Not Moses, but David: Theology and politics in Psalm 78

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Psalm 78 is a lengthy psalm with puzzling phrasing, which presents a peculiar historiography and enigmatic entities. The article begins by highlighting the omission of Moses in the psalm's chronological review, a feature that enables a strong focus on the role of God in the people's history. From concern with the absent Moses, the article moves to examine the role of David in the psalm as a way to access the psalmist's motivations and historical-political context. By examining literary, historical and theological features of the psalm, the article explores the use of collective memory and rewritten narratives for consolidating the people's religious and political ideals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalScottish Journal of Theology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Cambridge University Press.


  • Davidic monarchy
  • Exodus
  • Moses
  • Psalm 78
  • collective memory
  • historical psalms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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