The Book of Psalms: Composition and Reception

By Peter W. Flint; Patrick D. Miller Jr. | Go to book overview

ON PSALM 29: STRUCTURE AND MEANING*

D. PARDEE


INTRODUCTION

The object of the present essay is one of the most studied of the Psalms and I have no intention of doing a thorough bibliographical overview. Some years ago, in a review of one of the major studies of Psalm 29 in recent decades,1 decades, I offered a translation of the psalm arranged in poetic verses prefaced by the remark that “some day I would like to make a case for the structure of the core of the poem being made up of tricóla.”2 This is what I intend to do below in the section devoted particularly to structure. Because of the importance of the Ugaritic parallels that have been cited ever since H. L. Ginsberg's proposal to see in Psalm 29 “A Phoenician Hymn in the Psalter,”31 will discuss the relationship of structure and meaning both in terms of the poem's own internal structure and in terms of similarity with the meaning and structure of one of the more representative of the relevant Ugaritic texts.

The comments that follow are with reference to the table on the next two pages (“Semantic Parallelism in Psalm 29”).

I wish to thank the members of the various Hebrew and Ugaritic classes in
which over the years the interpretations of the texts discussed here have evolved.
Though too many have contributed to be named here, my gratitude to them all is
no less great.

1 Carola Kloos, Yhwh's Combat with the Sea. A Canaanite Tradition in the
Religion of Ancient Israel
(Amsterdam: Oorschot, 1986).

2 D. Pardee, Review of C. Kloos, Yhwh's Combat with the Sea, in AfO 35
(1988) 229-32, quotation from p. 231.

3Atti XIX Congresso intrenazionale degli Orientalisti (Rome: Tipografía del
Senato, 1938) 472-76 (the congress at which the paper was read took place in
1935, only six years after the discovery of Ugaritic).

-153-

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