6. Praise Psalms
- Praise psalms are usually divided into two categories: declarative and descriptive praise
- (Much of this material is taken from Ross)
The Form of the Declarative Praise Psalm
- Form critical scholars will often call this type of psalm the Thanksgiving Psalm, or the Todah Psalm
- they also divide them into two groups, the Praise of the Individual and the Praise of the Community.
- There is not an appreciable difference between the Communal and the Individual Praisethe essential elements are present in both.
- Psalms include: 18, 21, 30, 32, 34, 40, 41, 66, 106, 116, and 138.
1. Proclamation to praise God
- The psalm will begin with a clear intention to praise
- e.g. I will praise . . . .
- The psalmist will tell others what God has done.
- The vow of praise (made during the prayer) may have been made in private, but the payment of that vow must be in public.
- This type of psalm is essentially testimony.
2. Report of the deliverance
- The content of the praise will be given immediately.
- introductory statement that summarizes the praise, frequently expressed in one sentence.
- then be further developed in the psalm.
- The psalmist will look back at the time of need and report the deliverance.
- The frequent elements in this report are: I cried . . . He heard . . . He drew me out (or whatever).
3. Praise or renewed vow of praise
- The psalmist now offers the praise.
- declares the saving deeds of the LORD.
4. Descriptive praise or instruction
- Frequently the declarative praise will turn into a descriptive praise of God and his attributes that explains the testimony.
- If the psalmist has reiterated the vow of praise in the preceding section, then this section forms part of the payment of that vow.
- The psalm may end with a teaching section which could be long
- Lessons drawn from the experience are taught to the congregation.
- See Psalm 32 & 138 as examples
The Form of the Descriptive Praise Psalm or Hymn
- very similar
- and some think they are essentially the same.
- but there are discernible parts that differ substantially.
- Psalms include 28, 36, 105, 111, 113, 117, 135, 136, 146, and 147.
Hallelu Yah! The psalm begins with some such expression.
2. Call to Praise
- may be an extended call for worship preparations, or simply Praise Yah.
3. Cause for the praise
- reason for and substance of the praise.
- normally a summary statement of the cause for praise followed by specific illustrations of it.
- summary usually has two parts:
- Gods greatness (e.g., the LORD of creation)
- Gods grace (e.g., his dealings in history to save).
- God is often praised for his creation and his sustaining of nature.
- and so some of these psalms have been called Hymns to the Creator.
- renewed call to praise for the reasons expressed in the psalm
- or an exhortation, or a petition, or even a lesson.
- Hallelu Yah! This expression may also appear at the end of the passage (although it is not always present).
- See Psalm 33 & 135 as examples