Psalms, Treaty-Covenant, Communal Laments
Within the corpus of psalms in the Hebrew Bible is a group known as the communal laments. Characterized by their use of the first person common plural pronoun, some type of calamity experienced by the community, and a petition to God, these psalms incorporate similar imagery, terminology, and structure. This study explores these psalms and suggests that they relate closely to the Hittite treaty-covenant formula found elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, yet differ in that they reflect an ongoing covenantal relationship rather than the establishment of such. Thus, these psalms emphasize Israel’s expectation that God, as the senior covenantal party, will fulfill his covenantal obligations if Israel remained worthy. These psalms, therefore, are representative of the unique relationship that Israel had with her God, a relationship reflected in Latter-day Saint theology as well.
Original Publication Citation
Studies in the Bible and Antiquity 1 (2009), 1-34
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Belnap, Dan and Belnap, Daniel L., "A Comparison of the Communal Lament Psalms and the Treaty-Covenant Formula" (2009). Faculty Publications. 5603.
Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
2009 by Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Study/Brigham Young University. All rights reserved. This is the author's submitted version.
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