Old Testament Notes and Notices
The Old Testament Student
way, impurity, hostility to God, who is entreated to take it away and graciously avert his righteous anger. In spite of their polytheism, the tone and spirit of many passages remind us strongly of the Hebrew Psalms, the god who is addressed being exalted to the very highest heaven. Invariably, however, the intercession of some other god is implored, a mediator was deemed necessary. There is one psalm in which no particular deity is named. The poet, as usual, makes the penitent speak of his god
... t speak of his god or his goddess, but this probably means nothing more than guardian angel; further, confession of a "known or unknown sin" is made to a "known or unknown god." Though this is not monotheism, it approaches it closely. The god or goddess invoked as the petitioner's own, is none other than his better Self. If he sins, his god or goddess forsakes him, and his first intercession is for the god's return, his first effort for his propitiation. All this proves that religion in Babylonia reached early a comparatively high development. However much of the external and formal, of the superstitious and magical may have clung to the worship, there was no lack of deep religious feeling and moral earnestness, which expressed itself most powerfully in the penitential psalms.