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Bible Commentaries

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible
Psalms

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28
Chapter 29 Chapter 30 Chapter 31 Chapter 32
Chapter 33 Chapter 34 Chapter 35 Chapter 36
Chapter 37 Chapter 38 Chapter 39 Chapter 40
Chapter 41 Chapter 42 Chapter 43 Chapter 44
Chapter 45 Chapter 46 Chapter 47 Chapter 48
Chapter 49 Chapter 50 Chapter 51 Chapter 52
Chapter 53 Chapter 54 Chapter 55 Chapter 56
Chapter 57 Chapter 58 Chapter 59 Chapter 60
Chapter 61 Chapter 62 Chapter 63 Chapter 64
Chapter 65 Chapter 66 Chapter 67 Chapter 68
Chapter 69 Chapter 70 Chapter 71 Chapter 72
Chapter 73 Chapter 74 Chapter 75 Chapter 76
Chapter 77 Chapter 78 Chapter 79 Chapter 80
Chapter 81 Chapter 82 Chapter 83 Chapter 84
Chapter 85 Chapter 86 Chapter 87 Chapter 88
Chapter 89 Chapter 90 Chapter 91 Chapter 92
Chapter 93 Chapter 94 Chapter 95 Chapter 96
Chapter 97 Chapter 98 Chapter 99 Chapter 100
Chapter 101 Chapter 102 Chapter 103 Chapter 104
Chapter 105 Chapter 106 Chapter 107 Chapter 108
Chapter 109 Chapter 110 Chapter 111 Chapter 112
Chapter 113 Chapter 114 Chapter 115 Chapter 116
Chapter 117 Chapter 118 Chapter 119 Chapter 120
Chapter 121 Chapter 122 Chapter 123 Chapter 124
Chapter 125 Chapter 126 Chapter 127 Chapter 128
Chapter 129 Chapter 130 Chapter 131 Chapter 132
Chapter 133 Chapter 134 Chapter 135 Chapter 136
Chapter 137 Chapter 138 Chapter 139 Chapter 140
Chapter 141 Chapter 142 Chapter 143 Chapter 144
Chapter 145 Chapter 146 Chapter 147 Chapter 148
Chapter 149 Chapter 150

Book Overview - Psalms

by John Gill

INTRODUCTION TO PSALMS

The title of this book may be rendered "the Book of Praises", or "Hymns"; the psalm which our Lord sung at the passover is called an "hymn", Matthew 26:30; and the one hundred forty fifth Psalm is entitled תהלה, "an Hymn of David"; and the psalms in general are called "hymns" by Philo the JewF1De Mutat. Nom. p. 1062. , and songs and hymns by JosephusF2Antiquitat. l. 7. c. 12. s. 3. ; and to these several names of this book the apostle manifestly refers in Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16. The Jews divided the writings of the Old Testament into three parts: the first division is the Law, or five books of Moses; the second is the Prophets, former and latter; and the third, the "Hagiographa", or holy writings; to which division Christ has a regard in Luke 24:44; and because the book of Psalms stand first in the last division, the whole goes by its name. This book by the Apostle Peter is entitled as here, Acts 1:20; the title in the Syriac version is,

"the Book of the Psalms of David, King and Prophet,'

with which agrees the Arabic version. As to the divine authority of it, that it was written by inspiration of God, we have not only the testimony of David, who says, "the Spirit of God spake by me", 2 Samuel 23:2; but the testimonies of Christ and his apostles, Matthew 22:43; and, as Aben EzraF3Praefat. in Psalm. observes the whole of it was spoken ברוח הקודש, "by the Holy Ghost". Concerning the penman or amanuensis, employed by the Spirit of God in writing it, there are different opinions. The Jews make mention of ten, which are differently reckoned by them. According to JarchiF4Praefat. in Psalm. , they were Adam, Melchizedek, Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Asaph, and the three sons of Korah. According to KimchiF5Praefat. in ibid. , they were Adam, the first, Melchizedek, Abraham, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, Moses, and the three sons of Korah; Asir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. Some ascribe all the Psalms to DavidF6R. Hona in Midrash Tillim, fol. 2. 1. , and think that those which are said to be a psalm of Asaph, or of Heman, &c. should be rendered "a psalm to Asaph", &c. and only signify that they were psalms delivered to them, to be sung in a public manner. But the truest opinion seems to be, that the greater part of them were written by David, and for the most part those that have no title; and the rest by those whose names they bear. Some were written at and after the Babylonish captivity, as Psalm 126:1 and Psalm 137:1. The manner or form in which they were written was metreF7Vid. Lowth de Sacr. Poes. Heb. Praelect. 3. s. 32, &c. , though some deny it that the Jews had metre: as appears by the different accentuation of them from other writings, and from their being sung vocally and on musical instruments. JosephusF8Ut supra. (Antiquitat. l. 7. c. 12. s. 3.) , the Jewish historian, says, that

"David being free from war, and enjoying a profound peace, composed songs and hymns to God, of various metre; some trimeter, and some pentameter;'

that is, some of three feet, and others of five feet: for the Psalms of David are thought to be of the "lyric" kind; and Gomarus, in his Lyra, has given many instances out of them, which are of the "iambic", "trochaic" kind, &c. though the Jews for many years have lost the knowledge of the sacred poetry. R. BenjaminF9Itinerar. p. 70, 71. indeed says, that in his time there were at Bagdad R. Eleazar and his brethren, who knew how to sing the songs, as the singers did when the temple was standing. The subject matter of this book is exceeding great and excellent; many of the psalms respect the person, offices, and grace of Christ; his sufferings and death, resurrection, ascension, and session at the right hand of God; and so are exceeding suitable to the Gospel dispensation. The whole book is a rich mine of grace and evangelical truths, and a large fund of spiritual experience; and is abundantly suited to every case, state, and condition, that the church of Christ, or particular believers, are in at any time.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 12th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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