The purpose of this thesis is to determine the various meanings of the root
SDK in the Psalter. Prior to the actual discussion of the root in the Psalter,
preliminary studies are made of the history of past work done on SDK as well as
linguistic considerations and a survey of the use of the root in the Old Testament in general. Every psalm in which the root occurs is then studied and the
meanings are classified and arranged into two main divisions under the headings
of the gDfl of Yahweh and the gDff of man. A detailed examination reveals that
the root SDK is used consistently in the Psalter as a term denoting the fulfilling of responsibilities arising from relationships between persons
When SDK is used of Yahweh, it refers primarily to the fulfilling of his
covenant commitments to Israel by bestowing upon her his salvation. In connection with SDK, Yahweh related himself to his covenant people as saviour, judge,
and king; and in each of these relationships SDK is predominantly saving in
nature. On occasions, however, Yahweh's judging actions include his punishment
of evildoers and this punitive aspect is also part of his SDK.
The SDK of man is defined in terms of fulfilling the requirements of the
covenant relationship. In the relation of man to Yahweh, in his prayers for deliverance, his hymns of praise, and his obedience to the law, he fulfils the
obligations growing out of this relationship by placing himself under the covenant lordship of Yahweh. Man fulfils the duties of his relationships with his
fellowman by treating him as a member of the covenant, that is, by making decisive the covenant lordship of Yahweh in all of his dealings in the community.
The meaning of the SDK of man before Yahweh and in the community are clarified
and brought together in the person of the king, with whom the root is closely
associated. While SDK is often used of the king, it is never directly applied
to the priest in the Psalter.
Finally, the meaning of SDK in connection with inanimate things is bound
up with the relationships between the persons involved in the context in which
this unusual use of SDK occurs