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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
3answers
15k views

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) ...
4
votes
2answers
88 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
72 views

Meek versus humble

In Numbers 12:3 and Psalm 10:17 the same Hebrew word is used, but they are often translated differently. Why did the translators choose two different words? What is the difference between meek and ...
4
votes
2answers
207 views

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 ...
33
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
916 views

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. ...
3
votes
2answers
119 views

What does “The Lord said to my Lord” mean in Psalm 110?

This phrase has perplexed me a little bit. It's a psalm that was quoted by both Jesus (Matt 22:44, Mark 12:36, Luke 20:42) and Peter (Acts 2:34). Psalm 110:1 ESV The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at ...
6
votes
2answers
222 views

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׃ ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
126 views

Can “יָתוֹם” designate someone who has lost his father but not his mother?

The word "יָתוֹם" has been translated as "fatherless" by numerous translations (ESV KJV NASB etc, cf. Psalm 109:9), but "orphan" by others (LXX, Vulgate, TNK etc), dictionaries mentioning the two ...
3
votes
1answer
404 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

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. ...
6
votes
2answers
269 views

What is meant by “inherit the earth”?

What is meant by "[X] shall inherit the earth"? This phrase is found countless times in the scripture (cf. Psalm 37:11, Matthew 5:5), but should this be interpreted as a physical possession of land? ...
5
votes
1answer
219 views

Why is the dividing of clothes considered the fulfillment of scripture?

In John 19:24 it's written: “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

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 ...
16
votes
5answers
686 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
151 views

Psalm 34:20 applied to Jesus' crucifixion

When we read about the crucifixion in John 19:31-37, it is written that Jesus' legs were not broken to speed up his death. The author claims this fulfilled Psalms 34:20, which reads: he protects ...
5
votes
2answers
80 views

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? ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

How is the Septuagint interpretation of Psalms 40:6 reconciled with the Hebrew text?

The ancient Hebrew and Greek versions of Psalms 40:6 are quite different. The Hebrew version says 'my ears you have opened' whilst the Greek LXX has 'a body you restored to me'. Furthermore in Hebrews ...
4
votes
2answers
219 views

Why were 'The Edomites' in Jerusalem, when the city fell to the 'Babylonians.'?

Reading Psalm:137, it is written in verse 7 (NIV) Remember ,O Lord,what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. "Tear it down", they cried, "tear it down to its foundations!" ...
7
votes
1answer
402 views

Does the Bible say the Earth is flat?

I have found so much gossip on the Net and no Biblical verses that clearly support the 'flat earth' notion. I know Job spoke of the 'circle of the Earth' and other very interesting aspects of the ...
1
vote
2answers
661 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Psa. 103:4: חַיָּיְכִי and הַמְעַטְּרֵכִי

What is the explanation for the כי- suffix on the words חַיָּיְכִי and הַמְעַטְּרֵכִי in Psa. 103:4?
2
votes
1answer
84 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

*Through* the valley of the shadow of death - Psalm 23

I heard a preacher talk about Psalm 23:4: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

“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 ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

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: ...
4
votes
1answer
276 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Why does the Hebrew word “chesed” in Psalm 136 have two meanings?

Psalm 136:23 & 24 use the same Hebrew word that is sometimes translated as "grace". The ESV uses "steadfast love" in those verses: It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his ...
4
votes
1answer
270 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
253 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
361 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
186 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
81 views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
251 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
124 views

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. ...
7
votes
2answers
301 views

Why does Psalm 103:8 use the dual form of אַפַּ֣יִם (anger)?

In Psalm 103:8 we read: אֶ֖רֶךְ אַפַּ֣יִם וְרַב־חָֽסֶד Why is אַפַּ֣יִם (anger) in its dual form?
2
votes
1answer
43 views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
185 views

How should רָגַז be translated in Psalm 4?

A quick survey of English translations of Psalm 4:4 shows that there is little agreement about how ragaz should be rendered: NIV In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your ...
0
votes
1answer
711 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
341 views

Interpretation of Psalm 45:14

First of all, I'm a layperson. Psalm 45:14 (KJV) says "She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework; the virgins, her companions that follow her, shall be brought unto Thee." Hebrew ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

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?
6
votes
3answers
389 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

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 ...