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Hanson Amended Final December 2013 Version_pdf

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Hanson Amended Final December 2013 Version_pdf

  1. 1. A SOCIO-RHETORICAL EXAMINATION OF TWIN PSALM 111-112 by RAYMON PAUL HANSON A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Luther Seminary In Partial Fulfillment of The Requirements for the Degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA 2013
  2. 2. © 2013 by Raymon Paul Hanson All rights reserved
  3. 3. LUTHER SEMINARY ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA PH.D. THESIS Title of Thesis: A Socio-Rhetorical Examination of Twin Psalm 111-112 Author: Raymon Paul Hanson Thesis committee: Thesis Adviser Date
  4. 4. ii ABSTRACT A Socio-Rhetorical Examination of Twin Psalm 111-112 by Raymon Paul Hanson Since the time of the influential Hermann Gunkel and his form critical means of evaluation, by and large, Psalms commentaries have tended to treat each psalm as an individual unit. Nevertheless, observations made by past and modern scholarship recognize that certain pairs of juxtaposed psalms throughout the Psalter have common forms, literary features, structures, and interrelated theological themes that weave those psalms together. In particular, current scholarship recognizes that certain pairs of psalms called Zwillingspsalmen or “twin psalms” exist in the final canonical form of the Psalter. The goal of this dissertation is to examine Twin Psalm 111/112 (TPs 111/112) as a textual unit through the multi-perspective approach of socio-rhetorical interpretation (SRI). This study examines TPs 111/112 from the four different textures of inner texture, intertexture, social and cultural texture, and sacred texture. In so doing this dissertation is particularly interested in the phenomenon of rhetoric. Through the employment of multiple SRI perspectives, this dissertation seeks to explore how this twin psalm text unit, as an artistic performance of speech, is designed to both rhetorically persuade the faithful, and polemically defend against the wicked. Although some modifications need to be made due to differences in literary genre and the special interest given here to rhetorical speech, the paper concludes that the SRI approach is a methodology which is useful to the field of Psalms scholarship. Overall the
  5. 5. iii four SRI textures examined here worked well enough to move the examination forward in a rhetorical examination of the text.
  6. 6. iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS It is with a heart full of gratefulness that I acknowledge many who were instrumental and supportive in the journey of the writing of this dissertation. First and foremost I would like to express my thankfulness to the faculty and staff of Luther Seminary. Over the years Dr. Lokken in the GTE office and the associate director Katie Dahl were always kind and supportive in their role to direct and assist me through the logistics of graduate studies and the dissertation itself. Bruce Eldevik and Judy Stone in the library and Kristen Payne in IT were also very helpful along the way in this process. I am especially thankful for the formative classroom instruction I received from many of the professors at Luther Seminary: Terence Fretheim, Fred Gaiser, Mark Hillmer, Diane Jacobson, Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, Alan Padgett and Mark Throntveit. From you not only was I enriched academically but ministered to pastorally through your words and the grace and demeanor through which you conducted your courses. I also enjoyed the creativity, wit and humor you brought to the classroom experience. I especially want to thank Rolf Jacobson for not only the direction and keen insights he provided along the way through the process of writing this dissertation, but also for the encouragement he gave as well. I also would like to thank Dr. David Howard from Bethel Seminary for his advice and assistance in this dissertational process. Last but not least I want to thank my friends and family who have been there to pray for me, encourage me, and love me. I especially want to give special mention to my parents, Bob and Sherry Hanson, who
  7. 7. v continually prayed, encouraged and supported myself and my family through this time. The example of your Christ-like lives over the years has demonstrated to me reflections of justice and generosity referred to in the content this dissertation. To my amazing wife Wendy and my children Eric, Kjersti, and Robbie, you have always been my biggest supporters and you know I am your biggest supporter as well. I want to thank you for the personal sacrifices each of you had to make while your husband or father was busy writing this dissertation. I am thankful for how God has beneficently worked in each one of your lives and I am mindful and hopeful of the words spoken of in Psalm 112:2: His posterity will be mighty in the land; a generation of upright ones, he will be blessed.
  8. 8. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT........................................................................................................................ ii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................................................................. iv LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS..............................................................................................x LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................ xii 1. INTRODUCTION: HISTORY OF TWIN PSALMS....................................................1 Purpose and Scope of the Study............................................................................1 Problem: The Need for More of a Rhetorical Approach................................1 A Socio-Rhetorical Interpretive Approach ....................................................4 The Defining and Delimiting of a Twin Psalm Unit......................................6 Historical Survey of the Term Twin Psalms: 19th Century ..................................7 Ernst W. Hengstenberg ..................................................................................8 Joseph Alexander .........................................................................................12 Franz Delitzsch.............................................................................................15 Thomas K. Cheyne.......................................................................................18 H. D. M. Spence: The Pulpit Commentary ..................................................20 Summary ......................................................................................................20 Excurses: Gunkel and Mowinckel.......................................................................22 Walther Zimmerli’s use of the Term: Twin Psalm..............................................25 Psalm Pairs and the Need for Extended Classifications......................................37 Marks of Twin Psalms: A Working Definition ...................................................39 The Twin Psalm Arrangement: Why does it Matter?..........................................41 2. METHODOLOGY ......................................................................................................43 A Statement of Methodological Considerations Involved in the Research and Writing of the Thesis...........................................................................................43 Restatement of the Thesis ............................................................................43 Introducing Socio-rhetorical Interpretation..................................................44 Inner Texture .......................................................................................................47 Repetitive and Progressive Texture and Pattern ..........................................48 Opening-Middle-Closing Texture and Pattern.............................................49 Argumentative Texture and Pattern .............................................................50 Intertextual Texture .............................................................................................52 Oral-Scribal Intertexture ..............................................................................53 Cultural Intertexture .....................................................................................54 Social and Cultural Texture.................................................................................55 Specific Social Topics..................................................................................56 Common Social and Cultural Topics ...........................................................59
  9. 9. vii Final Cultural Categories .............................................................................60 Sacred Texture.....................................................................................................61 3. TRANSLATION OF PSALMS 111 AND 112 ...........................................................63 Critical Translation of Psalm 111........................................................................63 Critical Translation of Psalm 112........................................................................66 Twin Psalm 111 and 112 .....................................................................................68 Twin Psalm Marks in Twin Psalm 111/112 ........................................................69 4. AN INNER TEXTUAL EXAMINATION OF TWIN PSALM 111 AND 112..........74 Inner Texture in Psalm 111 .................................................................................76 Word/Phrase Repetition and Progressive Texture in Psalm 111..................76 Opening-Middle-Closing Texture in Psalm 111 ..........................................84 Stanza 1(Opening).................................................................................84 Stanza 2 (Middle part 1)........................................................................87 Stanza 3 (Middle part 2)........................................................................88 Stanza 4 (Closing).................................................................................90 Summary of Inner Texture in Psalm 111..............................................91 Outline of Psalm 111.............................................................................92 Inner Texture in Psalm 112 .................................................................................93 Word/Phrase Repetition and Progressive Texture in Psalm 112..................93 Opening-Middle-Closing Texture in Psalm 112 ..........................................97 Stanza 1 (Opening)................................................................................97 Stanza 2 (Middle part 1)........................................................................99 Stanza 3 (Middle part 2)......................................................................100 Stanza 4 (Closing)...............................................................................101 Summary of Inner Texture in Psalm 112............................................101 Outline of Psalm 112...........................................................................102 Inner Texture in TPs 111/112............................................................................102 Word/Phrase Repetition and Progressive Pattern in TPs 111/112 .............103 Acrostic Repetition..............................................................................103 Repetition in the Superscription..........................................................104 Repetition of Two Main Characters....................................................104 Repetition of the Upright’s Inner Disposition.....................................105 Mirroring Repetition ...........................................................................105 Other Twin Psalm Repetition..............................................................107 Repetition in Psalm 111:3b; 112:3b and 9b........................................108 Opening-Middle-Closing Texture in Twin Psalm 111 and 112.................111 Argumentative Texture ..............................................................................112 SRI Argumentation Terminology .......................................................113 Argumentation in Yahweh’s Initiation and Human Response............114 Human Response Argumentation in the Seams of the Text ...............118 The Praise of Yahweh................................................................. 119 Language of Delight ................................................................... 119 Torah-Wisdom Fear of Yahweh Theme ..................................... 120
