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Essays on Scriptural Subjects (1753), contributed various
collection once separate. In point of fact books iv. and v. have so many common characters that there is every reason to regard them as a single great group. Again, the main part of books ii. and iii. (Pss. xlii.-lxxxiii.) is distinguished from the rest of the Psalter by habitually avoiding the name Jehovah (the Lord) and using Elohim (God) instead, even in cases like Ps. l. 7, where “I am Jehovah thy God’ of Exod. xx. 2 is quoted but changed very awkwardly to “I am God thy God.” This is not due to the authors of the individual psalms, but to an editor; for Ps. liii. is only another recension of Ps. xiv., and Ps. lxx. repeats part of Ps. xl., and here Jehovah is six times changed to Elohim, while the opposite change happens but once. The Elohim psalms, then, have undergone a common editorial treatment distinguishing them from the rest of the Psalter. And they make up the mass of books ii. and iii., the remaining psalms, lxxxiv.-lxxxix., appearing to be a sort of appendix. But when we look at the Elohim psalms more nearly we see that they contain two distinct elements, Davidic psalms and psalms ascribed to the Levitical choirs (sons of Korah, Asaph). The Davidic collection as we have it splits the Levitical psalms into two groups and actually divides the Asaphic Ps. l. from the main Asaphic collection, lxxiii.lxxxiii. This order can hardly be original, especially as the Davidic Elohim psalms have a separate subscription (Ps. lxxii. 20). But if we remove them we get a continuous body of Levitical Elohim psalms, or rather two collections, the first Korahitic and the second Asaphic, to which there have been added by way of appendix by a non-Elohistic editor a supplementary group of Korahite psalms and one psalm (certainly late) ascribed to David. The formation of books iv. and v. is certainly later than the Elohistic redaction of books i. and iii., for Ps. cwiii. is made up of two Elohim psalms (lvii. 7-11, lx. 5-12) in the Elohistic form, though the last two books of the Psalter are generally Jehovistic. We can thus distinguish the following steps in the redaction:-(a) the formation of a Davidic collection (book i.) with a closing doxology; (b) a second Davidic collection (li.-lxii.) with doxology and subscription ; (c) a twofold Levitical collection (xlii.-xlix. ; l., lxxiii.-lxxxiii.); (d) an Elohistic redaction and combination of (b) and (c); (e) the addition of a non-Elohistic supplement to (d) with a doxology; (f) a collection later than (d), consisting of books iv., v. And finally the anonymous psalms i., ii., which as anonymous were hardly an original part of book i., may have been prefixed after the whole Psalter was completed. We see too that it is only in the latest collection (books iv., v.) that anonymity is the rule, and titles, especially titles with names, occur only sporadically. Elsewhere the titles run in series and correspond to the limits of older collections. Date of the Collection.—A process of collection which involves so many stages must plainly have taken a considerable time, and the question arises whether we can fix a limit for its beginning and end or even assign a date for any one stage of the process. An inferior limit for the final collection is given by the Septuagint translation. But this translation itself was not written all at once, and its history is obscure; we only know from the prologue to Ecclesiasticus that the Hagiographa, and doubtiess therefore the Psalter, were read in Greek in Egypt about 130 B.C. or somewhat later." And the Greek Psalter, though it contains one apocryphal psalm at the close, is essentially the same as the Hebrew; there is nothing to suggest that the Greek was first translated from a less complete Psalter and afterwards extended to agree with
* The text of the passage is obscure and in part corrupt, but the Latin “cum multum temporis ibi fuissem ’’ probably expresses the author's meaning. A friend has suggested to the writer that for avyxpovía as we ought perhaps to read auxvöv Čyxpouloas,
