By Barnard C. Taylor
Professor in Crozer Theological Seminary, Upland, Pa.
It will be of interest to compare these results with the use of the names for God in the Psalms, to see if the date of any Psalm can be determined by the name that prevails.
These prophetic writings cover quite completely the period from 880 (cir.) to the close of the 5th century B. C. At least they belong to the periods when Psalms were produced. If these books do not show that there were periods when one or the other name was exclusively employed (and they do not) it certainly cannot be claimed that the one or the other name occurs in a particular Psalm or collection of Psalms, because that name was the prevailing one at that period.
The predominance of the name יהוה throughout can be accounted for by the fact that this name distinguished God from the idols of other nations. It would be especially appropriate in the mouths of the Prophets in times of idolatry, and of hostilities with other nations.
In Ezekiel the name יהוה צבאות does not occur. He does not speak of God as the warrior, leading his people in their battles. But in his book אדני יהוה occurs 215 times. "With him יהוה is the " Lord of all the earth."
It is most natural that, in the poetry of the Psalms, the more general, the more universal name for God, should be more often used. The ideas, the views of the poet, often regarded God as the אלהים the Mighty, the Adorable One, without further distinction from the idols of the nations.
Without attempting here even to suggest reasons why in some Psalms יהוה prevails, while in others אלהים prevails, it is maintained, in view of the facts given above in reference to the use of the different names in the Prophets, that the reason is not a chronological one. It is not determined by the date of the Psalm.
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