name given to the Book of Psalms as a whole by the Jews is Tehillim;
but it is not recognised by this name in the Book itself.
Our English name "Psalms" is a transliteration of the Greek Title of the Septuagint, "Psalmoi", 1 which means "songs"; while the word "Psalter" is from the Greek Psalterion, a harp, or other stringed instrument.
There is no correspondence between the Greek and the Hebrew in these cases. Only once does Psalm bear this word in its title, and that is Psalm 145 (sing. T ehillah).
T ehillim is invariably rendered "praises". It is a verbal noun from the root halal, to make a jubilant sound.
To make ellell means to rejoice. Compare German hallen and English halloo, yell.
T ehillim has therefore, a wide meaning, and includes all that is worthy of praise or celebration; and, especially the works and ways of Jehovah.
Hence, in this book, we have these works and ways set forth as they relate to the Divine counsels of God, (1) as to Man, (2) as to Israel, (3) as to the Sanctuary, (4) as to the Earth, and (5) as to Word of Jehovah. See the Structure of the separate Books of the Psalms, page 720. In those Structures light is thrown upon the "ways" of God. The need for this instruction is seen from the other meaning of halal, which in the Hithpael and Hithpolel means to praise or boast of one's self, hence to be foolish. Compare 1Kings 20:11; Job 12:17; Isaiah 44:25 (mad); Proverbs 20:14 2 . This instruction is given concerning God's ways and works exhibited in the Word of God from the beginning to the end.
it is written"; or "It is written" Matthew
"David", or "in David" 4 Matthew 21:43 (110:1). Acts 2:25 (16:8), 34 (110:1). Romans 4:6 (32:1,2); 11:9,10 (69:22,23). Hebrews 4:7 (95:7).
"He (God) saith", "said", or "spake": Acts 13:35 (16:10). Ephesians 4:8 (68:18). Hebrews 1:10-12 (102:25-27); 4:3 (95:11); 5:5 (2:4); 5:6 (110:4).
"He (God) limiteth": Hebrews 4:7 (95:7).
"He (God) testifieth": Hebrews 7:17 (110:4).
"In the Scriptures": Matthew 21:42 (118:2,3).
"In their law" 5: John 15:25 (35:19; 69:4).
"In your law" 5: John 10:34 (82:6).
"One in a certain place testifieth": Hebrews 2:6 (8:4; 144:3).
"Spoken by (or through) the prophet": Matthew 13:35 (78:2).
"The Book of Psalms": Acts 1:20 (69:25).
"The mouth of David" 6: Acts 1:16 (41:9); 4:25,26 (2:1,2).
"The scripture": John 7:42 (132:11); 13:18 (41:9); 19:24 (22:18), 28 (69:21), 36 (34:20), 37 (22:16,17).
"The second Psalm": Acts 13:33 (2:7).
34:20 (John 19:36).
35:19 (John 15:25).
41:9 (John 13:18. Acts 1:16).
69:4 (John 15:25).
78:2 (Matthew 13:35).
97:7 (Hebrews 1:6).
109:3} (John 15:25).
119:161} (John 15:35).
FATHER. T T
2:7 (Hebrews 1:5,6. Acts 13:33).
45:6,7 (Hebrews 1:8,9).
89:26,27 (Hebrews 1:5).
97:7 (Hebrews 1:6).
102:25-27 (Hebrews 1:10-12).
104:4 (Hebrews 1:7).
110:1 (Hebrews 1:13).
18:2 (Hebrews 2:13).
22:1 (Matthew 27:46. Mark 15:34).
22:22,25 (Hebrews 2:12).
40:6-8 (Hebrews 10:5-7,8,9).
45:6 (Hebrews 1:8).
41:9 (Acts 1:16).
95:7-11 (Hebrews 3:7-11).
THE HOLY SPIRIT.
34:8 (1Peter 2:3).
45:6 (Hebrews 1:8).
62:12 (Matthew 16:27).
74:12 (1Peter 1:19).
