A collection of 18 nationalistic and individualistic psalms written in response to the capture (but not destruction) of Jerusalem. They are filled with historical allusions, and implicitly call for revolution against Rome. They offer considerable information concerning Jewish messianic expectation - the Lord Messiah (= Son of David) will be a sinless, human, political figure, who will deliver Israel from its Gentile oppressors (17-18). The conquest of God's people by pagans causes the psalmists repeated struggles with theodicy. Their future hope is for bodily resurrection (3:11 - not immortality of the soul).
Canonical Status:Among the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, although included in some early canonical lists among the OT Apocrypha Included in the Septuagint among the OT wisdom literature Included in the index of Codex Alexandrinus after the Old and New Testament and 1 and 2 Clement, although the actual pages are missing from the surviving manuscript
Author:Written under the pseudonym of King Solomon An anonymous community of sectarian Jews (perhaps Pharisees or Essenes) Anti-Hasmonean or anti-Sadducean Jews
Place: Probably in or near Jerusalem
Date:Perhaps as early as the 2nd century BC Probably during the last half of 1st century BC (after the death of the Roman general Pompey in 48 BC) No later than the end of 1st century AD (before and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70)
Sources: Imitate Old Testament Psalms
Original Language:Probably Hebrew, although no Semitic original survives Translations in both Greek and Syriac give evidence of being translations of a Hebrew original. Notes prepared by George Lyons (Professor of Biblical Literature)
for the Wesley Center for Applied Theology at Northwest Nazarene University
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