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Version, in Bishop Walton's Polyglott, denominates it the be any foundation. Altogether they embrace a period of about
was Moses (Exod. xv.); the next who are mentioned in the II. Augustí, De Wette, and some other German critics, Scriptures, are Deborah (Judg. v.) and Hannah (1 Sam. ii.): have termed the Book of Psalms the Hebrew Anthology, but it was David himself, an admirable composer and perthat is, a collection of the lyric, moral, historical, and elegiac former in music (1 Sam. xvi. 18. Amos vi. 5.), who gave a poetry of the Hebrews. This book presents every possible regular and noble form to the musical part of the Jewish variety of Hebrew poetry. All the Psalıns, indeed, may be service, and carried divine poetry and psalmody to perfectermed poems of the lyric kind, that is, adapted to music, but tion; and therefore he is called the sweet psalmist of Israel. with great variety in the style of composition. Thus some (2 Sam. xxii. 1.) He, doubtless by divine authority, apare simply odes. “An ode is a dignified sort of song, nar- pointed the singing of psalms by a select company of skilrative of the facts, either of public history, or of private life, ful persons, in the solemn worship of the tabernacle (1 Chron. in a highly adorned and figured style. But the figure in the vi. 31. xvi. 4–8.);' which Solomon continued in the first Psalms is that, which is peculiar to the Hebrew language, in temple (2 Chron. v. 12, 13.), and it was re-established by which the figure gives its meaning with as much perspicuity Ezra, as soon as the foundation of the second temple was as the plainest speech." Others, again, are ethic or didactic, laid. (Ezra iii. 10, 11.) Hence the Jews became well ac
delivering grave maxims of life, or the precepts of religion, quainted with these songs of Sion; and, having committed in solemn, but for the most part simple, strains." To this them to memory, were celebrated for their melodious singing class we may refer the hundred and nineteenth, and the other among the neighbouring countries. (Psal. cxxxvii. 3.) The alphabetical psalms, which are so called because the initial continuance of this branch of divine worship is confirmed letters of each line or stanza follow the order of the alphabet.? by the practice of our Lord, and the instructions of St. Paul Nearly one-seventh part of the Psalms is composed of elegiac,|(Matt
. xxvi. 30. Mark xiv. 26. Eph. v. 19. Col. iii. 16. or paihetic compositions on mournful subjects. Some are compared with Rev. v. 9. xiv. 1, 2, 3.); and the practice of enigmatic, delivering the doctrines of religion in enigmata, divine psalmody has subsisted through every succeeding age sentences contrived to strike the imagination forcibly, and yet to our own time, not more to the delight than to the edificaeasy to be understood; while a few may be referred to the tion of the church of Christ. “There are, indeed, at this class of idyls, or short pastoral poems. But the greater part, time" (to use the words of a sensible writer),8 • according to Bishop Horsley, is a sort of dramatic ode, con- professing Christians who do not adopt these sacred hymns sisting of dialogues between certain persons sustaining certain in their public and private devotions, either by reading them, characters. “In these dialogue-psalms the persons are fre- composing them as anthems, or singing poetical translations, quently the psalmist himself, or the chorus of priests and and imitations of them. In this particular there ever has Levites, or the leader of the Levitical band, opening the ode existed, and there still exists, a wonderful communion of with a proem declarative of the subject, and very often closing saints. The language, in which Moses, and David, and the whole with a solemn admonition drawn from what the Solomon, Heman, Asaph, and Jeduthun, worshipped God, other persons say. The other persons are, Jehovah, some- is applicable to Christian believers. They worship, the same times as one, sometimes as another of the three persons; God, through the same adorable Redeemer; they give thanks Christ in his incarnate state, sometimes before, sometimes for similar mercies, and mourn under similar trials; they are after his resurrection; the human soul of Christ, as distin- looking for the same blessed hope of their calling, even everguished from the divine essence. Christ, in his incarnate lasting life and salvation, through the prevailing intercession state, is personated sometimes as a priest, sometimes as a of the Messiah. The ancient believers, indeed, worshipped king, sometimes as a conqueror; and in those psalms in him as about to appear; we adore him as having actually which he is introduced as a conqueror, the resemblance is appeared, and put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. They very remarkable between this conqueror in the book of saw, as through a glass, darkly: but we face to face." Psalms, and the warrior on the white horse in the book of IV. The Jewish writers ascribe the book of Psalms to ten Revelations, who goes forth with a crown on his head and a different authors, viz. Adam, to whom they ascribe the bow in his hand, conquering and to conquer. And the con- ninety-second psalm; Melchizedec; Abraham, whom they quest in the Psalms is followed, like the conquest in the Re- call Ethan, and give to him the eighty-ninth psalm; Moses, velations, by the marriage of the conqueror. These are cir- Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and the three sons of Korah : and cumstances of similitude, which, to any one versed in the they make David to be merely the collector of them into one prophetic style, prove beyond a doubt that the mystical con- volume or book. But this opinion is evidently fabulous: for, queror is the same personage in both.”3
1. The ninety-second psalm, which is ascribed to Adam, apIII. 'The right of the book of Psalms to a place in the pears from its internal structure and style to be of a later sacred canon has never been disputed: they are frequently date, though no author is mentioned in its title or inscripalluded to in the Old Testament, and are often cited by our tion: besides, if Adam had left any sacred odes, it is more Lord and his apostles as the work of the Holy Spirit. They than probable that some notice would have been taken of are generally termed the Psalms of David, that Hebrew them in the book of Genesis, which, however, is totally monarch being their chief author. Origen, Chrysostom, Au- silent concerning any such compositions. 2. That the hungustine, Ambrose, Euthymius, and others of the ancient dred and tenth psalm, which is attributed to Melchizedec, fathers, indeed, were of opinion that he was their sole author : was certainly written by David, is evident, not only from the but they were opposed by Hilary and Athanasius (or the title, which claims him for its author, but also from its style author of the synopsis attributed to him), Jerome, Eusebius, and manner, which correspond with the acknowledged proand other fathers of equal eminence. And indeed this notion ductions of the royal prophet; and especially from the testiis manifestly erroneous; for an attentive examination of the mony of Jesus Christ and his apostle Peter.(Matt. xxii. 43 Psalms will immediately prove them to be the compositions -- 45. Mark xii. 36. Luke xx. 42. Acts ii. 34.). And, 3. It of various authors, in various ages, some much more ancient is most certain that David was the author of very many than the time of David, some of a much later age; and psalms, not merely of those which have his name in their others were evidently composed during the Babylonish cap- respective titles, but likewise of several others, to which his tivity. Some modern commentators have even referred a few name is not prefixed, especially of psalms ii. and xcv.,
as to the time of the Maccabees: but for this opinion, as we we are assured by the inspired apostles. (Acts iv. 25, 26. shall show in a subsequent page, there does not appear to Heb. iv. 7.) To make David, therefore, merely the collector
and editor of those divine compositions, is alike contradicBishop Horsley's translation of the Psalms, vol. I. p. xv.
