Papyrus Amherst 63 is a fascinating extrabiblical source shedding light on the religion of the Israelites. This collection of Aramaic texts written in demotic characters contains three Israelite psalms, only one of which is known through the Hebrew Bible. The three songs have a common focus on the rites of the New Year. They corroborate and supplement the biblical data on this festival as it was celebrated in Israel. The conjunction of such themes as the harvest, the new wine, a meal of plenty in the presence of God, and the celebration of YHWH’s kingship leave no doubt about the original ritual context of these psalms.
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