The article argues that the reception of biblical history starts with the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15) and is then carried into the book of Psalms. It is here that the historical psalms (Psalms 78; 105; 106; 135; 136; 137) continue the exegesis with different emphases, which results in an ongoing discourse on biblical history. Finally, the penitential prayer in Nehemiah 9 systematises the historical psalms. This dynamic exegetical process can be described as biblical Judaism's search for identity, in which the people assure themselves of their history with their God. The literary genre of prayer texts evokes a cultic context and allows for an individual appropriation of biblical history.