A Frozen Colophon in Ps 72?

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The colophon in Ps 72:20 has long been puzzling psalm scholars. It reads כלו תפלות דוד בן־ישי—the prayers of David, son of Jesse, are ended—and as such it raises a number of questions. The first observation to be made is that the word תפלה is used, not תהלה. That this is a potential problem is clear already in the LXX, where תפלה is corrected to ὕμνοι. Secondly, the claim that the prayers of David are ended is not true in a literal sense since there are several psalms attributed to David after Ps 72. Thirdly, Ps 72 is not attributed to David but to Solomon. Fourth, the colophon is placed after the doxology concluding the second book in the Book of Psalm, and the last, perhaps most puzzling observation is that the colophon is placed in the midst of the collection often identified as the Elohistic Psalter (EP, Pss 42–83). To solve these difficulties, a number of suggestions have been pre- sented, but I will in this paper suggest that a neat solution is provided if the problem is approached with insights gained from research on scribal habits and material culture. Departing from scholars as e.g. H. Gamble, W.A. Johnson and E. Tov, I claim that the colophon of Ps 72 is likely to be understood not as the conclusion of a collection, but as a frozen scribal colophon, originally inteded to “close” the scroll. A direct analogy to such a fixation of a colophon is found in the Sumerian Temple Hymns.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
EventSBL (Society of Biblical Literature, International Meeting), 2014 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 2014 Jul 62014 Jul 10


ConferenceSBL (Society of Biblical Literature, International Meeting), 2014

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Religious Studies


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