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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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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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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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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Why are the Psalms broken into five books?

The Psalms in most English Bibles are divided into five sections or books: 1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, and 107-150 Psalms 41, 72, and 89 end with the double amen, while 106 and 150 end with "Praise ...
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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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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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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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Not singing the songs of Zion/Yahweh's song in Psalm 137

The first colophon (or first two colophons, perhaps) of Psalm 137 reads, 1 By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. 2 On the willows there we hung up ...
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Psalms 46 - Be still or relax?

In Psalms 46-10 (Christian versions) or 46:11 (in Jewish versions), is the phrase  הרפו ודעו כי אנכי אלֹהים In most English Bible translations הרפו is translated as Be still . With the ...
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Is there a general way to know if a psalm or prophecy is talking about a tribe, a person or a mythical beast?

For example: You rule the raging sea; you still its swelling waves. You crush Rahab with a mortal blow; with your strong arm you scatter your foes. Yours are the heavens, yours the ...
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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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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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Who is “I” in Psalm 4

Several verses in Psalm 4 are in the first person, for example in verse 1: Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and ...
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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 ...
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Is the death of the pious precious in the eyes of God?

How does one understand the word yakar in Psalms 116:15? Classic Jewish commentators explain the word in context to mean "difficult". However, that is not how is it commonly used nor is it in ...
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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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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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The meaning of 'grace' and 'sinner' in Psalm 26

In the final verses of Psalm 26, David contrasts himself with 'sinners' and speaks of his own 'integrity' (as in earlier verses where he says: "I have walked in my integrity" and "I wash my hands in ...
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Rod and Staff (Psalm 23)

I am under the impression that the two are actually one physical item. That on one end was a kind of hook (staff) that was used to aid his duty as a Shepard and on the other end more of a club (rod) ...
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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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Is Psalm 119 an ode to just the Torah or to something more?

Virtually every line in Psalm 119 praises some aspect of God's law. In the past, I assumed it was an ode to the Torah. But lately, I've been wondering if were in praise of something outside of the ...
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Psalms, Hymns, Songs: What are the meanings of these words Biblically?

Verses in Question Let the word of Christ 18 dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace 19 in your hearts ...
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Do the righteous flourish or perish?

For example: Psalm 92:12 (KJV) 12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. compared to: Isaiah 57:1 (KJV) 1 The righteous perisheth, and no ...
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Request for parallels between Psalms and Proverbs

Can someone either post themselves or give me a link to a somewhat detailed comparison between Psalms and Proverbs where fairly word for word parallels are found? I am looking for all the instances ...
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Do the 'sons of Jacob' or 'sons of Israel' refer to only Jews, or also Christians and Muslims?

There is a song by Damian Marley that refers to "The sleeping sons of Jacob". I looked up 'Sons of Jacob' on Wikipedia and now understand them to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Here's an ...
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How did the Thanksgiving offering work?

A thanksgiving offering is mentioned in Leviticus 7:11-15 (NJPS): This is the ritual of the sacrifice of well-being that one may offer to the Lord: If he offers it for thanksgiving, he shall ...
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Is Psalm 19 an example of the Teleological Argument?

This morning, on the way to work, I listened to a philosophy lecture that offered Psalm 19 as an example of the Teleological Argument. The quoted portion is Psalm 19:2 in the NJPS translation: ...
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David's righteousness in the Psalms

In the Psalms, there are several places where David portrays himself as righteous and blameless. For example, Psalm 26: 1Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have ...
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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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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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Translation of “Selah” (סֶלָה‎)

What is the current scholarly opinion on the possible translations for "Selah" (סֶלָה‎) as used in the Psalms?
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“You are gods” in John 10:30-36

In John 10:30-36 (NASB), Jesus responds to an accusation of blasphemy by quoting the Old Testament: 30I and the Father are one.” 31The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus ...
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Does the Bible mention unicorns?

I was reading Psalm 22 (from this question) and I found this verse: Psalms 22:21 (KJV) Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. When I switched ...
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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?