Though beset with dispute, wavering conviction and a fair amount of inconsistency, most theories of Biblical prosody exhibit a dominant concern with phonology. Since one at least of the phenomena under scrutiny is metre, this shared propensity is hardly surprising, conditioned as a matter of course by Classical literature and the European tradition, but also by considerable evidence from the proximate sphere of other Semitic literatures. Comment upon the poetry in Hebrew scripture is as ancient as Philo and as varied as could be expected from two millennia of scholarship characterized by evolving method and changing fashion. For the metrical component, acknowledgement of more than one period of poetic production has enabled a chronological hypothesis to accommodate several systems that would otherwise, restricted to the data of the Massoretic text, be in mild competition if not, indeed, severe conflict. At stake is the unit of stress: its identity, distribution and frequency, a phonological quest rarely modified by reference to morphology. A notable exception is the attention recently directed to line internal juncture (sandhi) of which the primary effect is to eliminate or at least blur word boundaries. While the value of this operation for describing an evolution from accentual to quantitative prosody cannot be denied, its practical consequence may be merely characterization of the poetic line as a more or less constant number of syllables. In such an arbitrary continuum the location of stress is no easier than in the admittedly simplistic but nonetheless pragmatic identification of word with ictus. To this end Massoretic accentuation, whatever its shortcomings, has proved remarkably adaptable.