Psalm 108’s Canonical Placement and Use of Earlier Psalms
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This dissertation argues that Psalm 108 introduces the eschatological notions of the king and of the kingdom into its canonical group (Pss 108–110) through its inclusion of a non-historically specific superscription, its quotation and paraphrase of earlier psalmic material (Pss 57 and 60), and its canonical placement in Book V of the Psalter. Chapter 1 presents this study’s thesis along with three undergirding assumptions: (1) the Psalter is a book; (2) individual psalms should be read in sequence; and (3) the Psalter progressively tells a story along redemptive-historical lines. Chapter 2 provides histories of interpretation of Psalm 108 and of research into inner-biblical exegesis and canonical approaches to the Psalter. This chapter shows differences among interpreters’ views of Psalm 108. It also shows how this work’s approach engages inner-biblical exegesis and Psalter exegesis (a canonical approach) to clarify the meaning of Psalm 108. Chapter 3 interprets Psalm 108 in its canonical context. It reveals how Psalm 108 participates in the narrative flow of the Psalter. The chapter concludes that Psalm 108 continues the story of eschatological redemption that began in Psalm 107, which records the eschatological return of Israel to the land. In continuation of this story, Psalm 108 bespeaks the eschatological conquest of the land. In response to the king’s prayer, God will go out with Israel’s armies and conquer the land, and through the king’s prayer, the kingdom comes. Chapter 4 compares Psalm 108 with Psalms 57 and 60 to clarify the message that Psalm 108 conveys by its quotation and paraphrase of these two earlier psalms. Chapter 5 highlights certain themes that Psalm 108 shares with Psalms 109 and 110, noting the development of these themes across the three psalms. Psalm 108 introduces the eschatological notions of the king and the kingdom to this Davidic triptych (Pss 108–110). Before discussing these psalms, this chapter also explores the theoretical tools of willed types and pregnant meaning to explain how the Psalter’s editor(s) could have organized Davidic psalms into a sequence while honoring David’s authorial intent. Finally, Chapter 6 concludes the dissertation.