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PSALMS Psalms is the largest book in the Old Testament and the one most often quoted in the New Testament. It was both the hymnal and the devotional guide.

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Presentation on theme: "PSALMS Psalms is the largest book in the Old Testament and the one most often quoted in the New Testament. It was both the hymnal and the devotional guide."— Presentation transcript:


2 PSALMS Psalms is the largest book in the Old Testament and the one most often quoted in the New Testament. It was both the hymnal and the devotional guide for Jewish believers. When the collection of Psalms was brought together as one the Hebrew title for the collection was Tehillim, meaning “praises” or “praise songs.” The Greek translators gave it the title “Psalmoi,” meaning “songs to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument.” This was the title used in the days of Jesus (see Acts 1:20).

3 PSALMS Psalms was the inspired prayer and praise Book of the nation of Israel in their temple worship; the Jews today use them in the synagogue; the Christians of the New Testament times sang them, and all denominations of Christendom use them today. Most of the psalms were written during the era of the united monarchy (the foundational books of 2 Samuel and 1 Kings). The Psalms cover a thousand years of history from Moses (1500 B.C.) to the post exile times (500 B.C.); however, most were written in the hundred-year period from 1030- 930 B.C.

4 PSALMS Hebrew poetry doesn’t have rhyme or rhythm. It’s unique characteristic is repetition of thought, called parallelism. The poet will make a statement in one line, then in a second and perhaps a third like he’ll repeat the thought, extend it, or contrast it with an opposite idea. For example, Psalm 51 is a prayer of confession after committing adultery with Bathsheba. In verse 7, the second line repeats the thought of the first one: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

5 Authorship Psalms was written by many men spanning all the periods of Old Testament history. Psalms is commonly called “The Book of David” because he wrote a large number of them. Other songs are attributed to Moses, Solomon, Asaph (David’s levitical choir director), the Sons of Korah, Heman the Ezrahite, and Ethan the Ezrahite. Both Heman and Ethan were reknown for their wisdom.

6 Authorship AuthorHow many? Which Psalm(s)? David 733-9; 11-32; 34-41; 51-65; 68-70; 86; 101; 103; 108-110; 122; 124; 131; 133; 138-145) Asaph (David’s choir leader at Jerusalem) 1250; 73-83 Descendants of Korah 1042; 44-49; 84-85; 87 Solomon 272; 127 Ethan 189 Heman 188 Moses 190 Anonymous 50There is reason to think David wrote some of these; example Psalm 2 is ascribed to David in Acts 4:25 A Classification of the Psalms by authors

7 HISTORICAL PURPOSE The Psalms served a national function for they comprised the worship service hymnal which was the medium of prayer and praise for the Temple-centered religion of the Jewish people. The Psalms, like the other Old Testament books, may be viewed as having three divine purposes in mind: The following examples can be studied to give insight into the historical period from which they come, or about which they were written: Patriarchal period Psalm 110, a psalm of David about this period Theocratic period Psalm 90 (see also 42, 87 by the sons of Korah) Monarchical period David as shepherd (23); as fugitive (7, 11, 18, 34, 54); as king (24); as sinner (32, 51); as dethroned (3, 4); Solomon (72, 127) Exilic period After destruction of Temple (74,79); after arrival of Babylon (137) Post-exilic period Upon return to the land (126); at the dedication of the rebuilt Temple (147)

8 DOCTRINAL PURPOSE All the great doctrines of the Old Testament are taught in the Psalms, especially the doctrine of God. Perhaps the easiest way to summarize the great teachings of the Psalms is to refer to the topics of the five sections to which it is divided. Each section ends with a doxology of praise, and the last section has six chapters of doxology: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” BOOK 1 Psalms 1-41 (Psalms about man and creation; corresponds to Genesis ) BOOK 2 Psalms 42-72 (Psalms about Israel and redemption- Exodus ) BOOK 3 Psalms 73-89 (Psalms about worship and the Temple- Leviticus ) BOOK 4 Psalms 90- 106 (Psalms about our sojourn on earth- Numbers ) BOOK 5 Psalms 107- 150 (Psalms about praise and the Word of God- Deuteronomy ) Doxology at-41:1372:18-1989:52106:48150:6 Worship Theme Adoring Worship Wondrous Worship Ceaseless Worship Submissive Worship Perfected Worship Likeness to the Pentateuch Genesis; Israel; Man Exodus; Israel; Deliverance Leviticus; Sanctuary Numbers; Moses and Wilderness Deuteronomy ; Law and Land AuthorsMainly David’s Mainly David’s and Korah’s Mainly Asaph’s Mainly anonymous Mainly David’s

