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The Psalms: Praises to the Lord Jesus Christ
TitleThe Psalms: Praises to the Lord Jesus Christ
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
Book TitleThe Jesus Christ Focused Old Testament: Making Sense of a Monumental Book
Chapter42
Pagination114-115
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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The book of Psalms is a collection of hymns and songs that were expressed by the ancient Israelites on occasions of worship, reflection, and devotion. Significantly, the psalms are a collection of praises about the lord and His majesty, omnipotence, love, and mercy. For this reason, the Hebrew word for the book of Psalms is Tehillim, which means “praises.”

Although the book of Psalms contains 150 psalms, the evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls psalter indicates that anciently there existed many more psalms.

The Levitical choir (2 Chr. 5:12–13) or a congregation of worshippers sung many of the psalms. At times the singing was accompanied by musical instruments of three types (see Ps. 150): winds (i.e., horn, trumpet, flute), percussion (i.e., tambourine or hand drum, cymbals), and strings (i.e., two types of lyre).

More than seventy of the psalms are attributed to or affiliated with David. Other psalms are associated with additional characters, including Moses (Ps. 90), Solomon (Ps. 72, 127), Asaph (Ps. 50, 73–83), and Ethan (Ps. 89). Many psalms are anonymous. Many have historical titles or introductions. Psalm 3 is titled “A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.” See also Ps. 7, 18, 34, 51, 52, 54, 56, 57, 60, 63, 142.

Following the findings of biblical scholars, this chart attempts to categorize most of the psalms according to their genre. It is often difficult to categorize certain psalms, and scholars rarely agree on their genre. Additionally, many psalms belong to two or more categories; for example, Psalm 99 has elements that make it a Psalm of Praise and other elements that categorize it as a Royal Psalm.

Type

Psalms

Description

Songs of Praise

8, 19, 29, 33, 65, 66, 78, 93, 96–100, 103–6, 111, 113–14, 117, 134–36, 145–150

Praises directed to the lord for His goodness, greatness, mercy, and love; for His deliverance from enemies; for His majesty, power, work as the creator; for the natural world’s testimony that the lord lives; for the lord’s magnificent kingship and kingdom.

Songs of Thanksgiving

18, 30, 32, 66, 92, 116, 118, 138

Expressions of thanksgiving and joy to the lord for His divine activity among the people.

Songs of Zion

46, 48, 76, 84, 87, 122

Describe the lord’s holy city as the place where His presence is found; the lord’s people desire to live in Zion and to worship Him there.

Songs of the Temple and Liturgy

15, 24, 50, 68, 81–82, 95, 115, 132

Pertain to ritual, entering the temple with clean hands, worshipping the lord in His temple.

Laments, Prayers, Songs of Petition

3–7, 9–10, 12–14, 17, 22, 25–26, 28, 31, 36, 38–44, 51–54, 56–58, 60–61, 64, 70–71, 74, 77, 80, 83, 85–86, 88, 90, 94, 102, 108, 120, 129–30, 143

A prayer or cry for divine help during a time of pain, distress, sickness, disappointment, or mourning or for protection against one’s enemies.

Songs of Trust

4, 11, 16, 23, 27, 62–63, 123–26, 131

Songs that feature declarations of trust in the lord and His might, power, and ability to save.

Wisdom Songs

34, 37, 39, 49, 73, 112, 127–28, 133

Set forth qualities and possibilities of a life filled with wisdom; describe those who walk in the lord’s path; how to obtain wisdom; characteristics of those who have wisdom.

Songs about the Law

1, 19, 119

Delight in the lord’s law, its significance and power to change people; blessings to those who hearken to the lord’s instruction and counsel.

Royal Songs

2, 20–21, 45, 47, 72, 89, 101, 110, 132, 144

Pertain to the king’s coronation, marriage, character, and success. Many royal psalms foreshadow the glorious reign of Jesus Christ, the messianic king.

Imprecatory Songs

35, 55, 59, 69, 79, 109, 137

Righteous yearnings for the lord’s judgments against one’s enemies.

 

Chart by Donald W. Parry. The Psalms: Praises to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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