the extant Hebrew. It is therefore reasonable to hold that the Hebrew Psalter was completed and recognized as an authoritative collection long enough before 130 B.C. to allow of its passing to the Greek-speaking Jews in Alexandria. Beyond this the external evidence for the completion of the collection does not carry us. It appears indeed from 1 Chron. xvi., 2 Chron. vi. 41, 42, that various psalms belonging to books iv. and v. were current in the time of the Chronicler,-that is, towards the close of the Persian or more probably in the earlier part of the Greek period. But it is not certain that the psalms he quotes (xcvi., cv., cvi., cyxxii.) already existed in their place in our Psalter, or that Ps. cwi. even existed in its present form. Turning now to internal evidence, we find the surest starting-point in the Levitical psalms of the Elohistic collection. These, as we have seen, form two groups, referred to the sons of Korah and to Asaph. At the beginning of the Greek period or somewhat later Asaph was taken to be a contemporary of David and chief of the singers of his time (Neh. xii. 46), or one of the three chief singers belonging to the three great Levitical houses (1 Chron. xxv. 1 sq.). But the older history knows nothing of an individual Asaph ; at the time of the return from Babylon the guild of singers as a whole was called Bne Asaph (Ezra ii. 41), and so apparently it was in the time of Nehemiah (Neh. xi. 22, Heb.).” The singers or Asaphites are at this time still distinguished from the Levites; the oldest attempt to incorporate them with that tribe appears in Exod. vi. 24, where Abiasaph—that is, the eponym of the guild of Asaphites—is made one of the three sons of Korah. But when singers and Levites were fused the Asaphites ceased to be the only singers, and ultimately, as we see in Chronicles, they were distinguished from the Korahites and reckoned to Gershom (1 Chron. vi.), while the head of the Korahites is Heman, as in the title of Ps. lxxxviii. It is only in the appendix to the Elohistic psalm-book that we find Heman and Ethan side by side with Asaph, as in the Chronicles, but the body of the collection distinguishes between two guilds of singers, Korahites and Asaphites, and is therefore as a collection younger than Nehemiah, but presumably older than Chronicles with its three guilds. The contents of the Korahite and Asaphic psalms give no reason to doubt that they really were collected by or for these two guilds. Both groups are remarkable by the fact that they hardly contain any recognition of present sin on the part of the community of Jewish faith—though they do confess the sin of Israel in the past—but are exercised with the observation that prosperity does not follow righteousness either in the case of the individual (xlix., lxxiii.) or in that of the nation, which suffers notwithstanding its loyalty to God, or even on account thereof (xliv., lxxix.). Now the rise of the problems of individual faith is the mark of the age that followed Jeremiah, while the confident assertion of national righteousness under misfortune is a characteristic mark of pious Judaism after Ezra, in the period of the law but not earlier. Malachi, Ezra, and Nehemiah, like Haggai and Zechariah, are still very far from holding that the sin of Israel lies all in the past. Again, a considerable number of these psalms (xliv., lxxiv., lxxix., lxxx.) point to an historical situation which can be very definitely realized. They are post-exile in their whole tone and belong to a time when prophecy had ceased and the synagogue worship was fully established (lxxiv. 8, 9). But the Jews are no longer the obedient
* The threefold division of the singers appears in the same list according to the Hebrew text of ver, 17, but the occurrence of Jeduthun as a proper name instead of a musical note is suspicious, and makes the text of LXX, preferable. The first clear trace of the triple choir is therefore in Neh. xii. 24, i.e., not earlier than Alexander the Great, with whom Jaddua (ver. 22) was contemporary.