  10. 10. viii The Rhetological Contrast of the Wicked................................... 121 Argumentation in the Speech of Testimony........................................122 Testimony in Confessing Thanksgiving ..................................... 123 Testimony of Yahweh’s Beneficence ......................................... 125 Testimony in the Recounting of the Exodus Event .................... 125 Testimony of Israel as Yahweh’s Obedient Partner ................... 128 Testimony in Yahweh’s Act of Redemption .............................. 130 Testimony in Yahweh’s Command ............................................ 132 Rhetographical Testimony of Yahweh’s Holiness and Awesomeness.............................................................................. 133 The Role of Yahweh’s Partner............................................................134 Yahweh’s Blessing is upon Yahweh’s Partner ........................... 137 The Beneficence of Yahweh’s Partner ....................................... 139 The Fruitfulness of Yahweh’s Partner ........................................ 143 The Contrasting Way of the Wicked...................................................146 Summarizing Argumentative Texture.................................................146 Summarizing Inner Texture ................................................................149 5. AN INTERTEXTUAL EXAMINATION OF TWIN PSALM 111 AND 112..........151 Oral-Scribal Intertexture....................................................................................151 Reworking Language from the Exodus Account .......................................152 Gracious and Compassionate..............................................................152 The Works of Yahweh ........................................................................153 Reused Words from the Song of Moses..............................................154 Reworking Deuteronomic Speech..............................................................157 “Whole Hearted” Speech ....................................................................157 Motivational Clauses...........................................................................158 Reworking Language from a Mixed Mosaic-Wisdom Tradition...............161 Reworking Psalmic Language....................................................................163 The Works of Yahweh ........................................................................163 Motivational Speech Related to “Performing/Doing” ........................165 The Language of Delight ....................................................................166 Terminology from the Wisdom Tradition in the Psalter.....................167 Intertextuality in Sirach..............................................................................171 Intertextuality with Hellenistic Sources .....................................................175 Intertextuality with Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics..........................175 Intertextuality with Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus.....................................176 Summary of Oral Scribal Intertexture........................................................182 Cultural Intertextuality ......................................................................................188 Defining Cultural Intertextuality................................................................188 Cultural Intertexture in the Hebrew Bible..................................................190 Cultural Intertexture in Sirach....................................................................192 Cultural Intertexture in the Hymn to Zeus..................................................193 Culture of Worship..............................................................................193 Culture of Law ....................................................................................194 Culture of Dualism..............................................................................194
  11. 11. ix Summary ....................................................................................................195 6. SOCIAL AND CULTURAL TEXTURE IN TWIN PSALM 111 AND 112 ...........197 Specific Social Topics .......................................................................................198 A Torah-Wisdom Traditionalist Response.................................................199 The Rhetoric of Social Well-Being............................................................200 The Way of Torah-Wisdom as a Means to Social Change ........................201 Common Social and Cultural Topics ................................................................202 Justice in Hellenistic Greek Society...........................................................203 Justice in the Psalm 111/112 Text..............................................................205 Generous Giving to the Poor and Needy....................................................208 Summary of Common Social and Cultural Topics ....................................212 Final Cultural Categories...................................................................................213 Subculture Rhetoric....................................................................................214 Mimicking and Echoing the Hymn to Zeus.........................................218 Polemical Opening...................................................................... 218 The Blending of Law/Torah with Reason/Wisdom.................... 219 Dualism: The Ignorant and the Enlightened; the Wicked and the Righteous .................................................................................... 220 Torah-Wisdom Traditionalist Response ..................................... 221 Mimicking and Echoes in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics................222 The Contemplative Life .............................................................. 222 Accommodation to the Contemplative Life?.............................. 223 Summary of Social and Cultural Texture...................................................224 7. SACRED TEXTURE IN TWIN PSALM 111 AND 112..........................................227 Deity and Divine History ...........................................................................228 Yahweh as Initiator .............................................................................229 The Work of Yahweh’s Torah as Core Expression ............................230 Yahweh’s Nature to Command...........................................................231 Human Commitment..................................................................................233 Ethics..........................................................................................................236 Human Redemption....................................................................................239 8. CONCLUSION..........................................................................................................244 BIBLIOGRAPHY............................................................................................................250
  12. 12. x LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ABD Anchor Bible Dictionary ANE Ancient Near East Aram. Aramaic BBR Bulletin for Biblical Research BDB A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament BHS Biblical Hebraica Stuttgartensia. BN Biblische Notizen EuA Erbe und Autrag HALAT Hebraisches und aramaisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament HSAT Die Heilige Schrift des Alten Testaments HZ Hymn to Zeus Int Interpretation JBL Journal of Biblical Literature JPS The Jewish Study Bible: Jewish Publication Society, Tanakh Translation JSJSup Journal for the Study of Judaism Supplement JSOTSup Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplication Series LCL Loeb Classical Library Let. Aris. Letter of Aristeas LXX Septuagint MS(S) Manuscript(s) MT Masoretic Text
  13. 13. xi NIB The New Interpreter’s Bible NIBCOT New International Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament NIV New International Version NRSV New American Standard Version OT Old Testament OTE Old Testament Essays OTL Old Testament Library PTL A Journal of Descriptive Poetics and Theory of Literature SBLMS Society of Biblical Literature Monograph Series SRI Socio-Rhetorical Interpretation Syr. Syriac Tg(s). Targum(s) TPs Twin Psalm WBC World Biblical Commentary ZABR Zeitschrift für altorientalische und biblische Rechtesgeschichte
  14. 14. xii LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Repetitive Words and Phrases in Psalm 111 ...................................................... 79 Table 2. Concentric Arrangement in Psalm 111............................................................... 83 Table 3. Repetitive Words, Phrases and Synonymous Themes in Psalm 112.................. 96 Table 4. Straight across Repetition within TPs 111/112................................................. 107
  15. 15. 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: HISTORY OF TWIN PSALMS Purpose and Scope of the Study The main interest in this dissertation is to examine the rhetorical nature of speech in the biblical text. The goal of this dissertation is to investigate the phenomenon of biblical rhetorical speech in the twin psalm unit of Psalms 111 and 112 (hereafter cited as TPs 111/112) to explore how it is persuasively structured to both guide and protect the people of God. Problem: The Need for More of a Rhetorical Approach James Muilenburg in his 1968 presidential SBL address “Form Criticism and Beyond,” paid his respects to the many grand accomplishments of form criticism (the world behind the text), but then went on to challenge the guild of biblical scholarship to now investigate a new methodology he termed “rhetorical criticism.” He stated: What I am interested in, above all, is in understanding the nature of Hebrew literary composition, in exhibiting the structural patterns that are employed for the fashioning of a literary unit, whether in poetry or prose, and in discerning the many and various devices by which the predications are formulated and ordered into a unified whole. Such an enterprise I should describe as rhetoric and the methodology as rhetorical criticism.1 This address opened the door to a new horizon of literary and rhetorical criticism in biblical scholarship—the world of the text. With regard to Psalms research, many 1 James Muilenburg, “Form Criticism and Beyond,” JBL 88 (1969): 8.
  16. 16. 2 scholars have devoted their skill to examining the literary art involved in the composing of this poetry, as well as the various structural patterns found throughout this genre of literature. Here the literary critic pays close attention to literary features such as inclusio, anaphora, meter, stanzas, lexical repetition, key word links (Leitworter), intertextual thematic connections, structure and rhetorical elements. Interest in a new “post-Muilenburg” literary and rhetorical criticism of the biblical text has mounted over the past several decades. Much of the scholarly work done has followed in the tradition and program initiated by Muilenburg’s challenge. However, there are also many who have become restless of rhetorical criticism being confined to a close attention to stylistics in composition and the aesthetic value of the biblical text. Phyllis Trible’s critical analysis of the Muilenburg program cites scholars who voice concern to his limited definition and have branched out to move beyond this approach.2 Her sub-chapter on “The Art of Persuasion,” gives examples of those in the guild who demonstrate how biblical authors have structured their writings to affect their audience.3 David Howard is also uneasy with the restrictive scope of Muilenburg’s program. He observes how the OT “rhetorical criticism” accomplished by the scholarly guild after Muilenburg’s challenge primarily focused on the literary composition, structure, and stylistics to be found in the text as opposed to how the text acts as a means of persuasion.4 As a result, most of the work done initially in this area of study did not 2 Phyllis Trible, Rhetorical Criticism (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1994), 48-52. Here she cites dissatisfaction from Yehoshua Gitay, Wilhelm Wuellner, C. Clifton Black, et al. 3 Ibid., 41-48. 4 David M. Howard, Jr., “Rhetorical Criticism in Old Testament Studies,” BBR 4 (1994): 87-104.
  17. 17. 3 address how the author, editor, text, and audience were involved in the rhetorical persuasion provided by the biblical text. In this regard he states: For the most part, Old Testament “rhetorical criticism” has been only tangentially related to the “rhetorical criticism” of departments of speech or rhetoric. The intersection occurs at the place where the latter do close readings of texts or else in those few cases where Old Testament rhetorical studies actually focus upon the suasive and/or oratorical aspects of the biblical texts.5 Howard ends his article by challenging biblical scholars to turn to a more classical “rhetorical criticism based on speech and persuasion.”6 Just as the term literary criticism needed to be redefined to distinguish it from source criticism, so too he urges that it “would behoove the discipline of Old Testament rhetorical criticism to redefine itself in terms of speech and (especially) persuasion, taking into account the label ‘rhetorical.’”7 Donald Berry also notes the limitations exhibited by this more literary, stylistic emphasis in rhetorical criticism which can result in it “. . . becoming a mere catalog of the literary devices of a text.”8 He goes on to encourage a more holistic approach as he states: Once the literary devices of a text have been identified, preoccupation with these features can cloud the genuine aim of biblical interpretation—textual explication. Rhetorical criticism generates information which needs to be processed within some other system.9 In light of all of this it seems reasonable to state that the more literary methodology, forwarded by Muilenburg and those who have followed him, can be enhanced by those who now wish to make a broadening “next step” in scholarship toward the more 5 Ibid., 99. 6 Ibid., 87. 7 Ibid., 102-3. 8 Donald K. Berry, The Psalms and their Readers (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), 143. 9 Ibid.
  18. 18. 4 persuasive side of rhetorical criticism. Indeed, making such a move in interpretation can be viewed as being more holistic. A Socio-Rhetorical Interpretive Approach In the attempt then to move in this more holistic direction which is inclusive of a rhetorical approach, this dissertation will examine the TPs 111/112 through a multi- perspective socio-rhetorical method of interpretation (hereafter cited as SRI). According to Robbins, socio-rhetorical interpretation: views texts as performances of language in particular historical and cultural situations. The “socio”- refers to the rich resources of modern social, cultural, and cognitive sciences. The “rhetorical” refers to the way language in a text is a means of communication among people. SRI presupposes that a text is a tapestry of interwoven textures, including inner texture, intertexture, social and cultural texture, ideological texture and sacred texture.10 As will be demonstrated, these textures interweave with one another, as one texture will build upon the information drawn out in another texture. For example, in the final texture—sacred texture—the three preceding textures will be drawn upon to provide a “thicker” interpretation of the text.11 The goal of this dissertation is to examine TPs 111/112 as a textual unit through the multi-perspective approach of SRI. In so doing this dissertation is particularly interested in the phenomenon of rhetoric and persuasive speech. Through the 10 Vernon K. Robbins, The Invention of Christian Discourse, ed. Vernon K. Robbins and Duane F. Watson, vol. 1, Rhetoric of Religious Antiquity Series (Blandford Forum: Deo Publishing, 2009), xxviii- xix. 11 In this regard Robbins states in the conclusion to his book: “As an interpreter works carefully with the nature of language itself in a text, with the relation of a text to other texts, and with the material, social, cultural, and ideological nature of life, a thick description of the sacred texture of a text emerges. This description is truer to the rich complexity of a sacred text than exploration that limits itself to only one texture of a text.” See Vernon K. Robbins, Exploring the Texture of Texts (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1996), 130.
