BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Carlos Padilla, May 2014
The work of the Holy Spirit along the Bible and its
composition, inspiration and canonical order, begins with a structure which has
two Testaments, and is in the first one where the book, or books of Psalms are
found. Psalms is part of the Poetical Books of Israel which are used in the
spiritual life, and as inspiration for the Kingdom of God and of Yahshua, Jesus
Christ, and therefore for the Church.
Psalms follow the premise of "The Worship of the Just!.
Furthermore, Psalms is considered as the "Hymnary inspired by God", one, only has to read them to find this
is true. It is a
whole collection of hymns, worship and spiritual songs which come from the heart
of the life of Israel, and are applicable to the life of the believer. There are
several types of Psalms, some dedicated to
worship, others to praise, to
lamentations, to thanksgiving and others to didactic. From them we have some
famous hymns. The story that shows,
in a wider way, the richness of Psalms, is the spiritual life of king David,
his worship to God, his devotion to his God, the way in which he shows his
heart, totally devoted in full confidence and great faith in Him. Stories like
the victory over Goliath the philistine, the conquests of the wars against the
enemies of Israel, the unification of the kingdoms of Judah and of Israel, the
conquests of the Land and the peace and prosperity achieved under the guidance
of God Almighty, prove how important is a heart that loves God.
All the historic narrative included in Psalms, has helped
believers through history, and helps us in our days to look to God in praise and
worship in all our circumstances, whether favourable or adverse, as long as we
trust God. The truth is that Psalms comfort us, inspire and give us breath
in all circumstances of life, through all feelings in each of the experiences,
from sin to repentance, to salvation and service to God. We see our selves in the
defeats and victories, in the doubts and in the confidence in God. One of the
Psalms that best shows this says:
"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" Psalms 103:1-2.
As well as the several authors of the five books of Psalms
that we will see, we will be able to prove how, as a whole, is one of the most
venerated books by Jews and Christians, independently of denominations. Each one
of the five books is linked to each of the five books of the Pentateuch. In the
Hebrew canon they are very important, being one of the three parts in which it
is divided, what for Christians is the Old Testament.
Jesus Christ, Yahshua, himself refers to Psalms in many
occasions. But the most relevant is how He cites Psalms in a period as important
as His Passion during the Passover in which Hi gave His life. In the Christology
Purpose, Psalms expose the entire life of Jesus Christ, from His birth, Passion
until the Kingdom. Afterwards the apostles would cite Psalms to prove that
all was written and that the Christ had to suffer and rise as it was written of
Him in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets and the Psalms.
PSALMS. TITLE - AUTHORS - TIME
The one hundred and fifty Psalms, divided in five books, are
part of the poetical books of Israel and of the Church. This is the "Hymnary
inspired by God" with the divine purpose to provide man with a spiritual
expression guided by the Holy Spirit for the personal relationship with God in
every circumstance of life.
The name "Psalms" is translated from the Hebrew word "Tehillim"
which means "Praise" like in the Ferrara Bible translated to Spanish form
Hebrew. In the order of the Hebrew Bible, Psalms is part of the Scriptures or "Ketubim".
