Psalm 86*

(The following chiasm was discovered by John and Sarah Owen whilst doing the daily Bible readings for 19/2/15) – (see also note below)

A.(1 )Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy. (2) Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.

B.(3) Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. (4) Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

C.(5) For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee

D.(6) Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. (7) In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

E.(8) Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works. (9) All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. 10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.

X.(11) Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.

E.(12) I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and  I will glorify thy name for evermore. 13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

D.(14) O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.

C.(15) But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

B.(16) O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me;

A. give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid. (17) Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.

Note: An almost identical chiastic structure for this Psalm was published by  Pierre Auffret in Vetus Testament 29 (1979), 385-402. pointing out key Hebrew words and forms.(Quoted by Dorsey – The Literary Structure of the Old Testament, Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2004)


Ps 86





One thought on “Psalm 86*”

  1. The centre looks as though it is an ABA’ structure, with A and A’ seeking the LORD and B stating the outcome.

    A.(11) Teach me thy way, O LORD;
    B. I will walk in thy truth:
    A’. unite my heart to fear thy name.

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