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The Structure of Psalms 93-100

April 9, 2008

Mark Futato reviews David M. Howard’s The Structure of Psalms 93-100 here.

In the last fifteen years, scholars have made significant gains in understanding the Book of Psalms, since they have been studying the Psalter as a literary whole rather than as a random anthology. This work by David Howard…makes a major contribution to this area of research. Howard seeks to demonstrate that Psalms 93-100 are a unified, coherent group that has been intentionally ordered around the theme of YHWH’s kingship

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2008 9:17 pm

    In this connection, have you read James Jordan’s essay “The Fourth Book of the Psalter” in Christendom Essays, pp. 136ff.? Jordan argues (convincingly, to my mind) that Book 4 of the Psalter is an elaborate chiasm, centered on the new song (Ps. 98). I don’t know how to do a chiasm in your comments, so I can’t replicate it here for you.

    Then, after a discussion of each of the psalms, he examines the chiastic pairs before talking about the narrative progression of Book 4:

    We begin with Moses and the situation of the Mosaic covenant, which extends down to David. We move to the establishment of Yahweh’s throne, through David, at the center of the book. Then we move outward into the new situation in the new kingdom.

    Overall, we begin with five psalms that have to do with the pre-Davidic situation. Then we have seven psalms that celebrate the coming of Yahweh as King. Finally we have five psalms that deal with the situation after the coming of David and Yahweh as king and King (p. 171).

  2. April 27, 2008 3:04 pm

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your comment. I will keep an eye out for Jordan’s essay.

    I find it interesting that the Syriac version inscribes Ps. 98 thus, “a Psalm of David, concerning the redemption of the people out of Egypt, when they conquered and triumphed” adding, “but spiritually a prophecy concerning the coming of Christ, and the calling of the Gentiles unto the faith.”

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