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Study Resources :: Dictionaries :: Psalms, Book Of, 2

Dictionaries :: Psalms, Book Of, 2

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Below are articles from the following dictionary:
International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Psalms, Book Of, 2:

2. Psalmody after David:

(1) Psalms of Asaph (Psalms 73-83, also 50).

The prophetic spirit throbs in most of the psalms ascribed to ASAPH (which see). God is pictured as a righteous Judge. He is also pictured as the Shepherd of Israel. Ps 73 holds fast to God's righteous rule of mankind, in spite of the prosperity of the wicked. Ps 50, which is assigned by many to the time of Hosea and Isaiah, because of its powerful prophetic message, may well have come from Asaph, the contemporary of David and of Nathan. Some of the Asaph group, notably 74 and 79, belong to the period of the exile or later. The family of Asaph continued for centuries to lead in the service of song (2Ch 35:15; Ne 7:44). Inspired poets were raised up from age to age in the Asaph guild.

(2) Psalms of the Sons of Korah (Psalms 42-49; 84; 85; 87).

This family of singers was prominent in the temple-worship in the days of David and afterward. Several of the most beautiful poems in the Psalter are ascribed to members of this guild (see Psalms 42; 43; 45; 46; 49; 84). We are not to think of these poems as having been composed by a committee of the sons of Korah; no doubt each poem had an individual author, who was willing to sink his personality in the psalm that he was composing. The privileges and blessings of social worship in the sanctuary are greatly magnified in this group of psalms

(3) Psalms of Solomon (Psalms 72; 127).

Even conservative critics are in doubt as to the Solomonic authorship of the two psalms ascribed to him by the titles. Perhaps assurance is not attainable in the present state of inquiry. Delitzsch well says: "Under Solomon psalmody already began to decline; all the productions of the mind of that period bear the stamp of thoughtful contemplation rather than of direct feeling, for restless yearning for higher things had given place to sensuous enjoyment, national concentration to cosmopolitan expansion."

(4) The Era of Jehoshaphat.

Delitzsch and others regard the period of Jehoshaphat as one of literary productivity. Possibly Psalms 75 and 76 celebrate the deliverance from the great eastern invasion toward the close of Jehoshaphat's reign.

(5) The Era of Hezekiah.

The latter half of the 8th century BC was one of literary vigor and expansion, especially in Judah. Perhaps the great deliverance from Sennacherib's invasion is celebrated in Psalms 46 and 48.

(6) The Period of Jeremiah.

Ehrt and some other scholars are inclined to attribute to Jeremiah a considerable number of psalms. Among those which have been assigned to this prophet may be named Psalms 31; 35; 38; 40; 55; 69; 71. Those who deny the Davidic authorship of Ps 22 also assign this great poem to Jeremiah. Whether we are able to name definitely any psalms of Jeremiah, it seems thoroughly reasonable that he should have been the author of certain of the plaintive poems in the Psalter.

(7) During the Exile.

Ps 102 seems to have been composed during the exile. The poet pours out his complaint over the present distress, and reminds Yahweh that it is time to have pity upon Zion. Ps 137 pictures the distress of the captives by the rivers of Babylon. The fire and fervor of the poem bespeak an author personally involved in the distress. No doubt other psalms in our collection were composed during the captivity in Babylon.

(8) Post-exilic Psalms

As specimens of the joyous hymns composed after the return from exile, we may name Psalms 85 and 126. Many of the liturgical hymns in the Psalter were no doubt prepared for use in the worship of the second temple. Certain recent critics have extended this class of hymns so as to include the greater part of the Psalter, but that is surely an extreme view. No doubt, the stirring times of Ezra and Nehemiah stimulated poets in Jerusalem to pour forth thanksgiving and praise to Israel's God. Ewald taught, that the latest psalms in our collection were composed at this time.

(9) Are There Maccabean Psalms?

Calvin, assigned Psalms 44; 74 and 79 to the Maccabean period. If there are Maccabean psalms, Calvin has perhaps hit upon three of them. Hitzig assigns to the Maccabean period all the psalms from 73 to 150, together with a few psalms in the earlier half of the Psalter. Among moderns, Duhm puts practically the whole Psalter in the period from 170 to 70 BC. Gesenius, Ewald, Hupfeld and Dillmann, four of the greatest names in Old Testament criticism, oppose the view that the Psalter contains Maccabean psalms. Most recent students admit the possibility of Maccabean psalms. The question may well be left open for further investigation.

