Psalm 52

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Claricia Psalter, start of Psalm 52

Psalm 52 (51 in the Septuagint and Vulgate) is the 52nd psalm from the Book of Psalms. It is attributed to David. In it, he is criticizing those who use their talents for evil.[1]

The psalm begins the second section of the three traditional divisions of the Latin psalms, and for this reason the first words ("quid gloriatur in malitia qui potens est iniquitate...") and above all the initial "Q" are often greatly enlarged in illuminated manuscript psalters, following the pattern of the Beatus initials at the start of Psalm 1, and the "D" of Psalm 102.[2]

Psalm Form[edit]

According to Hermann Gunkel's system of classification, Psalm 52 was conditionally classified as an Individual Psalm of Trust, one that demonstrates an expression of trust or confidence in YHWH's assistant to the petitioner.[3]


  1. ^ The Artscroll Tehillim page 110
  2. ^ Calkins, Robert G. Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages, p. 208, 1983, Cornell University Press, ISBN 0500233756
  3. ^ Coogan, Michael D. (2011). The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Testament. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 453. ISBN 978-0-19-537840-5.