The alphabetic acrostic is one of the most easily identifiable poetic forms in the Hebrew Bible. Yet its very obviousness has tended to deflect deeper exploration of its structure and purpose. There is not a priori reason that alphabetic acrostics should be less creative, expressive, or complex than other psalms. Thus the essays collected here investigate the acrostic format as a legitimate option for Israelite poets rather than asthe refuge of uninspired epigones. Freedman focuses on the technical aspects of the psalms: metrics, syllable counts, colon length, and symmetry within the psalm. The results show that the poets' creativity functioned at all levels, from the individual line to the complete psalm.
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