9 CHRISTOLOGICAL PURPOSE Psalms is perhaps the most messianic book in the Old Testament. Practically the whole of Christ’s life and ministry can be found there. The use of the Psalms by our Lord is a most instructive commendation of this great book. The following summary indicates how influential the Psalms were in the life of Christ: During His childhood (Luke 2:49), Jesus revealed knowledge of Ps. 26:8; 27:4. In the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:35; 7:23) He quoted Ps. 48:2 and 6:8. In teaching the multitude (Mt. 13:35) He cited Ps. 78:2. In cleansing the Temple (Mt. 21:16) He quoted from Ps. 8:2. In His reply to the priests (Mt. 21:42) Jesus cited Ps. 118:22, 23. In weeping over Jerusalem (Mt. 23:37) Jesus borrowed language from Ps. 91:4 In answering the Jews (john 10:34) He quoted Ps. 82:6. At the Last Supper (Mt. 26:30) Jesus probably sang the Hallel found in Ps. 136. On the cross Jesus quoted the Psalms twice: Psalm 22:1: “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mt. 27:46), and Psalm 31:5: “Into thy hand I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). After the resurrection Jesus referred to the whole Book of Psalms with its messianic contents (Luke 24:44).

10 The Principle Messianic Psalms are: 2, 8, 16, 20, 21,22, 23, 24, 31, 35, 40, 41, 45, 50, 55, 61, 68, 69, 72, 89, 97, 98, 102, 109, 110, 118, and 132 Messianic Psalms prophetically speak of the Person and work of the Messiah. In these Psalms, we have Christ’s birth, betrayal, agony, death, resurrection, ascension, coming again in glory and His reign – all pictured with inspired vividness.

11 Many other examples could be given, including: The piercing of His hands and feet (Psalm 22:16), The fact that His bones were not broken on the cross (Psalm 34:20), His being mocked while on the cross (Psalm 22:7, 8), The offer of vinegar (Psalm 69:21), And His being the object of the hatred of both Jew and Gentile (Psalm 2:1, 2). Each of these verses should be read and studied in order to see the extensive Christological emphasis of the Psalms.


13 The New Testament applies many citations from the Psalms to its teachings about the Person and life of Christ. TeachingPsalmNew Testament Reference 1.Birth 104Hebrews 1:7 2.Humiliation 8:4Hebrews 2:6 3.Deity 45:6Hebrews 1:8 4.Ministry 69:9John 2:17 5.Rejection 118:22Matthew 21:42 6.Betrayal 41:9John 13:18 7.Crucifixion 22Matthew 27:46 8.Resurrection 2 and 16Acts 2:27 9.Ascension 68:18Ephesians 4:8 10.Reign 102:26Hebrews 1:11

14 Not all the Psalms are prophetic or messianic. There are other kinds as well. Here is a topical classification of the Psalms: ClassificationDescription Prophetic Psalms The life of Christ is either depicted or predicted; cited in the New Testament in reference to the life and ministry of our Lord (e.g., 22) Praise Psalms Each of the 5 divisions ends with a psalm of praise; the last section ends with 5 psalms of praise; a final doxology for the whole Book of Psalms: “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised…” (final doxology: 150) Petition Psalms Pleas for God for help; requests for deliverance (e.g., 6:4; 16:1; 39:12) Penitence Psalms Sorrowing over sin; Confessions of sin (e.g., 32, 51) Pastoral Psalms A Psalm of God’s care for His people as a shepherd for his flock (e.g., 23) Precept Psalm Precepts for man’s spiritual and moral life; ethical advice (e.g., 37) Prayer Psalms The soul in communion with God; heart cry of the Christian (e.g., 17) Profession Psalms Professions to others of the gracious and mighty works of God on behalf of the believer (e.g., 33:1; 107:2; 103:1,2) Patriotic Psalms Psalms that reflect a theocratic patriotism to God by God’s covenant people, the children of Israel (e.g., 126) Pilgrim/Pilgrimage Psalms Served to pass the time in joyful praise as the children of Israel journeyed along (e.g., 120-134)

