A Literary and Generic Analysis

Exegetical Report 3: Old Testament Genre of Poetry—Psalm 1—Week 4
In preparation for this assignment, read Psalm 1 at least once. To conduct a literary and generic analysis of Psalm 1, follow the step-by-step procedures below by placing your answers in the clickable answer blocks below. As you complete Exegetical Report 3, cite at least two peer-reviewed contemporary resources in Psalms scholarship. For the interpretive principles of OT genre of poetry, see “Chapter 8—General Rules of Hermeneutics: Biblical Poetry” (IBI, 361-413), and the subsection on the genre of “Poetry” in “Chapter 9—Genres of the Old Testament,” (IBI, 451-61, especially 459-61).

Figures of Speech: Identify and Unpack :
Identify the figure of speech employed by this psalmist in Psa 1:3 to describe the blessedness of the righteous in vv. 1-2. Compose one or two sentences:
Identify the figure of speech employed by this psalmist in Psa 1:4 to describe the state of the wicked in vv. 4-5. Summarize the contrasting feature(s) of this figure with those of the one in v. 3. Compose one or two sentences:

Unpack or apply these contrasting images or figures of speech in the context of Psa 1:1-5. What is revealed here about the state of blessedness promised to the righteous in vv. 1-3 and the state of the wicked in vv. 4-5. Consider the variety of contexts in the biblical world for reflecting upon the imagery of the tree in v. 3 (see http://www.bibleplaces.com/fig-trees/ ; http://www.bibleplaces.com/olive-trees/ ; http://www.bibleplaces.com/judeanwilderness/ ). Compose two paragraphs (500-600 words):

Based on the exercise above how did this psalmist structure the first five verses of Psalm 1, or 1:1-5? Compose one or two sentences:

Read v. 6 in light of the structure of vv. 1-5 above. Analyze v. 6 based upon the concepts of “parallelism” studied in IBI, 373-95. Compose one or two sentences:

How would you explain the function of v. 6 in Psalm 1? Compose two sentences:

(Continue to p. 4

Language: What’s in a word?
The Hebrew term torah in v. 2 is commonly rendered “law” by most English versions of Scripture (see ESV, NIV, NASB, NRSV). Read the blessings to the righteous promised in vv. 1-3 again, but, instead of “law,” read “instruction” in v. 2 (as both the footnote in ESV and several specialists of the Book of Psalms suggest). Based upon the suggested translation “instruction,” reflect on the following opinion of some Psalm scholars: Psalm 1 was placed at the beginning of the Psalter to function as an introduction to the entire Book of Psalms. That is, by the positioning of Psalm 1 at the beginning of this Biblical book, the term “instruction [torah]” in v. 2 refers to the remainder of the Psalter (Pss 2-150). Consequently, Psalm 1 states, in part, a blessing to the righteous person who mediates on this “instruction” (the entire book of Psalms), a blessing missed by the wicked. Could the Book of Psalms also have a Conclusion? Read Psalm 150. Compose one paragraph (250-300 words) on your reflections about Psalm 1 as an “introduction” to the Book of Psalms and related ideas above.

(Continue to p. 5)
Based on your analysis of Psalm 1 above, apply the message of Psalm 1 to a contemporary Christian audience. How do Christians obey this portion of Scripture today? Compose one paragraph (250-300 words):

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