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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Psalms play numerous roles in the religious life of the Jews, but occupy an ambivalent place in the Jewish curriculum. Jewish commentary on the Psalms occurred in four phases: inner-biblical indications of developing interpretive strategies, rabbinic commentaries, standard medieval commentaries, and late medieval and early modern commentaries (14th–18th centuries). This article presents case studies to highlight trends in Jewish commentary based on the abovementioned phases, along with reference to relevant scholarship. It looks at two aspects of the book: the attribution of authorship to King David and the selection and ordering of the psalms into the canonical collection of 150. It also considers Leviticus Rabba 21.4, a midrash incorporating commentary on Psalm 27. In addition, it discusses commentaries by two of the three most influential Torah commentators of the medieval Golden Age: Rashi and Ibn Ezra.

Keywords: Psalms, Jews, commentary, authorship, King David, Leviticus Rabba 21.4, midrash, Psalm 27, Rashi, Ibn Ezra

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