15 Other classifications include : ClassificationDescription Lament Psalms Also called “Petition Psalms” because they are pleas for God for help; requests for deliverance (e.g., 6:4; 16:1; 39:12) Testimonial Psalms Also called “Profession Psalms” because they tell the mighty works of God on behalf of the believer; how God met a need (e.g., 30, 34) Wisdom Psalms Also called “Precept Psalms” because they give guidelines to godly people living in this ungodly world (e.g., 37, 73, 6:4; 16:1; 39:12) Historical Psalms Also called “Patriotic Psalms” because the writer looks back on God’s dealings with the nation of Israel (e.g., 78, 105, 106) Nature Psalms Also may fit under “Praise Psalms.” The writer is inspired to praise the handiwork of God in His creative work, and praise His greatness, goodness, and power. (e.g., 8, 19) Imprecatory Psalms These are psalms that ask for judgment on wicked men who are enemies of the writer. These wicked men haven’t just offended the author but also God who is holy (e.g., 58, 109, 35, 69, 137)

16 The shortest chapter in the Bible, also the middle chapter, is Psalm 117. It has only two verses. The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119, with a whopping 176 verses. This poem is so long because it’s an acrostic built on the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The poem has 22 eight-verse sections. The first section starts with the first Hebrew letter, “Aleph.” The second section starts with the next letter, “Beth.” And on it goes, clear through the alphabet. Twenty-two times 8 equals 176. The middle verse in the Bible is this one: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord that to trust in man” (118:8). DID YOU KNOW ?

17 Many Psalms include musical terminology. Here are some definitions of musical terms: DID YOU KNOW ? Musical TermDefinitionPsalm(s) Alamoth Female voice or a stringed instrument46 Gittith Wine press or vintage song8, 81, 84 Jeduthun A choir leader in David’s day39, 77 Mismor To pluck an instrument, pizzicato Neginoth A stringed instrument4, 5, 54, 55, 61, 67, 76 Nehiloth A wind instrument5 Selah A musical interlude which some take as a pause for meditation Sheminith An eighth octave; male voices6 Shiggayon Wandering or irregular music7 Tehillah Praise145 Tephillah Prayer

18 The Psalms in one sense are the most universal of all the Hebrew literature. They speak to ALL men, in ALL conditions, and for ALL time. Some Psalms were written to the Israelites wandering in the wilderness (90), some to a monarch in regal rejoicing (24), some to sad exiles (137), and still others to the jubilant repatriated remnant (126, 147). The original destination of the Psalms, however, is determined by the period in which each was written. Yet, when we read these words of anger, sadness, hope, and praise, they become our own, for they reflect our deepest, and sometimes most private, emotions. There is probably no situation of life that some psalm does not directly address. TO WHOM WERE THE PSALMS WRITTEN?

19 You hear the words as someone reads to a dying loved one, or perhaps as a minister comforts the family beside the grave. These words we also say to express our deep trust in God: Psalm 23: 1-4 The L ORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

20 We use the words in Psalm 8 to give praise to God for His awesome creation and express dismay that He would care for us and entrust such majesty to human beings, such as us:

21 As David’s prayer of confession in Psalm 51, verse 10, we may find ourselves with a contrite heart and repentant spirit expressing his same words:

22 In a private passionate prayer for help, expressing deep sorrow because we feel cut off from God, or in a desperate longing to be in His presence and draw from His Spirit, we pray from Psalm 42: As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

23 We sing and praise God for His ability to protect us, no matter what the odds. When suffering comes, He is still in control and will help in ways that men can’t fully understand. Psalm 91 expresses our praise:

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