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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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?
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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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“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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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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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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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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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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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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Blessed is the man who WALKS NOT or HAS NOT WALKED?

I noticed in studying the Psalms that Psalm 1 in the old Coverdale text reads, "Blessed is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, and hath not sat ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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? ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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*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. ...
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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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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 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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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 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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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 ...