A Journey of Two Psalms: The Reception of Psalms 1 and 2 in by Susan Gillingham

By Susan Gillingham

For two-and-a-half millennia those psalms were commented on, translated, painted, set to tune, hired in worship, and tailored in literature, usually getting used disputatiously through Jews and Christians alike. Psalm 1 is ready the legislation; on the middle of Psalm 2 is the Anointed One ("Messiah"), and jointly they function a Prologue to the remainder of the Psalter. they've got usually been learn as one composite poem, with the Temple as one of many motifs uniting them. So 3 themes--Jewish and Christian disputes, the interrelationship of those psalms, and the Temple--are interwoven all through this reception background research. the adventure starts off in historic Judaism, strikes directly to early Christianity, then to rabbinic and medieval Judaism, and as a way to Christian commentators from the early heart a long time to the Reformation. the adventure pauses to examine 4 very important modes of reception--liturgical use, visible exegesis, musical interpretation, and imitation in English literature. Thirty-eight colour plates and various musical and poetic examples carry the paintings to existence. the adventure keeps via the debates approximately those psalms that have occupied students because the Enlightenment, and ends with a bankruptcy which surveys their reception background within the mild of the 3 key subject matters.

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Additional info for A Journey of Two Psalms: The Reception of Psalms 1 and 2 in Jewish and Christian Tradition

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21 It is clear that Psalm 1 was in fact known to the community at Qumran: 4QFlorilegium (4Q174) is testimony to it. 4QFlorilegium is a complicated anthology. Below is a translation, taken from G Vermes’ The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English. 22 Florilegium I or Midrash on the Last Days (4Q Flor or 4Q174) (1) [I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them that they may dwell there and be troubled no more by their] enemies. No son of iniquity [shall afflict them again] as formerly, from the day that [I set judges] over my people Israel (2 Sam.

12, 14) arises along with the one who is the ‘Interpreter of the Law’ (HRWTH $RWD). In the third section, the use of Ps. 1, with the Torah theme which follows it, points again to the Law as a defining characteristic for the Qumran community. So HRWT Y$EM would not be as unusual as might first appear. Geza Vermes (1999: 493) prefers HRWT Y$EM; Brooke, 1985: 92, 185–7, prefers HDWT Y$EM. 20 Ancient Judaism whom the community must disassociate themselves. So, in this setting, Ps. 1 is not only given a more corporate and eschatological orientation, but the ‘wicked’ are now a contemporary party within Judaism.

For example, commentators have suggested some borrowing in Ps. 1–2 from the Shema in Deut. 12 However, not only is this sequence very different (for example, in Deuteronomy 6 four verbs of action are given, while in Psalm 1 only three occur), but also in Deuteronomy 6 the purpose is teaching (√ IN$ and √ RBD) within a family context, while in Psalm 1, it suggests a more personal ‘murmuring’ in meditation (√ HGH). Furthermore, the object of teaching is, in Deuteronomy, the ‘words/statutes/ 8 9 See Creach 1999: 41–3.

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