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Psalms in Israel's Worship (Sigmund Mowinckel) Paperback Book, (Wm B Eerdmans (Print on Demand), 2004) 9780802828163
Psalms in Israel's Worship (Sigmund Mowinckel) Paperback Book, (Wm B Eerdmans (Print on Demand), 2004) 9780802828163
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Title: Psalms in Israel's Worship

Author: Mowinckel, Sigmund

Additional Authors or Contributors: Foreword by James L Crenshaw

Publisher: Wm B Eerdmans (Print on Demand); Publication Date: 2004

Paperback; ISBN: 9780802828163

Volumes: 1; Pages: 605

List Price in Paper: $41.50 Our price: $34.99

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Foreword by James L. Crenshaw

One of the most important contributions to our understanding of the psalms, Sigmund Mowinckel's Psalms in Israel's Worship has to a very large extent provided the framework and suppositions of modern Psalms study. Fully revised from the original one-volume Norwegian edition, this classic work (two volumes in one) argues that the psalms originated in actual temple worship and were used regularly to add drama to Israel's adoration of Yahweh.

Throughout this fascinating work, Mowinckel carefully explores the relationship of the various psalm types to the congregation's devotional life, including hymns of praise from Israel's national festivals, psalms of lamentation and penitence, and personal or private psalms of thanksgiving. Other topics include the Psalms' relationship to prophecy and wisdom, their composition and collection, their style and performance, and the technical terminology involved in Psalms study.


Foreword: The Book of Psalms and Its Interpreters, by James L. Crenshaw

Select Bibliography

Translator's Preface

Author's Preface to the English Edition


I The Psalms and the Cult

1. The problem

2. Testimonies about the cultic use of the psalms

3. Allusions to the temple cult in the psalms--song, music and dance

4. The cultic origin of psalmody as such, and the problem of the extant psalms

5. What is 'cult'?

II The Method of the Cultic Interpretation

1. The form critical (form historical) view-point

2. The cult functional view-point

3. The sources for our knowledge of Israelite cult life

4. Preliminary classification of the psalms

5. Psalms outside the Psalter

6. Ancient oriental psalm poetry

III 'I' and 'We' in the Psalms--'Royal Psalms'

1. 'I' and 'we'. 'Corporate personality'

The Israelite conception of community and individuality, 42 The cultic community as an 'I', 43 The community's cultic representative, 43 'I' as an expression for the corporate personality, 44 Smend's theory of the 'Collective I' and its core of truth, 46 The king as the community's cultic incorporation and representative, 46

2. What are 'royal psalms'?

No particular 'psalm type' but psalms in which the king takes a leading place, 46 An actual Israelite/Judaean king, 47 Not a future 'Messiah', 48 The king ideal as a future-looking form for the empirical king, 49

3. The ancient Israelite conception of the king

Linked up with that of the Near East in general, 50 Ancient Near Eastern king ideology, 50 The Israelite development of the king ideology, 52 'Yahweh's anointed', 53 The king's 'divinity', 53 His ideal world dominion, 55 His relationship to Yahweh and people, 55 The king as representative of the community, 56 Israelite modification of the king's 'divinity', 57 The king as Yahweh's adopted son and intermediary, 58 The king's role in the cult, 58

4. The place of the royal psalms in the cult

In general, 61 The ritual of anointing and Ps. 2, p. 62 Ps. 110, p. 63 Ps. 101, p. 65 Ps. 72, p. 67 Ps. 20, p. 69 Ps. 21, p. 70 Ps. 89, p. 70 Ps. 18, p. 71 Ps. 45, p. 73 Ps. 28, p. 74 Isa. 38.9ff., p. 74 Summing up, 75

5. Royal and national psalms

6. National psalms in the 'I' form as royal psalms

Imagery, 76 The title 'by David', 77 Summing up, 78

7. 'Democratization' of religion

IV The Hymn of Praise

1. Form and content, composition

Introit, summons to praise, 81 The main section of the hymn, 83 The two main types: the enumerative and the descriptive style, 85 The themes, Yahweh's 'excellencies', 86 Mood, 88 Petition in the hymn, 89 Delivery, the hymn's place in the cult, 89

