Saturday, April 26, 2008

Psalms 111-112 and Book 5 of the Psalter

אוֹדֶה יְהוָה, בְּכָל-לֵבָב; בְּסוֹד יְשָׁרִים וְעֵדָה. At home, abroad most willingly I will
Bestow on God my praise’s uttmost skill:
גְּדֹלִים, מַעֲשֵׂי יְהוָה; דְּרוּשִׁים, לְכָל-חֶפְצֵיהֶם. Chaunting his workes, workes of unmatched might,
Deem'd so by them, who in their search delight.
The beginning of Psalm 111 from the Psalms of Sir Philip Sydney and the Countess of Pembroke. You can see it is going to be its own acrostic.

Psalms 111-112 are a response to Psalm 110, according to The Composition and Theology of the Fifth Book of Psalms, Psalms 107-145 [sic] by Eric Zenger, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament 1998; 23; 77.

I have adjusted my table of contents slightly to reflect some of his statements - notably the chaistic relationship of the Songs of Ascent. It appears that I will need to make the details more visible - hopefully later. - Here's a sample of his structural ideas.
Psalm 111 celebrates [the LORD]’s turning towards his people in rescue. Psalm 112 extols an ['ish]~ whose actions correspond to [the LORD] praised in Psalm 111. The composition directs the reader to see in the ['ish] of Psalm 112 the king whom [the LORD] has called to his side in Psalm 110. [see also Psalm 1].

(2) Psalms 111 and 112 are connected to Psalms 108-10 by the theme of [rsh']- of this I am not yet convinced [rsh' appears only in psalm 109 as a structural element and in psalm 112 once] - which is missing in Psalms 113-18 (and in Pss. 120-37 with the exception of 129.4).
(3) Each of the two acrostics 111-12 shares with the acrostic Psalm 145 the citation of the Sinai-formula, Exod. 34.6 (111.4 and 112.4 have the same word order as 145.8, namely, [xnun vraxum]).
Eventually I will follow up some of these claims with an image. To be convinced of a structural feature, I think I need some confirming aspect in the poem or some uniqueness in the set of poems. Book 5 does have some complexity that needs a visual aid.

No comments: