Psalms is theBook of
Hebrew Hymns. It is their song book.
"Enter His gates with
thanksgiving and His courts with praise."
Psalms are a collection
of sacred Hebrew poems, intended for use in the
worship of God. They are inspired responses of the
human heart to God's revelation of Himself in law,
history and prophecy.
They teach us that we can
make all our circumstances opportunities of worship.
When we are in sorrow, it is time to worship. When
we are full of joy, it is time to worship. When we
are overwhelmed with intense darkness, it is time to
worship. When we are full of insight and wisdom, it
is time to worship. When we turn to the New
Testament we hear the message of the Psalms:
"Rejoice in the Lord always: again I say, rejoice."
Campbell Morgan said, "It
is impossible to think of any human circumstances
which do not find expression in this book. It is
intensely human. The deepest thing is that it is a
collection of songs in which human experiences are
brought into the presence of God. They show how man
feels and thinks and speaks and acts when he is
conscious of God."
New Testament writers
more often quote the Psalms than any other book.
They are "the height of God-given literature."
No other portion of the
Bible has been used more frequently or consistently
in the worship of the LORD God as the Book of
Psalms. The early church usually opened with the
reading, or the singing of Psalms. Congregational
singing familiar among the Hebrew people, continued
in apostolic times (Acts 2:47). The Old Testament
Psalms were widely used in the New Testament church.
The Book of Psalms and
the Letter to the Romans were the scriptural
foundation that produced the Reformation. The Psalms
gave joy, courage, and strength in days of trial and
danger. "The Lutheran Reformation restored
congregational singing." He gave an even greater
impetus to the reformation movement by his hymns.
"The Calvinistic Reformation regarded the Psalms as
of basic, liturgical importance." John Calvin wrote,
"When we sing them, we are certain that God has put
the words into our mouths, as if He sang within us
to exalt His glory." John Knox said, "Hear that
harmony and well turned song of the Holy Spirit,
speaking to our fathers from the beginning."
in Hebrew is called Tehillim, "Book of
Praises." The English name, "The Psalms," comes
through the Greek Septuagint (LXX).
Praise is the keynote of more than twenty Psalms.
The Hebrew word for "Psalm" signifies a poem and
restricts the application to Hebrew songs sung in
praise to God. It is equivalent to our English,
Books of Praises, or Hymn Book. The LXX,
psalmoi means "melodies" sung to stringed
FIVE BOOKS OF THE
PSALMS: The complete collection of
150 Psalms is grouped into five books with each one
ending with an appropriate doxology. Book I - Psalms
1-41 (41:13); Book II – 42-72 (72:18-19); Book III –
73-89 (89:52); Book IV – 90-106 (106:48); Book V –
107-150 (Psalm 150 is the concluding doxology of the
whole collection of five books).
The names in the heading are worthy of consideration
because they represent very ancient Jewish
traditions, however it should be kept in mind these
are not part of the inspired Scripture.
David appears to be the
author of seventy-three psalms. John R. Sampey says,
"The age of David offered fruitful soil for the
growth of religious poetry." Music played a vital
part of the life of the school of the prophets (1
Samuel 10:5f). The organization of the Levitical
choirs, and moving the Ark of the Covenant to
Jerusalem, would stimulate religious poetry and
hymns of praise to the LORD God (2 Samuel 6; 1
Chronicles 15, 16, 25). David exercised leadership
in developing Israel’s liturgy (2 Sam. 6:5, 16; 1
Chron. 15, 16, 25; 2 Chron. 7:6; 29:30).
David was a skillful
musician (1 Sam. 16:15-23), and was a poet of
ability (2 Sam. 1:19-27). He was "a man of deep
feeling and of imperial imagination." He had deep
faith in Yahweh (1 Sam. 30:6). The Spirit of Yahweh
rested upon David (1 Sam. 16:13; 2 Sam. 23:1-3;
Matt. 22:43; Acts 2:29-31). He was inspired of God
to write many of the Psalms.
The New Testament also
names David as author of certain Psalms (110; Matt.
22:41-45; Mk. 12:35-37; Lk. 20:41-44). Jesus
attributed these words to David who was called, "the
sweet psalmist of Israel" (2 Sam. 23:1, 2; Mk.
12:36; Acts 1:16; 2:30, 31; 4:25). Psalms 96, 105,
106 are acknowledged as David’s according to 1
Chron. 16:18-36. The tone, temper, historic
allusions in the life of David corresponds to his
Moses (Psalm 90)
Psalms of Asaph (Psalms
Psalms of the sons of
Korah, who were a prominent family of singers in
temple worship in the time of David (Psalms 42-49,
84, 85, 87).
Ethan the Ezraphite
Psalms of Solomon (Psalms
The era of Jehoshaphat
(Psalms 75, 76)
Period of Jeremiah
(Psalms 31, 35, 38, 40, 55, 69, 71)
During the Exile (Psalm
Post Exilic (Psalms 85,
The majority of the Psalms were composed during the
United Kingdom. Precise occasions are hard to
pinpoint. Historical allusions of the psalms do not
go beyond the time of David, except the anonymous
psalms of captivity (Psalm 137), according to R. L.
