- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
He Is Our Morning Song
The Book of Psalms
The Book of Psalms can be found in the Old Testament. It was a book for the nation of Israel; but, has become a collection of devotions, prayers and praises used by believers of every nation of every time period. In the Psalms, God expresses Himself, and is expressed, in praise, prayer, adoration, supplication (humble petitioning) , confession and intercession.
Of the 150 psalms, or chapters, Kind David wrote 89 of them. The rest were written by Asaph (Psalms 50, 73-83), Heman (Psalms 88), Ethan (Psalms 89), King Solomon (Psalms 127), Moses (Psalms 90), Hezekiah (Psalms 120-121, 123, 125-126, 128-130, 132, 134), and the other 37 were written by anonymous writers.
Who are some people featured in the Psalms?
Many people are specifically listed in the Psalms, either in the chapter itself or in the title of the chapter:
- Psalms 3--A psalm of David when he fled from his son, Absalom. For more about Absalom, read 1 Samuel 13.
- Psalms 7--A psalm of David concerning Cush, who was a Benjamite (from the tribe of Benjamin. For more information about Cush, read 2 Samuel 16:5-14.
- Psalms 34--A psalm of David when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech (AKA Achish). For more about Abimelech, read 1 Samuel 21:10-15.
- Psalms 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 84, 85, 87 and 88--All of these psalms included the sons of Korah in one way or another. Korah was appointed as the head of the temple musicians; read 1 Chronicles 6:22.
- Psalms 50, 73-83--These are all psalms attributed to Asaph. For further reading in regards to Asaph, read 2 Chronicles 5:12.
- Psalms 51--A psalm of David after having been confronted by Nathan, a prophet of God, concerning the adultery between David and Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. You can read about Bathsheba and David 2 Samuel 11, and about Nathan, the prophet, and his "calling out" of David and Bathsheba's sin of adultery in 2 Samuel 12:1-14.
- Psalms 52--A psalm of David when Doeg the Edomite had gone to Saul and told Saul: "David has gone to the house of Ahimelech." For more about Doeg the Edomite, read 1 Samuel 22:9-23, and for more about Ahimelech, read 1 Samuel 22:9-19.
- Psalms 54--This is a psalm of David written when the Ziphites betrayed David to Saul, giving Saul a great certainty that he would succeed in killing David at this time. To read more about the Ziphite betrayal of David, read 1 Samuel 23:14-25.
- Psalms 60--A psalm of David when he fought Aram-naharaim and Aram-zobah in the Valley of Salt. Aram-Naharaim refers to the Arameans of Northwest Mesopotamia (much of modern-day Iraq). Aram-Zobah refers to the Arameans of central Syria.
- Psalms 62 and 77--One was of David, the other was of Asaph; both were written for Jeduthun. Jeduthun was a chief musician in the temple chosen and designated t give thanks to the Lord; 1 Chronicles 16:41-42.
- Psalms 88--A psalm of Heman the Ezrahite. He is mentioned in 1 Kings 4:31 and in 2 Chronicles 5:12.
- Psalms 89--A psalm of Ethan the Ezrahite, who was a man who had great wisdom during the time of King Solomon. You can read more about Ethan the Ezrahite in 1 Kings 4:31.
An Outline for the Book of Psalms
Psalms is a long book of the Bible, in fact, it is the longest book of the Bible with a total of 150 chapters. I don't think I could give enough eloquence to the book in its entirety without writing, please forgive me, a book. There is a wide variety of subject matter in the book of Psalms, also, a wide variety of people of interest. Here, I will try to outline the book of Psalms into five main sections, with their descriptions.
1.) Psalms 1-41
These first 41 chapters of Psalms give concern to mankind, as a whole, and our fall, redemption and blessings.
Psalms 41:13--"Praise be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen."
2.) Psalms 42-72
The next 31 books of Psalms summarize Israel's ruin with her subsequent redemption.
Psalms 42:18-19--"Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to His glorious Name forever, may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen."
3.) Psalms 73-89
The next 17 chapters reveal the establishment of the sanctuary.
Psalms 89:52--"Praise to the Lord forever. Amen and Amen."
4.) Psalms 90-106
The next 17 chapters talks about the earth; the blessings the earth needs for daily living, the blessings that the earth can anticipate and the blessings that the earth enjoys.
Psalms 106:48--"Praise be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, 'Amen!' Praise the Lord."
5.) Psalms 107-150
These last 44 chapters of Psalms, in its simplest form, are the Words of God.
Psalms 150:6--"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord."
There could be another way to group, or re-group, the Psalms in some order for study:
☼ Psalms of Instructions: These psalms are used for instruction or teaching. Examples of such psalms include Psalms 32 or 44.
☼ Psalms of Adoration: These psalms tell of God's greatness, mercy, love, power and majesty. Example of such psalms include Psalms 8 or 29.
☼ Psalms of History: These psalms recount historical events within the nation of Israel. Examples of such psalms include Psalms 78 or 105.
☼ Psalms of Supplication: These psalms make known our request to God. Examples of such psalms include Psalms 86.
☼ Psalms of Thanksgiving: These psalms are songs of giving thanks to God. Examples of such psalms include Psalms 18.
☼ Psalms that Curse: These psalms were not written for revenge purposes, and there is no foul language used within these chapters; these psalms were used to speak against sin and the enemies of God. Examples of such psalms include Psalms 35 or 140.
☼ Psalms of Confession: These psalms were meant to teach us to recognize sin in our own lives, as well as asking for forgiveness and learning through these various aspects of our lives. Examples of such psalms include Psalms 6 or 143.
☼ Psalms of the Messiah: These psalms hold prophecies of the Messiah to come, Jesus, the Christ. Examples of such psalms include Psalms 8 or 110. Please note, all of the prophecies of the coming Messiah, with the exception of one (found in Psalms 72:6-17) have been fulfilled; were fulfilled throughout the New Testament. What a mighty God we serve!
Gotta have instruments...
If the very word psalms denotes songs and music, then it goes to the understand that there were musical instruments involved with a vast majority of the Book of Psalms. What were some of the most common musical instruments of the time?
√ Alamoth: This instrument is akin to a stringed harp, and has a high pitch to it. It is thought that the Alamoth was used to create musical frequencies that promoted peace, purity and innocence.
√ Gittith: A Gittith is a stringed instrument similar to a modern day acoustical guitar.
√ Mahalath: This instrument is akin to a lute or a lyre.
√ Mahalath Leannoth: The difference in a Mahalath and Mahalath Leannoth is that the latter is a very specific lute or lyre used in times of mourning; for example, a funeral or a time of extreme fasting.
√ Sheminith: A Sheminith was an instrument in similarity to that of a harp or lyre, and one that could play a whole octave of notes.
In Proverbs, He is Wisdom's Cry...
Proverbs is a compilation of many proverbs, or short sayings that have practical implications for every day living. One main commonality for the Book of Proverbs is that true wisdom comes from having a reverent fear of the Lord.