  19. 19. 5 employment of four12 SRI perspectives, this dissertation seeks to explore how the artistic performance of speech in this twin psalm unit both rhetorically persuades the faithful and polemically defends against the wicked. This twin psalm text is intriguing because the two psalms rhetorically say so much more when they are read together and examined as a unit. The text is typically dated by scholars to a postexilic timeframe13 —a period of time the author has always personally held in great interest.14 It is hoped that those reading this dissertation will enjoy the richness of reading this twin psalm text through the lens of SRI. The author invites all those reading this dissertation to join with him in wondering about future directions to which the implications of this study may potentially lead. The first step in literary analysis is finding the limiting bounds of a literary unit of speech. In the case of this dissertation, the subject matter of this rhetorical investigation is the TPs 111/112 unit of text. Since the mid-19th century there has been a bewildering amount of varying ways in which this “twin psalm” designation has been used. To date no formal definition for this term “twin psalm” has been developed. So before entering into an examination of two psalms together as one unit, one may question if such a joining of two psalms together as a unit is legitimate and also what limitations can be placed upon what defines a twin psalm unit. Therefore, before entering into the main 12 The SRI texture of ideology will not be examined in this dissertation since its subject matter is not concerned with the rhetorical nature of a text, but instead departs from the text to deals with an analysis of the readers (you and I) and what ideological baggage we as readers bring to the reading of the text. 13 See e.g. Leslie C. Allen, Psalms 101-150, ed. Bruce M. Metzer et al., WBC (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2002), 122; Hans-Joachim Kraus, Psalms 60-150, trans. Hilton C. Oswald (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), 357. 14 The author spent a year abroad studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and there took part in history classes taught by Dr. Isaiah Gafni and Dr. Daniel Schwartz pertaining to the Judaism of the Second Temple period.
  20. 20. 6 body of the dissertation’s concern with rhetorical speech, an excursus will first define a twin psalm unit and show what warrant there is for us to consider TPs 111/112 together as one literary unit of speech. The Defining and Delimiting of a Twin Psalm Unit Following the influential lead of Hermann Gunkel, much of the scholarly work during the 20th century focused on form criticism and the classification of individual psalms according to their specific genre, and speculation was made determining how each psalm may have historically fit into the cultic life of the Hebrew people. For the most part, the Psalter was viewed as a collection of 150 individual psalms, with each psalm being treated separately from the other psalms surrounding it. Even each psalm in the collection of psalms in the Psalms of Ascent (Pss 120-34) according to Gunkel “belong to very different genres.”15 In this same manner, commentaries on the Psalter after Gunkel tended to ignore how some psalms or collection of psalms seemed to work together and focus was placed upon each psalm as an individual unit. Nevertheless, observations made by pre-Gunkel and more recent scholarship recognize that certain pairs of psalms throughout the Psalter have common forms, literary features, structures, and interrelated theological themes which weave those psalms together. The degree to which these psalm pairs are stitched together by form, common words, phrases and themes varies from pair to pair. Some are tacked together by a very moderate light literary stitching, while others are intricately woven together by a wide variety of literary features, and theological themes. 15 Hermann Gunkel, Introduction to Psalms: The Genres of the Religious Lyric of Israel, trans. James D. Nogalski (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1998), 17.
  21. 21. 7 Current scholarship recognizes that certain pairs of psalms called Zwillingspsalmen16 or “twin psalms” exist in the final canonical form of the Psalter. As we will see, this term “twin psalm” lacks a formal definition. This presents a difficulty because if one is going to do methodological research on twin psalms one must be able to first define what a twin psalm is and is not. The purpose of this initial selective historical survey then will be to examine how the term twin psalm has been used in the past and then use this information to define and delimit what defines a “twin psalm” unit. However, this information is only background information for the real study in this dissertation, which is concerned with the role of rhetoric and how a twin psalm textual unit—Psalm 111 and 112—is fashioned as an artistic performance of speech, to both rhetorically persuade the faithful and polemically defend against the wicked. Historical Survey of the Term Twin Psalms: 19th Century Since a twin psalm text is to be examined closely in this dissertation, a working definition of how a twin psalm unit is to be defined is in order. The term “twin psalm” has never been formerly defined. Unfortunately, as one surveys the various manners in which this designation is put into use, it appears, to quote from the book of Judges, that “every man did what was right in his own eyes.”17 Particularly in recent years the designation “twin psalm” has been used in a wide variety of ways. Because of this it is evident that there is some amount of confusion and disagreement in Psalm scholarship 16 Walther Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen,” In Wort, Lied und Gottesspruch: Festschrift für Joseph Ziegler, ed. Josef Schreiner, Forschung Zur Bibel; Bd. 2. ([Würzburg] Echter Verlag: Katholisches Bibelwerk, 1972). This work by Zimmerli has popularized this term Zwillingspsalmen in more recent years. However, this term dates back much earlier to the 19th century. 17 Unless noted otherwise, all scriptural quotes are taken from the New Revised Standard Version of scripture.
  22. 22. 8 over what actually constitutes a twin psalm unit. In light of this, we shall first conduct a chronological history surveying how this term has been utilized amongst Psalms scholars in both older pre-Gunkel and more recent scholarship. We will then synthesize this information to propose a definition regarding what qualifies two psalms as being a twin psalm unit. Ernst W. Hengstenberg The origin of two psalms being depicted as a pair, double pair, twin pair, or twin psalms is detected early on in the scholarly writings of the 19th century. Ernst W. Hengstenberg (1802-1869) wrote his first Psalms commentary in 1844.18 Here we are introduced to reading about pairs of psalms which are meant to be read as a unit. The commentary’s introduction is quick to observe that Psalm 1 and 2 were placed together in order that they might serve as an introduction to the Psalter. One indication that they are united as a whole is shown by observing how both psalms do not have Davidic superscriptions as are found in most of the other psalms in book one—nothing divides them. Also, the theme of the righteous versus the wicked found in Psalm 1 seems to act foundationally as an introduction to the same subject matter found in Psalm 2 “with a special application to the Messiah and His adversaries.”19 Much like contemporary Psalms commentaries, Hengstenberg draws attention to how Psalm 1 opens with a “blessed” statement while Psalm 2 closes with a “blessed” statement and to how the word 18 Ernst W. Hengstenberg, Kommentar über die Psalmen (Berlin: Berlag von Eubwig Dehmigte, 1844). 19 Ernst W. Hengstenberg, Commentary on the Psalms, trans. P. Fairbairn and J. Thomson, 4th ed., 3 vols. (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1863), 1:6.
  23. 23. 9 “perish” used in the final verse of both psalms depicts the fate of the wicked.20 He ends his analysis with an interesting contrast of how “the words ‘The nations meditate vain things’ in [the second Psalm], acquire additional force, if viewed as a contrast to the meditation of the righteous on the law of the Lord, mentioned in the first Psalm.”21 The argument that these psalms are indeed a paired unit is further strengthened by additional examples of “pairs of Psalms” found elsewhere in the Psalter.22 As one of those examples, Hengstenberg ranks Psalms 14 and 15 as a psalm pair (psalm paar in German) due to the juxtaposed contrast which is depicted between the wicked in the former with the righteous in the latter. He cites how Luther’s commentary originally concluded that “This Psalm [15] follows the preceding one in the finest order. For, just as in that the form and pattern of the ungodly was described, so now in this the pattern of the godly is described.”23 This attention to an intentional editorial ordering to illicit a theological contrast, illustrates how both Luther and Hengstenberg sought to pastorally reveal patterns which teach theological lessons throughout the Psalter. His commentary on Psalm 33 recognizes that there exists what we might call a literary stitching joining the ending Psalm 32 and the beginning of Psalm 33. In this regard he states that Psalm 33 “along with the one before it, forms one pair [paar]. The chief reason for adopting this view is that the Psalm begins in the same strain as that 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. Again, it is interesting to note how his commentary sounds so similar to many of the commentaries today. 22 Ibid. 23 Ibid., 1:220.
  24. 24. 10 which the preceding one concludes, namely, an exhortation to rejoice in the Lord.”24 Hengstenberg goes on to suggest that this unit makes a movement from an individual prayer of David (Ps 32) to be a prayer which can be shared by the whole believing community of Israel (Ps 33).25 In other words, Psalm 32 acts as an introduction to Psalm 33. Also, in support of this claim that these psalms form a pair, he notes that there is no superscription dividing these psalms like the ones surrounding it.26 He notes as well that structurally Psalm 32 is in a 22 line acrostic form, and that Psalm 33 mirrors this with its own 22 verse albeit non-acrostic structure. As an interesting side note to the development of this pair/twin psalm designation, David Johnson a short time later agrees with Hengstenberg’s assessment of Psalms 32 and 33 as being meant to be read together as a unit and he refers to them as “twin songs.”27 Another example of a psalm pair from Hengstenberg is found in his commentary on Psalms 42 and 43. His reasoning is based upon how the five verse stanza in Psalm 43 is patterned after the two 5 verse stanzas found in Psalm 42.28 He then goes on to point out how Psalm 42:9 mirrors 43:2 and the ending of 42:11 mirrors 43:5. Furthermore, just 24 Ibid., 1:523. 25 Again, we see here Hengstenberg’s purpose to lay out a manner in which the juxtaposed reading of two psalms reveals a practical principle of interpretation which can be applied to the life of the believing community. 26 We already saw this inference from a lack of a superscription in Pss 1 and 2. Psalms 9 and 10 are the only other psalms in book one which do not have a superscription between them. This pair of psalms is also without doubt intended to be read together as a unit as they were originally composed as a single acrostic psalm with every other line beginning with the next successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. 27 David Johnson, A Treatise on the Authorship of Ecclesiastes (London: MacMillian & Co, 1880), 376. 28 Hengstenberg, Commentary on the Psalms, 2:85. He states that Ps 42:6 acts as a “prelude” and thus divides these five verse strophes.
