Hungers of the Heart by yurtgc548

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									  Introduction to the
   Book of Psalms
    Structure of the Scroll
       Hebrew Poetics
Psalm Titles / Superscriptions
                  Title
• “psalm” from Greek “psalmos” translating
  Hebrew “mizmor” = song with
  chordophone accompaniment
• “Book of Psalms” from Hebrew “Sefer
  Tehillim” (“book of praises)
• Tanak = Torah / Nebi’im / Ketubim (cf.
  Luke 24:44-45)
    Canonical Form of the Psalms:
           Five “Books”
•   Book 1: Pss 1:1 – 41:13
•   Book 2: Pss 42:1-72:18-19 / 20
•   Book 3: Pss 73:1- 89:52
•   Book 4: Pss 90:1 – 106:48
•   Book 5: Pss 107:1- 150:1-6
             Five “Books”
• “150” psalms = possible arrangement dating
  from the time of Ezra (c. 428 BCE)
  corresponds to a three-year cycle for
  reading the Torah
• Doxologies (Pss 41:13; 72:18-19; 89:52;
  106:48; 150:1-6)
         Use of the Divine Names
•   Book I (Pss 1-41): YHWH 272x; Elohim 15x
•   Book II (Pss 42-72): YHWH 30x; Elohim 164x
•   Book III (Pss 73-89): YHWH 44x; Elohim 43x
•   Book IV (Pss 90-106): YHWH 103x; Elohim 0x
•   Book V (Pss 107-150): YHWH 236x; Elohim 7x
            Earlier collections
• “Of David” (73 in Hebrew; 82 in LXX)
• “Of Korah (12)
• “Of Asaph” (12)
• Davidic collection dominates first two/three books
  (Ps 2 / Ps 72:20 / Ps 89)
• Levitical collections added to the Davidic
  collection
• Book IV, almost completely “orphan psalms”, is
  an appendix to the first three
• Book V = Temple collection of Hallel psalms
Elements of Hebrew Poetics
                Parallelism
• Balance of form and thought between
  successive members in a poem (“thought
  rhyme”)
• Line of poetry = “stich” / “colon”
• Two related lines of poetry = “distich” /
  “bicola” / “couplet”
• Three related lines of poetry = “tristich” /
  “tricola” / “triplet”
          Forms of Parallelism
•   Synonymous
•   Antithetical
•   Formal / Synthetic
•   Climactic
•   Internal / External
•   Complete / Incomplete
      Synonymous Parallelism
• In synonymous parallelism, the same
  thought is expressed in successive stichs
• In these stichs, the second [and third] stich
  simply repeats the sense of the first in
  slightly different terms
• Sometimes the later stich(s) give(s) more
  precise expression to the sense of the first
• E.g., Psalm 1:1
•   1a: Blessedness-of the-man who
•   1b: Not he-walks in-counsel-of wicked-ones
•   1c: Or-in-way-of sinners not he-stands
•   1d: Or-in-seat-of ones-mocking not he-sits

• N.B. Both formal and thought
  correspondence in 1c and 1d
• N.B. Thought correspondence of 1b, 1c, and
  1d
• N.B. 1b is related chiastically to 1c and 1d
       Antithetical Parallelism
• In antithetical parallelism, the thought
  expressed in the later stich(s) is in contrast
  to that in the first
• This type of parallelism is especially
  characteristic of Wisdom literature (and of
  Jesus’ sayings)
• E.g., Psalm 1:5
• 6a: For watching-over YHWH way-of
  righteous-ones
• 6b: But-way-of wicked-ones she-will-perish

• N.B. Formal relation of 6a and 6b is
  chiastic
• N.B. Thought rhyme contrasts way of the
  righteous and the way of the wicked
  Formal / Synthetic Parallelism
• Formal / Synthetic parallelism contains neither
  repetition in different terms nor contrasted
  assertions
• The thought of the first stich is carried further and
  completed in the later stich(s)
• Formal balance of clause with clause, but no
  correspondence in content as in synonymous and
  antithetical parallelism
• E.g., Psalm 1:3
• 3a: And-he-is like-tree being-planted by
  streams-of waters
• 3b: Which fruit-of-him he-yields in-season-
  of-him
• 3c: And-leaf-of-him not he-withers
• 3d: And-all that he-does he-prospers