III. Growth of the Psalter.

1. Division into Five Books:

In the Hebrew text as well as in the Revised Version (British and American), the Psalms are grouped into five books, as follows: Book I, Psalms 1-41; Book II, Psalms 42-72; Book III, Psalms 73-89; Book IV, Psalms 90-106; Book V, Psalms 107-150. It is possible that this division into five books may have been already made before the Chronicler composed his history of Judah (compare 1Ch 16:36 with Ps 106:48). At the end of Book II appears a subscript which is significant in the history of the Psalter. It is said in Ps 72:20: "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended." It would seem from this note that the editor who appended it meant to say that in his collection he had included all the psalms of David known to him. Singularly enough, the subscript is attached to a psalm ascribed to Solomon. Psalms 51-70, however, lie near at hand, all of which are attributed to David. Ps 71 is anonymous, and Ps 72 might possibly be considered a prayer for Solomon. There is a further difficulty in the fact that the Second Book of Psalms opens with nine poems ascribed to the sons of Korah and to Asaph. It is a very natural conjecture that these nine psalms were at one time united with Psalms 73-83. With these removed, it would be possible to unite Psalms 51-70 with Book I. Then the subscript to Ps 72 would be a fitting close to a roll made up of psalms ascribed to David. It is impossible at this late date to trace fully and accurately the history of the formation of the Psalter.

2. Smaller Groups of Psalms:

Within the Psalter there lie certain groups of psalms which have in a measure retained the form in which they probably once circulated separately. Among these groups may be named the Psalms of Ascents (Psalms 120-134), the Asaph group (Psalms 73-83), the sons of Korah groups (Psalms 42-49; 84-87, except 86), a Mikhtam group (Psalms 56-60), a group praising Yahweh for His character and deeds (Psalms 93-100), to which Psalms 90-92 form a fitting introduction. Psalms 103-107 constitute another group of praise psalms, and Psalms 145-150 make a closing Hallelujah group.

The Psalter has had a long and varied history. No doubt the precentor of the temple choir had his own collection of hymns for public worship. Small groups of psalms may have been issued also for private use in the home. As time went on, collections were made on different organizing principles. Sometimes hymns attributed to a given author were perhaps brought into a single group. Possibly psalms of a certain type, such as Maskil and Mikhtam psalms, were gathered together in small collections. How these small groups were partly preserved and partly broken up, in the history of the formation of our present Psalter, will, perhaps, never be known.

IV. Poetry of the Psalter.

For general discussion of the form of Hebrew poetry, see POETRY. In the Psalms almost all known varieties of poetic parallelism are exemplified. Among moderns, C.A. Briggs has made extensive research into the poetical structure of the Psalms. In summing up the result of his study of the various measures employed in the Psalms, he classes 89 psalms or parts of psalms as trimeters, that is, the lines have three main accents; 22 psalms or parts he regards as tetrameters, each of the lines having four accented syllables; 25 psalms or portions are classed as pentameters, and an equal number as hexameters. He recognizes some variety of measure in certain psalms. There is coming to be agreement among Hebrew scholars that the rhythm of Hebrew poetry is largely determined by the number of accented syllables to the line. Some critics insist rigorously on perfect regularity, and therefore are compelled to resort to conjectural emendation.


Nine psalms are known as alphabetical poems, namely, Psalms 9; 10; 25; 34; 37; 111; 112; 119; 145. The most elaborate of these is Ps 119, which is divided into 22 sections of 8 verses each. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet occurs 8 times in succession as the initial letter of the verses in its section.

As to strophical structure or stanza formation, there is evidence in certain psalms of such organization of the poems. The refrains with which strophes often close form an easy guide to the strophical divisions in certain psalms, such as Psalms 42; 43; 46; 107. Among English commentators, Briggs pays most attention to strophical structure. There is some evidence of antiphonal singing in connection with the Psalter. It is thought by some that Psalms 20 and 21 were sung by responsive choirs. Psalms 24 and 118 may each be antiphonal.

V. The Speaker in the Psalms.

Smend, in ZATW, 1888, undertook to establish thesis that the speaker in the Psalms is not an individual, but a personification of the Jewish nation or church. At first he was inclined to recognize an individual speaker in Psalms 3; 4; 62 and 73, but one year later he interpreted these also as collective. Thus, at one stroke individual religious experience is wiped out of the Psalter, A few scholars have accepted Smend's thesis; but the great majority of critics of every school have withheld their assent, and some of the best commentators have shown that theory is wholly untenable.

