most individual laments from a "medical" perspective, Schmidt dealt with them from a judicial one. They were uttered by people accused of a crime and were connected with some sort of cultic ordeal; hence the frequent assertions of innocence found in the laments.25 On this view the one who laments would be a defendant while the enemies would be plaintiffs or false witnesses. Although their emphases are different from Schmidt the judicial perspective has also been pursued by Delekat26 and Beyerlin.27
Harris Birkeland28 brought forth a serious objection to all attempts to identify the personal enemies in the Psalter. He argued that "the enemies of the individual were in prin- ciple identical with those of the nation, viz. the gen- tiles."29 Beginning with five individual psalms which
explicitly identified the enemies as gentiles (Myvg),
25 26 For example, Psalms 7:4-5; 17:1-5; 26:1, 4-7, 11. L. Delekat, Asylie und Schutzorakel an Zionheiligtum (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1962).
27 W. Beyerlin, Die Rettung der Bedrangten in den Feindpsalmen der Einzelnen auf institutionelle Zusammenhange untersucht (G5ttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1970).
28 H. Birkeland, Die Feinde des Individuums in der israelitischen Psalmearteratur (Oslo: Grondahl and sons, 1933); and Evildoers.
Birkeland, Evildoers, p. 9.