  25. 25. 11 like the previous pairs of Psalms 1 & 2; 9 & 10; and 32 & 33, there lacks a superscription dividing these psalms.29 The paired unit of the acrostic Psalms 111 and 112 is the last example we will look at from Hengstenberg before we move on to look at other scholars from this time period. Structurally, he notes how the “fear of the LORD” theme in the first verse of Psalm 112 connects with the final verse of Psalm 111 and “may be considered a commentary on it.”30 In addition: “The formal arrangement in both Psalms is completely the same—proof enough that we have before us a pair of Psalms.”31 Hengstenberg raises a theological connection which is implicit in paired unit and states: This Psalm [112] is a praise of God as the true Recompenser. In the preceding Psalm, courage had been imparted to those who failed to observe the recompense, by pointing to the glorious deeds of God in times past; and here the recompense to be expected is described at length. There the basis is assigned to the ‘that’ if the recompense, and here to the ‘how’ God will not be wanting to himself;—this is the fundamental thought;—let a man sow faithfully, though it be in tears, in due season he shall reap in joy.32 This ability to see an interrelated theological message running through two adjacent psalms when read as a unit is well illustrated here by Hengstenberg’s analysis. This implicit editorial design to integrate a theological message through the joint reading of a psalm pair as a unit will be important to keep in mind for our present definition of a twin psalm and also in the latter stages of discussion in this dissertation. 29 Ibid. 30 Ibid., 3:349. Once more we see here an illustration of how Hengstenberg now directs the reader of Ps 112 to receive practical instruction on what the “fear of the LORD” looks like as live it is lived out by the righteous God fearer described in this psalm. 31 Ibid. 32 Ibid., 3:348-49.
  26. 26. 12 Joseph Alexander Joseph Alexander (1809-1860) was a contemporary scholar with Hengstenberg and in the preface to his commentary he pays a huge debt of gratitude to the German scholar with the “acknowledgment, that his work is the basis of the one now offered to the public, and that more has been directly drawn from that source than from all others put together.”33 Alexander is quick to acknowledge that his commentary “is aimed exclusively at explanation, the discovery and statement of meaning. . . because this is really the point in which assistance is needed by the readers of the Psalter”34 and lastly, because he had especially in view “the want of ministers, who are better able than himself to erect a doctrinal, devotional, or practical super structure on the exegetical basis he has endeavored here to furnish.”35 Consequently, he makes clear that he is not concerned with any “attempt to give the history of the interpretation, or to enumerate the advocates and authors of conflicting expositions.”36 Adding to this he also avoids “full discussions of the various questions, as to the age and the authors of the various psalms, the origin and principle of their arrangement, the best mode of classification, and the principles on which they ought to be interpreted.”37 Like Hengstenberg before him, Alexander seeks to exegetically interpret the Psalms in a manner which will practically enrich the believing community which stands in front of the text rather than delving into background 33 Joseph A. Alexander, The Psalms Translated and Explained, 3 vols. (New York: Baker and Scribner, 1850), 1:iii. 34 Ibid., iv. 35 Ibid. 36 Ibid., v. 37 Ibid., vi.
  27. 27. 13 speculation concerning authorship and the possible Sitz im Leben of a psalm, or in our case, paired psalms. One development Alexander makes with regard to these juxtaposed psalms is that he refers to them both as pairs or double psalms.38 With regard to these he speaks of incidences “in which two psalms bear so intimate and obvious a mutual relation, that they seem to constitute a pair or double psalm, either because they were originally meant to match each other or because one has been subsequently added for the purpose.”39 Another development is that he goes on in Hengstenberg’s footsteps to postulate new possibilities of there being additional psalm pairs. His first commentary in 1850 makes reference to five different pairs or double psalms: 1 & 2; 3 & 4; 9 & 10; 16 & 17; 23 & 24; and 25 & 26.40 A brief survey of the newer additions, beyond those given by Hengstenberg already, demonstrates his rationale for what constitutes these units. Due to a “similarity of structure” and the mirroring of the “lie down and sleep” phrase found in both Psalm 3:5 and Psalm 4:8, he states that like Psalms 1 and 2 “they were meant to form a pair or double psalm.”41 Psalm 17 is said to be a pair or double psalm with Psalm 16 due to “the resemblance of its subject, tone and diction.”42 38 With regard to the purposeful arrangement of the psalms in the Psalter he states: “The collection is by no means so unmeaning and fortuitous as may at first sight seem to be the case, but that in many instances at least, a reason may be found for the juxtaposition, in resemblance or identity of subject or historical occasion, or in some remarkable coincidence of general form or of particular expressions.” Ibid., ix. 39 Ibid. 40 Hengstenberg has already treated Pss 1 & 2; 9 & 10, so these will not be reexamined here. 41 Alexander, The Psalms Translated and Explained, 26. He also states that Ps 3 should be considered a morning psalm due to the “I awake” phrase found in Ps 3:5 whereas Psalm 4 should be considered an evening psalm due to the “I will lie down” phrase found in Ps 4:8. 42 Ibid., 120.
  28. 28. 14 Alexander hypothesizes that Psalms 23 and 24 historically were arranged “to be sung upon the same occasion; the first, it may be, as the ark left its former resting-place, the second as it drew near to its new one.”43 Psalms 25 and 26 are probably a pair/double psalm due to “a certain similarity of form.”44 It appears that Alexander was keenly aware of these new found double psalms in the beginning of this commentary but then his awareness of them vanishes from this point on in this commentary and one is left to wonder if the luxury of slowing down to notice other psalm pairs was over ridden by the rush to get this initial commentary to press. A subsequent revised commentary was published in 1864 with additional sets of proposed double Psalms 88 & 89; 92 & 93; and 95 & 96.45 Here Alexander posits that the only explanation for the unresolved despondency of Psalm 88 is that the laments found there are “merely introductory to the cheering expectations” of Psalm 89.46 Psalm 93 is possibly a double psalm with Psalm 92 if we see the latter as being “an amplification of the laconic dictum in Ps. xcii 9 (8).”47 The rationale for the pairing of Psalm 95 with 96 is due to the former being an admonition for the Jews to sing joyfully to the LORD while 43 Ibid., 198. See 2 Sam 6 and 1 Chr 15. This is one place where Alexander dips his toe into the waters of historical speculation somewhat like we will later see with Delitzsch. However, different from Delitzsch’s historical concern for an actual timeframe of dating, Alexander seems to be more concerned with a possible historical purpose. His historical comments here are uncharacteristic with the rest of the general pastoral tone found in his commentary and one may take pause to wonder if his speculative reasoning is perhaps getting a bit too fanciful in the historical joint reading of these two psalms. 44 Ibid., 214. It appears that by form he means here that these are both psalms of trust. 45 Joseph A. Alexander, The Psalms Translated and Explained (Edinburgh: A. Elliot, J. Thin, 1864). 46 Ibid., 366. 47 Ibid., 388. That laconic dictum being: “But you O LORD are exalted forever.”
  29. 29. 15 the latter encourages the Gentiles throughout all the earth to sing out a new song.48 One implicit precedent regarding what constitutes a psalm pairs set by both Hengstenberg and Alexander, is that these psalm pairs or double psalms must be arranged alongside of one another. Franz Delitzsch Nine years after Alexander’s work, Franz Delitzsch (1813-1890) published a two volume commentary (1859-60) on the Psalms49 which was later republished in the 1867 Biblischer Commentar über das Alte Testament series.50 Like Hengstenberg, Delitzsch observes that Psalms 42 and 43 are to be read together as a unit. In this regard he states: “The similarity of the situation, of the general impress, of the structure, and of the refrain, is decisive in favour of these Psalms, which are commonly reckoned as two, being one.”51 Earlier in the introduction to this commentary in his remarks on arrangement, he speaks of Psalm 43 as being “an independent twin psalm” to Psalm 42.52 This appears to be the first place the term Zwillingspsalm is used. Another twin psalm reference is made regarding Psalms 69 and 40 which Delitzsch says “are closely related as twin psalms [Zwillingspsalmen].”53 His reasoning for this assessment with regard to Psalms 40 and 69 is as follows: “In both the poet 48 Ibid., 396. 49 Franz Delitzsch, Kommentar über die Psalmen, 2 vols. (Leipzig: Dorffling und Franke, 1859). 50 Franz Delitzsch, Biblischer Commentar über die Psalmen (Liepzig: Dorffling und Franke, 1867). 51 Franz Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Psalms, 3 vols., Clark’s Foreign Theological Library (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1871), 2:54. 52 Ibid., 2:21. 53 Ibid., 2:275.
  30. 30. 16 describes his suffering as a sinking into a miry pit: in both we meet with the same depreciation of ceremonial sacrifice: the same method of denoting a great multitude ‘more that the hairs of my head,’ [Pss 69:5, 40:13]; and the same prospect of the faith of saints being strengthened [Pss 69:7, 33; 40:4, 17].”54 Like his predecessors, Delitzsch uses these like phrases to identify a pair of psalms. However, these psalms are not juxtaposed alongside of one another as we saw in all the examples given above. Furthermore, unlike Hengstenberg and Alexander who focus more upon theological, literary and pastoral connections between adjacent psalms, Delitzsch’s purpose in observing connections between psalms adds in a concern for determining the authorship and for the historical timeframe of when they were written. Indeed, he devotes about eight pages related to “The History of Psalm Composition” in his introductory remarks.55 The timeframe and origins of the various psalms in the Psalter then range from the early psalms of Moses and David to latter possible dates in the Maccabean period. This more historically based approach of Delitzsch, away from Hengstenberg and Alexander’s more literary approach, is an important distinction to take note of here when considering what constitutes a psalm pair or twin psalm.56 In this case, he postulates that the similar “miry pit” language in these psalms points to the prophet Jeremiah as being the original author. This then identifies the identical timeframe when these two psalms were composed and allows us to view them as “twins.” 54 Ibid. 55 Ibid., 1:7-14. 56 This is not to say that Hengstenberg and Alexander totally neglected historical possibilities in their commentaries because they did not. This is saying that their “time-frame” emphasis was of a very minor concern when compared to Delitzsch.