2. Varieties of the hymn

'Zion hymns', 90 The hymn to God's Law, 90 The reflective contemplation, 91 The 'I-hymn', 92 The individual song of praise, 93 The 'I-form' as the most ancient, 93

3. The hymns and the annual festivals

Paschal psalms, 94 Harvest and epiphany psalms, 94 New year psalms, 95

4. Hymnic elements in other psalm types

Hymnic motifs in psalms of petition and of lamentation, 95 Older and unmixed style, 96 Imitations of the hymnic style, 97

5. The delineation of God in hymn and psalm

V Psalms at the Enthronement Festival of Yahweh

1. The meaning of 'enthronement psalms'

2. The poetical situation (imagery): the enthronement of Yahweh

3. The cultic situation: the interpretation of the enthronement psalms

The contemporaneous character of the psalms: Yahweh has now become king, 109 Historical interpretation, 110 Eschatological interpretation, 110 Mythico-cosmic realities experienced as contemporaneous, 111 Cultic character of such experience, 112 The poetic situation presupposes a corresponding cultic situation: an enthronement festival of Yahweh, 113

4. Enthronement psalms: the age of the literary type and of the corresponding festival

5. The enthronement festival

Connexion with the festival of epiphany, harvest, tabernacles, new year, consecration of the temple, 118 The enthronement festival of Yahweh a special aspect of the old new year festival, the feast of tabernacles, 121

6. The pre-Israelite background and prototypes of the festival

The Canaanite festival of the new year and renewal of life, and survivals thereof in the Yahweh cult, 130 The general pattern of ancient oriental cultic new year festivals and its influence upon the Yahweh cult, 135

7. The specifically Israelite character of the festival

The elimination of the idea of the death and resurrection of the deity, 136 History as Yahweh's act of salvation, 139

8. The festal myths

Psalms of other types which belong to the enthronement festival or derive from its plexus of ideas and experiences, 140 Yahweh's 'coming', his epiphany, 141 The myth of creation, the fight with the dragon or primaeval ocean, 143 The 'judgment': what is to happen in the re-created earth, i.e., allotting the fate of the new year, 146 Yahweh's relationship to the other gods and their judgment, 148 The myth of the fight of nations, 151 The election and the exodus: the exodus myth, 154 The renewal of the covenant, the covenant myth, 157 The commandments, 157 The promises of Yahweh, 159 Yahweh's admonition and rebuke, the problem of theodicy, 160 Universalism and particularism, 161 The gifts of the kingdom of Yahweh, 162 The earthly king, 164 The epic formulation of the festal myths, 165

9. Some of the main acts and rites of the festival

The processional road (via sacra), 170 The great procession, Ps. 68, p. 172 The cult drama of the re-finding of the ark, Ps. 132, p. 174 Pss. 2 and 15, and the 'laws of entry', 177 The procession up to the altar, Ps. 118, p. 180 The 'sham fight', Yahweh's fight and victory, Pss. 46 and 48, p. 181

10. Form and content of the true enthronement psalms against the background of the experiences of the festival

11. The emotions and mood of the festival

12. The retrospective and prospective elements in the festival and its psalms

13. The relationship of the festival to the Jewish hope of restoration and the eschatology

VI National Psalms of Lamentation

1. Days and rites of penitence

2. Psalms for such days of penitence and prayer

3. Form and content of the psalm of lamentation

Invocation, 195 Hymnic introduction, 196 The lament; description of the need (danger) of the enemies, 196 The enemies' curse (awen), 199The petition, 201The execration of the enemies, 202 Pleas for revenge, 203 Motivation for hearing the plea, 204 Motive of compassion, 204 Motive of confidence, 206 Motive of innocence and psalm of innocence, 206 The 'righteous' and the 'wicked' in the psalms, 207 Motive of penitence and psalms of penitence, 214 The ideal of religious humility, 215 The vow, 216 Certainty of the hearing of petition, 217

