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Bible Commentaries

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

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 Paul E. Kretzmann

The Book Of Psalms


The Book of Psalms, or the Psalter, is the great prayer-book of the Church of all times, the collection of divinely inspired odes or songs whose singing was of old accompanied by instruments of music. Under the guidance of God the Psalms as we now know them were at various times collected, five sections, or books, being distinguished (Psa_41:13; Psa_72:18-19; Psa_89:52; Psa_106:48; Psalms 150), the final arrangement being made after the Babylonian Captivity by Ezra, as the tradition of the Jews has it.

To more than one hundred psalms are prefixed inscriptions which give one or more particulars and directions for the public rendering of the sacred song, such as the name of the author, of the instrument on which the accompaniment was to be played, of the style of the music or of the poetry, of the melody which the choirmaster was to choose, of the subject or occasion for which it was written. The "chief musician" was the superintendent of the Temple music, who was probably at the same time the leader of the Temple orchestra and the director of the Temple chorus of priests and Levites.

The Psalter is usually called "The Psalms of David," since he is the only author mentioned in the New Testament, Luk_20:42, and because his name appears in more titles than that of any other writer. The name of David appears in the heading of about one half of the psalms; besides, the authorship of Psalms 2 and Psalms 95 is ascribed to him, Act_4:25; Heb_4:7, He may have written others which are not credited to him. To Asaph, a Levite and one of the three heads of David's choir at Jerusalem, are ascribed twelve psalms; to the sons of Korah, a celebrated family of singers and poets in the time of David, eleven, including Psalms 88, whose author, Heman, belonged to the sons of Korah; to Solomon, two; to Moses, one; and to Ethan, one of the three masters of the Temple music, one.

Of special interest to us are the Messianic psalms, including Psalms 2, 8, 16, 22, 24, 40, 45, 47, 68, 69, 72, 89, 93, 97, 110, 118; they refer to the Messiah, the promised Redeemer of the world, portraying more or less vividly and completely His person and work, His birth, betrayal, agony, and death, His triumph over death, His ascension into heaven and enthronement at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

Of the general contents of the psalter, Luther writes: "It should be noted that the entire Psalter deals with five subjects; therefore we divide it into five parts. In the first place, some psalms prophesy of Christ and of the Church, or the saints, what would happen to them, etc. ; and to this class belong all the psalms in which there are promises given to the pious and threats to the ungodly. In the second place, there is a number of doctrinal psalms, which teach us what we should do and what omit according to the Law of God; and to this class belong all the psalms which condemn the doctrine of men and extol the Word of God. In the third place, there are several psalms of consolation, which comfort the sorrowing and suffering saints and, on the other hand, condemn and terrify the tyrants. . In the fourth place, there are a few psalms of prayer, in which we pray to God and cry in all distress; and to this class belong all psalms which lament and mourn and cry over the enemies. In the fifth place, we have psalms of thanksgiving, in which we laud and praise God for His various benefits and His assistance; and to this class belong all psalms which praise God in His works, these being the finest and principal psalms. . But we must know that the psalms cannot be just exactly and evenly divided into such parts and verses, for sometimes two, three, and even all five divisions, as noted above, are found in one psalm, so that prophecy, doctrine, consolation, prayer, and thanksgiving are found together. But this division serves for the better understanding of the psalms and that we may the more easily learn and remember them. "

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 29th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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