tory to the clearest evidence, derived from the book of Psalms The alphabetical psalus are xxv. xxxiv. xxxvii, cxi. cxii. cxix. and itself, and from the testimony of the inspired writers of the
On the peculiar structure of the Hebrew alphabetical poems, see New Testament, as well as contrary to the whole current of Vol. I. Part II. Chap. II. VI. 7. supra. 3 Bishop Horsley's Psalms, vol. 1. p. xvi.
antiquity. • Chrysostom in Psal. i. Ambros. Præfat. in Psal. i. Augustin de A careful investigation of these divine odes will enable Civitate Dei, lib. xvii. c. 14. Theodoret, Præf. in Psal. Cassiodorus, Proleg. in Psal. Euthymius, Præf. in Psal. Philastrius, Hæres. 129. Huet. Dem. Ev. tom. I. prop. iv. p. 330.
: On the subject of Jewish psalmody, there is much curious information 5 Hilarii Proleg. in Psal. et comment. in Psal. cxxxi. Athanasii collected in "The Temple Music; or, an Essay concerning the Method Synopsis. Hieronymi Epist. ad Sophronium. Eusebii Cæsariensis Præf. of singing the Psalms of David in the Temple, before the Babylonish in Psalmos, pp. 7, 8. et in Inscrip. Psal. p. 2. et in Psal. xli. Lx. lxii. Cal. Captivity. By Arthur Bedford. London, 1706." Svo. met, Præf. Générale sur les Pseaumes. (Com. tom. iv. pp. v. vi.) Huet, • The editor of the 4to. Bible of 1810, with the notes of several of the
venerable reformers. . See p. 240. infra.
. Francisci Junii Proleg. ad Librum Psalmorum, 62.
us to form a better opinion concerning their respective au- | songs of triumph and thanksgiving for his victory over sin, thors, whom the modern Jews, and all modern commentators, and death, and hell. In a word, there is not a page in this understand to be Moses, David, Solomon, Asaph, Heman, book of Psalms, in which the pious reader will not find his Ethan, Jeduthun, and the three sons of Korah. Other authors Saviour, if he reads with a view of finding him.”3 have been conjectured by some eminent critics, whose hypo- From the variety of circumstances and situations in which theses will presently be noticed.
