Genre and Literary Style: The Psalms is an anthology of poetry in honor of Israel’s God and their faith in Him. The Psalms were originally written in Hebrew. English title is based on the Greek translators in the second century B.C. The original Hebrew title is Tehillim “” Hymns or Praises.”
There are 150 Psalms: The key text is 150 :6. ” Let every thing that hath breathe praise the Lord.”
Key Term: ” Hallelujah ” This Psalm became Israel’s hymnal. Not all psalms were hymns; songs honoring or about God, but praise to God was their dominant theme. The well-known Hallelujah ,“praise Yah(wey),” meant “praise ye the Lord.“
One Sentence Summary: God, the true and glorious King, is most worthy of all praise and prayer, thanksgiving and confidence-whatever the occasion in personal or community life.
Author and Date of the Writing: Many authors, finally compiled about 400 BC.
The titles of more than 70 psalms mentioned David, a noted musician and poet (1Sam. 16:23; 2 Sam.1:17). Both Asaph and ” the sons of Korah) wrote several. Other named authors are Moses, Solomon, Heman, and Ethan. Of these, Moses was the earliest (1400s BC). Some of the psalms may have composed after Israel returned from exile.
The collection of psalms grew gradually over time. For example “Book One” ( 1-41) could have been done early in Solomon’s time . The “Asaph Collection ” (73-83) and the “Songs of Ascents” (120-134) were perhaps added as a group. The final compilation probably did not happen until after the second temple had been completed.
The First Audience and Destination: The Israelite people living in their land. Each 150 psalms were first intended for a particular people which were the Israelites. Sometimes the psalms title is suggestive, for example the ” Songs of Ascents “( 120-134) ” Songs of Degrees” were composed as Songs for the Israelite travelers as they were going up to Jerusalem. The Psalms in its final form was designed as ” The Hymnal of Second-Temple Judaism”
Christian Worldview Element: Every worldview element is taught in the Psalms focuses on the worldview category of the community ( God’s people worshiping and serving Him together with others) and discipleship”( living a personal life of worship and devotion )
Teachings about God: The Psalms shows God as the Creator. He is also Redeemer and Covenant-maker. Many attributes of God are praised throughout the Psalms. The Spirit of God’s active agent on accomplishing His purpose ( Psalms 51:11 and Isaiah 63 : 10-11 are the only O.T. passages referring to the Holy Spirit by name.
Teachings about Humanity: The essential teachings of Psalms about the human race is that God desires and enables people to praise and thank Him .Humans reach the highest potential only when they seek joy and fulfillment in the Creator rather than in the creation. The Psalms note the extremes of human existence. Psalms 8 shows the glory of humanity as made by God. On the other hand, the many Psalms that mention the enemies of God’s people show the shameful sinfulness to which human may fall into.