INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF
© Copyright 1998, Maranatha Church, Inc.
- The Jews referred to Psalms as "The Book of Praises".
- The LXX entitled it "The Book of Psalms" (from a Greek word indicating
hymns/songs sung to accompaniment of stringed instruments).
- The collection was the hymnal of the Jews.
- Authorship and Date.
- The titles to the individual psalms attribute 73 to David, 2 to Solomon,
12 to the sons of Korah, 12 to Asaph, 1 to Heman, 1 to Ethan, and 1 to
- The majority of the psalms were written during the time of David (10th
- The psalms are divided into five books/collections.
- Chapters 1-41.
- Chapters 42-72.
- Chapters 73-89.
- Chapters 90-106.
- Chapters 107-150.
- Each division ends with a doxology (41:13; 72:18,19; 89:52: 106:48; 150).
- Classification of Psalms.
- Lament or petition psalms (Ps.3 and 41).
- Thanksgiving or praise psalms (Ps.30 and 65).
- Trust in God psalm (Ps.4).
- Psalm about Jerusalem (Ps.48).
- Didactic and wisdom psalms (Ps.1, 37, and 119).
- Imprecatory psalms (Ps.7, 35, 55, 59, 69, 79, 109, 137, and 139).
- Rebound/reversion recovery psalm (Ps.6).
- Psalm of pilgrims (Ps.120).
- Creation psalms (Ps.8 and 9).
- Psalm of the Exodus (Ps.78).
- Messianic psalms (Ps.2, 8, 16, 22, 40, 45, 72, 110, 118).
- Enthronement psalm (Ps.47).
- Nature of Hebrew Poetry.
- Hebrew poetry is not based on rhyme or meter, but on rhythm and
- The rhythm is not achieved by balanced numbers of accented and unaccented
lines, but by tonal stress on key words.
- In parallelism the writer states the concept in the first line, then reinforces
it by various means in the succeeding line or lines.
- Synonymous parallelism has the second line repeating essentially the idea
in the first line (Ps.3:1).
- Antithetic parallelism has the second line stating an idea opposite to
that of the first (Ps.1:6).
- Synthetic parallelism has the second or succeeding lines add to or develop
the idea of the first (Ps.1:1,2).
- Emblematic parallelism has the second line elevate the thought of the first,
often by the use of a simile (Ps.42:1).
- Parallelism is not restricted to two lines, but may extend to strophes
(smaller units of a few lines) and stanzas (longer units).
- Psalm 119 is an alphabetical acrostic of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.