cultic drama. The enemies, therefore, cannot be real human beings, but are rather mythic powers who attack the god- king. This position may have some merit when explicit mention is made of Sheol as an active and potent reality,41 but the Old Testament nowhere speaks of the king playing the role of any god (certainly not Yahweh) in a cultic drama.42
One other option which would seem to deny the possi- bility of reference to personal enemies is that of Othmar Keel.43 He interprets the enemies psychoanalytically as physical personifications of the distress of the psalmist. While their ancient near eastern neighbors could objectify their anxieties (Angste) and apprehensions (Sorgen) by speaking of various gods and demons, Israel's theological space for such projections was limited by Yahweh's intoler- ance; it was restricted to Yahweh and the human (and animal) world. Therefore, the enemies must be seen much more as
representatives of a sinister world of evil than as individuals in our sense. In order to be able to describe the evil and hostility with which the
41 42 Cf. Psalms 18:6; 89:49. Cf. M. Noth, "God, King, and Nation in the Old Testament," in The Laws in the Pentateuch and Other Essays, trans. by D. Ap-Thomas (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967), P. 175.
43 O. Keel, Feinde and Gottesleugner: Studien zum Image der Widersacher in den Individualpsalmen (Stuttgart Verlag katholisches Bibelwerk, 1969).