The Narrative Effect of Psalms 84–89

  • Robert E. Wallace


As the reader encounters Book III of the Psalter, the disorientation of exile challenges the psalmists’ attempts to find hope in traditional elements of faith. Within a canonical context of exile, the hymns of celebration found in Pss 84–89 become ironic expressions of a grieving Israel looking to reorient their theology by appealing to Temple, land, and Davidic covenant. Those traditional elements, however, are no longer capable of providing hope. This prepares the reader for return to Moses and Mosaic covenant in Book IV. Davidic kingship and Zion gives way to Yahweh as king, enthroned forever.