An apology here.

Due to the broken parts of the DSS Scrolls I have omitted these from the audio files.

Where it became difficult to follow I stopped the audio sections. 



The book of Psalms is the largest and perhaps the most widely used book in the Bible. It explores the full range of human experiences in a very personal and practical way. Written over a lengthy period of Israel's history, the tremendous breadth of subject matter in the Psalms includes topics such as jubilation, war, peace, worship, judgment, messianic prophecy, praise, and lament. The Psalms were set to the accompaniment of stringed instruments and served as the temple hymnbook and devotional guide for the Jewish people.

The book of Psalms was gradually collected and came to be known as the Sepher Tehillim ("Book of Praises"), because almost every psalm contains some note of praise to Yahweh. The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) uses the Greek term Psalmoi as a title for this book, meaning poems sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments, and this word is the basis for the English terms "psalter" and "psalm."

Author: No other book of the Bible has as many different authors as does Psalms. Seventy-three psalms are attributed to David in the superscriptions, and an additional two, Psalms 2 and 95, are ascribed to David in the New Testament. In addition to the seventy-five by David, twelve are ascribed to Asaph, a priest who headed the service of music. Ten were by the sons of Korah, a guild of singers and composers, and other psalms are ascribed to Solomon, Moses, Heman the Ezrahite, and Ethan the Ezrahite. Fifty of the psalms are anonymous, although some of these are traditionally ascribed to Ezra.

Date: The psalms were originally individual poems. With the passing of time these were collected to form smaller books and the book of Psalms in its present form comprises five of these smaller books. The earliest individual psalm is probably that of Moses (Ps. 90); the latest is probably Psalm 137, which could not have been written before the sixth century B.C. Though many of the psalms were written and collected during the Davidic era, or shortly thereafter, the final compilation of Psalms was probably not complete until the latter half of the fifth century B.C. during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (450-425 B.C.).

Themes and Literary Structure: The Psalter is really five books in one, and each book ends with a doxology. A number of different classification systems for psalm types have been developed, systems often based on the content or life-situation of the individual psalms. It is common to speak of psalms of lament, thanksgiving psalms, enthronement psalms, pilgrimage psalms, royal psalms, wisdom psalms, and imprecatory psalms.

The poetry of the Psalms is unsurpassed. The one characteristic of Hebrew poetry most evident is parallelism, the relationship of one line or verse to another. Four of the most important types of Hebrew parallelism are: (1) synonymous parallelism, in which the second line of a couplet repeats the idea of the first line (e.g., Psa 3:1LEB; Psa 24:1LEB); (2) antithetic parallelism, where the thought of the second line is contrasted with that of the first line (e.g., Psa 1:6LEB; Psa 90:6LEB); (3) synthetic parallelism, in which the second line is a further development of the thought begun in the first line (e.g., Psa 1:1LEB; Psa 19:7LEB); (4) and emblematic parallelism, where the second line illustrates the thought of the first line, often by a simile (e.g., Psa 42:1LEB). Nine psalms are alphabetical or acrostic (Pss. 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119, 145). In acrostic psalms each successive line or group of lines begins with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The classic example of an acrostic poem is Psalm 119, in which each of the eight verses in a given stanza begins with the same letter.