Psalms

The psalms are essentially a collection of songs that were sung to God by the people of Israel and their purpose was (is) to help reveal God and assist in the worship of Him.

Divisions

The Psalms are divided into 5 books:

  1. Book 1: Psalm 1 to Psalm 41
  2. Book 2: Psalm 42 to Psalm 72
  3. Book 3: Psalm 73 to Psalm 89
  4. Book 4: Psalm 90 to Psalm 106
  5. Book 5: Psalm 107 to Psalm 15

Authorship

The Psalms were written by many different individuals but primarily by David who wrote 75 of them. The other authors of the Psalms were:

  1. Asaph: A priest and worship leader.
  2. The sons of Korah: Singers and composers of music.
  3. Solomon. The third king of Israel.
  4. Moses.
  5. Heman.
  6. Ethan
  7. Anonymous. 48 psalms are anonymous.
  8. Ezra

Types of Psalms

As you are probably well aware not all psalms are of the same type. There are:

  1. Wisdom Psalms (Pss. 1, 37, 119)
  2. Royal Psalms (Pss. 2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 47, 68, 72, 89, 101, 110, 118, 132, 144)
  3. Lament Psalms (Pss. 3-7; 12-13; 22; 25-28; 35; 38-40; 42-44; 51; 54-57; 59-61; 63-64; 69-71; 74; 79-80; 83; 85-86; 88; 90; 102; 109; 120; 123; 130; 140-143)
  4. Imprecatory Psalms (Pss. 7; 35; 40; 55; 58-59; 69; 79; 109; 137; 139; 144)
  5. Thanksgiving Psalms (Pss. 8; 18; 19; 29; 30; 32-34; 36; 40; 41; 66; 103-106; 111; 113; 117; 124; 129; 135-136; 138-139; 146-148; 150)
  6. Pilgrimage Psalms (Pss. 43; 46; 48; 76; 84; 87; 120-134)
  7. Enthronement Psalms (Pss. 48; 93; 96-99)

Outline of the Psalms

  1. Introduction to the Psalms (1-2) Book 1
  2. David’s Songs: The “Yahwistic (3-41) Psalter”
  3. The “Elohistic Psalter” (42-72) Book 2
  4. Psalms of Asaph and Korah (73-89) Book 3
  5. Yahweh the King (90-106) Book 4
  6. Psalms of Praise and Pilgrimage (107-145) Book 5
  7. Concluding Praise (145-150)

Interesting Facts About the Psalms

  • It was the worship hymnal of the Hebrew people.
  • It is the largest book of the Bible with 150 psalms.
  • It contains the most chapters of any book of the Bible. Isaiah is 2nd with 66.
  • Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible with 176 verses.
  • Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible, containing only two verses.
  • Psalm 117 is also the middle chapter of the Bible, the very center of the 1,189 chapters found in Genesis 1 through Revelation 22.
  • Psalm 118:8 is the absolute center of the 31, 173 verses contained in the Scripture, the middle verse of the entire Bible.
  • The LXX has a Psalm 151 but with a notation that it is outside the number.
  • Psalm 18 is the same as 2 Samuel 22.
  • Psalms is written by more authors than any other book in the Bible. It is a literary collection from many men such as David, Asaph, the sons of Korah, Solomon, Moses, Heman, Ethan, and others.
  • Psalms was a long-term project that was approximately nine hundred to one thousand years in the making, requiring more time for its writing than all the canonical books. Psalms is the most quoted Old Testament book in the New Testament. Of the 360 Old Testament quotations or allusions in the New Testament, 112 are from the Psalms.
  • Psalms contains more messianic prophecies than any other Old Testament book, other than possibly Isaiah. It reveals the Messiah as the Son of God (Ps. 2) and son of man (Ps. 8) in his obedience (Ps. 40:6-8), betrayal (Ps. 41:9), crucifixion (Ps. 22), resurrection (Ps. 16), ascension (Ps. 68:18), and enthronement (Ps. 110). There are duplicate psalms: psalms 14 and 53; 40:13-17 and 70; 60:5-12 and 108. A number of psalms are acrostic in Hebrew with the first word of each verse or stanza beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet (Pss. 9-10, 25, 34, 37, 119, 145).

All of the above information came from a couple of great papers I once had. If you recognize where it may have come from let me know! I would love to get another copy and give proper credit!

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