Perhaps the best monograph on the subject, for the German student, is one by Emil Balla, Das Ich der Psalmen. Balla's thesis is that the "I" psalms, both in the Psalter and in the other books of the Old Testament, are always to be understood as individual, with the exception of those in which from plain data in the text another interpretation of the "I" is necessary. Of 100 psalms in which "I" occurs, Balla classes 80 as easy to interpret; in the remaining 20 there might be reasonable room for difference of opinion whether the psalm was individual or collective.

Personification is largely used in all parts of the Old Testament. There is no room for doubt that Ps 129, though using "I," "my" and "me," is the language of Israel as a people. The same is true of Ps 124. The author of Ps 126 likewise associates himself with his brethren. The author of Ps 122, however, is evidently speaking for himself individually, when he says in 122:8, "For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee." The intelligent reader usually has no difficulty in deciding, after a careful reading of a psalm, whether the "I" refers to an individual Israelite or to the congregation of Israel. Sane views on this subject are important, inasmuch as Smend's theory does violence to the strength and power of the individual religious experience of Old Testament believers. In many portions of the Old Testament, national duties are urged, and Israel is addressed as a whole. At the same time, it would be easy to exaggerate the relatively small place that individual religion occupies in the prophetic writings and in the Law. The Psalter absolutely refuses to be shut up in the molds of a rigid nationalism.

VI. The Gospel in the Psalms

Christians love the Psalter as much as the ancient Jew could possibly have done. On every page they discover elements of religious life and experience that are thoroughly Christian. In this respect the earlier dispensation came nearer to the perfection of Christian standards than in political and social organization. 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. Religious experience was enjoyed and was portrayed by the ancient psalmists so well that no Christian book in the apostolic period was composed to displace the Psalter.

1. The Soul's Converse with God:

(1) The Psalmists Are Always Reverent in Their Approach to Deity.

Yahweh is infinitely holy (Ps 99:3,5,9). Psalms 95-100 are models of adoration and worship.

(2) Thirsting for God.

Psalms 42 and 43, which were originally one psalm, voice the longing of the individual soul for God as no other human composition has been able to express it. Ps 63 is a worthy companion psalm of yearning after God.

(3) Praising God.

More than 20 psalms have for their keynote praise to God. See especially Ps 8:1,9; 57:7-11; 71:22-24; 95:1-7. The first three verses of Psalms 33; 34; 40; 92 and 105 reveal a rich vocabulary of praise for stammering human lips.

(4) Joy in God's house.

Psalms 84 and 122 are classic hymns expressive of joy in public worship in the sanctuary. Religious patriotism has never received a more striking expression than is found in Ps 137:5 f.

(5) Practicing the Presence of God.

In Psalms 91 and 23 the worshipping saint delights his soul with the sense of God's protecting presence. The Shepherd, tender and true, is ever present to shield and to comfort. The shadow of the Almighty is over the saint who dwells in the secret place of the Most High.

(6) God in Nature.

The Psalmist did not go "through Nature up to Nature's God"; for he found God immanent in all things. He heard God's voice in the thunder; felt His breath in the twilight breeze; saw the gleam of His sword in the lightning's flash, and recognized His hand in every provision for the wants of man and the lower animals. See Ps 104, "Hymn of Creation"; Ps 29, "Yahweh, the God of the storm"; and the first half of Ps 19, "the heavens are telling."

(7) Love for God's word.

Ps 119 is the classic description of the beauty and power and helpfulness of the Word of God. The second half of Ps 19 is also a gem. Ps 119 was happily named by one of the older commentators "a holy alphabet for Zion's scholars." The Psalmist sings the glories of God's Word as a lamp to guide, as a spring of comfort, and as a fountain of hope.

(8) God's Care of All Things.

Faith in Divine Providence-both general and special-was a cardinal doctrine with the psalmists; yea more, the very heart of their religion. Ps 65 sings of God's goodness in sunshine and shower, which clothes the meadows with waving grain. The river of God is always full of water. Ps 121, "Yahweh thy Keeper," was read by David Livingstone at family worship on the morning when he left home to go out to Africa as a missionary.

(9) God Our Refuge.

