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The Interpretive Significance of Sequence and Selection in the Book of Psalms

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Chapter Summary

The last twenty years have seen an important shift in the scholarly approach to the Psalms. This chapter examines two interpretive strategies that have played a significant role in recent attempts to understand individual psalms as part of a larger entity. The first of these two strategies is that of sequence. The chapter examines the ways that sequential arguments have been made for the Psalter, in both recent scholarship and throughout the Psalms' history of interpretation. It also briefly considers the role of sequence in the interpretation of selected psalms that have been understood as groups. The chapter then considers some possible reasons for the pervasiveness of the sequential understanding of the Psalms. It examines the way in which sequence and selection intersect in the interpretation of the Psalter, namely, in the sequential interpretation of psalms that have been seen as self-contained smaller groups.

Keywords: Psalms; Psalter



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