Footnote for “When I Pray the Book of Psalms”

Page 123 in On Giving My Word


“When I Pray The Book of Psalms” was included in First Thursday of February 2024, and came with the promise that the references it makes the Book of Psalms would be published on this blog site, for the curious.  The term Hassidim come from Psalm 149:5 where the word occurs. Hassidim a common term in the Hebrew Testament that identifies a pious person.  It is translated as “saints” KJ, or “Faithful Ones” RSV.  The Wisdom Editor identifies the person or persons who published the Psalms in the form that we currently have them.  They introduced the book with Psalm 1 and closed with Psalm 150.  Psalm from their school were added throughout the book and make up roughly a quarter to the psalms.  Their signature work is Psalm 119 which is an elaborate acrostic, literally a book within a book.  The Performer indicated a number of individuals, minstrel, who actually performed the works in the setting of the Temple or the Court.   Psalm 2 is a good example where the voice of the performer is essential to understand it original sense.  Often the grammar of Psalm is sketchy, and it reminds one that the text was an oral event and passed on as an oral event.  For these performers the text was a prompt as opposed to something to be read. Some actually announce their presence as in Psalm 45.  Suffering Servant identifies himself the author in Psalm 22.  It is the well-known lament quote by Jesus from the cross.  The Levite refers to one of the Levite ministers of the Temple who assisted the more restrict group of priests.  One the major Levite clans identified themselves as “sons of Korah.”  There is a large block of psalm that are attributed to them, beginning with Psalm 42.  Psalm 42 was probably once the opening psalm of a Levite collection.  That collection was expanded at some point with psalms attribute “sons of Asaph.”  The first of these is Psalm 73.  The Shepherd King is, of course, King David to whom a number psalm are attributed and in more generalize sense of authorship the whole Book of Psalm.   Psalm 18:34-35 is an example of where David presence is particularly clear.  The Dethroned King is probably King Jehoiachin who was exiled by the Babylonians.   His lament is found in Psalm 89:38-51.  The Children refers to the exiled Israelite who are the author of Psalm 137.  These are start of those individuals of faith that one will meet when you pray the Book of Psalms.

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