The psalmists were fond of the figure of "taking refuge in God." Yahweh was to them a rock of refuge, a stronghold, a high tower, an impregnable fortress. Psalms 46; 61 and 62 exalt God as the refuge of His saints. His help is always easy to find. The might and wisdom of God do not overwhelm the inspired singers, but become a theme of devout and joyous contemplation.

Our Lord Jesus found in the Psalms prophecies concerning Himself (Lu 24:44-47).

2. The Messiah:

(1) The Suffering Saviour.

While hanging on the cross, the mind of our Lord turned to the Psalter. He voiced the terrible anguish of His soul in the opening words of Ps 22, and breathed out His spirit at the end with the trustful words of Ps 31:5. He also invited the fulfillment of a Messianic prediction in Ps 69:21 by saying, "I thirst." Isa and the Psalms did not fail Him in the hour of His shame, when reproach broke His heart, and there was none to comfort Him. Only Isa 52:13-53:12 surpasses Ps 22 as a picture of Calvary and an interpretation of the significance of the cross. Whether Ps 22 is a direct prophecy of Christ, or only a typically Messianic psalm, is in dispute. Every sentence can be applied to Jesus without straining its meaning. If David or some other sufferer took up his harp to sing of his own sorrows, the Spirit of God guided him to describe those of a greater.

Rationalistic critics insist that to apply part of a psalm to David and part to Christ introduces confusion. They ridicule theory of a "double sense," and contend that the language refers to the Psalmist and to him alone, and that the application of certain verses to our Lord Jesus is only by way of accommodation. This theory ignores the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit altogether; and when men talk of "psychological impossibilities," they may be talking nonsense; for who of us can us can understand fully the psychological experience of men while receiving revelations from God? The real author of inspired prophecies is the Holy Spirit. His meaning is that which the reverent interpreter most delights to find; and we have evidence that the Old Testament writers did not fully comprehend their own predictions concerning Christ (1Pe 1:10-12). We ought not to be surprised that we should be unable to explain fully the method of the Holy Spirit's activity in guiding the thought of prophets and psalmists in their predictions of the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow them.

(2) The Conquering King.

Psalms 2 and 110 (with which Ps 72 may be compared) describe the Messiah as Yahweh's Son, a mighty. Conqueror, who shall overwhelm all foes and reign supported by Yahweh. Some will oppose the Messiah, and so perish; others will enter His army as volunteers, and in the end will enjoy the fruits of victory. "It is better to sit on His throne than to be His footstool."

(3) The Growing Kingdom.

There is room in the earth for no god other than Yahweh, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind. Psalms 47; 67; 96-100 and 117 are proofs of the glorious missionary outlook of the Psalter. All nations are exhorted to forsake idols and worship Yahweh. Ps 47 closes with a picture of the whole world united in the worship of the God of Israel. Ps 67 is a bugle call to all nations to unite in the worship of the true God. Psalms 96-100 paint the character of Yahweh as a basis of appeal to all nations to turn from idols and worship the God of Abraham. Psalms 96 and 98 exalt His righteousness; Ps 97 His power and dominion; Ps 99 His holiness and His fidelity to Israel, while Ps 100 tells of His goodness. Idols will finally go down before a God worthy of men's reverence and love.

3. Problem of Sin:

The Psalter deals with man as a sinner. Seven of the best known poems in the collection are so charged with a sense of sin and of its deadly fruits that they have been known for centuries as the Penitential Psalms (6; 32; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143). Besides these poems of penitence and confession, there are many passages elsewhere in the Psalter which depict the sinfulness of men. And yet there are assertions of personal innocence and righteousness in the Psalter that sound like the claims of self-righteous persons (7:3-9; 17:1-5; 18:20-24; 35:11-17; 44:17-22). The psalmists do not mean to affirm that they are sinless before God, but rather that they are righteous in comparison with their foes who are seeking to destroy them. Sometimes they plead for mercy in the same context. The honest exegete does not find the Pharisaic temper in these noble hymns, though he is quite willing to admit that the Christian cannot well employ some of the expressions concerning his own experiences. Jesus requires a humility deeper than that which was attained in Old Testament times.

(1) Confessing Sin.

(a) Individual confession: Psalms 32 and 51 are notable examples of individual confession. The cries of the penitent in Ps 51 have been repeated by thousands on bended knee as the best expression of their own sense of sin and yearning for forgiveness. (b) National confession (see especially 78; 95 and 106). Ps 105 celebrates the praises of Yahweh for His unfailing kindness to Israel; Ps 106 tells the tale of Israel's repeated rebellion.

