Davidic Hope in Book IV of the Psalter (Psalms 90-106)

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Davidic Hope in Book IV of the Psalter (Psalms 90-106)

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Title: Davidic Hope in Book IV of the Psalter (Psalms 90-106)
Author: Gundersen, David
Advisor: Hamilton, James M.
Abstract: This dissertation argues that Book IV of the canonical Hebrew Psalter (Pss 90–106) sustains the hope that God will keep his covenant with David by installing a future king from David’s line.

Chapter 1 introduces the debate, states the thesis, surveys the history of psalmic interpretation, and summarizes recent canonical views that see David either diminished or sustained in Book IV.

Chapter 2 presents an eclectic canonical methodology that honors the five-book division, accounts for superscriptions, incipits, and closings, senses a broad narrative progression, acknowledges psalmic collections, recognizes lexical, thematic, and structural resonance beween psalms, and considers inner-biblical allusions.

Chapter 3 explores the covenantal contradiction in Psalm 89 and proposes that Psalm 90 continues and complements the lament in Psalm 89 which questioned the character and reign of God due to the fallen Davidic throne and the severed Davidic line.

Chapter 4 analyzes Psalms 90–92 and argues that a reimagined Moses enters Book IV to intercede for Israel (90) in response to the unfulfilled Davidic covenant in Psalm 89. Psalms 90–92 then allude to Deuteronomy 32–33 and progress from pained petition (90) to promised protection (91) to restored rejoicing (92).

Chapter 5 explores the message and function of Psalm 101 and argues that its intra-book links, Davidic title, royal voice, lamenting tone, future orientation, inter-psalm allusions, and strategic placement make it a central psalm sustaining Davidic hope in Book IV.

Chapter 6 explores the lexical and thematic resonance among Psalms 90, 102, and 103 and argues that the afflicted Davidide in Psalm 102 applies and echoes the plaintive prayer of Moses in Psalm 90 and that the Davidic praise in Psalm 103 answers both Psalms 90 and 102. Thus David is forgiven and restored along with the people in Psalm 103.

Chapter 7 concludes by reviewing the evidence from each chapter and proposing that the overall structure and message of Book IV sustains the hope that God will keep his covenant with David.

URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10392/4991
Date: 2015-09-08

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