David was placed at different times, and the various affec1. To Moses the Talmudical writers ascribe ten psalms, tions which consequently were called into exercise, we may viz. from xc. to xcix. inclusive. The nineteenth psalm, in readily conceive that his style is exceedingļy various. The the Hebrew manuscripts, is inscribed with his name; and remark, indeed, is applicable to the entire book of Psalms, from its general coincidence in style and manner with his but eminently so to the odes of David. Hence it is that sacred hymns in Exod. xv. and Deut. xxxii. it is generally those, which are expressive of the natural character and state considered as the composition of the great lawgiver of the of man, and of sin, seem to bear marks of difficulty, and, as Jews. But Dr. Kennicott and other critics think that it was it were, disgust in their composition. “ The sentences are written in a later age, and consequently cannot be of that laboured and move heavily, and cannot be perused with that date which the title imports: because in the time of Moses lively pleasure, which, on the contrary, is received from those most of the persons mentioned in Scripture lived to an age themes of the psalmist which place before us the glorious far exceeding the standard of threescore years and ten or four- attributes of God, and express either His love to man, or the score, which in the ninetieth psalm is assigned as the limit believer's love to Him. These strains flow with vigorous of human life. But this “ opinion seems founded on the ex- and well adapted expressions, as if the subject was felt to be ceptions from the general rule, rather than on the rule itselt: most delightful, entered on with alacrity, and pursued with The life of Aaron, Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, unquestionably holy joy." Some of David's psalms possess great subliexceeded the age of fourscore considerably, and ran on from mity, as the twenty-fourth; but softness, tenderness, and a hundred and ten to a hundred and twenty; but all these pathos, are their prevailing characteristics. were probably instances of special favour. The decree 3. With the name of Asaph, a very celebrated Levite, and which abbreviated the life of man, as a general rule, to chief of the choirs of Israel in the time of David (1 Chron. seventy or eighty years, was given as a chastisement upon xvi. 4, 5.), twelve psalms are inscribed, viz. I. lxxiji.the whole race of Israelites in the wilderness; and, with lxxxiii. But the seventy-fourth and seventy-ninth psalms these few exceptions, none of them at the date of this psalm evidently cannot be his, because they deplore the overthrow could have reached more than seventy, and few of them so of Jerusalem and the conflagration of the temple, and in high a number. But it does not appear that the term of life point of style approach nearest to the Lamentations of Jerewas lengthened afterwards. Samuel died about seventy miah. Either, therefore, they are erroneously ascribed to years old, David under seventy-one, and Solomon under him, or were composed by another Asaph, who lived during sixty; and the history of the world shows us that the ab- the captivity. The subjects of Asaph's psalms are doctrina? breviation of life in other countries was nearly in the same or preceptive: their style, though less sweet than that of proportion.". The other nine psalms, xci. to xčix., are attri- David, is much more vehement, and little inferior to the buted to Moses by the Jews, by virtue of a canon of criticism grandest parts of the prophecies of Isaiah and Habakkuk. which they have established, namely, that all anonymous The fiftieth psalm, in particular, is characterized by such a psalms are to be referred to that author whose name occurred deep vein of thought and lofty tone of sentiment as place in the title last preceding them. But for this rule no foun- him in the number of poets of the highest order. In Asaph dation whatever exists: it is certain that the ninety-ninth the poet and the philosopher were combined.
. He was," psalm could not have been written by Moses, for in the sixth says Eichhorn, “one of those ancient wise men, who felt verse mention is made of the prophet Samuel, who was not the insufficiency of external religious usages, and urged the born till two hundred and ninety-five or six years after the necessity of cultivating virtue and purity of mind." It may death of Moses.
be well said of him, as of the scribe in the New Testament, 2. The name of David is prefixed to seventy-one psalms that he was not far from the kingdom of God.s in the Hebrew copies, to which the Septuagint version adds 4. Ten psalms, viz. xlii. xlvii. lxxxiv. lxxxv. Ixxxvii. eleven others: but it is evident, from the style and subject- and lxxxvíii. are inscribed, “For the sons of Koran:" but matter of the latter, that many of them cannot be the compo- who these persons were is not altogether certain; and such sition of David, particularly the hundred and second, which is the uncertainty of the prepositional prefix, that the most is in no respect whatever applicable to him, but from its subject- eminent critics have not been able to decide whether these matter must be referred to some pious Jew who composed it psalms were written by them, or were composed for them, after the return from the Babylonish captivity, while the and to be performed by them with music in the temple. temple was in ruins, and the country in a state of desolation. Professor Stuart thinks it probable that they were the deThe hundred and thirty-eighth psalm, also, though attributed scendants of Korah, who perished in the rebellion. (Num. in the Septuagint to David, could not have been written by xvi.) It is certain that all his children did not perish with him, for reference is made in it to the temple, which was not him (Num. xvi. 11.): it is certain also that some of their deerected till after his death by Solomon. On the contrary, scendants were among those who presided over the tabernacle some of the psalms thus ascribed to David in the Septuagint music. (1 Chron. vi. 22. 37.) In 1 Chron. ix. 19. we find version are unguestionably his, as well as some which are Shallum a descendant of Korah, mentioned as one of the anonymous: of the former class is the ninety-fifth, and of overseers of the tabernacle, and it appears that he belonged the latter the second psalm, both of which are cited as to a family called Korahites. These last are mentioned also David's psalms by the inspired writers of the New Tes- in 1 Chron. xxvi. 1. and 2 Chron. xx. 19. as being among tament. Compare Acts iv. 25—28. xiii. 33. Heb. iii. 7–11. those engaged in sacred music. Hence it would appear, that iv. 7–13.
there were men of eminence among the Korahites in the Many of the psalms, which bear the royal prophet's name, time of David and Solomon; and the probability is that the were composed on occasion of remarkable círcumstances in psalms above enumerated, which bear iheir names, belong to his life, his dangers, his afflictions, his deliverances. “But ihem as authors. In style they differ very sensibly from the of those which relate to the public history of the natural Is- compositions of David ; and they are some of the most ex: rael, there are few in which the fortunes of the mystical quisite of all the lyric compositions which the Book of Israel are not adumbrated; and of those which allude to the Psalms contains. The title was, probably, affixed by some life of David, there are none in which the Son of David is editor of a later age, who knew only the general report that not the principal and immediate subject. David's complaints the psalms in question belonged to the sons of Korah, and against his enemies are Messiah's complaints, first of the could obtain nothing certain as to the individuals who were unbelieving Jews, then of the heathen persecutors, and of their respective authors.6 the apostate faction in later ages. David's afflictions are 5. By whom psalms xxxix. lxii. and lxxvii. were comMessiah's sufferings. David's penitential supplications are
3 Bishop Ilorsley's Psalms, vol. i. p. x. Messiah's, under the burden of the imputed guilt of man. * Memorial Skeiches of the late Rev. David Brown, p. 93.-a very inDavid's songs of triumph and thanksgiving are Messiah's structive piece of clerical biography. Mr. B., to whom we are indebted
for the above remark, was inosi accurately intimate with the psalius in 1 Extract from Dr. Good's (unpublished) Version of the Book of Psalms, their original Hebrew "He accustomed himself to them," says his in Professor Gregory's Memoirs of his Life, p. 316.
