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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Psalm 23, “…table in the presence of my enemies…”

In Psalm 23, David talks about the Lord providing a "table" in the presence of his enemies. Just what does this table represent? Psalm 23:5 (ESV) You prepare a table before me in the ...
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Did the Hebrews lift their right hand to take an oath as some translations of Psalm 144:8 imply?

Do 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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What is the intended image of “pierced my hands and feet” in Psalm 22:16?

I sometimes struggle to understand how some of the NT authors describe OT passages as messianic prophecies. One of these is from the 22nd Psalm. Psalm 22:16 NASB (emphasis added) For dogs have ...
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Happy or blessed in the Psalms?

This problem occurs more than 20 times in the Psalms, but I’ll quote Psalm 1:1, ESV: Blessed (ʾašrê) is the man      who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, ...
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“Seasons”, or “Sacred Seasons”?

Psalm 104:19, עָשָׂ֣ה יָ֭רֵחַ לְמֹועֲדִ֑ים (Westminster Leningrad Codex) He appointed the moon for the seasons (Interlinear translation) In the BDB (Brown Driver Briggs), לְמוֹעֲדִ֑ים (for ...
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Is there some problem with God as rock in the LXX Psalms?

The Greek Psalms often (always?) change out “rock” for something non-metaphorical when it refers to God. For instance, Psalm 18:46(27)a: The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock (ṣûrî). In the LXX ...
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What is the meaning of “The Death of the Son” at the beginning of Psalm 9?

The superscript of Psalm 9 contains the phrase: BHS: עַלְמ֥וּת לַבֵּ֗ן RSV/ESV: according to Muth-labben. NIV: To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” Most translations have chosen something ...
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Meaning of “Sing to the Lord a new song”

In Psalm 33:3, it reads: Sing to him a new song; play skilfully on the strings, with loud shouts. This is most certainly not the first time I've read these words; they seem to be a common ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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Is the "Fear and trembling” in Philippians 2 related to the psalms?

Philippians 2:12b* reads: Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. I notice the same two concepts are given in Psalms 2 and 55. Psalm 2:11: Serve the LORD with fear, and ...
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Are the Psalms superscripts misplaced?

I recently ran across a theory that a portion of the superscripts of many psalms was intended as a postscript to the prior psalm. In that arrangement, לַמְנַצֵּ֥חַ (lamnaṣṣēaḥ; to the choirmaster) + ...
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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 ...
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How do sins become strangers in Greek Psalm 18 (19)?

Psalm 19:14 (13) reads: גַּ֤ם מִזֵּדִ֨ים ׀ חֲשֹׂ֬ךְ עַבְדֶּ֗ךָ אַֽל־יִמְשְׁלוּ־בִ֣י אָ֣ז אֵיתָ֑ם וְ֝נִקֵּ֗יתִי מִפֶּ֥שַֽׁע רָֽב׃ (BHS) Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not ...
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When were the superscripts added to the Psalms?

I have asked a series of questions recently about the superscripts at the top of the Psalms.* They tend to include technical notes about performance, (possible) allusions to authorship, notation of ...
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How should we understand David’s name at the beginning of the Psalms?

Many† of the Psalms begin with some variation of: מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִ֑ד LXX: Ψαλμὸς τῷ Δαυιδ ESV: A psalm of David However, as mentioned in Part (2) of this answer about Psalm 72:20, the ...
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Which Psalms were written by David before he killed Goliath? [duplicate]

I'm looking for Psalms written by David right up until when he killed Goliath. Google so far has been unfruitful.
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Are there any Psalms written by David before he came to the limelight?

I'm looking for Psalms written by David right up until when he killed Goliath. Google so far has been unfruitful.
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Psalms superscripts: completion or choirmaster?

Many (56) of the Greek Psalms begin (in what is the superscript in English on most chapters, not represented at all in a few): Εἰς τὸ τέλος. This is a mystery to me. The NETS translates it, ...
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“Voice” or “string” in Psalm 19:4?

I’m trying to figure out what’s going on in Psalm 19:4/5a: Their voice goes out through all the earth ESV 19:4a :בְּכָל־הָאָ֨רֶץ ׀ יָ֘צָ֤א קַוָּ֗ם BHS 19:5a εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν ἐξῆλθεν ὁ φθόγγος ...
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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 ...
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Psalm 19:3: whose voice?

Psalm 19:3/4 reads: אֵֽין־אֹ֭מֶר וְאֵ֣ין דְּבָרִ֑ים בְּ֝לִ֗י נִשְׁמָ֥ע קוֹלָֽם׃ (BHS, 19:4) There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. (ESV, 19:3) The idea that speech ...
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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 ...
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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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Who are the two “Lords” in Acts 2:34?

What does Peter mean by invoking Psalm 110 in his sermon in Acts 2? For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,      “‘The Lord said to my Lord, ...
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“Pangs of death” in Acts 2:24

In Acts 2:24a, Peter explains God’s plan for Jesus: ὃν ὁ θεὸς ἀνέστησεν λύσας τὰς ὠδῖνας τοῦ θανάτου God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death The phrase ὠδῖνες θανάτου seems to be a ...
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“for my thirst they gave me sour wine” and anything else?

He said, "I thirst". (John 19:28) They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink. (Psalm 69:21) So, now John compares "I thirst" with Psalm, so now my doubt ...
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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 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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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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What is the usage in Psalm 23 of “through” the valley of the shadow of death?

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. ...
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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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Authorship of the LXX of Psa. 24:1

Some time ago, while writing a research paper, I was reading the LXX of Psa. 24:1. The Hebrew text states, לְדָוִד מִזְמוֹר ליהוה הָאָרֶץ וּמְלוֹאָהּ תֵּבֵל וְיֹשְׁבֵי בָהּ This is translated ...
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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 is Jesus' purpose in asking about Psalm 110?

In Mark 12, Jesus is questioned by the various parties and is shown to answer wisely such that no one dares to ask him any more questions. And then he asks his own: While Jesus was teaching in the ...
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Did Moses write Psalm 90?

Psalm 90 begins (ESV): A prayer of Moses, the man of God. Translations seem mostly to agree about this, although I’m not sure if that’s the only way to translate it.* This has traditionally ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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To whom does the Psalmist refer to in Psalm 2:6 as “the installed King of Zion”?

In Psalm 2:6 NIV we find: "I have installed my king    on Zion, my holy mountain.” Does the text refer to King David or somebody else?
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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 ...
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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!" ...
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What was the “yoke” that neither the disciples nor their fathers could bear? Acts 15:10

10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus ...
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What is the meaning of “stars” in Psalm 8:3?

In Psalm 8:3 we can read (NIV): When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, What word "stars" (וְ֝כוֹכָבִ֗ים, wə·ḵō·w·ḵā·ḇîm) ...
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Are the divine name and its contracted form somehow unique or are they truly inter-changeable?

According to Strongs H3050, there are 48 occurrences in the Hebrew Bible where God's name is rendered as יָהּ (Yah). Most of these are found in the Psalms. This suggests it is a poetic form. ...
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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? ...