In the Greek Bible "Septuagint" we find that the word "Psalms" comes from "Psalmoi",
taken from the Hebrew "Mizmoi" which means
tanning, in reference to a chord
instrument; nothing more adequate for praise, especially if we remember the
harp of king David. In the same way we find "Psalmoi" in the Greek New
The authors of the Psalms, although it is a popular thought
that David was the only author, they were: David, Asaph, the Sons of Korah,
Solomon, Heman Ezrahite, Ethan Ezrahite, Moses, and a number of about fifty
anonymous. David "Beloved of Yahweh" who served as king, pastor, musician and warrior
(1Samuel 16:18) has seventy three Psalms attributed, according to the
erudite: 3-9, 11-32, 34-41, 51-65, 68-70, 86, 101, 103, 108-110, 122, 124, 131,
133 (about the unction with oil for consecration of the priests in Exodus and
Leviticus), 138-145. Then Asaph "Collector" who served as prophet, priest, director
of the service of songs in the tabernacle in times of king David (1Cronicals
6:39; 2Cronicals 29:30) has twelve Psalms attributed; 50, 73-83. The
Sons of Korah "Bald"
who served as priests, singers and musicians, have ten Psalms
attributed: 42, 44-49, 84-85, 87. King Solomon (1Kings 4:31) who served as king
of Israel and wise, Psalm 72 and 127 are attributed. Heman, Ezrahite, "Loyal"
served as wise (1Kings 4:31) Psalm 88 is
attributed. Ethan Ezrahite "Perseverance" who served as wise (1Kings 4:31) Psalm 89 is
attributed. And Moses "Son of the Water" who served as prince, pastor and
deliverer, Psalm 90 is attributed. The fifty Psalms left are anonymous: 1-2, 10,
33, 43, 66-67, 71, 91-100, 102, 104-107, 111-121, 123, 125-126, 128-130, 132,
The time in which Psalms were written covers
approximately one thousand years, although the majority of Psalms are of the
kingdoms of David and Solomon. Moses, around the 1.400 b.C. wrote his Psalms 90,
and David about 1.000 b.C. Solomon about the 950 b.C. The prophets in the exile
and the return, between 722 and 450 b.C. This calls our attention because they
are all times in which Israel has lived an intense experience. With Moses, the
Exodus, the Law and the Promised Land. With the kings David and Solomon the
splendour of the nation. And with the prophets in the exile and return, between
the sadness of those who cried the past splendour, the Temple, the nation and more
than all the blessing of God, and the happiness for the order of God to bless
them to go back and build the walls and the city of Jerusalem, culminating with
the reconstruction of the Temple of the Lord. It is in those Psalms that we feel
the claim of those who love God and the Promised Land, especially Jerusalem.
SUBJECT AND PURPOSE OF PSALMS
Psalms mainly refer to the worship of the just in an
integrity manner, as a follower of God. They show us how to worship God in the
different circumstances of life, always blessing God and seeking His blessing.
They give hope to the believer to hold him in worshiping God. Psalms are the
ideal sample of worship to God from the soul, the same act of worshiping God,
whether in a private and intimate way through prayer, as well as publicly with music.
Psalms are centred in worshiping the character and the works
of God, but also in a new life with a personal relationship with God. It is
about thanksgiving to God for His blessings and for being able to communicate
with Him in our lives, like in the "Song of Victory" of Psalm 18:
"I will love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock
and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My
shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord,
who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. Psalm 18: 1-3.
TYPES OF PSALMS
The Psalms of the first book tend to be personal from 1-41.
Books I and III from 42-89 are national, and those of books IV and V, from
90-150 are liturgical for the congregation. This is the classification done by K.F. Kirkpatrick, in his "Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges” where he
73-150 from Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, D.J. Wiseman” as Paul
Hoff does in his "Prophetic Books".
In groups, we could present Psalms in the following way:
"Hallelujah" type, about Hymns of Worship: 106, 111-117, 135, 146-150. "Todah"
type, about Thanksgiving: 16, 18, 100 y 119. "Didactic" type, about Teaching:
1, 5, 7, 15, 17, 50, 73, 94 and 101. "Historic" type, about List of God's Works:
78, 81, 105-106 y 136. "Penitential" type, about the Penitent who repents: 6, 32, 38,
51, 102, 130 and 143. "Supplication" about Prayer: 86, 90 and 102. "Messianic"
type, about Prophecy: 22-24, 41, 45, 68, 72, 110 and 118. “Nature” type, about Creation: 8,
19, 29, 33, 65 and 104. “Imprecatory” type, about Revenge: 35, 52, 58-59, 69, 83,
94, 109, 137, 139 and 140. “Theocratic” type, about Hymns to the King of kings:
95 to 100. “Hal-lel” type, about Worship and Hymns for Passover: 113 to 118. And
those of “Gradual Songs” about Peregrination: 120 to 134. From them Psalm
114, as Hymn for Passover begins like this:
"When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a
people of strange language, Judah became His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion.
The sea saw it and fled."