biographer, “in the original, as the medium of his most private and * This opinion is very ancient : it was adopted by Origen (Select. in carnest devotions, whether of contrition, supplication, or praise. Psalmos, Opp. tom. ii. p. 574. edit. Benedict), and by Jerome (Epist. cxxxix. alfliction, and in all rejoicing, he alike called upon God in the language of ad Cyprianum, p. 358. edit. Plantin.), who says it was derived from a iradition recorded by lullus, patriarch of the Jews,
Noyes's translation of the Psalms, p. xiii. cap. 3. p. 25. Rosenmüller, Scholia in Psalmos, tom. I. p. xii.
6 Stuart's Hebrew Christomathy, p. 206.
Advers. Ruffin. lib. i.
posed, is not now known: their titles are inscribed to Jedu- Psal. lxxxi. This psalm, which is attributed to Asaph, was THUN, who was one of the three directors of music in the sung in the temple, at the feast of trumpets, held in the national worship, mentioned in 1 Chron. xxv. 1.
beginning of the civil year of the Jews, and also at the 6. To Heman the Ezrahite is ascribed the eighty-eighth feast of tabernacles. psalm; and to Ethan the Ezrahite the following psalm. Psal. xci. This moral psalm, though assigned to Moses, was They were both probably descendants from Zerah, who is
in all probability composed during or after the captivity. It mentioned in 1 Chron. ii. 6.; but at what time they lived is treats on the happiness of those who place their whole con uncertain. They are, however, supposed to have fourished fidence in God. during the Babylonish captivity.
Psal. cx. The advent, kingdom, and generation of the Mes 7. It is highly probable that many of the psalms were siah; composed by David. composed during the reign of Solomon, who, we learn from
Psal. cxxxix. A psalm of praise to God for his all-seeing 1 Kings iv. 32. “wrote a thousand and five songs," or
providence and infinite wisdom. poems.
There are only two psalms, however, which bear his 2. Psalms composed by David during the Persecution of name, viz. the seventy-second and the hundred and twenty. Saul. These are seventeen ; namely, seventh psalms. The title of the former may be translated Psal. xi. David, being entreated by his friends to withdraw for as well as of Solomon; and, indeed, it is evident, from
from the court of Saul, professes his confidence in God. considering its style and subject matter, that it could not
Psal. xxxi. David, proscribed by Saul, is forced to withdraw have been composed by him. But, as he was inaugurated
from his court. just before David's death, it was in all probability, one of
Psal. xxxiv. Composed by David, when, at the court of Achish David's latest odes. The hundred and twenty-seventh psalm
king of Gath, he counterfeited madness, and was permitted is most likely Solomon's, composed at the time of his nuptials: it strongly and beautifully expresses a sense of depen
to depart. dence upon Jehovah for every blessing, especially a nume
Psal. lvi. Composed in the cave of Adullam, after David's rous offspring, which we know was an object of the most escape from Achish. ardent desire to the Israelites.
Psal. xvi. David persecuted by Saul, and obliged to take 8. Besides the preceding, there are upwards of thirty
refuge among the Moabites and Philistines. psalms which in the Hebrew Bibles are altogether Anony
Psal. liv. David pursued by Saul in the desert of Ziph, whence Mous, although the Septuagint version gives names to some
Saul was obliged to withdraw and repel the Philistines. of them, chiefly, it should seem, upon conjecture, for which
David's thanksgiving for his deliverance. there is little or no foundation. Thus the Alexandrian Greek Psal. lii. Composed by David after Saul had sacked the city translators ascribe the hundred and thirty-seventh psalm to of Nob, and put the priests and all their families to the Jeremiah, who could not have written it, for he died before sword. the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, which
Psal. cix. Composed during Saul's unjust persecution of joyous event is most pleasingly commemorated in that ode. David. The person, against whom this psalm was directed, In like manner, the hundred and forty-sixth and hundred and was most probably Doeg. Bishop Horsley considers it as a forty-seventh psalms are attributed by them to the prophets prophetic malediction against the Jewish nation. Haggai and Zechariah, for no other reason, it should seem, Psal. xvii. A prayer of David during Saul's bitterest persethan because psalm cxlvi. 7-10. treats of the deliverance cution of him. of the captives and those who were oppressed, and cxlvii. Psal. xxii. David, persecuted by Saul, personates the Messiah, of the restoration of the Jewish church. Psalms ii. and xcv. persecuted and put to death by the Jews. however, as we have already remarked, though anonymous, Psal. xxxv. Composed about the same time, and under the are ascribed by the inspired apostles to David. Some mo- same persecution. dern critics have imagined, that there are a few of the un- Psal. Ivii. David, in the cave of En-gedi, implores divine protitled psalms which were composed so lately as the time of tection, in sure prospect of which he breaks forth into the Maccabees. Thus Rudinger assigns to that period psalms grateful praise. (1 Sam. xxiv. 1.) i. xliv. xlvi. xlix. and cviii.; Herman Vonder Hardt, psalm Psal. Iviïi. A continuation of the same subject. Complaints xix.; and Venema, psalms lxxxv. xciii. and cviii.? This late
against Saul's wicked counsellors. date, however, is impossible, the canon of the Old Testament Psal. cxlii. David in the cave of En-gedi. Scriptures being closed by Ezra, nearly three centuries be- Psal. cxl. cxli. David, under severe persecution, implores help fore the time of the Maccabees. But * whether David, or
of God. any other prophet, was employed as the instrument of com
Psal. vii. David violently persecuted by Saul. municating to the church such or such a particular psalm is a question, which, if it cannot always be satisfactorily an- 3. Psalms composed by David at the beginning of his Reign, swered, needs not disquiet our minds. When we discern, and after the Death of Saul. Of this class there are sixin an epistle, the well-known hand of a friend, we are not teen; viz. solicitous about the pen with which it was written.”3
Psal. ii. Written by David, after he had fixed the seat of his V. The following CHRONOLOGICAL ARRANGEMENT of the government at Jerusalem, notwithstanding the malignant Psalms, after a careful and judicious examination, has been opposition of his enemies. It is a most noble prediction of adopted by Calmet," who has further specified the probable the kingdom of the Messiah. occasions on which they were composed :
. Composed on occasion of conducting the ark 1. Psalms of which the Date is uncertain. These are eight from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem. in number; viz.
