Yeol Kim, H. F. van Rooy


This article is part of an attempt to read Psalm 78 multidimensionally. It is the
second in a proposed series of three articles.2 The articles deal with the
dimension of the author, as part of the multi-dimensional reading. It deals with the
heading of the Psalm, íhe redaction history of the Psalm, its dating and historical
setting and its canonical shape. The Sitz im Leben of the psalm is the recitation of
the psalm in the Jerusalem temple by a (Levitical) priest, when there was an
attempt to unite the worship of the North and the South during the divided
monarchy (922-587 B.C.). The traditions of wisdom, covenant-Torah, guidance,
wilderness, Exodus, and conquest are united in Psalm 78, forming a new welded
tradition which stresses the importance of remembrance with regard to the
survival of the ancient traditions. Psalm 78 can be seen as an example of God’s
response to íhe questions and complaints from the adjacent psalms and other
psalms in Book III of the Psalter. In this regard, Psalm 78 is not a mere report of
Israel’s failure, but of the triumph of Yahweh’s covenantal faithfulness which
creates a new beginning for the people of God.

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