97:7 (Hebrews 1:6).
102:25-27 (Hebrews 1:10-12).
104:4 (Hebrews 1:7).
The word rendered "blessed" in the "Beatitudes"
is not always "barak," to bless; but 'ashrey,
happinesses. Its first occurrence is Deuteronomy 33:29.
It is the plural of majesty or accumulation, and means "O the
happinesses", or, "O the great happinesses",
or, "O How happy".
'Ashrey occurs twenty-six times in the book of Psalms. It is translated "blessed" nineteen times, and "happy" seven times. In the list below, these latter are marked with an asterisk (*).
The following is the complete list:
Psalms 1:1; 2:12; 32:1,2; 33:12; 34:8; 40:4; 41:1; 65:4; 84:4, 5, 12; 89:15; 94:12; 106:3; 112:1; 119:1, 2; 127:5*; 128:1,2*; 137:8*,9*; 144:15*,15*; 146:5*.
The word is distributed in five books of the Psalms as follows: Book I, eight times; Book II, once; Book III, four times; Book IV, twice; Book V, eleven timesl; making twenty-six in all.
There are nine examples of Acrostics in the Book of Psalms,
while eleven other Acrostic Scriptures are found in the Old Testament 8. The first letters being the same in both alphabets, can be
i. Psalms 9 and 10 are linked together by an Acrostic which, like "the times of trouble" (the great tribulation), of which the two Psalms treat, is purposely broken, and is irregular and out of joint. This Acrostic tells us that the subject of the two Psalms is one, and that they are to be connected together. See notes there on the many expressions common to both.
ii. Psalm 25. Here, again, the Acrostic is designedly incomplete, a proof of its genuineness instead of its "corruption". No writer would or could omit a letter from carelessness. The Psalm has the same phenomena as Psalm 34, where the same letter (Vau = V) is omitted, and the same letter (Pe = P) is duplicated, in the word Padah, "redeem". The last verse is thus, in each case, made to stand out prominently by itself.
iii.Psalm 34. See under ii., above.
iv.Psalm 37. In this Psalm the series is perfect and complete. Every letter has two verses of lines each, except three: verses 7 (, Daleth = D), 20 (, Kaph = K), and 34 (, Koph = K).
v.Psalm 111. In this Psalm the series is complete. The Psalm has twenty-two lines, each line commending with the successive letters of the alphabet.
vi.Psalm 112 is formed on the model of Psalm 111, the two Psalms forming a pair 9 ; Psalm 111 being occupied with Jehovah, and Psalm 112 with the man that revereth Jehovah. See the notes there.
vii.Psalm 119. This Psalm consists of twenty-two groups, consisting of eight verses each. The eight verses in each group begin with same letter. For example: the first eight verses begin with (Aleph = A), the eight verses of the second group with (Beth = B), and so through the whole Psalm of 176 verses (8 x 22. See Appendix 10).
It is impossible to reproduce this (or any of the other alphabetical Acrostics), seeing that the Hebrew and English alphabets do not correspond, either in equivalents, order, or number of the letters.
It so happens that in the group beginning with T (verses 65-72), each verse in the Authorized Version does not begin with T, except verses 67 and 71. These can be readily conformed by changing "Before" to "Till" in verse 67; and "It is" to "Tis" in verse 71.
The first letters being the same in both alphabets, can be thus presented:
Psalm 145. In this Psalm the Acrostic is perfect, with the exception of the
(Nun = N), which should come between verses 13
See note there.
Through the infirmity of some transcriber, the verse was probably omitted by him. It must have been in the more ancient manuscripts, because it is preserved in the ancient Versions: videlicet, the Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Vulgate. One Hebrew Codex is known which contains it, as follows:
the Structure of the Psalm shows that it originally had its proper place in the
Psalm. See the notes on Psalm 145:13,14.
ix. For the other Acrotics in the Psalms, see the note on Psalm 96:11.
