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Permutatio religionis – Ps. cxxxix und der Wandel der Israelitischen Religion zur Bekenntnisreligion

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image of Vetus Testamentum

In the Old Testament, religion is a matter of constant change and development. Various religious contexts have led to changing kinds of text forms. This paper sees Psalm cxxxix as an abjuration form for an individual believer. We find three sections (Ps. cxxxix 1-6; 7-12; 13-18) declaring the qualities of JHWH, whereas in the last part (vv 19-24) the praying person separates himself from those inimical to JHWH (vv 21-22). The implication is that JHWH is the only and true God who demands abjuration from nonbelievers and true confession (cf. Ps. xci with its similar thought). This type of JHWH religion is typical for the post-exilic time. Ps. cxxxix may be taken as a kind of "performance" of the "Mosaic distinction" (Jan Assmann).

Affiliations: 1: Heidelberg


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