The Royal Psalms in the Dead Sea Scrolls
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This thesis examines the use and function of a specific group of Psalms, the so-called “Royal Psalms,” among the texts of the Qumran library. From the time of their integration into the worship practices of the Israelite people in the obscure past to the Second Temple period and beyond, these Psalms continued to be a source of inspiration to the Jewish people. Though there have been many studies that have analyzed their Sitz im Leben, use, interpretation, and application for many different periods, no study has attempted a thorough analysis of their use among the Qumran documents. Analyses of the use in the Qumran texts of certain individual Royal Psalms exist, but these do not attempt to cover the Royal Psalms as a corpus. The present thesis will analyze the appearance in the Qumran library of the eleven generally-accepted Royal Psalms: Pss 2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 89, 101, 110, 132, and 144. This study explores whether or not these Psalms are to be found in the known Qumran Psalms scrolls, variations or differences as compared to the Masoretic Text, how they are were interpreted in exegetical and other texts, quotations of and allusions to them, and how themes from the Royal Psalms contribute to the structure and theology of non-canonical royal psalms found at Qumran. An understanding of the use of the biblical Royal Psalms in these texts is of value for our comprehension of what happened to the pre-exilic royal traditions as these hymns continued to be used in a post-monarchic society. This dissertation makes an original contribution toward these goals, establishing that there was an interest on the part of the authors of many of the Qumran texts in royal themes although they lived long after the monarchy had ended.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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