1. The Psalms bearing the name of "DAVID"
are seventy-three in all: thirty-seven in the Book I (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11,
12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 ,29 ,30, 31,
32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41); eighteen Psalms in Book II (51, 52, 53, 54,
55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 68, 69, 70); one in Book III (Psalm
86); two in Book IV (101 and 103); and fifteen in Book V (108, 109, 110, 122,
124, 131, 133, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145).
2. By "Asaph", twelve Psalms: one being in Book II (Psalm 50), and eleven in Book III (73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83).
3. By "the sons of Korah" eleven Psalms:seven being in Book II (42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49); and four in Book III (84, 85, 87, 88), as set out in The Companion Bible. In Psalms 46 and 88 it is repeated as the sub-scription of Psalms 45 and 87, and is not the super-scription of 46 and 88 as in all the Versions.
4. For, or of "Solomon", two Psalms: one in Book II (Psalm 72), and one in Book V (Psalm 127).
5. "By Heman the Ezrahite", one in Book III (Psalm 88).
6. By "Ethan the Ezrahite", one in Book III (Psalm 89).
7. By "Moses the man of God", one in Book IV (Psalm 90).
In reading the Book of Psalms, we must constantly bear in
mind the character of the Dispensation they belong. The word "Dispensation"
means "administration": and God's principles of
administration varied according as man in a Dispensation on innocence, or
mankind was "without Law", or Israel was "under
Law" , or as we are under grace in this present Dispensation.
God's principles of administration have varied with each of these : and in the future they will vary yet more : in the coming Dispensation of judgment, and in the Dispensation of millennial glory by which it will be followed.
If we read what pertains to one Dispensation into another which is administered on different lines, we shall have only confusion. Unless they be rightly divided, we shall not find "the truth" (2Timothy 2:15).
Much of what we read in the psalms is truth for all time: but, some things are peculiar to that Dispensation of Law, and are neither suitable nor appropriate for the present Dispensation of grace. That is why many readers stumble when they judge "the imprecatory Psalms" from the standpoint of grace. Those Psalms were appropriate for the past Dispensation of works, as they will be for the coming Dispensation of judgment; but they are not appropriate for the present Dispensation, in which God's administration is on the principles of grace (according to Matthew 5:44-48). It was true, in the former Dispensation of Law, that "when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive" (Ezekiel 18:27). But that is not the way of salvation now. The Scriptures for this present Dispensation are written and contained in the Pauline Epistles (fulfilling the promise of the Lord in John 16:13); and these declare with one voice that we are not saved by works, but by grace (Romans 3:23,24; 11:6. Ephesians 2:3-9. Titus 3:5-8).
Even so with the "imprecatory Psalms", and similar expressions in other Psalms: they were true and appropriate for all that Dispensation, but are equally in-appropriate for this.
It may conduce to the completeness of the study of the
usage of the Divine Titles, in relation to the Dispensational character of the
five Books of the Psalms, if we give a connected list. They are given under the
Structure of each Book seperately.
A comparison of these numbers will show that they correspond with the subject of each Book. When "God" is used, the thought is of the Creator and His creatures. When "Jehovah" is used, it speaks of a Covenant God, in covenant relation with His own People.
(Psalms 1-41), page 720. ii. T iii. T iv. T v. T
Jehovah occurs 279 times, Elohim only forty-eight (nine of them connected with Jehovah).
Jehovah occurs only thirty-seven times, Elohim 262 times (twice in connection with Jehovah). El occurs fourteen times, and Jah once.
In the First Section (A1) Jehovah occurs only fifteen times, while Elohim occurs sixty-five times (twice with Jehovah).
In theSecond Section (A2) Jehovah occurs fifty times, while Elohim occurs only 28 times (four of which are connected with Jehovah). El occurs five times.
Jehovah occurs 126 times, and Elohim only thirty-one times (in ten of which it is combined with Jehovah). El occurs six times.