  31. 31. 17 In like manner, Delitzsch also speaks of Psalm 3957 and Psalm 62 as being a “twin pair” (ein Zwillingspaares).58 He first bases this upon the like superscriptions which name both Jeduthun and David.59 He goes on to point out how both psalms use the word “Selah” twice and use the word “indeed” multiple times.60 Furthermore, “both describe the nothingness of everything human in the same language.”61 More importantly however, these psalms are a twin pair because they are “a product of the time of the persecution by Absalom.”62 Here again we see Delitzsch’s historical concerns are instrumental in determining what constitutes a twin psalm or twin pair. One final “twin” reference is made in this commentary regarding the acrostic Psalms 111 and 112. Here Delitzsch states: “The two Psalms are twin in form as in contents.”63 He later refers to them as a “twin pair” (Zwillingspaares).64 His commentary on the form aspect of these psalms points to their obvious 22 line acrostic structure and how the first verse of each psalm “sets forth the theme which follows.”65 He also notes 57 Interestingly Delitzsch begins his remarks regarding Ps 39 by observing a thematic connection it has with the previous psalm. Both Ps 38:14 and Ps 39:3 &10 depict the poet as “a dumb person, who opens not his mouth” (Delitzsch, Psalms, 2:26-27). This characteristic “fully warranted their being placed together as a pair” (Delitzsch, Psalms, 2:27). However, in his opinion, Pss 39 and 62 “are still more closely related” since they have “a similar historical background” (Delitzsch, Psalms, 2:27). 58 Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Psalms, 2:206. It is interesting to note that in his previous commentary on Ps 39 he speaks of them, like Hengstenberg and Alexander before him, as being simply a pair (see ibid., 2:27). 59 Ibid., 2:27. 60 Ibid. 61 Ibid. 62 Ibid., 2:206. 63 Ibid., 3:197. “Die zwei Psalmen. sind Zwillenge in Form wie Inhalt.” 64 Ibid. 65 Ibid., 200.
  32. 32. 18 how in the third verse of both psalms we find the phrase “and his righteousness endures forever.”66 His commentary of these psalms lacks an overt historical concern, but their side by side acrostic arrangement and the mirroring of certain phrasing may implicitly have led him to believe they were from the same time period. His description of what connects this twin pair here sounds a bit more like how Hengstenberg and Alexander before him described psalm pairs or double psalms. It appears that Delitzsch is the first to evoke the terms “twin psalms” and “twin pairs” and he uses these terms interchangeably. Unlike his predecessors, he uses the term twin psalm to denote psalms, juxtaposed or not, which were authored by the same author during a similar timeframe. Thomas K. Cheyne Thomas K. Cheyne (1841-1915) is a late19th century Psalms scholar who also makes use of “twin psalm” terminology. In 1888 he makes his first published mention of this phrase and states: Pss. cxi and cxiii are twin psalms. They are both ‘alphabetical’ in the full sense, each of the three-toned lines beginning with one of the twenty-two Hebrew letters taken in order; and in both psalms the last two verses are tristichs. In contents they are still more closely akin. Ps. cxii. is a “heilige Parodie” (as Hengstenberg phrases it) of Ps. cxi., designed to suggest the lesson of Matt. v. 48.67 Thus, Cheyne in his initial reference to a “twin psalm,” seems to pick up on Delitzsch’s terminology but then goes on to make a theological connection between these psalm much like Hengstenberg and Alexander. 66 Ibid. 67 Thomas K. Cheyne, The Book of Psalms: Or the Praise of Israel (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench & Co., 1888), 303. Matt. 5:48 of course is based upon the Lev 19:2 passage, “Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy.”
  33. 33. 19 In an 1889 publication, Cheyne suggests other twin psalm units which we will list here.68 He connects Psalms 75 and 76 together as twin psalms due to their common theme surrounding God’s judgment upon the wicked.69 In 1892, he finds that both Psalms 16 and 17 thematically “anticipate an immediate admission to the divine presence after death”70 and thus are designated as “twin-psalms.”71 However, also in 1892, Cheyne began to no longer limit twin psalms to be only those which are juxtaposed alongside of one another. In this manner he uses a great deal of creativity by asserting that Psalms 26 and 28 “are twin-psalms and reflect upon each other.”72 He bases this upon there being a theme of two levels of “self-confidence” which are evident in the attitudes of the speakers in these two psalms. Later in 1898, he casually speaks of Psalm 2 and Psalm 18 as being twin psalms due to their common use of a Davidic theme with wider implications of a future Messianic age.73 Unlike Delitzsch, Cheyne’s connections in these two instances of non-juxtaposed psalms are based strictly on common themes—there is no concern for the historical timeframe in which these Psalms were written. In 1904 his comments revert back to dealing solely with juxtaposed psalms. Here he views Psalms 20 and 21 as twin psalms because they both speak of God’s favor which 68 These references are chronologically according to their date of publication. 69 Thomas K. Cheyne, The Origins and Religious Contexts of the Psalter (London: Kegan, Paul, Trench & Co., 1889), 166. 70 Thomas K. Cheyne, Aids to the Devout Study of Criticism (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1892), 265. 71 Ibid., 266. 72 Ibid., 291. Earlier J. Alexander asserted that Pss 25 and 26 were psalm pairs. 73 Thomas K. Cheyne, Jewish Religious Life after the Exile (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1898), 111.
  34. 34. 20 rests upon “the king.”i Concerning the acrostic Psalm 34, he states: “The earliest editor probably considered it to be the twin-psalm to Psalm [35].”74 This was due to the “foe” connection as seen in the superscription of Psalm 3475 tying in with the “foes” spoken against in Psalm 35. It appears that for Cheyne, there are many different ways in which similar themes may join various psalms together to become twin psalms. H. D. M. Spence: The Pulpit Commentary The Pulpit Commentary (1896) also make reference to the twin psalms 56 and 57. After identifying them as twin psalms the commentary states: They begin with the same words, are nearly of the same length, and have each a refrain which divides them into two portions . . . . Both psalms were written under circumstances of great distress, and the tone of thought in them is very similar. Each begins with a complaint, and earnest prayer for deliverance, while each ends with praise and triumph.76 This description is the nearest we come to finding an actual definition of twin psalms during this time period. Here these juxtaposed psalms are considered to be a twin psalm text due to their having: the same opening phrase, a similar length, a similar refrain, a similar tone, and a similar theme of distress is noted as existing in the pair. Summary In many cases the terms psalm pair, double psalm, twin song, twin pair and twin psalm appear to be analogous with one another. It is apparent from the above survey that 74 Thomas K. Cheyne, The Book of Psalms, 2 vols. (New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1904), 1:140. I have changed Cheyne’s Roman numeral xxxv to our Arabic number 35 here. 75 “Of David, when he pretended to be insane before [his foe] Abimelech, who drove him out, and he went away.” 76 H. D. M. Spence, ed., Psalms, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1869), 1.
  35. 35. 21 these terms were used interchangeably in the 19th century.77 For example, Psalms 111 and 112 were called a “psalm pair” by Hengstenberg, a “twin-pair” by Delitzsch, and “twin psalms” by Cheyne. In every case these terms identify that there is some type of bond which exists between two psalms, be that a similar tone, theme, similar structure or a historical time frame. Less often the juxtaposed psalms may have an interrelated contrasting theological theme, as in Psalms 14 and 15. Others pairs have a similar Gattung or form which helps to unite them.78 Hengstenberg and Alexander were the first to list various psalm pairs and all these initial examples were of juxtaposed psalms. Both of these scholars made it clear that these psalms were editorially placed alongside of one another in order that they might be read together. Of the nineteen sets of psalms we examined79 all but four sets were juxtaposed alongside one another. These nineteen psalm pairs illustrate the many ways in which adjacent psalms may be literarily, theologically, and thematically stitched together.80 In light of the above survey it is clear that these different scholars have different opinions with regard to what criteria warrant two separate psalms to be recognized as twin psalms or psalm pairs. There are many places of agreement amongst these scholars where they recognize the similar words, phrases, forms, and theological themes which exist between twin psalms or psalm pairs. In most cases they limited these twin pairs to 77 Because of this the remainder of this survey will also use these terms in an interchangeable fashion. 78 To this list we might add Delitzsch’s historical timeframe concern, but the two examples given were unique at this time and would not fall under the category of what we would call “typical.” 79 The thirty-eight psalms we considered in this short overview make up approximately twenty- five percent of the Psalter. 80 In Delitzsch’s case the psalms may be stitched together by authorship and historical timeframe as well.
  36. 36. 22 juxtaposed psalms. However, there were differences as well. Both Delitzsch and Cheyne departed from the adjacent psalm pair approach of Hengstenberg and Alexander. On the one hand, Delitzsch was driven in this direction by his zeal to establish the historical timeframe in which psalms 39 with 62, and also 40 with 69, were originally written. While one may admire the plausibility of his scholarship, it appears that this historically driven manner of identifying twin pairs takes away from the importance of being able to read a psalm pair as a unit. Cheyne on the other hand, uses creative license to thematically connect Psalm 26 with Psalm 28, and also Psalm 2 with Psalm 18. Creativity is needful and its use applauded in the art side of interpretation. The problem is that creativity is often very subjective and interpreters can imagine endless thematic connections between disparate psalms throughout the Psalter. This appears to be the case with Psalms 26 and 28 which Cheyne envisions illustrating two different levels of trust. There is a personal creative subjectivism also evident in Cheyne’s linking of Psalm 2 with Psalm 18 by means of the Davidic/Messianic theme found in these psalms. By what criteria is Psalm 18 to be judged as a better “twin psalm” to link with Psalm 2 than Psalm 110? Another problem is that because the final editors did not arrange these psalms alongside of one another, we cannot imagine that these psalms were intended to be read together as a unit. A more definitive description of what makes up a “twin psalm” must take this intentional theological joint relationship into account. Excurses: Gunkel and Mowinckel After the work accomplished by the above mentioned scholars, references to psalm pairs or twin psalm for the most part fell out of sight. Much of OT scholarship in relationship to the Psalms throughout the twentieth century now became dominated by
  37. 37. 23 the form-critical approach of Hermann Gunkel (1862-1932).81 Gunkel’s methodology prompted him to identify various psalm genres and to then speculate upon the possible Sitz im Leben out of which the various forms of lament, hymn, royal, thanksgiving or praise psalms occurred. This approach divided the psalms up into individual sub-genres or types of poetry such as individual laments, community laments, thank offering songs, hymns, entrance liturgies, Torah songs, and royal psalms, many which corresponded to various cultic functions in Israel’s corporate worship. Other psalms (e.g. Ps 50) he designated as Spiritual Songs “presuppose no particular cultic acts”82 and could be sung by an individual anywhere.83 Gunkel’s student Sigmund Mowinckel (1884-1965) redirected the emphasis and made the hypothesis that almost all of the psalms were composed specifically for the liturgical worship of the Temple cult.84 Much of his theory surrounded the central significance of the fall festival of the “Enthronement Festival” (see Pss 47, 95-100) which honored Yahweh as King. Like Gunkel, his hypothesis addressed the Sitz im Leben historical dimension so important to the methodology of this timeframe. Both of the form-critical approaches forwarded by Gunkel and Mowinckel, by their very nature, place the emphasis of their study on how the text fit into the life and cult of the original believing community “back then.” This emphasis of “looking back” into the various 81 Gunkel, Introduction to Psalms: The Genres of the Religious Lyric of Israel. 82 Hermann Gunkel, The Psalms: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967), 26. 83 While many of the older psalms were written for use in the worship service of the cult, others, according to Gunkel, “the pious poet composed for his own use.” See ibid., 5. 84 Sigmund Mowinckel, The Psalms in Israel's Worship, trans. D. R. Ap-Thomas, 2 vols. (Nashville: Abingdon, 1962).