(2) Seeking Forgiveness.

Ps 51 is the penitent's cry for mercy. Never did the soul of man plead more powerfully for forgiveness. God cannot despise a heart broken and crushed with the sense of sin and pleading like a lost child for home and mother.

(3) Conquering Sin.

Psalms 130 begins with a cry out of the depths and ends with a note of joy over redemption from sin. The plenteous redemption of which the poet speaks includes triumph over sin in one's heart and life. The cries of the Old Testament saints for victory over sin were not unheeded (139:23 f; 19:13; 119:133). The author of Ps 84truthfully depicts the life of Yahweh's worshippers, "They go from strength to strength." Victory over sin is sure in the end.

4. Wrestling with Doubts:

The ancient Hebrew seems to have had no temptation to atheism or pantheism. The author of Ecclesiastes felt the pull of agnosticism and materialism (Ec 3:19-21; 9:2-10), but in the end he rejected both (12:7,13 f). The ancient Hebrew found in the world about him one difficulty which seemed almost insuperable. He believed in the wisdom and power and justice of God. How then could it be possible, in a world over which a wise and just God presides, that the wicked should prosper and the righteous suffer? This is the question which is hotly debated by Job and his three friends. A partial solution of the difficulty may be seen in Ps 37, theme of which is ?the brevity of godless prosperity, and the certainty that well-doing will lead to well-being.' A better solution is attained in Ps 73, which depicts God's attitude toward the wicked and toward the righteous. The wicked will be suddenly overthrown, while the righteous will live forever in the enjoyment of communion with God. Not even death can sever him from God. The fleeting pleasures of proud scoffers pale into insignificance before the glories of everlasting fellowship with God.

5. Out of the Depths:

(1) Out of the depths of persecution and slander the author of Ps 31 climbed into his refuge, as he exclaimed, "In the covert of thy presence wilt thou hide them from the plottings of man: Thou wilt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues."

(2) Ps 77 is a stairway out of depths of suspense and the anxiety. The experience of the author well illustrates Maclaren's epigram, "If out of the depths we cry, we shall cry ourselves out of the depths."

(3) The author of Ps 116 looked into the jaws of death. Perhaps no other psalm has so much to say of physical death. The singer is filled with gratitude as he reviews the deadly peril from which Yahweh has saved him.

(4) Ps 88 is unique, because it is sad and plaintive from beginning to end. The singer has long cried for deliverance from bodily weakness and from loneliness.

(5) Out of the depths of disaster and defeat the authors of Psalms 60; 74; 79 and 89 cry to God. The Babylonian exile was a sore trial to patriotic Jews. They mourned over the destruction of their beautiful temple and the holy city in which their fathers had worshipped. The author of Ps 60 closes with hope and confidence (60:12).

6. Ethical Ideals:

"Unquestionably in the Psalms we reach the high-water mark of Old Testament practical piety, the best that, the Old Testament can exhibit of heart-religion."

(1) What Sort of Man, Then, Would the Psalms Acclaim as Good?

Ps 1 opens with a vivid contrast between the righteous and the wicked. Ps 15 is the most complete description of a good man to be found in the Psalter. The picture is drawn in answer to the question, What sort of man will Yahweh receive as an acceptable worshipper? The morality of the Bible is rooted in religion, and the religion of the Bible blossoms and bears fruit in the highest ethics known to man. Ps 131 makes humility a prime quality in real goodness. Ps 133 magnifies the spirit of brotherly love. The social virtues had a large place in the psalmists' ideals of goodness. Humility and brotherly love are a guaranty of peace in the home, the church and the nation. Ps 24:4 is a compend of ethics in a single sentence.

(2) The Ethics of Speech.

Even a casual reading of the Psalms must impress one with the fact that the psalmists felt very keenly the lies and slanders and boastings of the wicked. Stirred with righteous indignation, they call upon God to awake and confront the blatant foes of truth and righteousness (see especially Psalms 12; 52 and 120).

(3) Ministering to the Needy.

Bible readers are familiar with the ideal of the good man in Job 29:12-16; 31:13-22. Ps 82 is a plea for justice. Venal judges are one day to confront the great Judge. Men need fair play first. Perhaps there will then be no occasion for the exercise of almsgiving. Ps 41 is a plea for kindness. The Christian reader is reminded of the words of Jesus, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." The Ideal Ruler is both just and beneficent (Ps 72:2,12-14).

