Get Four Approaches to the Book of Psalms: From Saadiah Gaon to PDF

By Uriel Simon

ISBN-10: 0791402428

ISBN-13: 9780791402429

Uriel Simon describes the interesting controversy that raged from the 10th to the 12th centuries concerning the theological prestige and literary style of the Psalms. Saadiah Gaon, who initiated the debate, claimed that the Psalter was once a moment Torah-the Lord's note to David-and in no way man's prayer to God.

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Uriel Simon describes the interesting controversy that raged from the 10th to the 12th centuries in regards to the theological prestige and literary style of the Psalms. Saadiah Gaon, who initiated the debate, claimed that the Psalter was once a moment Torah-the Lord's notice to David-and not at all man's prayer to God.

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To this Saadiah adds the "Psalm of thanksgiving" (100), which he assigns to festivals on the basis of the verse: "With glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival" (Ps. 42:5[4]). A mere two psalms are insufficient to ground the temporal condition, however, so Saadiah begins his argument with an attempt to prove that "some psalms were said with the daily morning burnt-offering and some were said with the daily evening burnt-offering" (p. 32). He relies on the description of the inaugural ceremony when David placed the Ark of the Convenant in the tent he erected for it after bringing it to Jerusalem (I Chron.

404). Saadiah wanted to use this intimate relationship between music and human nature to prove the blessing of moderation and the curse of excess; we learn from it how great a power he attributed to a particular rhythmic mode to effect a specific and predictable change in the soul. In his discussion of the instrumental condition in his long introduction to Psalms he mentions that Elisha was consoled for his parting from Elijah and enabled to prophesy by a particular latm played on a particular instrument (p.

This is followed by a detailed discussion of the rhetoric of Proverbs, with a list of twelve rhetorical modes he discerned in the book. As in the Pentateuch and Psalms these include command and admonition, reward and punishment, and narrative, as well as such devices as comparison of the unknown to the known and the phrasing of a conditional statement as a general truth. Proverbs also contains "language that might be thought of as narrative, but is actually command or admonition" (p. 20). " Simce the discrepancy between the form of Proverbs and its content is not as great as in Psalms, the need to deviate from the literal meaning is also much less.

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Four Approaches to the Book of Psalms: From Saadiah Gaon to Abraham Ibn Ezra by Uriel Simon


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