slaves of Persia; there has been a national rising and armies have gone forth to battle. Yet God has not gone forth with them : the heathen have been victorious, blood has flowed like water round Jerusalem, the temple has been defiled, and these disasters assume the character of a religious persecution. These details would fit the time of religious persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes, to which indeed Ps. lxxiv. is referred (as a prophecy) in 1 Mac. vii. 16. But against this reference there is the objection that these psalms are written in a time of the deepest dejection and yet are psalms of the temple choirs. Now when the temple was reopened for worship after its profanation by Antiochus the Jews were victorious and a much more joyous tone was appropriate. Besides, if the psalms are of the Maccabee period, they can have been no original part of the Elohistic psalm-book, which certainly was not collected so late. But there is one and only one time in the Persian period to which they can be referred, viz., that of the great civil wars under Artaxerxes III. Ochus (middle of 4th century B.C.). See PERSIA, vol. xviii. p. 580, and PHOENICIA, ib. p. 809. The Jews were involved in these and were severely chastised, and we know from Josephus that the temple was defiled by the Persians and humiliating conditions attached to the worship there. It would appear that to the Jews the struggle took a theocratic aspect, and it is not impossible that the hopeful beginnings of a national movement, which proved in the issue so disastrous, are reflected in some of the other pieces of the collection." All this carries the collection of the Elohistic psalm-book down to quite the last years of the Persian period at the earliest, and with this it agrees—to name but one other point—that the view of Israel's past history taken in Ps. lxxviii., where the final rejection of the house of Joseph is co-ordinated with the fall of Shiloh and the rise of Zion and the Davidic kingdom, indicates a standpoint very near to that of Chronicles. The fusion of the separate Korahite and Asaphic psalm-books in a single collection along with the second group of Davidic psalms may very probably be connected with the remodelling of the singers in three choirs which Chronicles presupposes. Now books iv. and v. are, as we have seen, later than the Elohistic redaction of books ii. and iii., so that the collection of the last part of the Psalter must, if our argument up to this point is sound, be thrown into the Greek period, and probably not the earliest part thereof. And this conclusion is borne out by a variety of indications. First of all, the language of some of these psalms clearly points to a very late date indeed.” The Jews had even in the time of Nehemiah (Neh. xiii. 24) been in danger of forgetting their own tongue and adopting a jargon comlounded with neighbouring idioms; but the restorers of the law fought against this tendency with vigour and with so much success that very tolerable Hebrew was written for at least a century longer. But in such a psalm as Xxxix. the language is a real jargon, a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic, which, in a hymn accepted for use in the temple, shows the Hebrew speech to have reached the last * Ps. lxxviii... in which Judah is threatened by the neighbouring states arting with the support rather than under the guidance of \sshur the satrap of Syria? is also much more easily understood under the loose rule of Persia than under the Greeks, and the association of Tyre with Philistia (as in lxxxvii. 4 agrees with Pseudo-Scylax see vol. xviii. p. 809. If this psalm has a definite historical background, which many critics doubt, it must be later than the destruetion of Sidon by Ochus. That it is not of the Assyrian age is obvious from the mention of Arab tribes. * For details as to the linguistic phenomena of the Psalms, see especially Giesebrecht in Stade's Zeitschr., 1881, p. 276 so. The objec:-ons of Driver (Journ of Phil., xi. 233; do not touch the argument o:* Psalms as exxxix. belong to the very latest stage of Biblical o w.
stage of decay. Again, though no part of the Psalter shows clearer marks of a liturgical purpose, we find that in books iv. and v. the musical titles have entirely disappeared. The technical terms, that is, of the temple music which are still recognized by the Chronicler have gone out of use, presumably because they were already become unintelligible, as they were when the Septuagint version was made. This implies a revolution in the national music which we can hardly explain in any other way than by the influence of that Hellenic culture which, from the time of the Macedonian conquest, began to work such changes on the whole civilization and art of the East. Once more the general tone of large parts of this collection is much more cheerful than that of the Elohistic psalm-book. It begins with a psalm (xc.) ascribed in the title to Moses, and seemingly designed to express feelings appropriate to a situation analogous to that of the Israelites when, after the weary march through the wilderness, they stood on the borders of the promised land. It looks back on a time of great trouble and