4. Protective psalms; 'psalms of confidence'

5. Psalms for the annual days of penitence and prayer; petitions for the nation's return

6. Psalms of general petition

7. Intercessory psalms

VII National Psalms of Lamentation in the I-form

1. The king ('I') as the people's representative in the properly national psalms of lamentation

2. Royal psalms of lamentation and petitions on the occasion of public disaster or danger

3. The lament over wicked tongues and false accusers

4. Style, form, and content

The various 'moments': invocation, petition, lament, motive of confidence of being heard, vow, assurance of the hearing of the petition, the anticipatory song of thanks, 230 Examples, 230 Differentiations in form and content between 'we' and 'I' psalms of lamentation, 235 'Protective psalms' and 'psalms of confidence', 237

5. Need or danger envisaged as a dwelling in the realm of the dead, a concept common to psalms of both lamentation and thanksgiving

6. Real suffering or cultic 'mock sufering'?

7. Analogies with Babylonian 'I' psalms


VIII Personal (Private) Psalms of Lamentation

1. Are there such psalms?

2. Psalms of sickness. The conception of sickness in Israel

Yahweh's wrath as punishment for sin, 2 Demons of sickness, 2 Evil curses and 'witch-craft' ('awen), 3 Sin and uncleanness, 4

3. Ritual remedies for sickness and uncleanness

4. Ritual psalms of sickness; enemies and 'awen

5. Possible other psalms of sickness

6. Psalms of sickness for the king's use

7. Content, form, and style

8. The psalmists' conception of sin

9. Sickness as an image of need and danger or as a secondary suffering

10. Possible other occasions for personal psalms of lamentation

11. I-psalms of lamentation (and psalms of thanksgiving), their relationship to the cult

Personal feeling and experience no ground for calling them non-cultic, 18 Valuation of sacrifice in relation to psalms of thanksgiving, 20 The psalmists' conception of the former compared with that of the prophets, 24

IX Public Thanksgiving Psalms

1. The Victory Song

2. The festival of thanksgiving and the occasional psalm of thanksgiving

3. Public psalms of thanksgiving in the I-form

4. Royal psalms of thanksgiving

5. General psalms of thanksgiving of the community at the regular festivals

X Personal (Private) Thanksgiving Psalms

1. Festivals of thanksgiving and psalms of thanksgiving; the occasions

2. Content and form, 32

Introduction, 32 Narration of the need, invocation of Yahweh and the hearing of the petition, 33 Confession and witness, 35 References to the thank offering, 39 Hymnic motifs in the thanksgiving, 40 The basic feeling, thankfulness and confidence, 41 The inscribing of psalms of thanksgiving on memorial (votive) stelae, 41

3. Communal thank-offering festivals

4. The individually experienced and felt

XI Psalms of Blessing and Cursing

1. The blessing and the cursing word in the cult

2. The blessing word in the psalms

3. The cursing word in the psalms

4. Two-way blessing and cursing formulae

XII The Prophetic Word in the Psalms and the Prophetic Psalms

1. The cult oracle and the temple prophets

Priests, seers and prophets in earliest Israel, 53 The connexion between the prophetic guilds and the temples, 55 The oracle in the cult and in the psalms, 56

2. Oracular promises in conjunction with psalms of lamentation

3. Royal oracles

4. Oracles at the annual festivals

5. Why mere promises?

6. The condition for the promises: obedience to Yahweh's command

Relationship to the prophet's foretelling, both in their presuppositions and their influence, 65

7. Religious and moral conditions and the 'decalogical tradition'

The enforcement of the covenant commandments and the 'torah of entry', 70 Elements from the hope of the return and eschatology, 72

XIII Mixed Style and Liturgical Compositions

1. Varying 'types' in one and the same psalm an expression of the religious life in the cult

2. Cultic liturgies

3. Disintegration of style and mixture of styles

XIV Psalm Singing and Psalm Singers

1. The guilds of singers at the temples

2. Temple singing

XV The Psalmists

1. The temple--or private conventicles?

The original source of cultic psalm poetry everywhere to be sought among the cultic personnel, 85 What of the (greater part of the) extant psalms of Israel and Judah?, 85 'The pious', 'the righteous', 'the needy', in the psalms, 86 Were there private pietistic groups in Judaism?, 86 Private psalm singing, 88--The psalms in the synagogue, 88

