingness

(---------------)102:28 Assurance of the community's survival.[4]


Like most biblical poetry, the psalm has as the primary poetic device the use of parallelism, which is also found in Ugaritic and Mesopotamian poetry. It is like thought rhyme by the use of repetition, synonyms, or opposites.[5]


--- A ----------- B ---------- C -----

my days ---- pass away ---- like smoke,

--- A' ----------- B' --------- C' -----

my bones --- burn --------- like a furnace.

A - A'

1) 1st person expression 'my' 'my'

2) Plural noun 'days' 'bones'

B - B'

3) Same tense - presence

C - C1

4) Using a simile 'like smoke' 'like a furnace'


--- D ----------- E ------------- F -----

--- like ------- an owl ------ of the wilderness

--- D' ---------- E' ------------- F' -----

--- like ------- a little owl --- of the waste places.

D - D'

1) Using a simile 'like'

E - E'

2) a single owl, a little owl

- It has simbolic meanings : small, powerless, lonely, scary, etc.

F - F'

3) Deserted and worthless places

- it has symbolic meanings : scary, hopeless, dark, etc.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ J.H. Eaton, "Psalms: Introduction and Commentary" pages 244, SCM Press Ltd, 1967.
  2. ^ J.H. Eaton, pages 245.
  3. ^ Leslie C. Allen, "Word Biblical Commentary Vol.21 Psalms 101-50" pages 16-18 , Thomas Nelson, 2002.
  4. ^ Leslie C. Allen, pages 19-20
  5. ^ Michael D. Coogan, "A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament" page 369, Oxford University Press, 2009.