forward to a brighter future. In some of the following psalms there are still references to deeds of oppression and violence, but more generally Israel appears as happy under the law with such a happiness as it did enjoy under the Ptolemies during the 3d century B.C. The problems of divine justice are no longer burning questions; the righteousness of God is seen in the peaceful felicity of the pious (xci., xcii., &c.). Israel, indeed, is still scattered and not triumphant over the heathen, but even in the dispersion the Jews are under a mild rule (cvi. 46), and the commercial activity of the nation has begun to develop beyond the seas (cvii. 26 sq.). The whole situation and vein of piety here are strikingly parallel to those shown in Ecclesiasticus, which dates from the close of the Ptolemaic sovereignty in Palestine. But some of the psalms carry us beyond this peaceful period to a time of struggle and victory. In Ps. cxviii. Israel, led by the house of Aaron— this is a notable point— has emerged triumphant from a desperate conflict and celebrates at the temple a great day of rejoicing for the unhoped-for victory ; in Ps. cxlix. the saints are pictured with the praises of God in their throat and a sharp sword in their hands to take vengeance on the heathem, to bind their kings and nobles, and exercise against them the judgment written in prophecy. Such an enthusiasm of militant piety, plainly based on actual successes of Israel and the house of Aaron, can only be referred to the first victories of the Maccabees, culminating in the purification of the temple in 165 B.C. This restoration of the worship of the national sanctuary under circumstances that inspired religious feelings very different from those of any other generation since the return from
łabylon might most naturally be followed by an extension of the temple psalmonly ; it certainly was followed by some liturgical innovations, for the solemn service of dedication on the twenty-fifth day of Chisleu was made the pattern of a new annual feast (that mentioned in John x. 22). Now in 1 Mac. iv. 5 we learn that the dedication was celebrated with hymns and music. In later times the psalms for the encania or feast of dedication embraced l's. Xxx, and the hall, / l’ss. cxiii.-cxviii. There is no reason to doubt that these were the very losalms sung in 165 B.C., for in the title of Ps. xxx, the words “the song for the dedication of the house," which are a somewhat awkward insertion in the original title, are found also in the LXX. and therefore are probable evidence of the liturgical use of the psalm in the very first years of the feast. But no collection of old psalms could fully suffice for such an occasion, and there is every reason to think that the hull, 1. which especially in its closing art contains allusions that fit no other time so well, was first arranged for the same
ceremony. The course of the subsequent hi-tory makes it very intelligible that the Psalter was finally closed, as we have seen from the date of the Greek version that it must have been, within a few years at most after this great event." From the time of Hyrcanus downwards the ideal of the princely high priests became more and more divergent from the ideal of the pious in Israel, and in the Psalter of Solomon we see religious poetry turned against the lords of the temple and its worship. (See MESSIAH.) All this does not, of course, imply that there are not in books iv. and v. any pieces older than the completion of books ii. and iii., for the composition of a poem and its acceptance as part of the Levitical liturgy are not necessarily coincident in date, except in psalms written with a direct liturgical purpose. In the fifteen “songs of degrees” (Pss. cxx.-cxxxiv.) we have a case in point. According to the Mishna (Middoth, ii. 5) and other Jewish traditions, these psalms were sung by the Levites at the Feast of Tabernacles on the fifteen steps or degrees that led from the women's to the men's court. But when we look at the psalms themselves we see that they must originally have been a hymn-book, not for the Levites, but for the laity who came up to Jerusalem at the great pilgrimage feasts; and the title of this hymn-book (which can be restored from the titles derived from it that were prefixed to each song when they were taken into the Levitical connexion) was simply “Pilgrimage Songs.” All these songs are plainly later than the exile; but some of them cannot well be so late as the formation of the Elohistic psalm-book, and the simple reason why they are not included in it is that they were hymns of the laity, describing with much beauty and depth of feeling the emotions of the pilgrim when his feet stood within the gates of Jerusalem, when he looked forth on the encircling hills, when he felt how good it was to be camping side by side with his brethren on the slopes of Zion (cxxxiii.), when a sense of Jehovah's forgiving grace and the certainty of the redemption of Israel triumphed over all the evils of the present and filled his soul with humble and patient hope. The titles which ascribe four of the pilgrimage songs to David and one to Solomon are lacking in the true LXX., and inconsistent with the contents of the psalms. Better attested, because found in the LXX. as well as in the Hebrew, and therefore probably as old as the collection itself, are the name of Moses in Ps. Xc. and that of David in Pss. ci., cii., cviii.