• N.B. Progress of thought in 3a – 3b
• N.B. Progress of thought in 3b – 3c
• N.B. 3d as conclusion of 3a – 3c
        Climactic Parallelism
• In climactic parallelism the characteristics
  of synonymous and formal parallelism are
  combined
• The later stich(s) echo(es) or repeat(s) part
  of the first and adds to it an element which
  carries forward or completes the sense
• E.g, Psalm 1:2
• 2a: But rather in-law-of YHWH delight-of-
  him
• 2b: And-on-law-of-him he-meditates by-day
  and-night

• N.B. law-of-YHWH is shared element; 2b
  extends the thought of 2a
  Internal / External Parallelism
• Internal parallelism = balance of form and
  thought is between the individual stichs
  within a bistich or a tristich
• External parallelism = balance not only
  within but between di- or tristichs
• E.g., Psalm 1:1-3
       Complete / Incomplete
           Parallelism
• Complete parallelism occurs when each
  term in the first stich is matched by a
  corresponding term in the later stich(s)
• In incomplete parallelism one or more terms
  in the first stich may have no counterpart in
  the later stich(s)
• E.g., Psalm 1:1b re:1:1c or 1:1d // Psalm
  1:1c re: 1:1d
                   Meter
• Problematic: meter is determined by
  accented syllables and the number of
  unaccented syllables is of no significance
  (“sprung rhythm”)
• 3 + 3 is most common for proverbs
• 2 + 2 is used for intense emotion and
  urgency
• 3 + 2 is the “qinah” (limping) meter used
  for laments
       Strophic Arrangement
• Recurring refrains
• E.g., Psalm 42-43 / Psalm 67
           Poetic Techniques
• Acrostic (e.g., Psalms 9-10 / 34:1-21 / 119)
• Alliteration (juxtaposition of words or syllables
  that begin with the same letter)
• Assonance (recurrence of the same vowel sounds)
• Onomatopoeia (use of words that sound like what
  they describe)
• Paranomasia (plays on words like puns) e.g, Isaiah
  5:7b
    Psalm Titles / Superscriptions
•   Literary forms
•   Musical indications
•   Ascriptions of patronage
•   “Historical” contexts
             Literary Forms
• Shir / Shir ham-ma`aloth= title of 30 Pss
• Mizmor = title of 57 Pss
• Maskil = title of 13 Pss
• Miktam = title of 6 Pss
• Tehillah/Tehillim = title of Ps 145 / title of
  scroll
• Tephillah = title of 5 Pss
• Shiggaion = title of 1 Ps
         Musical Indications
• alamoth (Ps 5) = ?
• sheminith (Pss 6, 12) = ?
• neginoth (Pss 4, 6, 54-55, 61, 67, 76) = “for
  strings”
• al mahalath + le`annoth (Ps 88) = “for
  melancholy flute” ?
• higgayon = “instrumental interlude” (Pss
  9:16; 19:14; 92:3)
• `al-yonath `elem rehoqim (Ps 56) = “To the
  Dove on Far-Off Terebinths”
• `al-`ayyeleth hash-shahar (Ps 22) = “To the
  Deer of the Dawn”
• `al-shoshannim (Pss 45, 69) = “To the
  Lilies”
• al-shushan eduth (Pss 60, 80) = “To the Lily
  of the Covenant”
• `al-tassheth (Pss 57-59, 75) = “Do not
  destroy”
• `al-hag-gittith (Pss 8, 81, 84) = “To the
  Gittith”
      Ascriptions of Patronage
• David = in 73 “titles”
• lam-menasseah (choir director) = in 55
  “titles”
• [sons of] Korah = in 12 “titles”
• Asaph = in 12 “titles”
• Solomon = in 2 “titles”
• Moses, Jeduthun, Heman the Ezrahite,
  Ethan the Ezrahite = in 1 “title” each
         “Historical” Contexts
• Pss 3, 7, 18, 34, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59, 60,
  63, 142
               Selah (cf Ps 3)
•   Pause
•   Repeat
•   Instrumental interlude
•   Look (or lift) up
•   Bow down / prostrate
•   Turn (in circle)

								
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