  38. 38. 24 literary forms and how they fit into historical past is very different from the more pastorally oriented interests we found in Hengstenberg’s and Alexander’s commentaries. Also, unlike the preceding 19th century scholars, there was during this time in the 20th century only limited attention given to any kind of an inner relational structure within the Psalter. The upshot of all of this is that psalms scholarship since the seminal work of Gunkel and Mowinckel takes a turn towards genre and the form critical analysis of each individual psalm. As a result, Psalms commentaries for the most part joined in with this form critical approach and limited their analysis to each psalm as an individual unit. David Howard points out how the introductions to many psalms commentaries follow the lead of Gunkel and merely speak of the standard grouping of the psalms into five books, each which end with a doxology, as well as the sub-grouping of various psalm collections such as the psalms of Asaph (50, 73-83), Korah (42-49; 84-85; 87-88); and the Songs of Accent 120-134 and so forth.85 The problem is that “there has been no real interest in the internal structures of these collections, except the casual comments that they were probably liturgical collections of one type of another.” 86 Howard points out that due to the influence of Gunkel and Mowinckel “more specific questions of organization and structure within these groupings largely have gone unaddressed.”87 85 David M. Howard, Jr., The Structure of Psalms 93-100 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1997), 2. 86 Ibid. 87 Ibid.
  39. 39. 25 Walther Zimmerli’s use of the Term: Twin Psalm For many years after Gunkel, terms like “psalm pair,” and “twin psalm” made infrequent appearances in Psalms scholarship. It is not until a work entitled “Zwillingspsalmen” published in 1972 by Walther Zimmerli, that this term seems to resurrect from a distant past. Zimmerli’s article reawakened the scholarly guild to the many instances where psalms seemed to be interlinked and stitched together. Zimmerli’s work is pivotal. In this article he wrestles with the various manners in which pairs of psalms relate to one another. Although he entitles this work “Zwillingspsalmen,” as we will see, one must be careful not to assume that every example of psalm pairs he mentions in this essay are in fact twin psalms. As we have already seen, there are many ways in which adjacent psalms may be literarily and thematically stitched together. Psalms may signal a literary connection by using similar words and phrases. Quite often, juxtaposed psalms have an interrelated theological theme. Others pairs have a similar Gattung or form which unites them. The question at hand is this: At what point do such similarities warrant our designating two adjacent psalms as being twin psalms? Zimmerli’s treatment of these various psalm pairs is the most extensive one which has been given to date. His essay both implicitly and explicitly deals with this question of what constitutes a twin psalm unit. Many Psalms scholars refer back to Zimmerli’s essay as a standard bearer when giving their own opinion regarding twin psalms.88 Because of this, it behooves us to first survey his 88 See e.g. William P. Brown, Seeing the Psalms: A Theology of Metaphor (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 225n14; J. Clinton McCann, Jr., ed., Shape and Shaping of the Psalter, JSOTSup (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), 65; Gerald T. Sheppard, “Theology and the Book of Psalms,” Int 46 (1992): 149.
  40. 40. 26 observations regarding these interconnected psalms before we move on to examine the remarks other scholars after him make regarding twin psalms. Like Howard’s remarks above, Zimmerli begins his essay acknowledging that the scholarly commentary work on Psalter has been performed in a manner which treats each psalm as if it were a closed unit in itself.89 However, contrary to this view, he points to how there are many points of connection between the individual psalms.90 His essay demonstrates this by cataloguing many different manners in which various psalms are interconnected throughout the Psalter. Examples are given of how Psalms 9 and10 are an acrostic psalm which has been divided,91 and how in Psalms 42 and43, the three repetitive strophes beginning with the “why are you cast down, O my soul” refrains, leave little doubt that these psalms are to be read together as one psalm.92 He also points out how Psalm 53 duplicates Psalm 14.93 The interconnections here between these psalms are plain to see, but Zimmerli does not refer to these as twin psalms. He then moves on to point out how some psalms may have been assembled from other psalms. For example, Psalm 108 is formed by Psalms 57:7-11 and 60:5-12, and the wording of Psalm 40:13-17 is restated in Psalm 70.94 Other similarities in word and theme are seen when comparing Psalm 115:4-8 with Psalm 135:15-18, and he colorfully 89 Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen.” 105. 90 Ibid. 91 Psalm 9-10 are a single psalm in the LXX. 92 Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen.” 105. 93 Ibid. 94 Ibid. These references have been changed from those given from a German version of the Bible and have been made to correspond with an English translation here and in some places below.
  41. 41. 27 states that Psalm 144 “exploits Psalm 18 like a stone quarry.”95 Stark similarities in wording and thematic connections exist in all the above examples and further examples of interconnected psalms are footnoted below.96 The word for word repetition of language found in these psalms is remarkable. Without doubt there are many strong literary connections which exist in the examples he gives. However, Zimmerli does not refer to any of these examples as “Zwillingspsalmen.” These initial examples of verbal repetition among mainly scattered psalms appear to be just a warm up for where Zimmerli eventually wishes to take us. He next begins to narrow his focus strictly to connections which arise between psalms which coexist beside one another. Like Hengstenberg, he gives examples of how Psalms 1:2 and 2:1 share the key word ‫הגה‬ (meditate), and further duplicate the words ‫יבד‬ (perish/destroy) and ‫דרך‬ (way) in Psalms 1:6 and 2:12.97 Likewise, the “many are saying” statement in Psalm 3:2 is also found in Psalm 4:6, a phrase not found anywhere else in the Psalter.98 Psalm 32 ends with “you righteous, sing all you who are upright in heart” and Psalm 33 begins with a synonymous phrase “sing joyfully to the LORD you 95 Ibid. This is the author’s translation. This is another possible twin psalm we can add as a possibility to pair with Ps 18 according to Cheyne’s criteria. 96 Here Zimmerli points out that Ps 144:1 coincides with Ps 18:2, 34; Ps 144:5 with Ps 18:9; Ps144:14 with Ps 18:14; Ps 144:10 with Ps 18:50. Zimmerli further goes on to note the great similarity in how words are phrased in Ps 6:1 and Ps 38:1; Ps 9:8 with Pss 96:13 and 98:9; Ps 23:6 with Ps 27:4; Ps 27:14 with Ps 31:24 (amended here into English references differing from Zimmerli’s German Bible references). 97 Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen.” 106. Brown states in that “in an earlier study Walther Zimmerli referred to Psalms 1 and 2 as ‘twin psalms.’” Brown, Seeing the Psalms: A Theology of Metaphor, 225 n14. This dissertation disagrees with Brown’s assessment of Zimmerli that these are twin psalms and this will be explained further below. 98 Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen.” I have changed Zimmerli’s original German Bible references here to match those found in an English translation. We saw earlier how J. Alexander recognized Psalms 3 and 4 to be a psalm pair or double psalm.
  42. 42. 28 righteous.”99 Neighboring Psalms 30:6; 31:14, 22; and 32:5 and later Psalms 38:16; 39:1; 40:7; 41:4 all contain ‫אמרתי‬ (I said) statements.100 Many more examples are given by Zimmerli in this regard but let these suffice here for now.101 These examples illustrate that many neighboring psalms contain several key words or phrases that loosely stitch them together. Because the verbal bonding in many of these cases is so minimal, Zimmerli ponders the possibility of what role chance or coincidence may have played in there being a similar word or phrase stated in two juxtaposed psalms.102 It may be granted that chance could have played a factor in some of these neighboring psalms but the sheer volume of these many examples shown above warrants that perhaps the majority of these examples demonstrate an intentional arrangement of these psalms by the editor. Indeed, it appears that these verbally stitched pairs were editorially placed in their respectful places for reasons about which we can 99 Ibid. We already saw above how Hengstenberg recognized several other indicators that these psalms were to be read as a psalm pair. 100 Ibid. I have again changed Zimmerli’s German Bible references here to those found in an English translation. 101 Ibid. The following is my translation of other examples Zimmerli gives in regard to how some adjacent psalms are connected by similar words and phrases. I have again changed Zimmerli’s German Bible verse references here to those found in an English translation: “Pss 38 and 39 are connected by the strong statements of the silent one who is praying (Pss 38:13; 39: 2, 9), Pss 39 and 40 for their part are linked by the theme word "waiting" (39:7; 40:1). . . . The mention of the soul of the prayer being bent down in 44:25 is found again in the expression of the refrain of the soul cast down in Pss 42 and 43. The expressions of lowness in Ps 69:29, is formulated completely in the same way as the lowness statement in 70:5 connecting both of these neighboring psalms. The [Hebrew] vocabulary word ‫מׁשואות‬ (ruins) is in the whole Old Testament only found in the neighboring Pss 73:18 and 74:3. The key word ‫מועד‬ (meeting/worship place) is found in Ps 74:4, 8 and at an emphasized place in Ps 75:3 (appointed time). Is that just by chance? One would like to believe in a deliberate arrangement of Pss 77 and 78 with their stressing of particular thinking back to the earlier time [from old] in 77:5 and 78:2. The mention of Joseph in the Asaph Psalms 80:2 and 81:6 leads one back undoubtedly to the common source of these two songs. The picture of the flock connects the beginning of the Ps 80:1 with the final v. of the preceding Ps (79:13). In the same way the praising word [‫אׁשרי‬ / happy] connects the end of Ps 127 and the beginning of Ps 128 and those psalms are in the middle of the pilgrimage psalms. In addition, the blessing of having sons in 127:3-5 is likewise in 128:3.” 102 Ibid., 105-6.