-cx., csxxviii.-cxlv. But where did the last collectors of the Psalms find such very ancient pieces which had been passed by by all previous collectors, and what criterion was there to establish their genuineness? No canon of literary criticism can treat as valuable external evidence an attestation which first appears so many centuries after the supposed date of the poems, especially when it is confronted by facts so conclusive as that Ps. cwiii. is made up of extracts from Pss. lvii. and lx. and that Ps. cxxxix. is marked by its language as one of the latest pieces in the book. The only possible question for the critic is whether the ascription of these psalms to David was due to the idea that he was the psalmist par excellence, to whom any poem of unknown origin was naturally ascribed, or whether we have in some at least of these titles an example of the habit so common in later Jewish literature of writing in the name of ancient worthies. In the case of Ps. xc, it can hardly be doubted that this is the real explanation, and the same account must be given of the title in Ps. cxlv., if, as seems probable, it is meant to cover the whole of the great hallel or tehilla (Ps. cxlv.-cl.), which must, from
the allusions in Ps. cxlix., as well as from its place, be almost if not quite the latest thing in the Psalter. Davidic Psalms.-For the later stages of the history of the Psalter we have, as has been seen, a fair amount of circumstantial evidence pointing to conclusions of a pretty definite kind. The approximate dates which their contents suggest for the collection of the Elohistic psalmbook and of books iv. and v. confirm one another and are in harmony with such indications as we obtain from external sources. But, in order to advance from the conclusions already reached to a view of the history of the Psalter as a whole, we have still to consider the two great groups of psalms ascribed to David in books i. and ii. Both these groups appear once to have formed separate collections and in their separate form to have been ascribed to David; for in book i. every psalm, except the introductory poems i. and ii. and the late Ps. xxxiii., which may have been added as a liturgical sequel to Ps. xxxii., bears the title “of David,” and in like manner the group Pss. li.-lxxii., though it contains a few anonymous pieces and one psalm which is either “of” or rather according to the oldest tradition “for Solomon,” is essentially a Davidic hymn-book, which has been taken over as a whole into the Elohistic Psalter, even the subscription lxxii. 20 not being omitted. Moreover, the collectors of books i.-iii. knew of no Davidic psalms outside of these two collections, for Ps. lxxxvi, in the appendix to the Elohistic collection is merely a cento of quotations from Davidic pieces with a verse or two from Exodus and Jeremiah. These two groups, therefore, represented to the collectors the oldest tradition of Hebrew psalmody; they are either really Davidic or they passed as such. This fact is important; but its weight may readily be over-estimated, for the Levitical psalms comprise poems of the last half-century of the Persian empire, and the final collection of books ii. and iii. may fall a good deal later. Thus the tradition that David is the author of these two collections comes to us, not exactly from the time of the Chronicler, but certainly from the time when the view of Hebrew history which he expresses was in the course of formation. And it is not too much to say that that view— which to some extent appears in the historical psalms of the Elohistic Psalter—implies absolute incapacity to understand the difference between old Israel and later Judaism and makes almost anything possible in the way of the ascription of comparatively modern pieces to ancient authors. Nor will it avail to say that this uncritical age did not ascribe the Psalms to David but accepted them on the ground of older titles, for it is hardly likely that each psalm in the Davidic collections had a title before it was transferred to the larger Psalter; and in any case the titles are manifestly the product of the same uncritical spirit as we have just been speaking of, for not only are many of the titles certainly wrong but they are wrong in such a way as to prove that they date from an age to which David was merely the abstract psalmist, and which had no idea whatever of the historical conditions of his age. For example, Pss. XX., xxi. are not spoken by a king but addressed to a king by his people; Pss. v., xxvii. allude to the temple (which did not exist in David's time), and the author of the latter psalm desires to live there continually. Even in the older Davidic psalm-book there is a whole series of hymns in which the writer identifies himself with the poor and needy, the righteous people of God suffering in silence at the hands of the wicked, without other hope than patiently to wait for the interposition of Jehovah (Pss. xii., xxv., xxxvii., xxxviii., &c.). Nothing can be farther