A Word Fitly Spoken explores significant poetic devices within the four alphabetic acrostic psalms found in Book I of the Psalter. The majority of scholarly opinion has been that these acrostics are poetically and artistically deficient due to the writers’ and editors’ preoccupation with the alphabetic pattern. In contrast to this view,
A Word Fitly Spoken proposes that the acrostic pattern contributes to, rather than detracts from, the poetic artistry of these psalms. In an effort to promote a holistic, canonical reading of the four acrostic poems within Book I of the Psalter, this study also examines the linguistic and grammatical connections within the text. Such a close reading repeatedly demonstrates the emotive power and the imagination of this literature in contradiction to its supposedly stiff, wooden nature.
A Word Fitly Spoken is attuned to the frequent plays on word and sound that occur throughout these four poems and as such would be useful in graduate courses on biblical interpretation, Hebrew poetry, or the Psalms.