This volume completes Erhard Gerstenberger's widely praised discussion of the psalms literature and includes, as well, an admirable study of the book of Lamentations. Gerstenberger interprets the different kinds of songs and prayers that comprise the book of Psalms in light of their socio-historical settings and provides a concise formal and structural analysis of each biblical text based on an illuminating comparison with other ancient Near Eastern prayers and hymns. Seeing the biblical writings in relation to the social, cultic, religious, and theological conceptions of Israel’s neighboring peoples allows contemporary readers to better grasp the purpose and spiritual meaning of the psalms and Lamentations to the Jewish community that composed them.
This is a most important work, surely the most important and most comprehensive form-critical treatment of the Psalms in the last two decades. We have here the fruit of a lifetime of studying the Psalms by one of the foremost interpreters of that literature. It is a first-rate piece of work that will be widely used.
—Patrick D. Miller, Jr., Princeton Theological Seminary