The authors give expression to the truths, emotions
and purposes that fill the people’s hearts when
Yahweh blessed them. Calvin said, "There is not an
emotion of which anyone can be conscious that is not
here represented as in a mirror." These collected
hymns of praise provided the hymnbook of Israel, and
a devotional guide for Temple centered worship. The
book begins with benediction and ends with praise.
Hymns of praise are found throughout the book, but
especially in Books IV and V. It builds to a great
Hallelujah Chorus at the end. It was the prayer book
and hymnal of the Jewish people, which provided
nurture for the spiritual life of the individual,
and a hymnal for public worship. The final
collection of the 150 psalms was influenced by the
use of these prayers, songs, and hymns in the
worship at the Temple.
These ancient poems were not written down in poetic
lines. Hebrew poetry consists, not primarily in
rhyme, or even rhythmic balance, but in parallelism
of thought in which succeeding phrases either repeat
in some way or elaborate the previous line. It says
the same thing, or a variation of the same thing, in
two linked lines. The American Bible Society
Handbook on Psalms notes authors use "acrostics,
chiasmus, metaphors, clusters of images,
repetitions, alliterations, similes, ellipsis,
wordplay, sound imitation, refrains, personification
of abstracts, word pairs, gender matching,
inversions, and particularly parallel lines."
The Psalms are
individualistic, personal and emotional. The
greatest number of these poems possesses a lyric,
singing quality and is entitled "psalm." Various
literary types are found in the Psalms including
laments (Psalm 44), hymns (Psalms 8, 115),
thanksgiving (Psalms 34, 67), songs of confidence
(Psalms 11, 125), hymns of Zion (Psalm 46, 48, 76,
87), enthronement Psalms (Psalms 29, 47, 93, 95-99),
the royal Psalms (Psalms 2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 89,
101, 110, 132, 144), pilgrim Psalms (Psalms 84,
122), wisdom Psalms (Psalms 1, 37, 49, 73, 119),
liturgies (Psalms 15, 24, 50, 75, 85), and of
course, some palms cannot be classified under any
the Psalms were placed in the "Writings" or third
group in the Hebrew Canon. There has never been any
serious question as to a place in the Canon of
Hebrew Scripture. John R. Sampey said, "If
Christians were permitted to retain only one book in
the Old Testament, they would almost certainly
SONGS OF THE MESSIAH:
Psalms 2, 8, 16, 22, 23 (Messianic application), 45,
72, 89, 110, 118, 132. Check out Christ in the Old
Testament for an expository studies of these psalms.
Ps. 68:18 (Eph. 4:8)
Ps. 41:9 (Luke 22:48)
Ps. 22:1–21 (Matt. 27)
Ps. 45:6–7 (Heb. 1:8–9)
Ps. 8:5–6 (Heb. 2:6–9)
Ps. 2:6; 89:18–19 (Acts
Ps. 8:2 (Matt. 21:15–16)
Ps. 110:1 (Matt. 22:44;
Ps. 40:6–8 (Heb. 10:5–7)
Ps. 110:4 (Heb. 5:6)
Ps. 2:7; 16:10 (Acts
Ps. 2:7 (Matt. 3:17, Heb.
Ps. 69:9 (John 2:17, Rom.
15:3) Ps. 69:4 (John 15:25)
Ps. 118:22–23 (Matt.
Archer, G. L. (1998,
c1994). A survey of Old Testament
introduction : By Gleason Archer, Jr. (electronic
ed.). Chicago: Moody Press.
THE GOSPEL IN THE
PSALMS: John R. Sampey said,
"Christians love the Psalter as much as the ancient
Jew could possibly have done. One every page they
discover elements of religious life and experience
that is thoroughly Christian. Along with the New
Testament, the aged Christian saint desires a copy
of the Psalms. He passes easily from the Gospels to
the Psalter and back again without the sense of
shifting from one spiritual level to another."
Our Lord Jesus Christ
found prophecies concerning Himself in the Palms
(Luke 24:44-47). He is the suffering Savior (Psalm
22; 31:5; 69:21). "Only Isaiah 52:12-53:1 surpasses
Psalm 22 as a picture of Calvary and an
interpretation of the significance of the cross. . .
Every sentence in Psalm 22 can be applied to Jesus
without straining its meaning. If David took up his
harp to sing of his own sorrows, the Spirit of God
guided him to describe those of a greater (ISBE,
iv, p. 2492). Then Sampey adds, "The real author of
inspired prophecies is the Holy Spirit. His meaning
is that which the reverent interpreter most delights
In the Psalms Jesus is
described as the Conquering King Messiah (Psa. 2;
110; 72), and His growing Kingdom (Psa. 47, 67,
Christ in the Psalms
Title: Introduction to