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The last eight verses of Tehillim 60 and Tehillim 108 are virtually identical. Why is this so?


Tehillim 60:7-14

לְ֭מַעַן יֵחָלְצ֣וּן יְדִידֶ֑יךָ הוֹשִׁ֖יעָה יְמִֽינְךָ֣ ועננו [וַעֲנֵֽנִי׃] אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ דִּבֶּ֥ר בְּקָדְשׁ֗וֹ אֶ֫עְלֹ֥זָה אֲחַלְּקָ֥ה שְׁכֶ֑ם וְעֵ֖מֶק סֻכּ֣וֹת אֲמַדֵּֽד׃ לִ֤י גִלְעָ֨ד ׀ וְלִ֬י מְנַשֶּׁ֗ה וְ֭אֶפְרַיִם מָע֣וֹז רֹאשִׁ֑י יְ֝הוּדָ֗ה מְחֹֽקְקִי׃ מוֹאָ֤ב ׀ סִ֬יר רַחְצִ֗י עַל־אֱ֭דוֹם אַשְׁלִ֣יךְ נַעֲלִ֑י עָ֝לַ֗י פְּלֶ֣שֶׁת הִתְרֹעָֽעִֽי׃ מִ֣י יֹ֭בִלֵנִי עִ֣יר מָצ֑וֹר מִ֖י נָחַ֣נִי עַד־אֱדֽוֹם׃ הֲלֹֽא־אַתָּ֣ה אֱלֹהִ֣ים זְנַחְתָּ֑נוּ וְֽלֹא־תֵצֵ֥א אֱ֝לֹהִ֗ים בְּצִבְאוֹתֵֽינוּ׃ הָֽבָה־לָּ֣נוּ עֶזְרָ֣ת מִצָּ֑ר וְ֝שָׁ֗וְא תְּשׁוּעַ֥ת אָדָם׃ בֵּֽאלֹהִ֥ים נַעֲשֶׂה־חָ֑יִל וְ֝ה֗וּא יָב֥וּס צָרֵֽינוּ׃‏

That those whom You love might be rescued, deliver with Your right hand and answer me. God promised in His sanctuary that I would exultingly divide up Shechem, and measure the Valley of Sukkoth; Gilead and Manasseh would be mine, Ephraim my chief stronghold, Judah my scepter; Moab would be my washbasin; on Edom I would cast my shoe; acclaim me, O Philistia! Would that I were brought to the bastion! Would that I were led to Edom! But You have rejected us, O God; God, You do not march with our armies. Grant us Your aid against the foe, for the help of man is worthless. With God we shall triumph; He will trample our foes.

Tehillim 108:7-14

לְ֭מַעַן יֵחָלְצ֣וּן יְדִידֶ֑יךָ הוֹשִׁ֖יעָה יְמִֽינְךָ֣ וַעֲנֵֽנִי׃ אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ דִּבֶּ֥ר בְּקָדְשׁ֗וֹ אֶעְלֹ֥זָה אֲחַלְּקָ֥ה שְׁכֶ֑ם וְעֵ֖מֶק סֻכּ֣וֹת אֲמַדֵּֽד׃ לִ֤י גִלְעָ֨ד ׀ לִ֤י מְנַשֶּׁ֗ה וְ֭אֶפְרַיִם מָע֣וֹז רֹאשִׁ֑י יְ֝הוּדָ֗ה מְחֹקְקִֽי׃ מוֹאָ֤ב ׀ סִ֬יר רַחְצִ֗י עַל־אֱ֭דוֹם אַשְׁלִ֣יךְ נַעֲלִ֑י עֲלֵֽי־פְ֝לֶ֗שֶׁת אֶתְרוֹעָֽע׃ מִ֣י יֹ֭בִלֵנִי עִ֣יר מִבְצָ֑ר מִ֖י נָחַ֣נִי עַד־אֱדֽוֹם׃ הֲלֹֽא־אֱלֹהִ֥ים זְנַחְתָּ֑נוּ וְֽלֹא־תֵצֵ֥א אֱ֝לֹהִ֗ים בְּצִבְאֹתֵֽינוּ׃ הָֽבָה־לָּ֣נוּ עֶזְרָ֣ת מִצָּ֑ר וְ֝שָׁ֗וְא תְּשׁוּעַ֥ת אָדָֽם׃ בֵּֽאלֹהִ֥ים נַעֲשֶׂה־חָ֑יִל וְ֝ה֗וּא יָב֥וּס צָרֵֽינוּ׃‏

That those whom You love may be rescued, deliver with Your right hand and answer me. God promised in His sanctuary that I would exultingly divide up Shechem, and measure the Valley of Sukkoth; Gilead and Manasseh would be mine, Ephraim my chief stronghold, Judah my scepter; Moab would be my washbasin; on Edom I would cast my shoe; I would raise a shout over Philistia. Would that I were brought to the bastion! Would that I were led to Edom! But You have rejected us, O God; God, You do not march with our armies. Grant us Your aid against the foe, for the help of man is worthless. With God we shall triumph; He will trample our foes.

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  • Quick, quick, non-sourced reason - the transmission history of those two psalms. Biblical scholars have theorized that the Psalms were distributed in collections of either 5 batches of 30, or 3 batches of 50, due to....whatever the linguistic experts have determined the reasons are - Israeli and Judean collections circulating, etc. So there was some duplication among the collections--look at the similarity between Psalms 14 and 53. as well as the one you're asking about. When they were finally all collected during Second Temple days, the 150 were basically "canonized", ignoring an extra 4.
    – Gary
    Jan 5 '19 at 20:42
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    Also check Psalms 57:8-12 Jan 5 '19 at 21:42
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R' Moshe Yitzchak Ashkenazi in his commentary on Tehillim, Ho'il Moshe, wrote on ch. 108:

"מזמור זה הוא מקצת סי' נ"ז ומקצת סי' ס' מחוברות יחד, ונראה ברור שאיננו עיקר, רק חוברו יחד שני חלקיו לסבה לא נודעה לנו...וכמו שגם אנו נחבר יחד פסוקים ממזמורים הרבה ונעשה מהם שיר או תחנה..."

Translation: "This psalm is part of ch. 57 and part of ch. 60 connected together, and it seems clear that it is not central, but that its two sections were connected together for an unknown reason...and also as we connect together verses from many psalms and make from them a song or a plea..."

Daat Mikra on ch. 108 note that unlike commentators such as the Ho'il Moshe (they mention him specifically), they believe that there's a special intent in the way the chapter was written, and as such, one should explain the chapter as a standalone, not as a combination of different chapters.

Dr. Benny Gesundheit in his video on chapter 108 explains that 108 comes as a continuation of, or an answer to the end of chapter 107, which according to him, was written by Shavei Tzion, and ends with the question:

"Who is wise and will take note of these, and will consider the kindness of Hashem?"

And then comes the answer in 108: "A song. A psalm of David." - King David is the person who was wise truly knew to take note of the greatness of Hashem, and so his writings are now to be applied to this later generation.

I recommend watching the video, where he also explains the reasoning for the slight differences between the similar verses in the chapters.

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