  43. 43. 29 only speculate. However, although these psalms are loosely stitched together, from Zimmerli’s perspective these are not Zwillingspsalmen. He waves his hand at all the previously mentioned psalms and concludes: “one will have to go beyond the simple recognition of a list of key words at each and every place before one can suppose that a real mutual influence is being worked out in the editorial process.”103 So far he has inductively eliminated all the interconnected psalms he mentioned before as being “twin psalms” since they do not possess this “real mutual influence.” He now turns to two examples of paired psalms which have what he calls a “clear mutual relationship”104 — TPs 111/112 and TPs 105/106. Zimmerli leaves the introduction of his essay to now move into the main body of his examination of what are in his opinion, two clear examples of Zwillingspsalmen. The intentional pairing of these neighboring psalms results in such a strong mutual relationship that the paired psalms theologically are intended to be read as a single unit. For Zimmerli, the acrostic Psalms 111/112 and the historical Psalms 105/106, are the sole examples in this essay of psalms that he explicitly refers to as Zwillingspsalmen. The support for why he takes the view that they have a “clear mutual relationship” 105 is where we must now turn. Zimmerli begins with the physical literary evidence within the acrostic Psalms 111 and 112 to demonstrate how these psalms are joined together. Both psalms begin with “hallelujah” but he warns that one must not give too much weight to this similarity 103 Ibid., 106. Here in one long paragraph Zimmerli gives examples of juxtaposed psalms which share a few common words or phrases: Psalms 1-2, 3-4, 32-33, 30-32, 38-39, 39-40, 43-44, 42-44, 69-70, 73-74, 74-75, 77-78, 79-80, 80-81, and 127-128 as is shown above. 104 Ibid. 105 Ibid.
  44. 44. 30 since the following Psalm 113 begins this way as well. Like Hengstenberg, Delitzsch and Cheyne, he states that the first obvious sign that we have here a twin psalm is the physical side by side acrostic format. Like his 19th century counter-parts, he gives examples of similar forms of vocabulary which exist between the two (see below).106 He also shows how these psalms are knit together by “the fear of the LORD” in Psalm 111:10 with “the one who fears the LORD” in Psalm 112:1, and we also find a repetitious use of the phrase “his righteousness endures forever” (Pss 111: 3 with 112:3 & 9), and repetition in the phrase “gracious and compassionate” (Pss 111:4 and 112:4).107 With all this interconnecting evidence Zimmerli concludes that “the song [of Psalm 112] is a twin of Psalm 111 with regard to content and form.”108 Much like Hengstenberg, he also points out the “the fear of the LORD” word stitching109 which unites these psalms (Pss 111:10 and 112:1), and he then hypothesizes that this stitching of the end of Psalm 111 with the wisdom Psalm 112 shows that these psalms are then to be understood and be read together as coming out of the form of the wisdom circle of literature.110 However, beyond all the similarities in content and form which exists between these twin psalms, Zimmerli states that there is a deeper study which is taking place internally between these psalms which can only be understood 106 Ibid., 107. Here Zimmerli’s list is a bit more extensive than his counter-parts as he gives examples of five words which are shared between these psalms: upright (Pss 111:1 and 112:2 and 4; delight (Pss 111:2 and 112:2); remember (Pss 111:4 and 112:6); justice (Pss 111:7 and 112:5); and steadfast/secure (Pss 111:8 and 112:8). 107 Ibid. 108 Ibid. Zimmerli quotes Heinrich Herkenne, Das Buch Der Psalmen, vol. 2, HSAT (Bonn: Hanstein, 1936), 369. “Das Lied ist ein Zwilling des Ps 111 nach Inhalt und Form.” 109 Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen.” Here Zimmerli states: “das Sitchwort von der Gottesfurcht vom Ende des Ps 111 zu Beginn von Ps 112.” 110 Ibid., 108.
  45. 45. 31 when they are read as a unit.111 This deeper interrelated study beyond form and content, to more of the rhetorical message implicit in the connected text, is reminiscent of how Hengstenberg viewed the righteous in Psalm 15 to be a contrast to the wicked found in Psalm 14, and also how the prayer of the individual David in Psalm 32 was seen to be an encouraging model for the believing community of Israel in Psalm 33. We also saw above how Alexander also saw likely connective messages, and a development or amplification of meaning between the Psalm pairs 88 & 89, 92 & 93, and 95 & 96. For Zimmerli, he finds a threefold inter-connective tension in the “twin pair”112 which depicts praise for the works of Yahweh (Ps 111); the blessedness for the one who fears Yahweh (Ps 112:1-9), and the fate of the wicked (Ps 112:10).113 This threefold message is abruptly broken if each psalm is only read by itself.114 Zimmerli’s essay next addresses the “Zwillingspaar”115 105 and 106. He begins by observing the how these psalms are about equally long, and how they both begin with “Give Thanks to the LORD” and likewise end with “Praise the LORD.”116 They are by form, historical psalms which speak of God’s gracious action towards his people and give their accounts based upon the credo statement and message found in Deut 26:5-9.117 111 Ibid. 112 Ibid., 109. Zimmerli, sounding like Delitzsch, refers to them as a “Zwillingspaar” here. 113 Ibid.. 114 Ibid. 115 Ibid. He chooses here to refer to them as a twin pair rather than twin psalms here one must imagine for stylistic purposes. This simply illustrates the flexibility he has for stating the same phenomenon in two different manners just like we saw with Delitzsch and also before him with Alexander and his interchangeable, psalm pair and double psalm manner of speaking about certain juxtaposed psalms. 116 Ibid. 117 Ibid., 109-10.
  46. 46. 32 More important for Zimmerli, is his appeal that the editor placed these two psalms alongside one another in order that they as a unit might make “together a solidarity of expression by a double statement”118 by the retelling of these stories in a side by side fashion. Psalm 105 gives praise to the God of Israel who remembers his covenant and faithfully delivers them from Egypt and brought them into the land he promised they would inherit so that “they might keep his precepts and observe his laws.”119 Zimmerli sees this final verse in Psalm 105 acting in much the way the as final verse in Psalm 111 in its expression of concern for the following of God’s precepts which then flow from the fear of the LORD. However, Psalm 106 now goes in a much different direction than Psalm 112.120 In Psalm 112 the psalmist praises the blessed God-fearing man in contrast to the wicked.121 In dissimilarity, Psalm 106:3 begins with a statement of blessing upon those who are righteous, but then moves into “a thematic confession of sin in verse 6.”122 The statement “We have sinned, even as our fathers did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly” stands in stark contrast to the blessed man in Psalm 112.123 The balance of this psalm then goes on to chronicle the sordid history of God’s chosen people who did not remember God’s many miracles and kindnesses in Egypt (v. 7); soon forgot what he did at the Red Sea (v. 13); and repeatedly followed after idols (vv. 19, 28, 36-39). Zimmerli sees here in these twin psalms the uniting of two great themes—in Psalm 105 is found 118 Ibid., 109. 119 Ps 105:45. 120 Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen.” 110. 121 Ibid. 122 Ibid. 123 Ibid.
  47. 47. 33 praise for “the glories of the unshakable covenant faithfulness of Yahweh” and in Psalm 106 is the contrast of “the open confession of the history of God’s unfaithful people”124 who are in continual need of God’s miraculous covenantal action of salvation. As Zimmerli puts it, “one [theme] will not be heard without the other.”125 Before we can go on to talk about Zimmerli’s criteria for twin psalms it is important to first dispel a misconception of Zimmerli’s work. Zimmerli’s introductory remarks survey a plethora of various psalms which are interrelated due to many different factors. Unfortunately it appears that some scholars are under the impression that perhaps some or all of the psalms mentioned in this essay are twin psalms. It is possible and understandable that some may infer this from the seemingly all inclusive title of this essay, “Zwillingspsalmen.” In this regard, Gerald Sheppard states that “Psalms 1 and 2 form what Walther Zimmerli has called ‘twin psalms.’”126 David Howard, while discussing connections between psalms, mentions in passing that Zimmerli “identified 40 ‘twin’ psalms (20 pairs), and he did not pretend to be exhaustive.”127 Later, William Brown mentions in a footnote that “Zimmerli referred to Psalms 1 and 2 as ‘twin psalms.’”128 These scholars somehow miss that Zimmerli’s introduction in his essay is merely giving inferior examples of words or phrases that are used in successive psalms as he builds towards his focused discussion of Zwillingspsalmen 111 and 112; 105 and 106. 124 Ibid., 111. 125 Ibid. 126 Sheppard, “Theology and the Book of Psalms,” 149. 127 McCann, ed., Shape and Shaping of the Psalter, 67. Howard also equally refers to these as “pairs.” This is a helpful designation worthy of further consideration. 128 Brown, Seeing the Psalms: A Theology of Metaphor, 225. See footnote 14.
  48. 48. 34 In fact, in the same paragraph to which the above quotes of Psalms 1 and 2 are referring, he gives two examples of three psalms in a row, Psalms 30-32, which repeat an “I said” statement, and Psalms 42-44 which all contain a “why are you cast down” statements (both “triplet” psalms?); and he gives an example of four “I said” statements in Psalms 38-41 (a “quadruplet” psalm?).129 But since the author is merely giving examples of psalms which repeat certain words or phrases, whether these psalms are two, three or four in a row makes no difference since he is not dealing with “twin psalms” in this paragraph. Furthermore, and this is very important, Zimmerli only uses the terms Zwillingspsalmen and Zwillingspaar to explicitly refer to TPs 111 and 112 and TPs 105 & 106. Indeed, it appears that Zimmerli’s extensive and special treatment of these Zwillingspsalmen honors them as if they have an almost classic or separate status above all the other psalm pairs previously perused in his introduction. Now that we have established that Zimmerli is referring exclusively to Psalms 111 and 112; 105 and 106 as Zwillingspsalmen the question presently becomes: What then are the criteria he uses for choosing these and not those he previously mentioned in the introduction? He does not make too much of this but he does begin by mentioning how these two sets both start out with identical phrases.130 Psalm 111 and 112 both begin with “Praise the Lord,” and Psalm 105 and 106 begin with “Give thanks to the LORD for he is good.”131 The twin mirroring of these introductory phrases seems to intentionally 129 The words “triplet” and “quadruplet” are said here with tongue in cheek. 130 This is because Psalm 113 also begins with this phrase. 131 Psalms 105 and 106 in the LXX both begin with “Praise the LORD.” In my discussions with Rolf Jacobson, he believes that somehow the “Praise the LORD” in the Masoretic text was mistakenly transposed back one line and became affixed to the end of Ps 104. In light of how this appears in the LXX this makes total sense.
