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According to Wikipedia, the Songs of Ascent are "characterized by brevity, by a key-word, by epanaphora [i.e., repetition], and by their epigrammatic style.... " Epigrams are defined as "brief, interesting, memorable ... sometimes surprising or satirical.... The presence of wit or sarcasm tends to distinguish non-poetic epigrams from aphorisms and adages, which may lack them."

Which portions of the Songs of Ascents might be considered epigrammatic, and what spiritual / religious function might this serve?

  • I think a more pertinent question would be, "in what way are other Psalms not considered epigrammatic?" – Shimon bM Jan 8 '18 at 23:31
  • @ShimonbM well the average number of pesukim in each one is 6.7 as opposed to 10.2 pesukim/perek for the entire Tehillim. If you count each letter of 119 as a separate perek (which I'm ambivalent about, they're divided as parshiyos, but they're obviously meant to go together, and the Gemara in Berachos refers to them as one unit, but on the other hand the שירי המעלות are also obviously meant to go together), the average for the whole sefer is still higher at 9.0. – Heshy Jan 9 '18 at 19:50
  • @ShimonbM if you'd like to answer the question in that form I'm sure that would throw some light on this question – Walrus the Cat Jan 11 '18 at 4:10

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