Psalms at the Enthronement Festival of Yahweh
The fact that the 'Epiphany psalms', mentioned above in Chap. IV, are connected, at least ideologically, with the harvest festival, is evident from the close relationship between their underlying mood and ideas and those of the so-called enthronement psalms. That these psalms are connected with the harvest and new year festival, the present author has tried to show in his Psalmen-Studien II, and we shall take up the question further below.
Characteristic of this group is that they salute Yahweh as the king, who has just ascended his royal throne to wield his royal power. The situation envisaged in the poet's imagination, is Yahweh's ascent to the throne and the acclamation of Yahweh as king; the psalm is meant as the song of praise which is to meet Yahweh on his 'epiphany', his appearance as the new, victorious king. Hence the name: enthronement psalms.
This applies, in the first place, to Pss. 47; 93; 96; 97; 98; 99. But Ps. 95, as well, belongs in its first part to the same type, even though it be not purely a hymn, but also contains other important liturgical items. A clear parallel with 95 is 81, with the same construction and the same poetical (and liturgical) vision. This fact indicates that Yahweh's enthronement is ideologically and in the religious consciousness of the Israelites connected with other complexes of ideas and liturgical situations.
It cannot, therefore, be our task solely to give a description of the forms and contents of the enthronement psalms in the narrow sense from the point of view of Gattungsforschung and the history of literature, but we must also seek to find the cultic situation which lies behind them, and to give a picture of this in all its ideological and liturgical complexity. Then, granted that there is such a cultic situation, Ps. 95 shows that it contained other ideas and liturgical situations besides the idea of the enthronement alone. And that is only what is implicit in the nature of the matter and of the cult. In the cultic festival the whole orchestra of the life and experience of the religion can be heard playing. No single psalm type nor any unbalanced typological treatment can reveal the whole content of the cultic festival. The fact that the second part of Ps. 95 expresses an idea other than the mere enthronement, and that the psalm, from the point of view of Gattungsforschung is a 'liturgical composition', gives no right to exclude it from the group of the enthronement psalms and from the scope