The book of Psalms, also known as "the Psalter", a collection of many poems and hymns from ancient Israel and Judah.

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How are contractions formed in Hebrew and how does YHWH become Yah?

Psalm 68:4 expresses the name of God as Yah. This seems obvious related to the name of God as he expounded it to Moses in Exodus 3:14. We also see the two directly connected in passages such as Psalm ...
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What does “The psalms of David are ended” refer to?

Psalm 72 ends with the words: The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended. Yet after this a number of Psalms, especially many of the Psalms of Ascent are attributed to David (I think ...
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What are the “shields of the earth”?

The end of Psalm 47 reads: God reigns over the nations;    God sits on his holy throne. The princes of the peoples gather    as the people of the God of Abraham. ...
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Why are Hebrew verbs in the “perfect” form so often translated as present tense in modern translations?

Why are Hebrew verbs in the "perfect" form so often translated as present tense in modern translations? For example in Psalm 119:47 : וְאֶשְׁתַּֽעֲשַׁ֥ע בְּמִצְוֹתֶ֗יךָ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָהָֽבְתִּי׃ ...
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Why are the words “darkness” and “light” in their feminine form in Psalm 139:12?

In the following verse: גּם־חֹשֶׁךְ֘ לֹֽא־יַחְשִׁ֪יךְ מִ֫מֶּ֥ךָ וְ֭לַיְלָה כַּיּ֣וֹם יָאִ֑יר כַּ֜חֲשֵׁיכָ֗ה כָּאוֹרָֽה׃ Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the ...
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What is the role of the paragogic heh when used with the second person as in Psalm 108:5 (ר֣וּמָה)?

What is the role of the paragogic heh when used with the second person as in Psalm 108:5 (ר֣וּמָה)? When used with the first person it as a cohortative meaning, but what's the difference with the ...
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New King James translation of Psalm 84: 5

Is the translation to 'pilgrimage' in Psalm 84: 5 acceptable as in the New King James Bible. Other translations do not seem to use the word and Dake's Annotated has a completely different meaning. ...
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Various translations of Psalm 19:3

Psalm 19:1-3 in the English Standard Version reads: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God,        and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2 Day to day pours ...
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To what extent is Psalm 51:4 poetic exaggeration?

The context of Psalm 51 is clear: To the choirmaster. A psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. These events are described in 2nd Samuel ...
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What is the valley of the shadow of death?

Psalm 23 says "yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil" (ESV, NIV). What is that? Is it a real place or a metaphor? If it's a metaphor, how should we understand ...
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Psalm 110:7 what does “he shall drink of the brook in the way” mean?

Psalm 110:7 "He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head." It seems almost out of place considering the Psalm seems to be talking about God. So what does it mean? ...
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Psalm 23 - long long pursuit of the house of the LORD

I am puzzled by translations of the 23rd Psalm. I wish to bring those my puzzlement to your attention. Perhaps, someone could comment on it. ינחני במעגלי צדק The accepted translations are saying ...
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Psa. 103:4: חַיָּיְכִי and הַמְעַטְּרֵכִי

What is the explanation for the כי- suffix on the words חַיָּיְכִי and הַמְעַטְּרֵכִי in Psa. 103:4?
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Psalms 8:6 - Humans a little less from G-d

Please decipher Psalm 8:5, 6. מה אנוש כי תזכרנו ובן אדם כי תפקדנו ותחסרהו מעט מאלֹהים וכבוד והדר תעטרהו Who are humans that You have in memory and son of man whom you sustain Whom you ...
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How is Psalm 34 linked to 1st Samuel 21?

The annotation of Psalm 34 (ESV) reads: Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. Clearly this is a reference to 1 Samuel 21:10-15 ...
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Does Psalm 137 refer to the Babylonian captivity when Ezekiel was alive?

Wikipedia says: According to the Hebrew Bible, there were four deportations of Jews to Babylon. One of these times was when Ezekiel was prophesying. Psalm 137 refers to a Babylonian captivity: ...
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Should the word elohim in Psalm 8:5 be translated into gods/angels/or god?

Should the word elohim in Psalm 8:5 be translated into gods/angels/or god? The NIV translates it this way: You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and ...
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Who are the “מְבַשְּׂר֗וֹת” in Psalm 68:11?

Who are the "מְבַשְּׂר֗וֹת" in Psalm 68:11 ? I know that the word usually means the bearer of (good) tidings, but why is it in its feminine form ? (some translations translate it as women, ESV "the ...
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Are the five books of Psalms somehow related to the Pentateuch?

On another question, Mike Bull suggests that there is a link between the five fold structure of the Psalms and that of Torah. I know he is not the only one to have suggested this before, but I'm ...
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Does Jesus misquote Psalm 8:2?

But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the son of David!" they were indignant, and they said to ...
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How can one determine that a passage is “programmatic”?

I've seen it commonly said that Psalm 1 and 2 are to be considered "programmatic" for the Psalms. I've seen mention of the same for Luke 4 and Luke(-Acts). For example, Gordon Wenham writes: This ...
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Can the final compilation of the Psalms be dated?

It seems reasonable to conclude that the Psalms were written over time by various authors, but can one reasonably date the final compilation of the Psalms? Were they compiled during the exile? Shortly ...
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Was nûn deleted from Psalm 145 in the Masoretic Text?

Psalm 145 is an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet, except that in most of the MT manuscripts verse 13b is missing along with therefore the letter nûn. The ESV renders it like this: Your kingdom is an ...
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Who are the people of God in Psalm 100?

