Psalm 132, a text from the later pre-exilic time, is about the well-being of Zion and its faithful. This well-being, essentially David’s, is grounded on the presence of YHWH in Zion. It is realized when YHWH looks friendly upon the Davidic king. The first part of the psalm (vv. 1-10) asks for this favour on the strength of David’s hardships to find for his God a place to dwell. The second part (vv. 11- 18) is an answer to the first. The psalm is an introit-song, composed for the festival of Sukkoth. Expressing notions that remained important to the religious community, it was reintroduced after the exile to be used at the same festival.
Ps 149,5 can be understood from the literary motif of intensified spiritual activity and receptivity in resting time, particularly in the night. Formally, the statement of this verse is related to Cant 3,1. In vv. 5-9 the psalm describes the feelings and
mental images of YHWH’s faithful with regard to a future judgement on the nations. The consciousness of Israel’s special position, expressed in the preceding hallelujah-psalms as well, is brought to a climax.
In the first half of the previous century the headings of the Psalms in the East Syriac tradition received a lot of attention, with important contributions by scholars such as Devreesse and Vosté. In 1960 Bloemendaal published an edition of these headings. Since 1960 a number of important new manuscripts became available, as well as a translation of the commentary of Theodore and a translation of the commentary of Diodore on the first fifty Psalms. This paper deals with the light shed on the history of the East Syrian headings particularly by two manuscripts not available to Bloemendaal. The examples discussed lead one to the conclusion that 6t1, used by Bloemendaal, must not be regarded as the paradigmatic witness in all instances.
The 'center' of the Psalter has not been given much attention up to now. This essay first examines the literary concept of 'center'. On the basis of thematic-theological considerations the focus then falls on Ps 78, the second longest Psalm.
Key considerations are: the move from (individual) hlpt to (collective) hlht; Torah-wisdom; didactic history reflection climaxing with David; interface of mosaic and davidic figures and topics; double connection back to Torah and Nebiim, cf. programmatically Psalm 1. This evidence suggest that Ps 78 has been envisaged by the final redactors as the 'center' of the book (intention) and can be recognized as such as the Psalter is read repeatedly or even memorised (reception).
Psalms 120–134, the 'Songs of Ascents', are a functional unity. In early rabbinical tradition concerning the Great Hallel, they seem to be linked with Psalms 135 and 136; in the texts themselves this connection is quite clear. The Songs, as a collection, and the two psalms of praise apparently stem from the later post-exilic period, when they were used during the festival of Sukkoth. The Songs were recited in processions to the sanctuary; the psalms of praise were part of the liturgy proper.
The final word in the Masoretic Text of Ps 22,22, ynitfyni(j, has been understood by many commentators to represent a sudden declaration of rescue received. Others, often believing that such an announcement would represent a shift in the progression of the Psalm of excessive awkwardness, have preferred a variant reading reconstructed from the Septuagint in which such a dramatic transition is absent. Recent proposals regarding the semantics of the qatal form of the Hebrew verb strengthen the case for retaining the MT reading and interpreting it as a precative perfect which reiterates the preceding pleas for deliverance.
In Psalm 99,4 the first stich is a circumstantial clause expressing causality relative to the clause following it. Verse 4 means to say that YHWH's royal power is exercised in establishing justice, as is shown by his acts in Israel. A syntax identical with that of the first line in Ps 99,4 can be found in Gen 50,20; Ezek 2,4a; Hab 1,10; Ps 40,18a.
Ps 47,6 states that God has 'gone up' but does not clarify where He is ascending to. In recent research this verse is therefore interpreted in many different ways. To be sure, the ambiguity of this verse definitely affects the interpretation of the Psalm as a whole. In this article we argue that V. 6 - when read in the context of Psalm 47 and of Psalms 46-48 - may express the strong belief that God returns back to Jerusalem / Zion after the exile.
The biblical perspective that a receiver of God's promises is not allowed to claim these promises is called non-appropriation theology. Psalm 65 can be read as an example of this non-appropriation theology. The 'I'- character does not claim the fertile Land but can only speak about the abundance of the harvest of their wheat (v. 10). The heading of Psalm 65, identifying the 'I'-character as David, preserves the non-appropriation theology. This non-appropriation theology is retained in the receptionhistory of Psalm 65, as can be found in the Septuagint and the liturgical use of Psalm 65 in the funeral Mass.
Psalm 118 was recited in the time of Nehemiah. The speaker in the first person singular passages is Israel's representative. The psalm, a communal song of thankfulness, belongs to a group of texts related to Succoth (Psalms 65; 66; 67; 98; 107; 124; 129; Isaiah 12; 25,1-5). These texts, dating from the later post-exilic period, do not constitute a welldelineated literary genre. Psalm 118 and Isaiah 12; 25,1-5, however, constitute a special category. Psalm 118,24 refers to Succoth as the time when YHWH judges the world and decides on the nation's well-being (v. 25) for the year to come.