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Title: Retribution in the canonical Psalter
Author: Jenkins, Steffen G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5915 4602
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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Imprecations in the Psalter have aroused the interest and passions of readers since ancient times. The original contribution of this thesis is to approach the Psalter as the literary and theological context for prayers concerning retribution. This applies, for the first time, recent research in the arrangement of the Psalter to the age-old issue of imprecations. The first three psalms are a thematic introduction which leads the reader to expect and understand retribution in the Psalter. Already at the entrance to the Psalter, we find a refutation of much that is often asserted about vengeance in the Psalms, especially the frequently presumed distance from New Testament ethics. Various ideas from Pss 1-3 are further explored in Books I and V and compared with received scholarly wisdom. The Psalter introduces David as a type of exiled and restored Israel. David's sin with Bathsheba and Uriah, and the mercy he receives from Yahweh, is similar to the nation 's sin and Yahweh's mercy in restoring the nation from exile. Both David and Israel are repeatedly presented by the Psalter in connection with Yahweh's mercy after the golden calf. This is brought to bear on retribution, because there is also a correspondence between David 's enemies and Israel's exilic enemies. Book V has arranged some imprecations of David in order to educate Israel's desire for retribution and set the standard for praying Ps 137. Israel must understand that their own sin and guilt caused the exile, and that their restoration from exile was undeserved mercy. Enemy nations may not deserve Yahweh's mercy, but neither did Israel at the golden calf, neither did David after Bathsheba, and neither did Israel deserve to be restored from the exile they had earned. Israel must learn to love God's wider purpose of blessing the nations in mercy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available