Preparation The major types of Psalms are listed below. Prior to the study session, participants should read these examples of each type:
Psalm 18 (thanksgiving)
Psalm 37 (wisdom)
Psalm 47 (enthronement)
Psalm 70 (lament)
Psalm 110 (royal)
Psalm 123 (pilgrimage)
Psalm 149 (praise)
Orientation Psalms is book #19 of 39 in the Old Testament. It is considered a book of Poetry. For more information see the Bible Overview page. Hebrew Poetry Hebrew poetry is different from English poetry. It does not use rhyme or rhythm. Instead, it uses parallelism, or repetition of thought. The writer makes a statement in one line, then will rephrase it, contrast it, or expand it. Examples:
Rephrasing: Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean,
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. (51:7).
Contrasting: For the Lord knows the ways of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish. (1:6).
Expanding: The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
The floods have lifted up their voice. (93:3).
Notes on the Psalms Psalms is a collection of five songbooks: Book 1 (1-41), Book 2 (42-72), Book 3 (73-89), Book 4 (90-106) and Book 5 (107-150).
73 of the psalms are attributed to David. Others are attributed to Solomon (72 and 127), Moses (90), and Asaph (chief musician during the reign of David - 50 and 73-83).
Psalms 120-134 are pilgrimage songs, also called songs of ascent (to Jerusalem). Upon arrival, the tradition is to sing one on each of the 15 steps of the temple.
Psalms contains the shortest chapter in the Bible (117) and the longest (119) which is an acrostic - 22 sections, each beginning with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Activities Refer to Psalm 22 prophecies and look up the prophecies and their fulfillments.
Compare Psalm 91 (NIV) to United Methodist hymnal (#143). Use the full version of the hymn's lyrics *
Connections Psalm 51, by David, reflects on his past misdeeds ... could it referring to his affair with Bathsheba, recorded in 2 Samuel 11?
Psalm 78 is a concise summary of the history of the Jews. If your Bible has footnotes, note how many Bible books are referred to in this Psalm.
4 of the 5 chapters of Lamentations are also acrostic poems.
For source citations see the home page. Revised April 9 2014
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* On Eagles Wings You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord who abide in His shadow for life, say to the Lord: 'My refuge, my God in whom I trust!' And He will raise you up on eagles' wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand. The snare of the fowler will never capture you, and famine will bring you no fear: under His wings your refuge, His faithfulness your shield. And He will raise you up on eagles' wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand. You need not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day; though thousands fall about you, near you it shall not come. And He will raise you up on eagles' wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand. For to His angels He's given a command to guard you in all of your ways upon their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. And He will raise you up on eagles' wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hand. by Michael Joncas, (c) 1979, 1989 North American Liturgy Resources Some significant psalms in order 18 Thanksgiving type 22 Prophechies - see separate page psalm22.html 37 Wisdom type 42 Book 2 begins 47 Enthronement type 50 first by Asaph 51 David reflects on his misdeeds, Bathsheba 2 Sam 11 72 1 of 2 by Solomon 73 book 3 begins / begins a series by Asaph 78 History of the Jews 90 book 4 begins / only one by Moses 91 same as hymnal 143 On Eagles Wings 107 book 5 begins 110 Royal type 117 shortest chapter in Bible 119 longest chapter in Bible, also acrostic 120-134 Pilgrimage/Ascent type 127 2 of 2 by Solomon 149 Praise type