Psal ix. and xxiv. Sung by David on the removal of the ark Psal. i. This is a preface to the whole book, and is by some
from the house of Obededom to Mount Sion. ascribed to David, by others to Ezra, who is supposed to
Psal. ci. David describes the manner in which he guided his have collected the psalms into a volume.
people in justice and equity. Psal. iv. The expressions of a devout person amid the cor
Psal. xxix. A solemn thanksgiving for the rain that fell after rupt manners of the age. An evening prayer.
David had avenged the Gibeonites on the house of Saul, Psal. viii. The prerogatives of man: and the glory of Jesus by whom they had been unjustly persecuted. 2 Sam. xxi.
Psal. xx. Composed by David when he was on the point of of praise to the Creator, arising from a consideration of marching against the Ammonites and Syrians who had his works, as displayed in the creation, in the heavens, and
leagued together against him. 2 Sam. x. in the stars.
Psal. xxi. A continuation of the preceding subject. David's
thanksgiving for his victory over the Ammonites. 1 See p. 239. supra.
Psal. vi. xxxviii. and xxxix. Composed by David during sickRosenmüller, Scholia in Psalmos, Prolegom. c. 2, pp. xi.- xix. He ness; although no notice is taken of this sickness in the adopts the untenable hypothesis of Rudinger.
history of David, yet it is the opinion of almost every com• Bishop Horne's Commentary on the Psalms, vol. i. Pref. p... • Commentaire Littéral, tom. iv. pp. Ixij.---xvi.
mentator that these psalms refer to some dangerous illness in the Vulgate Latin version, which was used by Calmel, are divided and from which his recovery was long doubtful. numbered in a different manner from that in which they appear in our Bibles, we have adapted the references to the psalms to the authorized
Psal. xl. A psalm of thanksgiving for his recovery from sick English version.
As some of the Psalms
Psal. li. xxxii. and xxxiii. were all composed by David after the LORD God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen
Nathan had convinced him of his sin with Bathsheba.' and Amen. (xli. 13.) It is worthy of remark, that the titles 4. Psalms during the Rebellion of Absalom. This class of all these psalms (excepting i. ii.? x. xxxiii.) ascribe them comprises eight Psalms.
to David : hence it has been supposed that this first book of Psal. iii. iv. Iv. Composed when David was driven from Jeru- psalms was collected by the Hebrew monarch.
2. The SECOND BOOK is termed 10 700 (sePHER SHENI ): it salem by Absalom.
includes psalms xlii. to lxxii. and ends with-Blessed bé the Psal. Ixii. David professes his trust in God during the unnatu- Lord God of Israel
, who only doelh wondrous things. And ral persecution of his son.
blessed be his glorious name for ever : and let the whole earth be Psal. Ixx. Ixxi. A prayer of David when pursued by Absalom. filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. The prayers of David Psal. cxliii. Written during the war with Absalom.
the son of Jesse are ended. (lxxii. 18—20.) From this termiPsal. cxliv. A thanksgiving for his victories over Absalom, nation of the second book of Psalms, some have conjectured Sheba, and other rebels. 2 Sam. xviii. 20.
that David also collected it, as nineteen out of the thirty-one 5. The Psalms wrilten between the Death of Absalom and bear his name: but it is more likely that the concluding the Captivity are ten in number; viz.
sentence of psalm Ixxii. simply means the psalms of David Psal. xviii. David's solemn thanksgiving for all the blessings in that book, because several of his compositions are to be he had received from God. Compare 2 Sam. xxii.
found in the following books or collections.3 Psal . xxx. Composed on occasion of dedicating the altar on it comprehends psalms lxxiii. to lxxxix. which is thus con
3. The THIRD BOOK is called wibo 200 (sePHER SHELISHI): the threshing-floor of Araunah. 2 Sam. xxiv, 25.
cluded : Blessed be the Lord for evermore. Psal. xlv. Composed on the marriage of Solomon with a king's daughter. It is throughout prophetical of the victo- (lxxxix. 52.) of the seventeen psalms included in this
book, one only is ascribed to David; one to Heman; and rious Messiah.
one to Ethan: three of the others are directed to the sons of Psal. lxxviii. Composed on occasion of Asa's victory over the Korah, without specifying the author's name; and eleven
forces of the king of Israel. See 2 Chron. xvi. 4. 6. Psal . lxxxii. Instructions given to the judges, during the reign bear the name of Asaph, who has been supposed to be the
collector of this book. of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. See 2 Chron. xix. 5, 6.
