Getting to Know the Bible: Psalms Overview

Updated: Feb 16

Peace & Blessings Beloved,

TGBTG for allowing us to see another day. I pray all is well with you and yours, and that your week has been fruitful & blessed thus far.

Those of you who have been with me over the last year or so are aware that I've selected Wednesdays to share a chapter from the book of Psalms, as a means of midweek encouragement. This has been well received, and as such will continue into 2021, as planned. However, in light of this platform and the opportunities it provides, we're going to start from the beginning. But before we get to Psalm 1, i want to ensure we have a baseline understanding of the book of Psalms. This way we can have a full appreciation for the exquisiteness of the entire book, as well as each individual psalm.

And so, in that spirit, see below for a comprehensive overview of the book of Psalms, as we prepare to behold and discern Psalms, beginning with Psalm 1 next week.

Authors: David, Asaph, the Sons of Korah, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and unknown authors. (see below for details)

Two of the psalms (72) and (127) are attributed to Solomon, David’s son and successor. Psalm 90 is a prayer assigned to Moses. Another group of 12 psalms (50) and (73—83) is ascribed to the family of Asaph. The sons of Korah wrote 11 psalms (42, 44-49, 84-85,87-88). Psalm 88 is attributed to Heman, while (89) is assigned to Ethan the Ezrahite. With the exception of Solomon and Moses, all these additional authors were priests or Levites who were responsible for providing music for sanctuary worship during David’s reign. Fifty of the psalms designate no specific person as author.

Date of Writing: A careful examination of the authorship question, as well as the subject matter covered by the psalms themselves, reveals that they span a period of many centuries. The oldest psalm in the collection is probably the prayer of Moses (90), a reflection on the frailty of man as compared to the eternity of God. The latest psalm is probably (137), a song of lament clearly written during the days when the Hebrews were being held captive by the Babylonians, from a