The book of Psalms is 150 poems written for our instruction, pleasure and benefit in prayer and praise to God. They were used by the Jews and early Christians for songs of praise, and indeed many of the songs we sing in worship today God come from these pages. Traditionally, they have been divided into five books, perhaps to signify the five books of the Pentateuch. It has the most authors of any book in the Bible. Many we know or surmise by the superscripts, which though not inspired are ancient. David is ascribed as the author of 73 of these and the new Testament also credits him with Psalm 2 (Acts 4:25) and Psalm 95 (Hebrews 4:7).
This aligns very well with what the Book of Samuel tells us. He was brought to Saul when he was king by his servants because of his skill in playing the Lyre (1 Samuel 16:16-23). He was an accomplished songwriter, having written the song of the Bow lament in 2 Samuel 1:17-27, and his song of deliverance in 2 Samuel 22:1:23:7. 2 Samuel 23:1 calls him the sweet psalmist of Israel. The sons of Korah are attributed with about 25 psalms. Korah was the grandson of Kohath who along with some of the Reubenites, rebelled against God, challenging Moses in Numbers 16. After his death, his sons were spared in Numbers 26:9-11, and under King David became great leaders of song and praise in the Temple and Tabernacle (1 Chronicles 6:31-39), responsible for such lines as “As the Deer Panteth for the Water.” They are not in chronological order, else Psalm 95 would likely be first, as it is attributed to Moses.
More to come in another blog, but I will leave you with a link to an article that has tips for studying a Psalm, that I think are quite useful. Please see “8 steps to Study a Psalm” and download the PDF for reference.
Each weekend, I post a small PDF of one week of chapter summaries (on the website’s “Summaries” page), current to the beginning of the previous week. I have posted the summary for Week 3 (January 2013 Week 3) of the schedule I am following this year. This short PDF documents contains condensed comments about Psalm 119:1-8, Psalm 1, Proverbs 10, Psalms 3-4, Job 1, and Psalm 9, with hyperlinks to the ESV version of each chapter for listening or reading, and joins the summaries for other weeks already posted there.
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.