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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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 ...