Psalm 34 is an acrostic Psalm. Look for other passages of poetry where the number of verses is divisible by 22. It may be an acrostic – a passage where each verse begins with the 22 successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. (Hint: Check out the number of verses in each chapter of Lamentations.) It’s as though the author is saying:
A is for verse 1;
B is for verse 2;
C is for verse 3; etc.
It’s easier to memorize long passages set out for you like that.
Do you think the X-verses would be hard to write in English? Consider the Hebrew poet who discovers that the only Hebrew word what starts with a W is “and.”
There are nine acrostic Psalms, though Psalms 9 and 10 combine to form a single acrostic – sort of. (Four letters are missing, and some letters span multiple verses.) In Psalm 119, for each set of 8 verses, all 8 verses in each set begin with the same letter. There are 4 acrostics in Lamentations. Lamentations 3 has 3-verse sets, just as Psalm 119 has 8-verse sets. Proverbs has an acrostic, though it does not start until verse 10 of the 31-verse chapter.
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