But when we look at the psalms themselves we see that they must originally have been a hymn-book, not for the Levites, but for the laity who carne up to Jerusalem at the great pilgrimage feasts, and who themselves remembered, or their fathers had told them, the days when, as we see in Ps.
It is not improbable that the Elohistic redaction of the second collection of psalms is due not so much to any Jewish scruples about writing the Tetragrammaton as to the fear that it might fall into the hands of the heathen who were trying to destroy the Hebrew Scriptures, and might thus be desecrated (cf.
But when we look at the Elohim psalms more nearly, we see that they contain two distinct elements, Davidic psalms and psalms ascribed to the Levitical choirs (sons of Korah, Asaph).
His extant commentaries (those on Canticles, on the Prophets, on the book of Psalms and on the Pauline epistles - the last the most valuable) are among the best performances of the fathers of the church.
And it is not too much to say that that view - which to some extent appears in the historical psalms of the Ehohistic Psalter - implies absolute incapacity to understand the difference between old Israel and later Judaism, and makes almost anything possible in the way of the ascription of comparatively modern pieces to ancient authors.
Auslegung des Propheten Jesajas), which he dedicated to Heinrich Ewald, and which Hermann Hupfeld (1796-1866), well known as a commentator on the Psalms (1855-1861), pronounced to be his best exegetical work.
We certainly need not suppose that the Davidic, Asaphic and Korahite psalms severally once existed as separate books, for, if this had been the case, it is probable that the ascription would not have been prefixed to each separate psalm, but rather to the head of each collection (cf.
In the Psalms corresponding phrases (My, Thy, His anointed) occur nine times, to which may be added the lyrical passages I Sam.
On the other hand, in a collection intended for synagogue use - and the second collection of psalms is as a whole far more suitable to a synagogue than to the Temple - where there would not be a large choir and orchestra of skilled musicians, it would obviously be desirable to state whether the psalm was to be sung to a Davidic, Asaphic or Korahite tone, or to give the name of a melody appropriate to it.
The absence of the musical titles, however, ma y be taken as an indication that the last collection of psalms was formed in a different place from that in which the earlier collections had arisen; and if, as seems probable, we may identify this place with the Temple at Jerusalem, the absence of musical titles is easily explained, for the number of skilled musicians who there ministered, and who would, of course, possess the tradition of the various modes and tones, would make precise musical directions superfluous.