The term hymn is used in a particular way in Old Testament Studies.
In this technical sense, hymn is a genre that contains disinterested praise - praise for its own sake not as the preparation for a request. Hymns are theocentric.
Compared with other genres of psalm their form is more stable. It begins with an invitation or call to worship, often as a plural imperative. This is linked to the development usually, in Hebrew, by the particle ki often rendered by "for" in English (though several translations omit this sign). The development gives the reasons for the praising. Quite often also there is a conclusion that may take up elements from the introduction and sometimes includes, or is, a blessing.
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© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.