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Title: From Sinai to Jerusalem : a study of the Hebrew text of Psalm 68
Author: Vincent, Mark Anthony
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2001
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This dissertation presents a study of one of the most difficult texts in the Psalter, Psalm 68. After an introduction setting out the distinctive features of my treatment and arguing for the need for a painstaking literary study, I divide my work into three sections. The first of these presents a translation with detailed notes on the text. The second explores this world of the text in more detail by examining the vocabulary of the Psalm (characterisation, semantic domains including geographical terms), its structural makeup (building from the smallest units to the largest), the central use and importance of intertextual connections, and the presence of ambiguity and `underdeterminacy'. I examine each of these as being of interest in their own right, but the ultimate purpose is to use them to deduce what a good reading of the Psalm might be and to cast light on its meaning(s) both to an original audience and to subsequenrt eaders.B y the end of this section I will have argued for a an `original' setting in the reigns of David or Solomon, one which is closely linked to the bringing of the ark to Zion and the building of the temple. My third section tackles the matter of writers and readers more explicitly. Although I shall have studied the text as one hitherto (since this is the only form in which we possess it), I now examine whether the Psalm `should' be seen as essentially a unity, and ask what can be known about its compositional history. I then turn to the question of dating, followed by a more explicit consideration of the implied audience of the text. Much work ha> been done on the possible cultic use of Psalm 68; I review this as part of my work on audience, before turning to the question of other readers in a final chapter. Although I shall have been primarily concerned with the initial meaning of Psalm 68 in the dissertation (for reasons of space), that chapter presents concluding reflections on the way in which the Psalm has been used subsequently and may sti'1 be used; I reflect on the continued power of the Psalm to speak through the centuries. Psalm 68 is indeed a complex text, but one which abundantly repays close reading and study, and one which is still fascinating, vivid, and arresting in the modern world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Poetry; Sacred geography; Deborah; Mountain of God; Ark; Covenant