4. The FOURTH BOOK is inscribed vy37 900 (sePHER REBINGI), Psal. Ixxxiii. A triumphal ode, composed on occasion of Je- and also contains seventeen psalms, viz. from xc. to cvi. hoshaphat's victory over the Ammonites, Moabites, and This book concludes with the following doxology: Blessed other enemies. See 2 Chron. xx. 1. et seq.
be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting: and Psal. Ixxvi. Composed after the destruction of Sennacherib's let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye ihe Lord. (cvi. 48.) army. See 2 Chron. xxxii.
One of these psalms is ascribed to Moses, and two have the Psal. ixxiv. and lxxix. A lamentation for the desolation of name of David in their title. The rest have no authors'
the temple of Jerusalem : it was most probably composed names, or titles prefixed to them. The collector of this book at the beginning of the captivity.
is unknown. 6. Psalms composed during the Captivity; the authors of 5. The Fifth and last book is called on DD (SEPHER which are unknown. Calmet ascribes them chiefly to the Chamishi), and consists of forty-four psalms, viz. from psalm descendants of Asaph and Korah.
cvii. to the end of cl. It terminates the whole book of Their subjects are wholly of a mournful nature, lamenting Psalms thus :Let every thing that hath breath praise the
the captivity, imploring deliverance, and complaining of Lord. Praise ye the LORD. (cl. 6.) Of these forty-four the oppression of the Babylonians. These psalms, forty in psalms, fifteen are ascribed to David: the rest have for the number, are as follow:- x. xii. xiv. xv. xxv. xxvi. xxvii. most part no titles at all, and are anonymous. This book is x xviii. xxxvi. xxxvii. xlii. xliii. xliv. xlix. I. liii. Ix. lxiv. supposed to have been collected in the time of Judas Maclxvii. Ixix. Ixxiii. Ixxv. lxxvii. lxxx. Ixxxiv. Ixxxvi. Ixxxviii. cabæus, but by whom it is impossible to conjecture." lxxxix. xc. xcii . xciii. xciv. xcv. xcix. cxx. cxxi. cxxiii. antiquity, because it was in existence before the Septuagint
This division of the Psalms into five books is of great cxxx. cxxxi. cxxxii.
Greek version was executed ;s and as there are many Chaldee 7. Psalms composed after Cyrus issued his Edict, allowing words in those composed ing or after the Babylonish capthe Jews to return from their Captivity.
tivity, the most probable opinion is, that the different collecThis class consists of thanksgiving odes for their release, and tions then extant were formed into one volume by Ezra,
also on occasion of dedicating the walls of the city, as well when the Jewish canon of Scripture was completed. But as of the second temple. They abound with the most live- whatever subordinate divisions may have existed, it is certain ly expressions of devotion and gratitude, and amount to that the Psalms composed but one book in that canon : for fifty-one; viz. cxxii. Ixi. Ixiii. cxxiv. xxiii. Ixxxvii. lxxxv. they are cited by our Lord collectively as the “ Psalms " xlvi. xlvii. xlviii. xcvi. to cxvii. inclusive, cxxvi. cxxxiii. to (Luke xxiv. 44.), and also as "the Book of Psalms” (Luke cxxxvii. inclusive, cxlix cl. cxlvi. cxlvii. cxlviii. lix. Ixv. xx. 42.), by which last title they are cited by St. Peter in Lxvi. lxvii. cxviii. cxxv. cxxvii. cxxviii. cxxix. cxxxviii.
Acts i. 20.; and they are reckoned only as one book in all
subsequent enumerations of the Scriptures, both by Jews and According to this distribution of Calmet, only forty-five Christians. of these psalms were composed by David.
The number of the canonical psalms is one hundred and VI. Ai what time and by whom the book of Psalms was fifty: but in the Septuagint version, as well as in the Syriac, collected into one volume, we have no certain information. Arabic, and Æthiopic iranslation, there is extant another Many are of opinion that David collected such as were ex- which is numbered CLI. Its subject is the combat of David tant in his time into a book for the use of the national wor- with Goliath (related in 1 Sam. xvii.) but it is evidently ship: this is not unlikely; but it is manifest that such a collection could not include all the psalms, because many of
9 The second psalm, however, is expressly declared to be David's in David's odes are scattered throughout the entire series. Some Acts iv. 25, 26. have ascribed the general collection to the friends or servants 3 Bishop Horsley, however, is of opinion that this is the close of the of Hezekiah before the captivity; but this could only apply particular psalm in question, and not a division of the book, as if these to the psalms then extant, for we read that Hezekiah caused that David the son of Jesse had nothing to pray for, or to wish, beyond the words or psalms of David to be sung in the temple when the great things described in this psalm. Nothing can be more animated he restored the worship of Jehovah there (2 Chron. xxix. 25 than this conclusion. Having described the blessings of Messiah's reign,
he closes the whole with this magnificent doxology :--30.): the collection by the men of Hezekiah could not
“Blessed be Jehovah God, comprise any that were composed either under or subsequent
God of Israel alone performing wonders ; to the captivity. That the psalms were collected together
And bleseed be his name of glory, at different times and by different persons is very evident from
And let his glory fill the whole of the earth. an examination of their contents. Accordingly, in the Maso
Finished are the prayers of David, the son of Jesse." retic copies (and also in the Syriac version) they are divided
Bishop Horsley's Psalms, vol. ii. p. 195. into five books; viz. 1. The First BOOK is entitled TON 100 (SCPHER ACHOD); it Psalmorum Collectione, Partitione, et Numero; Roberts's Clavis Biblio
• Rozenmüller, Scholia in Psalmos, Proleg. pp. xx.-XXV. c. 3. do comprises psalms i. to xli. and concludes thus:-Blessed be rum, p. 166.
