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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Degrees

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Degrees, Songs of. Fifteen Psalms 120:1-7; Psalms 121:1-8; Psalms 122:1-9; Psalms 123:1-4; Psalms 124:1-8; Psalms 125:1-5; Psalms 126:1-6; Psalms 127:1-5; Psalms 128:1-6; Psalms 129:1-8; Psalms 130:1-8; Psalms 131:1-3; Psalms 132:1-18; Psalms 133:1-3; Psalms 134:1-3, are so entitled. A variety of reasons has been suggested to account for this. The Jews believe that they were sung by the Levites on the fifteen steps which separated the men's court from the women's in the temple. Gesenius suggested that there was a progression in the thought and phraseology: the last member of a verse or part of it being taken up, repeated, and amplified in the next verse, thus:

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills,

From whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord,

Which made heaven and earth."

Psalms 121:1-2.

But this structure cannot be detected in all of them. Hengstenberg and others believe that they were "pilgrim-songs," chanted by those who went up to Jerusalem at the solemn feasts.


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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Degrees'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/rpd/d/degrees.html. 1893.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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