  49. 49. 35 signal to the reader that these particular psalms are tied together. Zimmerli does not allow this detail regarding this initial repetition to go unnoticed. That there is a similar structure and form between these Zwillingspsalmen is important as well. Psalms 111 and 112 are of course acrostic psalms of almost identical length (74 vs. 79 words) and Zimmerli points out that Psalms 105 and 106 as well “are approximately equally long.”132 From a form critical standpoint he joins Psalm 111 and 112 together into the “wisdom” category,133 while Psalm 105 and 106 are both “history psalms.”134 Furthermore, as we saw above, he thoroughly demonstrates how both sets of Zwillingspsalmen are stitched together by similar words, phrases and theological themes. While the above factors related to form and structure are important, what is of paramount importance for Zimmerli is that these Zwillingspsalmen were editorially arranged alongside of one another in order that their collective theological message can be heard when they are read together as a unit. In this regard he speaks of how Zwillingspsalmen 111 and 112 have complimentary statements which are clearly intended to bring about a clear theological statement to one’s ear.135 He also states that the double statements of the two acrostic psalms are unmistakably designed to be there alongside of one another and he demonstrates that when read together they reveal a three-fold tension.136 Furthermore, he reveals how Zwillingspsalmen 105 and 106 are both historical 132 Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen.” 109. 133 Ibid., 108. 134 Ibid., 109. 135 Ibid., 108. This sounds a lot like what Hengstenberg stated above regarding development or amplification of meaning 136 Ibid., 109.
  50. 50. 36 in form, and how both center around the historical Deuteronomic credo statements as forwarded by G. von Rad.137 Zimmerli also demonstrates how the joint reading of the themes in these psalms results in a fuller theological message. Indeed, this necessity of there being an interrelated theological message is a key factor. It is safe to infer that a true “twin psalm” cannot exist without this connection. Zimmerli’s work is in many ways reflective of much of the work done in the 19th century. Taken together, a synthesis of the 19th century positions along with Zimmerli’s work regarding twin psalms distills down into seven parameters which the author proposes define a “twin psalm” unit. To be clear, these criteria have been established both explicitly and implicitly from among the survey of texts examined above. The seven criteria for defining what constitutes a twin psalm unit are: 1) The two psalms are adjacent. 2) There is a repetition or a mirroring of the introductory statement. 3) The psalms are similar in Gattung or form. 4) They are of the same or approximately same length. 5) There are reoccurring words and themes which stitch the psalms together. 6) The psalms share in a tone of similar or contrasting thought. 7) The psalms are theologically interrelated and are editorially arranged in an adjacent fashion in order to rhetorically make a joint theological statement. Finding common standards such as these the author proposes for defining a twin psalm text are a start in an effort to articulate the various differences and manners in which various adjacent psalm pairs may be classified and designated. As Zimmerli has well demonstrated, there are many ways and degrees to which various psalms may be related to one another. Because of this, a more comprehensive vocabulary for how to 137 Gerhard von Rad, Old Testament Theology, trans. D. M. G. Stalker, 2 vols. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1965), 1:107-21.
  51. 51. 37 define these various relationships is needed in order to better communicate the similarity and dissimilarity between different forms of psalm pairs. Psalm Pairs and the Need for Extended Classifications If we accept the above criteria for twin psalms then we need to reevaluate how the biblical guild has been using this term “twin psalm” since Zimmerli’s essay. Over the past several decades there have been many references to various psalms being twin psalms. Here are just a few examples: The Finnish scholar Risto Santala refers to Psalms 80 and 110 as being twin psalms since both “speak about the Messiah as the Son of God.”138 In like manner, John Goldingay in his commentary on the Psalter views Psalm 110 as a twin to Psalm 2 “which speaks similarly of what Yhwh will do for and through the King.”139 While both scholars point out notable intertextual connections which exist in these psalms it is quite obvious that these Psalms are not adjacent. This bare minimum requirement established by the great majority of examples we have looked at points to a problem. The term “twin psalm” can mean too many things—as a term it lacks a specific definition. There are also examples of juxtaposed psalms which have been as of late designated as twin psalms. Much like we saw earlier with Cheyne, Cas J. A. Vos sees Psalms 20 and 21 as thematic twin psalms which are “prayers for the king going to war or returning victorious.”140 So it appears that the mere characteristic theme of a similar prayer is enough to join two psalms together in a twin like fashion. In a somewhat similar 138 Risto Santala, The Messiah in the Old Testament in Light of Rabbinical Writings (Jerusalem: Keren Ahvah Meshihit, 1980), 21. 139 John Goldingay, Psalms, 3 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006), 3:291. 140 Casparus J. A. Vos, Theopoetry of the Psalms (London: T & T Clark, 2005), 94.
  52. 52. 38 manner, Dirk Human has written an article entitled From Exile to Zion: Ethical Perspectives from the Twin Psalms 127 and 128 in which he designates these psalms as twin psalms due to their similar wisdom character.141 He also refers to “the hymnic twin psalms (111-112; 135 -136)” in this essay.142 From Human’s perspective it would appear that if two adjacent psalms have the same character, be it “wisdom” or “hymnic,” then those psalms can be designated as twin psalms.143 It is clear that like characteristics found in adjacent psalms points to an editorial hand in this arrangement, but as shown by Zimmerli, this light stitching does not warrant the designation “twin psalms.” In the case of Psalms 111 and 112, Zenger likewise notes the similar opening, the parallel acrostic pattern, and the sharing of many common and even identical literary features (Ps 111:3b mirrors 112:3b/9b; 111:4b mirrors 112:4b) and in agreement with Zimmerli states that “these two psalms are rightly called ‘twin psalms.’” 144 However, Hossfeld and Zenger also refer to Psalms 42 and 43145 and Psalm 135 and 136 as twin psalms. These proposed twin psalms however do not meet the above criteria of the mirroring of an introductory statement and so we cannot clearly designate them as twin psalms. One possible solution to this is that like Hengstenberg and Alexander long ago, we can safely refer to many 141 Dirk Human, “From Exile to Zion: Ethical Perspectives from the Twin Psalms 127 and 128,” OTE 22, no. 2 (2009): 63-87. 142 Ibid., 67. 143 Zimmerli recognizes how Pss 127 and 128 are connected at the end of Ps 127 and the beginning of Ps 128 with the word ‫אׁשרי‬ and how both psalms refer to the blessing of having sons (Ps 127:3-5 and 128:3) but he does not designate these psalms as twin psalms. See Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen.” 106. 144 See Frank L. Hossfeld and Eric Zenger, Psalms 3: Commentary on Psalms 101-150, ed. Klaus Baltzer et al., trans. Linda M. Maloney, vol. 3, Hermeneia (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2011), 169. 145 Zimmerli refers to Psalms 42/43 as “strophic” psalms and not twin psalms. See Zimmerli, “Zwillingspsalmen.” 105.
  53. 53. 39 psalms such as these as “psalm pairs.” The term “twin psalm” has been used so loosely and willy-nilly throughout the guild that today it can mean just about anything. As a case in point, recently C. J. Labuschagne proposed that Psalm 118 is a twin psalm to Psalm 119 since it “may have been composed consciously in order to prelude the alphabetical acrostic Psalm 119 in much the same way Psalm 33 preludes the alphabetic acrostic Psalm 34.”146 While such a prelude may be a valid hypothesis, the classification of Psalms 118 and 119 as being “twin psalms” as we have defined it above is illegitimate. Like Hengstenberg and Alexander, one may legitimately refer to them as a psalm pair, or perhaps better yet, refer to Psalm 118 (and Ps 33) with some type of new terminology such as a “prelude psalm.” This example and the many examples of psalms with a common linking in Zimmerli’s introduction, illustrate the need for the guild to find a way to more accurate way to classify these psalms.147 Delimiting twin psalms to the implicit criteria set out by Zimmerli and others in the 19th Century is perhaps a first step towards sharpening the understanding of what is meant by this terminology. Marks of Twin Psalms: A Working Definition The above survey of how terms such as psalm pairs, double psalms and twin psalms have been used in scholarship since the middle 19th century reveals that these terms have been casually used in an undisciplined and disorganized manner throughout 146 C. J. Labuschagne, The Compositional Structure of the Psalter: A New Approach (Groningen, Netherlands: University of Groningen, 2009), 21. 147 It would be helpful if the guild could come up with some agreed upon way to classify various psalm pairs. Describing Pss 1 and 2 as a “framed psalm pair” (framed by the “blessed) is one example of a possible way to more specifically and descriptively classify a psalm pair. Zimmerli referred to Pss 42 and 43 as “strophic psalms.” My own suggestion is that the guild look at the various manners in which these psalm pairs are interwoven, and then work those connective attributes into classifications which can be understood and used by all.
  54. 54. 40 the biblical guild. In particular the term “twin psalm” has been used in so many bewildering ways that presently it seems as if almost any two psalms throughout the Psalter can be classified and referred to as twin psalms. However, the majority of examples from the middle 19th century and early 20th century scholarship recognized the basic criterion that these must be psalms which first of all are adjacent alongside one another. In what one might construe as an early definition, The Pulpit Commentary stated with regard to TPs 56 and 57: “They begin with the same words, are nearly of the same length . . . . and the tone of thought in them is very similar.”148 Finally, Zimmerli’s article went on to point out the importance that these editorially arranged psalms be interrelated theologically so that together they collectively make a wider theological statement of significance. Taking all of this into account the author proposes his own short list of markers which are the criteria for defining a twin psalm unit: Marks of Twin Psalms 1. The two psalms are adjacent. 2. There is a repetition or a mirroring of the introductory statement. 3. The psalms are similar in Gattung or form. 4. They are of the same or approximately same length. 5. There are reoccurring words and themes which stitch the psalms together. 6. The psalms share in a tone of similar or contrasting thought. 7. The psalms are theologically interrelated and are editorially arranged in an adjacent fashion in order to rhetorically make a joint theological statement. For the purposes of this dissertation the seven-fold criteria established above will be used to define what constitutes a twin unit. Using this criteria, there are four TPs units 148 Spence, ed., Psalms, 1.

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