7. Praying against the Wicked:

To be a good lover one must know how to hate. The excitement of battle throbs in many of the Psalms. The enemies of righteousness are victorious and defiant. Their taunts drive the psalmists to importunate prayer. Yahweh's honor is at stake and His cause in peril. More than 20 psalms contain prayer for the defeat and overthrow of the wicked. Warlike imagery of the boldest kind is found in many of the imprecatory psalms. To the Christian reader some of the curses pronounced against the wicked are startling and painful. Many are led to wonder how such imprecations ever found a place in the Bible. The most severe curses are found in Psalms 35; 69 and 109. Maclaren's words are well worth reading as an introduction to Ps 109: "For no private injuries, or for those only in so far as the suffering singer is a member of the community which represents God's cause, does he ask the descent of God's vengeance, but for the insults and hurts inflicted on righteousness. The form of these maledictions belongs to a lower stage of revelation; the substance of them, considered as passionate desires for the destruction of evil, burning zeal for the triumph of truth, which is God's cause, and unquenchable faith that He is just, is a part of Christian perfection." Two remarks may be made, as suggestions to the student of the Psalter:

(1) We ought to study the psalms of imprecation in the light of their origin. They are poetry and not prose; and De Witt reminds us that the language of oriental poetry is that of exaggerated passion. Some of these imprecations pulse with the throb of actual battle. Swords are drawn, and blood is flowing. The champion of Yahweh's people prays for the overthrow of His foes. The enemies cursed are men who break every moral law and defy God. The Psalmist identifies himself with Yahweh's cause. "Do not I hate them, O Yahweh, that hate thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: They are become mine enemies" (Ps 139:21 f). Thus the psalmists pray with God's glory in view.

(2) We ought to use the imprecatory psalms in the light of our Lord's teaching. We cannot pronounce curses on our personal enemies. This heavenly artillery may be turned upon the saloon, the brothel and the gambling hell, though we must not forget to pray for the conversion of the persons who are engaged in these lines of business.

8. The Future Life:

"If a man die, shall he live again?" What answer do the Psalms give to Job's cry for light? There are expressions in the Psalter which seem to forbid hope of a blessed immortality (Ps 6:5; 30:9; 39:13; 115:17). The psalmists are tempted to fear that fellowship with God would cease at death. Let this fact, however, be borne in mind, that not one of the poets or prophets of Israel settled down to a final denial of immortality. Some of them had moments of joyous assurance of a blessed life of fellowship with God in the world to come. Life everlasting in the presence of Yahweh is the prospect with which the author of Ps 16 refreshes himself (16:8-11). The vision of God's face after the sleep of death is better than worldly prosperity (17:13-15). The author of Ps 73 wins rest for his distressed mind in the assurance of a fellowship with God that cannot be broken (73:23-26). God will finally take the singer to Himself. It has been well said that Ps 49 registers the high-water mark of Old Testament faith in a future life. Death becomes the shepherd of the wicked who trusted in riches, while God redeems the righteous from the power of Sheol and takes the believing soul to Himself.


One of the most elaborate and informing articles on the history of the exposition of the Psalms is found in the Introduction to Delitzsch's Commentary (pp. 64-87, English translation). Among the Fathers, Jerome, Chrysostom and Augustine are most helpful. Among the Reformers, Calvin, the prince of expositors, is most valuable. Among modern commentators, Ewald and Delitzsch are scholarly and sane. Their commentaries are accessible in English translation Hupfeld is strong in grammatical exegesis. Baethgen (1904) is very thorough. Among recent English and American commentators, the most helpful are Perowne (6th edition, 1866), Maclaren in Expositor's Bible (1890-92), and Kirkpatrick in Cambridge Bible (1893-95). Briggs in ICC (1906) is learned; Davison, New Century Bible, is bright and attractive. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, is a valuable compilation, chiefly from the Puritan divines. Cheyne, The Book of Psalms (1888) and The Origin and Religious Contents of the Psalter (1891), is quite radical in his critical views. Binnie, The Psalms: Their Origin, Teachings and Use (1886), is a fine introduction to the Psalter. Robertson, The Poetry and Religion of the Psalms (1898), constructs an able argument against recent radical views.

Written by John Richard Sampey


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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