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Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 154 Reviews JoUon. PaW 1923 Grt1lt/11U1Ue de I'hlbreu biblique. Rome: Institut BihliqucPonlificial (1965). KulSCher. EduanJ Yechezkel 1963-1964 "Aramaic Calque in Hebrew" [Hebrew]. Tarbiz 33:118-130. 1971a "Hebrew Language-lbe Dead Sea SaoUs." EJ 16:1583-1590. 1971b "Hebrew Language-Mishnaic." EJ 16:1590-1607. Naveh. Joseph, and Jonas C. Greenfield 1984 "Hebrew and Aramaic in the Persian Period." The Cambridge History ofJudaism 1:115-129. Qimmn, Elisha 1986 TM Hebrew ofthe DeadSea Scrolls. HSS 29. Atlanta: Scholars. Rooker, Mark F. 1988 '"The Diachronic Study ofBiblicaJ Hebrew."JNSL 14:199-214. 1990 Biblical Hebrew in Transition: The Language of tM Book of Ezekiel. JSOT Supplement Series 90. Sheffield: Almond. Schechter, Solomon, and C. Taylor 1899 The Wisdom ofBen Sira. Cambridge: Univmity Press SchooB, Antoon 1988 '"The Use ofVowel Leuers in Qoheleth." UF 20:277-286. 1989 "The Pronouns in Qoheleth." HS 30:71-87. Schulthess, Fridericus 1903 Luicon Syropalaestinum. Berlin: Reimer. Tal, Abraham 1975 The lAnguage ofthe Targum ofthe Former Prophets and its Position within the Aramaic Dialects. Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University [Hebrew]. Wagner. Max 1966 Die lexikalischen 14M grammatikalischen Aramaismen im alttestamentlichen Hebriiisch. BZAW 96. Berlin: Alfred TOpelmann. Whitley, Charles F. 1979 Koheleth-llis lAnguage and Thought. BZAW 148. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Avi Hurvitz Hebrew University Jerusalem. Israel 91905 PSALMS, PART I: WITH AN INTRODUCTION TO CULTIC POETRY. By Erhard S. Gerstenberger. The Fonns of the Old Testament Literature 14. Pp. xv + 260. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. Paper. Volume 14 follows the established pattern of the FOTL series: introduction , analysis of Pss 1-60 according to structure, genre, setting, and Hebrew Studies 31 (1990) 155 Reviews intention. A useful glossary of fonn-critical tenns follows Ps 60. Part 2 will treat of Lamentations and Pss 61-150. The introduction deals broadly with cultic poetry and then specifically with the psalter. The bibliographies are very complete and up to date, and they have been absorbed and utilized by the author. Gerstenberger builds obviously on the pioneer fonn-critical studies of Gunkel and Mowinckel, but he goes his own way, guided especially by social and anthropological data. This review will stress the new insights provided by a creative and imaginative thinker. (1) The democratization of psalms used in the royal cult (e.g., Pss 18, 20, 21): Gerstenberger denies that this occurred and points to a smallgroup ritual: "Prayer rituals were used, long before any kind of kingdom existed, within and for the benefit of small groups" (p. 19). The ceremony of royal cults is ultimately an adaptation of popular prayers to royal needs. While this view is suggested by anthropological analysis, one may also ask whether it is not as hypothetical as the view it displaces. (2) The importance of local (and synagogal) Jewish communities far from Jerusalem: This influence is late, occurring during the 500-200 B.C.E. time frame when the psalms were collected. Here belong torah and wisdom psalms; older prayers (such as 22 and 51) were re-interpreted in a new context. Instead of being the hymnbook of the second temple, the psalter was a hymnbook of the "many synagogal communities," whose hearts faced Jerusalem, though they were "ritually independent of her" (p.28). (3) The users: Gerstenberger offers a salutary reminder that collections of psalms served as "handbooks for cultic officials, not for the lay person who only participates in worship" (p. 27). Moreover, there is no evidence of feminine psalmody (none, at least, that might be compared to the feminine voice in the Song of Songs). The psalms appear to have been composed by and for men (p. 32). The treatment of the individual psalms, 1-60, is quite valuable. Gerstenberger 's comments, while limited to fonn-critical observations, go to the heart of the exegetical process. Here one can merely sample some of his conclusions. Ps 1 betrays wisdom influence and is a "personal exhortation," with its setting in early Jewish synagogal meetings. Ps 2 also derives from synagogal liturgy; its universalistic and eschatological horizon "corresponds to early Jewish theological universalism" (Isa 40-66), and it is a messianic hymn (pp. 48-49). In Ps 15 the question-answer fonn follows an old...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 154-156
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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