Victory in war, philosophical speculation, political propaganda and prophecy, sacred and profane love - the themes of these ancient hebrew songs cover every aspect of life. Since their composition during the Davidic dynasty (c.1000-586 BC) the psalms have remained, over the centuries, the most profound expression of religious feeling for Jews and Christians alike. Originally used for a wide variety of special religous purposes, they are characterized throughout by an insistence on the precariousness of life balance by the certainity of God's love and saving power, expressed by constant reference to the great events in the history of Jewish people. The unaffected beauty and spiritual appeal of the psalms have not only assured their place in private and communal prayer but have also established them in the widest context as poetry of great sensitivity and refinement.
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