This Psalm is a poetry to express an image, as this is the
way poets think. The Biblical poet tries to avoid the abstract and that the type
of verse of parallelism, typical in the Bible, make us experience feelings in
relation with God, and the emotional significance with Him. Through
metaphors, a Greek work that means "transport" they expose the figure of God
like, maybe the sun and shield of us; this is when we must live it to assume it
and feel it in our souls.
THE FIVE BOOKS OF PSALMS
The book of Psalms is subdivided into five books that can be
classified following the thematic of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the
Bible, attributed to Moses. Book I (Psalms 1-41 (41)) refers to Genesis, being
focused on the person, it shares the focus on "Man". It deals with the Creation
and the Fall. Almost all are of David. Book II (42-72 (31)), refers to Exodus,
being focused in "Israel". It deals with Ruin and Redemption. Composed by
David and the Sons of Korah. Book III (73-89 (17)), refers to Leviticus for the
"Sanctuary". Deals with Worship in the Temple. Most are of Asaph. Book IV
(90-106 (17)), refers to Numbers, due to the Desert. Deals with Danger and the
Protection of God. Its author is mostly anonymous. And lastly Book V (107-150
(44)), refers to Deuteronomy, due to the "Law". Deals with Worship and the Word.
Most of these Psalms are of David.
Last, in base of the structure of the five books we can deal
with the main subject of Psalms: "The Worship of the Just" in each book with
respect to the Pentateuch. Book I based in Genesis brings us Psalms for Worship
of Steam. Book II based in Exodus brings us Psalms for Worship of Surprise. Book III based in Leviticus, brings us Psalms for Worship of Ceremony.
Book IV based in Numbers, brings us Psalms of Worship of Submission. And book V
based in Deuteronomy, brings us Psalms for Worship of Praise, most of them
called Hallelujahs and Hal-leles, as well as Gradual Songs. These, in
particular, as C.S. Lewis sais prove that Psalms were composed to be sang.
PROPHECY OF THE PASSION OF THE
CHRIST YAHSHUA IN PSALMS
The messianic prophecy fulfilled in the person of Jesus
Christ during His passion in His crucifixion on the Cross of
Golgotha, also provides the
doctrine of expiation of sin, of redemption, and God's justice executed, and
therefore the doctrine of salvation through His blood shed. And it is so, that
king David, as well as a warrior and loyal servant of God, is known to have received
prophecy from God, which we find in some of the Psalms, like
about the expected Messiah. But, not only the Passion of Christ is declared, but
His glory through His victory through His work on the Cross, which takes us to the
end of days and the awaited Kingdom of God and of Christ.
Psalm 22 begins with the famous words of Jesus crucified and
calling on the Father, mentioning salvation, and God's holiness in the third
verse -out of the Temple while the veil was torn in the Temple- a fundamental
doctrine, as God is holy and man must worship Him exclusively, leaving all
idolatry, living a life of obedience to His holy Word, which includes the Law
and the Grace.
A summary of the verses in Psalm 22 which determines the
doctrines which we have listed above could be: Verses 1&2: Justice of God who
punishes sin. In His Son He charges the sin of all, freeing us from slavery to
sin, as in the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. This is a fundamental doctrine,
because a just God must make the payment of sin be paid, and
this, in the sacrifice
of His Son Jesus Christ, Yahshua, that we look into, as the Lord Himself, while
on the Cross, mentions these words.
1My God, my God,
why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me,
and from the words of my roaring? 2O my God, I cry in the daytime,
but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3But
thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Verses 6-10: Prophecy fulfilled in Christ, about His
rejection and hate suffered, being that neither the people of Israel nor the
gentiles received Him initially. But there is more in the prophetical doctrine,
and it is so that a Word that is true prophecy on behalf of God, creator of
heaven and earth, is the best evidence to prove that it is so. Verse 10 is about
the virginal birth of Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit, as a project of God
to send His Son to the world to save us, as the lamb of God that takes away the
sin of the world. Verses 14&15; Prophecy about the passion, crucifixion and
death of the Messiah announced almost a millennium before it happened. Connects
with the first verse. Verse 21: The victory of Christ over sin after His
resurrection assures His
second coming to reign. The doctrine of the second coming. Verse 22 is about the
doctrine of the Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to the nations and the
worship of the Church as a community.
