Table of Contents

This thesis examines how divine knowledge is understood to be transmitted from God to human beings in the seven sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms. A modern scholarly definition of divination is used as an aid to analysis, and how the transmission of divine knowledge is understood in the sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms is discussed in relation to previous theories about the divinatory practices of the Second Temple period. The demarcations and structure of each Thanksgiving Psalm are discussed by noting scribal practices. The sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms can be grouped together by their inclusion of various sapiential themes, forms, and vocabulary, but when it comes to the transmission of divine knowledge, they form a heterogenous group. Four sapiential out of the seven Thanksgiving Psalms depict a teacher of wisdom as the mediator of divine knowledge, the divine knowledge itself described as a mystery that concerns God's deterministic plan for his creation. In 1QHa 5:12‒6:33 and 7:21‒8:41, God's deterministic plan are described in terms of two diverse ways. Previously, several sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms have been studied in relation to either sapiential divination or inspired interpretation of earlier traditions; thus far, however, it has gone unnoticed that same psalms include features of both phenomena. In 1QHa 5:12‒6:33, 7:21‒8:41, and 9:1‒10:4, divine knowledge is acquired and transmitted through the implicit interpretation of earlier traditions, but, instead of making this process visible, the transmission of divine knowledge is described as a sapiential revelatory process. These earlier traditions concern especially the creation. Both "biblical" and "non-biblical" compositions are interpreted in the same psalms, indicating that the division to "biblical" and "non-biblical" arises more from modern conceptions of the Bible than from that of the late Second Temple sources themselves. Transmission of divine knowledge includes both inductive and intuitive aspects. The sapiential Thanksgiving Psalms relate similar intuitive elements of the transmission of divine knowledge as the classical prophetic books of the Hebrew Bible. Nonetheless, the transmission of divine knowledge requires also elements that are more at home with inductive than with intuitive divination. According to 1QHa 15:29‒36, 17:38‒19:5, and 19:6-20:6, no mediator is needed to have access to divine knowledge. One possible explanation for why these psalms do not depict any human mediator is that they lack didactic elements, unlike 1QHa 5:12‒6:33, 7:21‒8:41, and 9:1‒10:4. The psalms 1QHa 9:1‒10:4, 15:29‒36, 17:38‒19:5, and 19:6-20:6 contribute to our understanding of the role divine knowledge played in praising God as well as in eschatological beliefs. On the other hand, 1QHa 5:12‒6:33, 7:21‒8:41, and 9:1‒10:4 not only describe the transmission of divine knowledge; these psalms could themselves have functioned as vehicles in that transmission. The process of transmitting divine knowledge can be examined as part of the literary and oral transmission of these psalms.