The Book of Psalms is the most popular book of the Bible. It is seldom referred to as “A Little Bible” or “An Epitome of the Bible”.
The English word “Psalm” or “Psalms” takes its root from the Greek word “Psalmoi” – i.e. “songs sung to a harp”. In Greek, the word “Psalmoi” originated from psalleirn “play on a stringed instrument”. On the other hand, the Hebrew interpretation of the word “psalm” is “Tehillim” – which means “praises|. With all these, the central theme of the Book of Psalms is regarded to be based on “Praises and Thanksgivings”. This is therefore a project work which you, the Reader, will find very interesting and educative.
Meanwhile, the book of psalms is one of the very few books of the Bible that is written by more than one human author – e.g.;-
Author – # Written
King David – 73
Asaph – the Levite – 12
Sons of Korah – (a family of Singers) – 12
King Solomon – 1
Moses – 1
Heman – Court Musician – 1
Ethan – Court Musisician – 1
Sub-Total – 102
Anonymous Authors – 48
Grant Total – 150
Furthermore, the book of psalms is divided into five (5) major sub-books as follows:-
BOOK – CHAPTERS – BRIEF FOCUS
I – 1 -41 – Man’s Relationship with God; the way of the Righteous and the end of the ungodly. In summary, these Psalms depict scenarios of Man as once blessed & empowered, but later fallen due to sin, and thereafter redeemed by the Almighty God.
II – 42 – 72 – Man as ruined and recovered by God. A picture of Man yearning for God in the midst of distresses.
III – 73 – 89 – These psalms reveal the tragedy of the wicked and the blessedness of TRUST in God. Here is Man praising and worshiping God for His Holiness.
IV – 90 – 106 – The eternity of God and the frailty of Man. Here is God revealing His overriding Kingdom to other Nations on earth.
V – 107 – 150 – These are Anthems of Praise and Thanksgivings to God for His great works of deliverance. Here is Man thanking God for His Word.
Category – # of Psalms – FOCUS
Penitential – 7 – These seven (7) Psalms are all prayers that ask God for forgiveness of one’s sins, whilst seeking for God’s Guidance and Blessings.
Imprecatory – 9 – These are psalms with verses to invoke curses on one’s enemies!! They are Prayers that request God to ‘fight one’s battles’ where one feels cheated or overridden unjustifiably. The main focus of these nine psalms is on the “enemy of God”.
Hallel – 25 – Praise Psalms: These twenty-five psalms are designed to praise God Almighty for His glorious and wonderful works.
SONGS – 14 – These are Songs of Degrees; and Songs of Ascents.
Messianic – 21 – These twenty-one psalms specifically announce the future Reign of our Lord, Jesus Christ. These Psalms are further broken into five (5) major sub-divisions – directly or purely messianic, eschatological, typological prophetic, indirectly messianic and typical messianic. These are further analyzed below..
Brief Illustrations of the Messianic Psalms:
Category – # of Psalms – FOCUS
Purely Messianic – 1 – This particular Psalm refers to a future King from David’s descendants – i.e. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
Eschatological – 4 – These are Enthronement Psalms describing the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.
Typological Prophetic – 1 – This Psalm foretells the future rulership and sufferings of our Lord, Jesus Christ and His Kingdom (esp. verses 18, 22, 28-31).
Indirectly Messianic – 3 – Here is our Lord, Jesus Christ, being described a King of Israel. It is also a description of a royal occasion in general, which has the ultimate and climatic fulfillment being realized in our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Typical Messianic – 34:20, 109:8 – These two verses predict precisely:- (a) what would happen to Jesus Christ, and
(b) how Judas Iscariot would be replaced after betraying Jesus Christ.
In addition, this project work contains a brief exposition on Psalm 119 – the longest chapter of the Psalms and the Bivle (with 176 verses); and illuminates its central theme as bordering on “the word”.
It is therefore hoped that everyone that reads this piece will find the real project work to be very useful. For instance, from the ordinary Christian to the spirit-filled believer, from the lay-reader/preacher to the ordained clergy, from the ordinary bible study participant to the astute bible scholar, certainly, the aim of this project work is to add to previous knowledge and perhaps, explore and widen new areas that have been otherwise taken for granted.