...10I was cast upon thee from the womb:
art my God from my mother’s belly... ...14I am poured out like
water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in
the midst of my bowels (an effect of Crucifixion). 15My strength is dried up like a potsherd;
and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of
death. 16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have
inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17I may tell all my
bones: they look and stare upon me. 18They part my garments
among them, and cast lots upon my vesture... ...22I will declare thy
name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Verse 25: The Holy Spirit talks -doctrine of Trinity- about
the glories of the Kingdom. As we find God's project is made through the three
Persons of the Trinity. Verse 26 deals with Christian charity and with the hope of
those who trust in God. Also it is about living for ever, the doctrine of
eternal life. 27 is about the doctrine of universality of the Gospel, as they
shall come amongst the nations and will worship Him. Because, as verse 28 tells
the Kingdom is of God and of His Son Jesus Christ - Yahshua, not only as the
lamb of God, but also as the
lion of Judah. The Kingdom,
both the eternal Kingdom and
of the Kingdom of the millennium of Christ, fit as a doctrine and with no contradiction. Verse 31: Psalm 22 closes with the seventh word of Christ on
the Cross: "it is done" or what
means the same, "He did it all" all told in Psalm
22 and more, which declares the divinity of the Son, as Creator.
...26The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they
shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. 27All
the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the
kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. 28For the kingdom
is the LORD’S: and He is the governor among the nations.
In deed Psalm 22 is very complete doctrinally, prophetically
and as a message of the Holy Spirit; but in the New Testament, that relationship
with the Holy Spirit achieves its culmination as it tells us about baptism,
immersion in the Spirit of God. This is when we become temples of the living God
through the work prophesised in Psalm 22.
or collection of Psalms which we have enjoyed during this exposition about the
origin, purpose, authority, thematic and history, are the best Biblical
reflexion about how God deals with His Creation, from Man to the most
insignificant thing. This perspective captivates the heart of the believer and
it brings it to become a disciple, in part of the wife of the Husband for the
weddings of the Lamb, Revelation 19:9 and 22:17.
Psalms shows the attributes of God in all His splendour, His
omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, mercy and great love for man. Shows the
relationship of God with Creation, and the sublime proposal of nature to reflect
the greatness and the glory of the Creator. Shows the relationship of God with
man and the immortal spirit that God has given us, and how God chooses those He
loves in His sovereignty. Even as sinners, God can redeem and save us for
eternity, and make us for eternity and make us to His image and likeness
spiritually, as well. The nations will come and praise Him. Psalm 67:5 and 6
tells that God is Father of orphans and widows, who makes the forsaken live
in family, and frees the captives to prosperity. Psalms, shows the life of ultra
tomb, the hope of resurrection and the glory of the Messiah who will come to
save those who love God for the coming Kingdom. And also, Psalms deals with the
doctrinal problem of evil, the fall of man in sin and the consequences of living
aside of God.
Finally we must remember that Psalms has three purposes: The
Historical Purpose as it was the Hymnary for worship in the Jewish Temple in the annual
calendar. The Doctrinal Purpose including each and all Biblical doctrines, first of all
God, and all those that are for the life of the believer. And the Christological
Purpose that we have seen developed, especially, in Psalm 22 about the Passion
of the Christ. But not only is the Passion exposed in Psalms, but the birth in
104:4; the humiliation in 8:4; the Deity
in 45:6; the ministry in 69:9; the
rejection in 118:22; the betrayal in 41:19; the crucifixion in 22; the
resurrection in 22:16; the ascension in 68:18 and finally the Kingdom in 102:26.
The group of doctrines that we find in Psalms and that we have seen that begin
with the expiatory death of the promised Messiah, for the sins of humanity,
continues, through the life of the Son of God, with the doctrines of: God, The
Bible, Jesus Christ, Love of God, Salvation, Sin, Gospel, Church, Holiness,
Israel, Return of Christ, Final Judgment, Heaven and Hell, Eternal Life, Kingdom
Truly Psalms is a real heavenly jewel revealed to the man who
loves God and praises Him with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his
mind, and with all his might. Let it be Psalm 23 our reference and closing:
Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Amen"