strangers (Myrz) and peoples (Mymf),30 he maintained
that the enemies in these five individual psalms were no different than those in others of the individual psalms.31 Therefore, the enemies in other individual psalms must be foreign foes of the nation of Israel, not fellow Israelites who opposed the psalmists.
A second factor in Birkeland's argument was that all royal psalms which mention enemies32 refer to national enemies, as well as a number of psalms in which "I" appears as a subject but a collective interpretation is more likely.33 Corollary to this is the fact that "I" sometimes appears in psalms which are national psalms.34 Birkeland reached the conclusion that
in more than half of all I[ndividual] P(salms] containing enemies, these enemies must necessarily be gentiles because it is expressly stated in almost all of them, and even in the rest of them
30 Psalms 9:6, 16, 18, 20, 21; 10:16; 43:1 speak of (M ) yvg; 54:5 speaks of Myrz although there is a
variant reading Mydz (see BHS), and the same line appears in Psalm 86:14 reading Mydz; and 56:8 speaks of Mymf;
cf. Kraus, Psalmen; Gunkel, Die Psalmen; Weiser, and Anderson at the passages cited.
Birkeland, Evildoers, p. 14. Psalms 18; 20; 21; 28; 61; 63; 89; 144; I Sam.
Psalms 36; 66; 75; 77; 94; 118; 123; 130; 131. Psalms 44:7, 16; 74:12; 60:11; 83:14.