Psalms 152–155

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Psalms 152 to 155 are additional Psalms found in two Syriac biblical manuscripts to date and several manuscripts of Elias of al-Anbar's "Book of Discipline".[1] Together with Psalm 151 they are also called the Five Apocryphal Psalms of David.

Psalm 152[edit]

"Spoken by David when he was contending with the lion and the wolf which took a sheep from his flock..[2] This text survived only in Syriac and the original language may be Hebrew. The tone is non-rabbinical and it was probably composed in Israel during the Hellenistic period[3] (c. 323-31 BCE).

Psalm 153[edit]

"Spoken by David when returning thanks to God, who had delivered him from the lion and the wolf and he had slain both of them."[2] This text survived only in Syriac. Date and provenance are like Psalm 152.

Psalm 154[edit]

This Psalm survived in Syriac biblical manuscripts and also was found in Hebrew, in the Dead Sea scroll 11QPs(a)154 (also known as 11Q5), a first-century CE manuscript. The main theme is the request to "join yourselves to the good and to the perfect, to glorify the Most High". There is also a hint of common meals, typical of Essenes: "And in their eating shall be satisfying in truth, and in their drinking, when they share together"'.

Psalm 155[edit]

This psalm is extant in Syriac and was also found in the Dead Sea scroll 11QPs(a)155 (also called 11Q5), a first-century CE Hebrew manuscript. The theme of this psalm is similar to Psalm 22, and due to the lack of peculiarities it is impossible to suggest date and origin, save that its origin is clearly pre-Christian.[4]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Herbert Edward Ryle; Montague Rhodes James, eds. (2014). Psalms of the Pharisees. Cambridge University Press. p. 161. ISBN 9781107623965. 
  2. ^ a b Title from W. Wright (1887), Some Apocryphal Psalms in Syriac, Proceedings of the Society of Biblical archaeology 9, 257–266
  3. ^ James H. Charlesworth (2010). The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Hendrickson Publishers. p. 615. ISBN 978-1-59856-490-7. The original language of this psalm, which is extant only in Syriac, may be Hebrew... It is impossible to date this psalm. The general tone, Jewish but non-rabbinic character, and association with Psalms 151, 154 and 155 indicate that it was probably composed by a Palestinian Jew during the hellenistic period. 
  4. ^ A. Chadwick Thornhill (28 November 2015). The Chosen People: Election, Paul and Second Temple Judaism. InterVarsity Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-8308-9915-9. Prior to their discovery at Qumran, the additional psalms of David survived primairly through Syriac copies, and scholars referred to them as Syria noncanonical psalms. Of these psalms, Psalms 151A, 151B and 155 are present within the Qumran Psalms Scroll (11QPsa), and are thus clearly pre-Christian in their composition. 

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