The JPS Bible Commentary: Psalms 120–150


The JPS Bible Commentary: Psalms 120–150

The Traditional Hebrew Text with the JPS Translation
Commentary by Adele Berlin
Sidebars on Ritual and Liturgical Uses of Psalms 120–150 by Avigdor Shinan and Benjamin D. Sommer

JPS Bible Commentary Series

248 pages
3 tables


August 2023


$40.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

August 2023


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About the Book

The Jewish Publication Society’s highly acclaimed Bible Commentary series provides the Hebrew text of the Bible, the JPS English translation, and a line-by-line commentary. This volume presents commentary on Psalms 120–150, based on the most recent research on the language of the Bible, its literary forms, and the historical context that may have given rise to the psalms. The commentary pays special attention to the message of each psalm and to how the poetry shapes the message. At the same time, it draws on traditional Jewish interpretations of the meaning of the psalms.

Author Bio

Adele Berlin is Robert H. Smith Professor of Biblical Studies Emerita at the University of Maryland. She is the author of several books, including Poetics and Interpretation of Biblical Narrative, The Dynamics of Biblical Parallelism, and The JPS Bible Commentary: Esther (JPS, 2001). She is coeditor (with Marc Brettler) of The Jewish Study Bible. Avigdor Shinan is Yitzhak Becker Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is the author of numerous books, including (with Yair Zakovitch) From Gods to God: How the Bible Debunked, Suppressed, or Changed Ancient Myths and Legends (JPS, 2012). Benjamin D. Sommer is a professor of Bible and Ancient Semitic languages at Jewish Theological Seminary and senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is the author of Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition and The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel, among other works.


"Throughout her career, Adele Berlin's scholarship has been marked by a methodological precision that yields a rich reading of the biblical text, one that results in an even deeper appreciation of the same. . . . This is no less true of her latest commentary in the JPS Bible Commentary series. . . . Berlin remains fully engaged with contemporary scholarship yet is fully attentive to and engaged with Jewish medieval exegesis. . . . There are simply too many examples to list here where her keen attention to the literary features of the text yields a rich reading."—Review of Biblical Literature (Society for Biblical Literature review)

"Clear, accessible. . . . Recommended for Judaic and academic libraries."—Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews

“In this exemplary work Adele Berlin combines her exceptional insight and creative interpretative gift for understanding poetry with her scholarly expertise in ancient Jewish history and Hebrew language in a remarkably clear and accessible way. Berlin leaves no stone unturned with respect to the current innovations in scholarship on the psalms. Both nonspecialists and specialists will benefit from this invaluable commentary.”—Hindy Najman, Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture, Oriel College, University of Oxford

“Writing with unsurpassed lucidity, Adele Berlin, one of the leading authorities on biblical Hebrew poetry, guides us through the literary and religious nature of the psalms, explaining what each passage likely meant to its author and his contemporaries and to later readers experiencing the psalms in the context of their own times.”—Jeffrey Tigay, A. M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Commentary: Psalms 120–150
            What are psalms?
            What is the Book of Psalms?
            What do the psalms mean?
            How does a psalm construct its meaning?
            Speakers and authors
            Scenarios and settings
            Dating Psalms 120–150
            Textual traditions and ancient interpretations
            The role of traditional Jewish interpretation in a modern commentary
            Scholarship on the Psalms
            Notes to the Introduction
Commentary to Psalms 120–150
Notes to the Commentary
Excursus: Songs of Ascents
Notes to the Excursus

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