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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: October 2020

3 - Divine Aggression in Select Royal Psalms


Chapter 3 tests the claim that the biblical god Yhwh is uniquely aggressive by rereading several biblical royal psalms, including Psalm 2, Psalm 110, Psalm 20, and Psalm 21. The chapter finds that in these psalms, the aggression of the biblical god Yhwh targets external enemies of the king and country; conversely, Yhwh’s favor towards his client king is completely guaranteed. The choral voice of the psalms aligns itself with Yhwh and his king; the community of readers and reciters somehow shares in the king’s own prior and paradigmatic relationship of divine favor. However, the rhetoric of the psalms also places the texts’ own readers and reciters in potential danger of Yhwh’s aggression, if they should refuse the psalms’ rhetorical appeal.

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