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Recalling David and His Psalms after the Return: Focusing on the Themes of Psalms 57, 60, and 108

Jiseung Choi 1

1횃불트리니티신학대학원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Psalm 108 was created by borrowing almost verbatim from Psalms 57:7-11 and 60:5-12, which belong to the collection of Davidic psalms in Book Two of the Psalms; however, its message goes beyond simply combining them. This calls for consideration of the Sitz im Leben of Psalm 108. As a first step to examine precisely the redactional date of Psalm 108, I researched both textual and extra-textual evidence. There is little doubt that this psalm was redacted during the post-exilic period. Then, I clarified the themes of Psalms 57 and 60, and how they are linked. From the observations as I discussed above, three themes of Psalm 108 (57:8-12, 60:7-14) were categorized: God the mighty savior, Threat from foreign nations, and Hidden God. Although the relationship of these themes with other psalms in the Davidic Psalter (52-71, 72) was briefly examined, I argued that the themes of Psalms 57 and 60 represent the main themes of this Davidic collection. The ironic theology of ‘Yahweh who seems to be hidden, yet still King of the whole world’ becomes the main theme the post-exilic psalmists ponder. Through Form criticism, the additional possibility of its redactional intention was suggested as the combination of an individual lament and a communal lament. Repeated wars and exploitations by foreign intruders were the moments when people mourned collectively in ancient Israel’s history. In particular, the Babylonian captivity was a national experience of whole Israel, in which the distinction between individual lament and communal lament lost its meaning. I guess that the redactor of Psalm 108 combined the two types of lament in this respect. Some insist that the superscription explains all the reasons for the composition; however, it should be denied by the fact that it has little historical evidence.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.