removed than this from any possible situation in the life of the David of the books of Samuel, and the case is still worse in the second Davidic collection, especially where we have in the titles definite notes as to the historical occasion on which the poems are supposed to have been written. To refer Ps. liii. to Doeg, Ps. liv. to the Ziphites, Ps. lix. to David when watched in his house by Saul, implies an absolute lack of the very elements of historical judgment. Even the bare names of the old history were no longer correctly known when Abimelech (the Philistine king in the stories of Abraham and Isaac) could be substituted in the title of Ps. xxxiv. for Achish, king of Gath. In a word, the ascription of these two collections to David has none of the characters of a genuine historical tradition. At the same time it is clear that the two collections do not stand on quite the same footing. The Elohistic redaction—the change in the names of God—extends only to the second. Now the formation of the Elohistic Psalter Inust have been an official act directed to the consolidation of the liturgical material of the temple, and if it left one of the so-called Davidic collections untouched the reason must have been that this collection had already, a fixed liturgical position. In other words, book i. is the oldest extant liturgy of the second temple, while there is no evidence that the I)avidic psalms of book ii. had a fixed liturgical place till at least the close of the Persian period. And now the question arises: May we suppose that the oldest liturgy of the second temple was also the liturgy of the temple of Solomon? We have it in evidence that music and song accompanied the worship of the great sanctuaries of northern Israel in the 8th century B.C. (Amos v. 23), but from the context it appears probable that the musicians were not officers of the temple but rather the worshippers at large (compare Amos vi. 5). So it certainly was in the days of David (2 Sam. vi. 5) and even of Isaiah (xxx. 29); the same thing is implied in the song of Hezekiah (Isa. xxxviii. 20), and in Lam. ii. 7 the noise within the sanctuary on a feast-day which affords a simile for the shouts of the victorious ('hallavans suggests rather the untrained efforts of the congregation than the disciplined music of a temple choir. The allusion to “chambers of singers” in Ezek. xl. 4 is not found in the Septuagint text, which is justified by the context, and the first certain allusion to a class of singers belonging to the sacred mini-ters is at the return from Babylon (Ezra ii. 11). The way in which these singers, the sons of Asaph, are spoken of may be taken as evidence that there was a guill of temple singers before the exile; but they cannot have been very conspicuous or we should have heard more of them. The historical looks, as edited in the captivity, are fond of varying the narrative by the insertion of lyrical pieces, and one or two of these - the “lassover song " (Exod. xv.) and perhaps the song from the book of Jashar ascribed to Solomon (see vol. xi. p. 59.8)—look as if they were sung in the first temple; but they are not found in the l’saltor, and, onv, r-ely, no piece from the Psalter is used to illustrate the life of David except I's. xviii., and it occurs in a section whili can be shown to be an interpolation in the original form of 2 Samuel. These facts seem to indicate that ove” lo-k i. of the l’s alter lil not exist when the oliving of
verse additional to the acrostic perhaps gives, as Lagarde suggests, the characteristic post-exile name Pedaiah as that of the author; Ps. Xxxi., with many points of resemblance to Jeremiah ; Pss. xxxiv., xxxv., where the “servant of Jehovah” is the same collective idea as in IDeuteroIsaiah ; and Pss. xxxviii., xli. The key to many of these psalms is that the singer is not an individual but, as in Lam. iii., the true people of God represented as one person; and only in this way can we do justice to expressions which have always becn a stumbling-block to those who regard David as the author. Iłut, at the same time, other psalms of the collection treat the problems of individual religion in the line of thought first opened by Jeremiah. Such a psalm is xxxix., and above all l’s. Xvi. Other pieces, indeed, may well be earlier. When we compare Ps. viii. with Job vii. 17, 18, we can hardly doubt that the psalm lay before the writer who gave its expressions so bitter a turn in the anguish of his soul, and I'ss. XX., xxi. plainly belong to the old kingdom. But on the whole it is not the pre-exilic pieces that give the tone to the collection ; whatever the late of this or that individual poem, the collection as a whole whether by selection or authorship is adapted to express a religious life of which the exile is the presupposition. Only in this way can we understand the conflict and triumph of spiritual faith, habitually represented as the faith of a poor and struggling band living in the midst of oppressors and with no strength or help save the consciousness of loyalty to Jehovah, which is the fundamental note of the whole book. Whether any of the older poems really are I); vid's is a question more curious than important, as, at least, the ro