Lyle Brecht 17-Jan-06Psalm 19 Exegesis 6.1 Page 2 of 21
In Psalm 19 we find that we have gifts from YHWH of creation and of
ascovenantal gifts of grace. These gifts are for us to know for certain that we exist in anetwork of interdependence with other humans in community “and with the rest of God’screation.” I am human because I belong to YHWH.
Historical and Literary Contexts
The Psalms (
mizmorei tehillim,“songs of praise”
) were compiled in the post-exilic(Second Temple) period as “a language of doubt, near-despair, repentance and lonelysuffering, as well as praise and thanksgiving.”
The psalms may have been used in private prayer; communal activities such as the coronation of a king; family worship; and publicliturgies.
The final form of the Psalter was completed prior to the completion of the
Exegetical process and structure are from Michael J. Gorman,
Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002). I alsowish to thank Dr. Gorman for his comments and helpful suggestions on this exegesis during hiscourse on Biblical Studies at the Ecumenical Institute, St. Mary’s Seminary and University,Baltimore, MD during the winter of 2004.
“I am human because I belong to YHWH,” is used here as in describing
, an Africantheology of community. See Desmond Tutu,
God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Future
(New York: Doubleday, 2004), 25. For the Hebrew people, personhood was defined through the belonging established in a covenantal relationship. There was no “personhood” outside of thiscovenantal relationship. See Neil Pembroke,
The Art of Listening: Dialogue, Shame, and Pastoral Care.
(Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2002), 52.
Rowan Williams, “Augustine and the Psalms,”
, Vol. 28 No. 1 (January 2004), 21.
As in Isaiah 38:19: “The living, the living, they thank you, as I do this day.” “Praise of YHWH by the people of Israel is the penultimate and representative fulfillment of God’s purpose for allhumanity.” See James L. Mays,
The Lord Reigns: A Theological Handbook of the Psalms
(Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994), 64.