The conflict between cultic sacrifice and prophetic obedience in Psalm 40
The thesis explores the apparent conflict between the prophetic call to inwardness and the priestly demand for sacrifice. This polemic is quoted by some theologians as clear support in scripture for the various hypotheses upon which the exegeses of "higher criticism" of the Old Testament are based.
The thesis examines the supposed polemic by focusing attention, first, on Psalm 40:6–8, one of the clearest statements cited in support of the conflict. An exegesis of the text is made and the meaning of Hebrew sacrifice is explored. Secondly, an analysis is made of statements by Samuel, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, and Jeremiah which appear to support the assumed conflict.
The thesis concludes, upon a closer examination of Psalm 40:6–8, that no conflict exists between prophet and priest. What is called for in each case is not an either/or choice between obedience and sacrifice, but a re-interpretation of both in the light of the hesed of the coming Messiah.