Abstract of Trudinger, Peter Lawrence. “The Psalms of the Tamid Service.”

Trudinger, Peter Lawrence.  “The Psalms of the Tamid Service.”  PhD diss., Emory University, 2002. [Israel/Second Temple/Ritual/Liturgy/Worship/Sacrifice]

Abstract:  This dissertation is a study of a collection of seven psalms performed at the Tamid service, the twice-daily worship service in the Jerusalem Temple, in the late Second Temple period. The Tamid psalms are Ps 24 (Sunday), 48 (Monday), 82 (Tuesday), 94 (Wednesday), 81 (Thursday), 93 (Friday) and 92 (Sabbath). As a collection, they form a rarely-studied liturgical text from the Second Temple period.

The dissertation starts with a survey of references to the Tamid service and its psalms in biblical and early Jewish literature (chapter 2). Information on the performance of the morning ritual and its place in the religion of the late Second Temple is collected. Next, each psalm is individually exegeted, focusing predominately on literary and holistic matters with reference to the context of the late Second Temple period (chapter 3).

Chapter 4 is an examination of the collection as a literary text. Connections (lexical, semantic and thematic) between pairs of psalms are considered; a structure for the collection is determined; motifs and agents for the whole collection are described; and a theme is proposed (“the encounter with Yahweh which takes place at Jerusalem/Zion and which offers judgment in the form of requital for (human) needs and past behavior”). This theme is explicated dynamically through the ordered sequence of psalms, i.e., the collection may be considered as a narrative with a plot. Conversely the plot provides a rationale for the ordering of the psalms.

Three applications of the Tamid Psalms to the study of the religion and literature of the late Second Temple period follow (chapter 5). (1) Their relation to the Tamid service and the Temple cult is explored, based on observations from performance theory. (2) A comparison is made with another collection of Psalms (Ps 90-100), which leads to a critique of the theory of the late stabilization of the Psalter. (3) A comparison is made with a liturgical collection from Qumran, 4QDibHam, Words of the Luminaries . These two collections of seven pieces differ widely in motifs and style, yet share the feature of sequential development (plot).

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