3 Eusebius and Theodoret, in their respective Prefaces to the book of · Dr. Hales refers to this period psalm ciii. which is a psalm of thanks. Psalms, consider this book as ranking next in priority to the Pentateuch; giving. He considers it as David's eucharistical ode, after God had par.
on which account it was divided into five parts or books, like the writings duned his great sin. Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. pp. 376, 377. VOL. II.
Amen and Ainen.
spurious, for, besides that it possesses not a particle of Da- are of very questionable authority, as not being extant in vid's genius and style, it never was extant in the Hebrew, Hebrew manuscripts, and some of them are undoubtedly not and has been uniforinly rejected by the fathers, and by every of equal antiquity with the text, being, in all probability, council that has been held in the Christian church. It is conjectural additions, made by the collectors of ihe psalms, certainly very ancient, as it is found in the Codex Alexan- at different periods, who undertook to supply the deficiency drinus.1
of titles from their own judgment or fancy, without a due Although the number of the psalms has thus been ascer- regard to manuscripts, yet we have no reason to suppose that tained and fixed, yet, between the Hebrew originals and the very many of them are not canonical parts of the psalms; Greek and Vulgate Latin versions, there is considerable because they are perfectly in unison with the oriental manner diversity in the arrangement and distribution. In the latter, of giving tiiles to books and poems. for instance, what is numbered as the ninth psalm forms two li is well known that the seven poems, composed in Ara. distinct psalms, namely ix. and x. in the Hebrew; the tenth bic by as many of the most excellent Arabian bards (and psalm commencing at verse 22. of the Greek and Latin which, from being originally suspended around the caaba or transla'ions; so that, from this place to the hundred and temple at Mecca, were called Moallakat, or suspended), were thirtee.ith psalm inclusive, the quotations and numbers of the called, al Modhadhebat, or the golden verses, because they Hebrew are different from these versions. Again, psalms were written in characters of gold on Egyptian papyrus. (xiv, and cxv. of the Hebrew form but one psalm in the Might not the six psalms, which bear the title of Michtam, Greek and Latin, in which the hundred and sixteenth psalm or golden,3 be so called on account of their having been on is divided into two. In the Greek and Latin copies also, the some occasion or other written in letters of gold, and hung hundred and forty-seventh psalm is divided into two, thus up in the sanctuary? D'Herbelot, to whom we are indebted completing the number of one hundred and fifty. The Pro- for the preceding fact, also relates that Sherfeddin al Baustestant churches, and our authorized English version, adhere siri, an Arabian poet, called one of his poems, in praise ot to the Hebrew notation, which has been invariably followed Mohammed (who he affirmed, had cured him of a paralytic in the present work.
disorder in his sleep), The Habit of a Derveesh; and, because The following table exhibits at one view the different nu- he is there celebrated for having (as it is pretended) given merations in the Hebrew and in the Septuagint version :- sight to a blind person, this poem is also entitied' by its
Psal. i.-viii. in the Hebrew are Psal. i.--viii. in LXX. author The Bright Star.4 D’Herbelot further tells us that a Psal. ix. x.
Psal. ix. in LXX.
collection of moral essays was named The Garden of inePsal. xi.--cxii.
Psal. x.-cxii. in Lxx. monies.
The ancient Jewish taste, Mr. Harmer remarks, may reaPsal. cxvi.
Psal. cxiv, cxv. in LXX. sonably be supposed to have been of the same kind and Psal. cxvii.-cxlvi.
Psal. cxvi.cxlv. in LXX.
agreeable to this is the explanation given by some learned Psal. cxlvii.
Psal. cxlvi. cxlvii. in LXX.
men of David's commanding the bow to be taught the chilPsal. cxlviii.-cl.
Psal. cxlviii.-cl. in LXX.
dren of Israel (2 Sam. i. 18.); which, they apprehend, did To which is added, Psal. cli, in LXX.
not relate to the use of that weapon in war, but to the hymn
which he coinposed on occasion of the death of Saul and VII. To most of the psalms? are prefixed INSCRIPTIONS or Jonathan; and from which they think that he entitled this Titles, concerning the import of which expositors and in- elegy the Bow. The twenty-second psalm might in like terpreters are by no means agreed. Some hold them in the manner be called The Hind of the Morning (tjeleth Shaprofoundest reverence, considering them as an original part hur); the fifiy-sixth, The Dumb in distant Places (Jumethof these divine odes, and absolutely necessary to the right elenrechokim); the sixtieth, The Lily of the Testimony (Shounderstanding of them, while others regard the titles as sub- shan-eduth); the eighueth, The Lilies of the Testimony Shosequent additions, and of no importance whatever. In one shannin-eduth), in the plural number; and the forty-fifth, thing only are they all unanimous, namely, in the obscurity simply The Lilies (Shoshunnim). That these appellations of these titles.
