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Holman Bible Dictionary


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Literary device by which each section of a literary work begins with the succeeding letter of the alphabet. Thus in Psalm 119:1 the first eight verses begin with aleph , the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet; the next eight with beth , the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the pattern is continued through Psalm 119:169-176 , which each begin with taw , the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Other examples in the Bible include Psalm 9-10 ; Psalm 25:1 ; Psalm 34:1 ; Psalm 37:1 ; Psalm 111:1 ; Psalm 112:1 ; Psalm 145:1 ; Proverbs 31:10-31 ; Lamentations 1:1 ; Lamentations 2:1 ; Lamentations 3:1 ; Lamentations 4:1 . The acrostic style helped people memorize the poem and expressed completeness of subject matter from A to Z.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Acrostic'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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