By John Hilber
Doubts concerning the contribution of cult-prophetic speech to psalmody stay in debate. Psalms containing first-person divine speech express a variety of positive factors and recommend existence settings that agree to real prophetic speech. replacement motives lack related examples exterior to psalms. nevertheless, Assyrian cultic prophecies parallel the features of prophetic speech present in psalms. The Assyrian resources aid attainable composition and function situations that conquer objections raised opposed to the compatibility of actual prophecy with psalmody. A version of cultic prophecy continues to be the easiest cause of the beginning of psalms containing first-person divine speech.
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52) qualifies Millard's conclusion, pointing to the presence of material from different periods and of different kinds ascribed to one prophet. Van Seters (2000: 86) likens the collection strategy of Assyrian oracles to the process behind Isaiah 7-8 or Jeremiah's account of the final days of Judah. In similar fashion, Petersen (2000: 43) suggests parallels with collected oracles in Amos 1-2 or woe oracles in Isaiah. Laato (1996: 205-06) notes the following corresponding themes in OT prophetic literature and Assyrian texts: 1) religious criticism of kings; 2) prophecy addressed to the community; and 3) covenant ideology.
The psalm opposed the denial of guilt and spiritualised the thanksgiving song (cf. Psalm 95) without marginalising completely the complaint against God characteristic of the exilic period (cf. Pss 74:1, 79:13, 80:2, Spieckermann 1994: 160-62). Spieckermann (1994: 162-63) argues that the composition of Psalm 81 follows that of Psalms 50 and 95, primarily because the thanksgiving song demanded in Psalm 50 is realised in the introductory call to praise of Ps 81:2-4. However, a new element is added, the conditional promise of salvation based upon obedience to law.
Not a n insignificant n u m b e r of scholars have voiced d o u b t s a b o u t a direct contribution of cultic prophecy to p s a l m s . Gunkel a n d Quell, for example, questioned w h e t h e r any form of free, s p o n t a n e o u s prophecy is compatible with the fixed a g e n d a of liturgy. Recent s t u d i e s recognise the unified literary s t r u c t u r e of the p s a l m s containing divine speech a n d argue t h a t the oracles are only a n integrated p a r t of a whole. The composition of the whole m u s t have t a k e n place before the p s a l m w a s performed; a n d therefore, this process excludes s p o n t a n e o u s speech in the liturgical p e r f o r m a n c e of t h e psalm.