Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Psalms 1Ė2: Gateway to the Psalter
Cole, Robert L.

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2012 pp. x + 182. $80.00

Series Information
Hebrew Bible Monographs, 37

Buy this book now from SBL

Description: As against the form-critical approach, which sees the first two psalms as more or less random examples of the torah and royal types, this study argues for a deliberate and cogent arrangement of Psalms 1 and 2. A detailed linguistic analysis of and comparison between these two apparently disparate psalms at the outset of the book reveals the purpose for their juxtaposition. The principal characters in the first psalm are further described in the second. The man of Psalm 1 is portrayed in eschatological terms as an impeccable royal, sacerdotal, and all-conquering military figure. He appears again in Psalm 2 but as a heavenly-enthroned victorious priest and king. His opponents, the wicked in Psalm 1, are identified in Psalm 2 as recalcitrant rulers and peoples who reject his rule and seek to do away with him. However, the calculated divine response to their plotting assures their ultimate defeat unless they submit to him. This cohesive and coherent introductory pair of psalms sets a pattern at the beginning for reading all those that follow. Indeed, a thorough understanding of the first two psalms and their integrated message is a prerequisite for understanding the purpose of the entire book.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Writings, Literature, Psalms

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBLís login procedure is now synched to SBLís. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBLís Terms of Use.

Email Address
SBL Password
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership

Review by Richard S. Briggs
Published 7/29/2014
Citation: Richard S. Briggs, review of Robert L. Cole, Psalms 1Ė2: Gateway to the Psalter, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2014).

Review by W. Dennis Tucker Jr.
Published 7/26/2015
Citation: W. Dennis Tucker Jr., review of Robert L. Cole, Psalms 1Ė2: Gateway to the Psalter, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2015).

Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.


Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us