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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Shiggayon

Term used as the superscription of Psalms 7:1, and, in the form , of Habakkuk 3:1, although the Septuagint evidently reads (comp. Psalms 61:1). Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, and Jerome regarded the word as synonymous with (Psalms 19:13), Rashi and the Midrash adopting a similar view in speaking of "David's trespass." This traditional interpretation of the Synagogue can not be correct, however; and "shiggayon" must probably be classed with such superscriptions as "mizmor" and "maskil."

Ewald, Rödiger, Delitzsch, and others, following earlier exegetes, think that the term denotes the rhythm of a form of lyric; and, since "shagah" means "to wander, go astray, reel," "shiggayon" is said to be the term for a dithyrambic poem filled with passionate feeling. This explanation lacks support, however; and it is entirely impossible to explain why this designation should have been applied to Psalms 7, which is by no means unique among the Psalms. Although the meter in verses-2 to 6 and 13 to 18 differs from that of verses 7 to 12, this is due to the fact that the psalm is a combination of two poems which were originally separate compositions (comp. Duhm ad loc.). In view of these circumstances it must be admitted that no satisfactory explanation of the term "shiggayon" has yet been found.

E. G. H.
W. N.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Shiggayon'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/s/shiggayon.html. 1901.

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