Jehovah occurs 293 times, while Elohim occurs only forty-one times (in four of which it is combined with Jehovah). Jah occurs thirteen times. El occurs ten times. Eloah twice.
ii. THE EXODUS BOOK. (Psalms 42-72), page 720.
iii. THE LEVITICUS BOOK. (Psalms 79-89), page 720.
iv. THE NUMBERS BOOK. (Psalms 90-106), page 720.
v. THE DEUTERONOMY BOOK. (Psalms 107-150), page 720.
The Authorised Version of the Bible of 1611 was preceded by
several other Versions made into the English tongue. Abjects, worthless persons, 35: brawn, muscle, boar's flesh, 119: cast their heads, consult, conspire, 83: darling, favourite, American Standard dear-ling,
22: ensue, pursue, 34: fain, glad 71: glory, tongue, (which gives glory), 16: harnessed, armed, root = made of iron
78: inditing, dictating, 45: knapppeth, snappeth, 46: laud, (Lat.,) praise, 135: make thou all his bed, nurse, 41: nethermost, lowest, 86: ordereth, arrangeth, 40: pate, crown of the head, 7: quick, living, alive, 55: refrain, restrain, 76: set by, esteem highly, 15: tell, count, 22: unto, in comparison with, 16: vengeance, vindication or avengement, 79: water-pipes, cataracts or torrents, 42: Notes:
1. The earliest was by John Wycliffe, about A.D. 1380. This existed only in Manuscript until 1831, when the New Testament was printed for the first time, followed by the Old Testament in 1848. The complete Bible was not published till 1850.
2. Tyndale's Version. The New Testament was published in 1525 and the Pentateuch 1530.
3. Coverdale's Version followed in 1535, and was the first complete printed English Bible.
4. Matthew's Bible (largely based on Tyndsale) was published under this assumed name in 1537 by John Rogers.
5. The Great Bible followed in 1539. It was Coverdale's Version revised by himself, and was in large folio, which gave it its name. In 1540 Cranmer wrote a preface; and hence this and subsequent editions 10 became known as "Cranmer's Bible". It was from this Version that the Psalms and other portions of Scripture were taken, and used in the Prayer Book, from the edition of 1552 to the last revision in 1662.
When the Authorized Version was published in 1611, it was "authorized (or appointed) to be read in churches" (hence its name), instead of the Versions which had preceded it, and which were thenceforth superseded. Extracts from it, such as the opening sentences, and the Epistles and Gospels, were at the same time substituted for those previously in use 11.
But it was found that, from the use of the Psalms in Public Worship, people had become so accustomed to the older Version (many being able to sing or say them from memory), that when the last revision of the Prayer Book was made in 1662 the Psalter was retained, it being deemed unwise to make a change which would be so revolutionary.
This is why the Prayer Book Version differs from the Bible Version.
This is also the reason why a change in "the names and order" of Books of the Bible to the order of the Hebrew Canon is likewise now impossible. The translators of the Septuagint arbitrarily adopted a different order, and gave the books different names. This was followed by the Vulgate and all subsequent Version 10. No change in these respects would now be tolerated.
In comparing the two Versions, regard must be had:
(1) To the NUMBER OF THE VERSES, as these are not the same in each, and differ sometimes in the numeration. For example, Psalm 19:14,15, in the prayer Book Version; and Psalm 18:1, 2 in Authorized Version is 18:1 in the Prayer Book Version. The reference to the Psalm in The Companion Bible and its Appendixes is always to the Authorized Version, not to the Prayer Book Version.
(2) As to OBSOLETE WORDS in the Prayer Book Version, the following is a list of the more important, which will show the extent of the changes made in 1611.
after (prep.), according to 90:15.
apace, swiftly, 58:6.
at large, loose, without restraint, 118:5.
certify, to make certain, 39:5 (verse 4 in Authorize Version); to show knowledge, 19:2.
comfortable, consoling, 54:6.
conversation, mode of life, 50:23.
discovereth, strippeth of leaves, 29:8 (verse 9 in Authorized Version).
dragons, serpent, 74:14 (verse 13 in Authorized Version).
due, appointed, 9:9.
