The Strategic Arrangement of Royal Psalms In Books IV–V -- By: Jinkyu Kim

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 70:1 (Spring 2008)
Article: The Strategic Arrangement of Royal Psalms In Books IV–V
Author: Jinkyu Kim


The Strategic Arrangement of Royal Psalms In Books IV–V

Jinkyu Kim

Jinkyu Kim is senior pastor at First Korean Church of Brooklyn, Brooklyn, N.Y. Formerly, he was adjunct professor at Nyack College, Manhattan, N.Y.

The goal of this article is to identify the strategic arrangement of royal psalms in Books IV–V of the Psalter. It is already well known that royal psalms, such as Pss 2, 72, and 89, are strategically positioned at the seams of Books I–III.1 Wilson demonstrated the significance of the strategic arrangement of these psalms.2 However, no systematic study has been done regarding the arrangement of royal psalms as a whole in Books IV–V. Wilson failed to see the thematic movement from the royal psalms in Books I–III to those in Books IV–V because he did not detect the strategic arrangement of royal psalms in Books IV–V. Psalms scholarship (including commentators such as Hossfeld-Zenger, Mays, McCann, and Seybold) has depended heavily upon Wilson’s study up to this point; hence, it has failed to consider the thematic progress of the Davidic covenant and kingship from the strategically positioned royal psalms in Books I–III to those in Books IV–V.3 If we succeed in finding a similar positioning technique in the last two books, it will provide a major breakthrough in our understanding of the message of royal psalms in these books as well as the message of the Psalter as a whole.

Before arguing for the strategic positioning of royal psalms in the last two books, we will first investigate whether one can study the last two books independently from the rest of the Psalter in terms of their organizational techniques. Second, in the last two books we will examine the existence of subgroups which are distinct from the book division. Third, we will explore the arrangement of the subgroups. Fourth, we will attempt to identify the structure of the last two books. Fifth and finally, we will determine whether or not the royal psalms in Books IV–V are strategically located in each subgroup as is the case with the strategic positioning of Pss 2, 72, and 89 in Books I–III.

I. Editorial Division between Books I–III and Books IV–V

Wilson has demonstrated a major editorial disjuncture between the first three and the last two books...

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