The identity of the individual in the Book of Psalms
The aim of the thesis is to discover the identity of the individual in each of the ninety-three psalms in which an "I" occurs and to assign each of these psalms to a context in the cultic religion of ancient Israel. After the introduction, which explores briefly the current state of the debate and explains the methodology adopted here, the thesis falls into two halves: Part I examines the two questions in psalm studies which are most closely related to the question of the "I" in the psalms namely the identity, or several identities, of the: antagonists in the psalms and the meaning of the various terms translated "poor". This lays the foundation for the examination and classification of the psalms of the individual in Part II. These psalms are discussed in the three divisions of royal psalms, psalms of the private person and psalms which are best assigned to the cultic ministers (the cultic prophets, wisdom teachers and temple poets). Within this main division a further classification is attempted on the basis of the situation which appears to underly the use of these psalms in temple worship. In the case of the royal psalms, this leads to an examination of the royal ritual and a new reconstruction of this ritual is put forward. The thesis concludes that just under half of the individual psalms were written for the king's use; about a third of the remainder were intended to be used in the cult by private persons and the remaining psalms are the work of, and intended to be delivered by, the ministers of Israel's cult.