The first part of this article presents the characteristics of Hebrew poetry: features associated with rhythm and phonology, grammatical features, structural elements like parallelism, and imagery and intertextuality. The second part consists of an analysis of Psalm 121. It is argued that assonance and alliteration, parallelism and the widely use of imagery creates coherence in the psalm but at the same time ambiguity. According to the heading, the psalm is a song of ascents, but it can be read both as a psalm for pilgrimage and as a psalm of trust. The metaphors can be understood both as metaphors for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and for the daily life seen as a wandering. It is shown that the redactional placement of the Songs of Ascents just after Psalm 119 points at two possibilities for Judaism: The way of the Law (Psalm 119) and the way of the pilgrimage (Psalms 120-134).
Method Matters: Essays on the Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in Honor of David L. Petersen, 2010, p. 293-309