2. The psalmists' relationship to the temple in Jerusalem

3. The psalmists belonged to the temple singers

The temple singers not priests, 90 The psalmists' social standing, 91 The relationship of singers and psalms to the temple prophets, 92 The singers as tradents of the psalm tradition, 94

4. The genuine traditions about the psalmists

The titles, 95 Asaph, 96 Heman and Ethan, 96 The sons of Korah, 97 The historical kernel, 97

5. 'David' in the psalm titles

The original meaning of the note, 98 The older interpretation on the basis of 'learned' interest, 99 The situations adduced in the titles, 100

6. 'Moses' and 'Solomon'

XVI The Learned Psalmography

1. The wise and the wisdom poetry

2. Some non-cultic poetry and song in Israel

3. The petition as an expression of the life of piety and its dependence on the traditional forms of cultic poetry

4. Psalm composition a pious, inspired task

5. Non-cultic psalms in the Psalter

6. Post-canonical psalm composition

7. The Poems of Ben Sira

8. The Psalms of Solomon

9. Hodhayoth, the Qumran psalter

10. Early Christian psalm composition

XVII Traditionalism and Personality in the Psalms

1. Attachment to tradition and poetic independence

2. The poets and the narratory 'I'

3. The poet and the 'I' in certain later private thanksgiving psalms

XVIII The Antiquity of Psalmography and the Psalms

1. The rhythmical cult word

2. The witness of earlier literature to cultic psalm singing and composition

3. National temples and psalm composition

4. Psalms preserved from the time of the monarchy, or even of David

5. Psalms from the days of Judaism

6. Psalms from Maccabean times?

7. A history of psalmography?

XIX The Metre of the Psalms

1. Sense rhythm and imposed rhythm

2. Fundamental problems in Hebrew metrics

3. The basic form

The four-beat 'colon', 164 Verse feet, 164 'Cola' or 'half' verses, 165 'Bicola' ('periods') or 'whole verses', 165

4. Thought rhyme (parallelismus membrorum)

5. Rhythmical and logical units

6. Strophes

7. Uniform or mixed metres?

8. Changes of metre

XX Israelite and Oriental Psalmography

1. A common oriental psalm style older than Israel

2. Comparison with Israelite psalms. Hymns

3. Psalms of lamentation and of petition

4. Thanksgiving psalms

5. Canaanite and Israelite psalmography

6. Babylonian and Egyptian models

7. The metrical forms

XXI Earlier Collections. The Compilation of the Psalter

1. Testimony to gradual collection

2. The various smaller collections

(a) The 'first Davidic Psalter', 193 (b) The 'Elohistic Psalter', its older sections: (c) 'Korah psalms', (d) the 'second Davidic Psalter', (e) 'Asaph psalms', (f) Korahite psalms, 84-89, p. 194 The uniting of the first Davidic Psalter with the Elohistic Psalter, 195 (g) 'Pilgrim songs', the 'great Hallel', (h) the enthronement hymns, (i) the 'Egyptian Hallel', (j) the 'Hallel', 195 (k) the Hallelujah psalms, 105-7, p. 196 'concluding doxologies', liturgical formulae, 196

3. The completion of the Psalter

4. The five-fold division is quite secondary and does not reflect the history of the compilation

5. How many psalms in the Psalter?

6. When was the Psalter compiled?

XXII The Purpose of the Psalter

1. The collection used as a temple hymnal

2. The purpose of the separate earlier lesser collections: the Asaph psalms, the Korah psalms, the second Davidic Psalter, the Elohistic Psalter, the pilgrim songs, the enthronement psalms, Hallel; the first Davidic Psalter; the psalms in the fourth and fifth 'books'

3. In what circles was the Psalter compiled? The 'learned' as traditionalists and canonists

4. The purpose of the collection

5. Consequences of the collection and canonisation of the Psalter. An end to cultic psalmography. Collective interpretation of older individualistic psalms

XXIII Technical Terms in the Psalm Headings

1. Expressions indicating type of psalm

2. Musical indications

3. Information as to the psalms' liturgical purpose and use

4. Expressions referring to the accompanying rite

5. Expressions of doubtful significance

Additional Notes I-XL

List of Abbreviations


Subject Index

Index of Scripture Passages Treated

Index of Authors

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