The rhetoric of reflection : Hebrew roots of cognition and the final form of the masoretic text of the Psalter.
This dissertation builds on and attempts to contribute to the larger stream of research of the past three decades generated by Gerald H. Wilson’s seminal work The Editing of the Hebrew Psalter. This stream of research has considered the Psalter in its final form as an intentionally arranged collection that resolves the existential crisis caused by the displacement of the Exile by promoting YHWH as king in place of the failed, human Davidic monarchy. In particular, this dissertation seeks to study the role of reflection/cognition in the final form of the Psalter on the basis of the introductory Psalm 1’s description of the righteous as meditating on Torah (verse 2). To accomplish this goal, the dissertation uses the concept of a wordfield, centered on the Hebrew root hgh, to compile a compendium of the occurrences of Hebrew roots of reflection as they occur throughout the Psalter. On the basis of this compendium, a synchronic reading of the Psalter הגה this wordfield is then sketched out. The dissertation concludes with a chapter considering the role of Wisdom in the final form of the Psalter. Wisdom is considered as it shows up in the final form of the Psalter through the presence of Wisdom psalms, through the shaping of the final form according to Wisdom ideals, and through Wisdom’s relation to Torah and memory.