Psalm 100:3 seems to express a covenant formula, denoting a relationship between God as his particular people. Similar to the formula elsewhere of, "I will be your God, you shall be my people." (e.g. ...
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Pre-Christian, Jewish interpretation of Psalm 22

How was Psalm 22 understood by Jewish tradition before the birth of Jesus? Was it interpreted messianically? What pre-Christian sources discuss Psalm 22?
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Psalm 51:5 CEV vs ESV

How can we determine which translation is more close to the original message? Clearly "the day I was born" vs "mother conceive me" paints a completely different picture - and arguably, a different ...
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Psalm 41:9 — eating food together?

NLT has his verse as follows: “Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me” NLT ESV as follows: “Even my close friend in whom ...
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How do you know when to understand the Hebrew word עלום (olam) as “eternal” or simply a long duration?

In Gen. 9:16, עלום is translated as "everlasting" in reference to the covenant of the rainbow: וְהָיְתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן וּרְאִיתִיהָ לִזְכֹּר בְּרִית עוֹלָם בֵּין אֱלֹהִים וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ ...
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Temple in Psalm 138

The first verse of Psalm 138 is clearly stating David as author of the Psalm. In verse 2 it says: I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your ...
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In what sense does God mock or scoff at the wicked?

He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them (Psalm 2:4, NASB) In what sense does God mock or scoff at the wicked?
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Who is the God of God in Psalm 45:8?

Psalm 45:8 reads אָהַבְתָּ צֶּדֶק, וַתִּשְׂנָא-רֶשַׁע: עַל-כֵּן מְשָׁחֲךָ אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֶיךָ, שֶׁמֶן שָׂשׂוֹן-- מֵחֲבֵרֶךָ. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness; {N} ...
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Peter's Psalm quotations in Acts 1:20

In Acts 1:20, Peter quotes Psalm 69:25 and Psalm 109:8: 20“For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and “‘Let ...
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Are Psalms 23 and 24 both by David according to their prefixes?

Psalm 23 begins with the annotation: מזמור לדוד While Psalm 24 begins with a similar, but slight different one: לדוד מזמור Yet both are marked in the NET (and elsewhere) as "A psalm of David". I ...
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Did the Hebrews lift their right hand to take an oath as some translations of Psalm 144:8 imply?

Did we have any evidence that the Hebrews used to lift their right hand to take an oath as some translations of Psalm 144:8 imply ? The original verse talks of a "right hand of falsehood" (KJV NAS) : ...
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In Hebrew, what is this suffix ending that is on the nouns in psalm 103:3?

What is the suffix ending on the words for iniquities and diseases? (the Kauf,chirriq,yod ending) I see it is interpreted as 'thy' but this is not the usual possessive ending for 'your'. (I am a ...
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Are men (brethren) really men or are they human?

Psalm 133:1 KJV Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! VS Psalm 133:1 GW See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live ...
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What are “the lines”?

In Psalm 16:6, the Psalmist writes: The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. The rest of the chapter (see below) does not mention the lines at all. ...
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What is Paul's advice on anger?

Paul writes: Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.—Ephesians 4:26-27 (ESV) The first issue I see is that the first clause ...
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Where did that camel come from?

Psalm 13, verse 6, second hemistich, reads: אָשִירָה לַיהוָה, כִּי גָמַל עָלָי Which is to say, "I will sing to G-d, because there is a camel upon me." Can anyone offer a hermeneutic ...
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How should Psalm 22:16 read?

Psalm 22:16 seems textually quite difficult. The NET for example reads: Yes, wild dogs surround me – a gang of evil men crowd around me; like a lion they pin my hands and feet. Yet, they note that ...
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Are the Psalms intended to be didactic?

I have kind of a lot of questions here, but hopefully it makes sense what I'm getting at. What is the nature of the Psalter as a whole in terms of how it was meant to be used? I've always assumed that ...
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Meaning of N .. N+1 pattern in Amos, Proverbs, Job and Psalms [duplicate]

In the first couple of chapters of Amos, we see a number of proclamations from God that all begin with (all ESV) "For three transgressions of [region/group], and for four, I will not revoke the ...
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What is the judgment in Psalm 1?

The ending of Psalm 1 provides great hope for those who delight in the instruction of the Lord: Not so the wicked; rather, they are like chaff that wind blows away. Therefore the wicked ...
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Comparison of English word “fool” in original Hebrew and Greek

Question is based on this comment on Christiantity SE. In the OT, the word fool is apparently used to describe atheists: The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1 and Psalm ...
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How did contemporaries understand “a new song” in Psalm 149:1?

I know about at least one "sensus plenior" interpretation of the "new song" in Psalm 149, but I have never heard a plausible explanation on what the author intended and how it was understood by his ...
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How can Psalms 68:18 be translated as in Ephesians 4:8?

In Psalms we have: You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there. (Psalms 68:18, ...
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What does Psalm 68:18 refer to in context?

In the NIV, Psalm 68:18 reads: When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious— that you, O Lord God, might ...
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Who is the speaker in Psalms 82:6?

I believe Asaf is speaking in Psalm 82:1 (ESV): A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: Then God is speaking in Psalm ...
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Who are the “divine beings” in Psalm 82?

We read in Psalm 82: I had taken you for divine beings, sons of the Most High, all of you; but you shall die as men do, fall like any prince.—Psalm 82:6–7 (NJPS) Some ...
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Have the “many” in Psalm 4 received blessings or were they already blessed?

Psalm 4 is a David psalm about prayer. It includes this stanza that seems to contrast the psalmist with other people: There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of ...