eschew, avoid, shun, 34:14.
fle, Lat. phy, and expression of disgust, 35:21; 40:18.
fittings, wanderings, 56:8.
froward, perverse, 18:26; 58:3; 64:2.
graven, dig, digged, 7:16.
ground, bottom, 68:26.
health, salvation, 51:14; 67:2; 119:123.
hell, grave, 49:14, 15.
hold of, hold to, 31:7.
holpen, helped, 22:5; 86:17.
horn, head, 75:5, 6, 12; 89:18.
inquisition, search, inquiry, 9:12.
lay to, apply, 119:126.
learn, teach, 25:4, 8; 119:66.
leasing, falsehood, 4:2; 5:6.
lien, lain, 68:13.
lighten, enlighten, 13:3; 34:5.
minished, lessened, 12:1; 107:39.
mistake, take wrongly, 56:5.
pit, grave, 6:5; 9:15; 69:16.
poor, oppressed, 34:6; 69:30.
ports, gates, 9:14.
potsherd, broken pottery, 22:15.
prevent, precede, anticipate, 18:18.
quicken, make alive, 119:25, etc.
reins, kidneys, 7:10, etc.
require, ask, 27:4; 38:16.
room, place, 18:36; 31:9.
runagates, rebels, 68:6.
set in, put in the way of, 38:17.
shawms, wind instruments, 98:7.
simple, undesigning, artless, 72:4, 13.
simpleness, artlessness, guilessness, 69:5.
still, silent, 62:1.
stomach, pride, 101:7.
stool, seat, 94:20.
strange, foreign, 18:45; 114:1.
thereafter, according, 90:11.
thievish, given to theft, 10:8.
treadings, footsteps, 73:2.
tush, an expression of impatience, like pish, or tut, 10:6, etc.
weights, (upon the), scales; that is to say, when weighed 62:9.
whet, sharpen, 7:13.
wholesome, saving, 20:6; 28:9.
within, within doors, 45:14.
wont, accustomed, 119:156.
worship, worthy of honour, 3:3.
2 As it is foolish to glory in any object except in Jehovah (Jeremiah 4:2; 9:23,24), so to boast of oneself is to be foolish in this case (Psalm 49:6. Proverbs 27:1. See Psalms 5:5; 73:3; 75:4; and compare 44:8).
3 This (with Psalm 91:13) was Satan's quotation, mutilated by a significant suppression and omission.
4 In David. The Figure of speech, Ellipsis (Appendix 6), that is to say, "in [the Psalm] of David"; or, "in [the person] of David".
5 "Law" is used by Figure of speech, Metonymy (of the Part) for the whole of the Old Testament.
6 David's "mouth", but not David's words.
One other Divine name in Psalm 96:11. See note there.
One perfect Acrostic in Proverbs 31:10-31. See note there.
In the Book of Lamentations, each of the first four chapters is characterised by an Acrostic. See notes there.
9 With the further peculiarity that the first three verses in each Psalm consist of two portions: the last two, of three portions.
Abjects, worthless persons, 35:15.
brawn, muscle, boar's flesh, 119:70.
cast their heads, consult, conspire, 83:5.
darling, favourite, American Standard dear-ling, 22:20; 35:17.
ensue, pursue, 34:14.
fain, glad 71:21 (verse 23 in Authorized Version).
glory, tongue, (which gives glory), 16:10.
harnessed, armed, root = made of iron 78:10.
inditing, dictating, 45:1.
knapppeth, snappeth, 46:9.
laud, (Lat.,) praise, 135:1.
make thou all his bed, nurse, 41:3.
nethermost, lowest, 86:13.
ordereth, arrangeth, 40:6.
pate, crown of the head, 7:17.
quick, living, alive, 55:16.
refrain, restrain, 76:12.
set by, esteem highly, 15:4.
tell, count, 22:17; 56:8.
unto, in comparison with, 16:2.
vengeance, vindication or avengement, 79:11.
water-pipes, cataracts or torrents, 42:9.
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