do not denote musical instruments, Mr. Harmer is of opinThat all the inscriptions of the psalms are canonical and ion, is evident from the names of trumpet, timbrel, harp, inspired, we have no authority to afirm. Augustine, Hilary, psaltery, and other instruments with which psalms were Theodoret, Cassiodorus, and many other ancient fathers, sung, being absent from those titles. If they signified tunes admit that they have no relation to the body of the psalm, (as he is disposed to think), they must signify the tunes to and that they contribute nothing to the sense. The Septua- which such songs or hymus were sung as were distinguished gint and other Greek versions have added titles to some of by these names; and so the inquiry will terminate in this the psalms, which have none in the Hebrew: the Protestant point, whether the psalms to which these titles are affixed and'Romish churches have determined nothing concerning were called by these names, or whether they were some them. If the titles of the psalms had been esteemed ca- other psalms or songs, to the tune of which these were to be nonical, would it have been permitted to alter them, to sup- sung. Now, as we do not find the bow referred to, nor the press them, or to add to them? Which of the commenta- same name twice made use of, so far as our information goes, tors, Jewish or Christian, Catholic or Protestant, thinks it it seems most probable that these are the names of the very incumbent upon him to follow the title of the psalm in his psalms to which they are prefixed. The forty-second psalm, commentary! And yet both Jews and Christians receive it may be thought, mighi very well have been entitled the the book of Psalms as an integral part of Holy Writ. Al. Hind of the Nurning; because, as that panted after the though, therefore, many of the titles prefixed to the psalms water-brooks, so panted the soul of the psalmist after God;
but the twenty-second psalm, it is certain, might equally well · The following is a translation of this pretended psalm, from the Septua: be distinguished by this title,-Dogs have encompassed me, gint, made as complete as possible by Dr. A. Clarke, from the different versions. See his Commentary on Psalm cli.
• Psalms vi. lvi. Ivii. lviii. lix. IX. D'Herbelot, Bibliotheque Orientale, "A psalm in the hand-uriling of David, beyond the number of the vol i. pp. 383. 415. psalms, composed by David, when he fought in single combat with Go. • D'Herbelot, Bibliothèque Orientale, vol. ii. p. 624. It were easy to liath."
multiply examples of this kind from the works of oriental writers; a “1. I was the least among my brethren, and the youngest in my father's few must suihice :-Among the works of modern Hebrew poets, enumerahouse; and I kept also my father's sheep. 2. My hands inade the organ, ted by Sarchi, in his Essay on Hebrew Poetry (pp. 116--125.), A Treatise or and my fingers jointed the psaltery. 3. And who told it to my Lord? | Morals, by Rabbi Clonimousben Clonimous, isterined A Tried Slone ; a col. (Arab. And who is he who taught me ?] The LORD himself,--He is my lection of Festival Odes and Hymns for the Jewish year, by R. Joseph Samaster, and the hearer of all that call tipon him. 4. He sent his angel, loun, is designated Speeches of Beauly; a collection oi Songs by R. Lei Bar and took ine away from my father's sheep: and anointed me with the oil Abraham Bar Chain, on various scientific topics, is called The Tablets and of his anointing.” (Others hure the oil or his mercy.) 5. “My brethren Earrings; a Collection of Prayers is the Gate of Penitence; and another were taller and more beautiful than I : nevertheless, the Lord delighted of Songs and Hymns on moral Topics, has the high-sounding appellation
6. I went out to meet the Philistine, and he cursed me by of The Book of the Giant.--In Casiri's list of works written by the cele.
7. (In the strength of the Lord I cast three stones at him. I brated Spanish-Arab statesman Ibn-ū·l-Khatib, this author's llisiory of 8mole him in the forehead, and felled him to the earth. Arab.) 8. And I Granada is entitled A $pecimen of the Full Moon : his Chronolugy of drew out his own sword froin its sheath, and cut off his head, and took the Kings of Africa and Spuin has the lofty appellation of the Siber. away the reproach from the children of Israel."-How vapid! How un- Vest embroidered with the Needle ; his Lires of eminent Spanish Arabs, like the songs of Sion, composed by the sweet psalmist of İsrael! who were distinguished for their learning and virtue, are termed Fragrani
9 The number of psalıns without titles in the Hebrew Scriptores is Plants; a traci on Cunstancy of Mind is Approred Butler; and, to in«n. twenty-six, viz. 1. ii. x. xxiv. xxxiii. xliii. Ixxi. xci. xciii. 10 xcix. inclusive, tion no niore, a treatise on the Choice of Sentences is designated Pure civ. c. cvii. cxiv. to cxix. inclusive, c xxxvi, and cxxxvii.; by the Talmudi Gold. These works are still exiant among the Arabic manuscripts precal writers they are termned orphan psalms. The untitled psalms in our served in the library or the Escurial. (Casiri, Bibliotheca Arabico-Esru. English version amount to thirty-seven; but many of these are Hallelujah rialensis, tom. ii. p. 12.) The Gulistan, Bed of Roses, or Flower Garden psalms, which have lost their inscriptions, because the venerable transla of the Persian poet sady, has been translated into English by Mr. Glad. iors have rendered the llebrew word Hallelujah by the expression "Praise win; and the Bahar Danush, or Garden of Knowledge, of the Persian The Lord,” which they have made a part of die psalm, though in the bard Einaut-Oollah, by Mr. scott. Dr. A. Clarke has collected some art. Septuagint version i stands as a distinci litle.
ditional instances in his Commentary on the Bible. See Psalm 1x. Title.
not in them. his idols.