According to Gen 1, the “classical” story of the origin of humanity, God began and finished the creation of man on the sixth day. In this view, creation is a one-time divine act dated to the dawn of history. Psalm 139,13-16 provides an alternative concept regarding human origins. The ideas permeating this Psalm are less widespread in the Bible, and they were far less influential for later theological works than the classical biblical accounts of creation. Nonetheless, these anthropological notions appear to be firmly rooted in folk religion. Making lavish use of motifs familiar from ancient Near Eastern mythological texts, the poem considers that a divine act of creation is performed in the process of birth of every individual. In contrast to the historicising interpretations of Gen 1-2, this text emphasises the personal character of creation. The present study examines the philological problems in Ps 139,13-16, as well as the Near Eastern background of its language.
Anthropologische Begrifflichkeit in Psalm 139,13-16