"THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK AS A WHOLE"
Bible Study is
is provided by http://www.theseason.org/ and
shared with permission from it's author R. Christopherson
In the early manuscript and the Massoretic authorities divide the book of the Psalms into five books, The Midrash on Psalms 1:1 says; "Moses gave to the Israelites the five books of the Law; and corresponding with these David gave them the five books of the Psalms." Just as the structure of each of the hundred and fifty Psalms is perfect in itself, we can expect this same perfection within each of the five books that comprise the book as a whole.
Many attempts have been made from ancient times to discover the reason for the classification of the Psalms under these five books, and the five books that we have divide the Psalms into is quite close to the others. It is certain that the order that I have put these into, according to the Companion Bible, is the same as it was when they were in the hands of our Lord, and were quoted from by Him, and by the Holy Spirit through the Evangelists and Apostles. Then when Paul, by the leading of the Holy Spirit expressly talks about "the second Psalm", it puts the order stated here upon sure ground.
Also note that each of the five books comprising the book of the Psalms corresponds to the five books of Moses, in both its subject and in their endings. So lets take a look at the layout and comparison of the Book of Psalms to the five books of the Pentateuch written by Moses.
A: Chapters 1-41; THE GENESIS BOOK: CONCERNING MAN. The counsels of God concerning Himself. All blessings bound up in obedience [1:28]; Obedience is man's "tree of life" [1:3 - 2:16]. Disobedience brought ruin [chapter 2 with Gen 3]; The ruin repaired only by the Son of Man in His atoning work as the seed of the woman [Ps.8 with Gen. 3:15], and the book concludes with a Benediction and double "Amen".
B. Chapters 42-72; THE EXODUS BOOK: CONCERNING ISRAEL AS A NATION. The counsels of God concerning Israel's Ruin, Israel's Redeemer, and Israel's Redemption [Exodus 15:13]. [Psalms 68:4 with Ex. 15:3] "Yah". It begins with Israel cry for deliverance, and ends with Israel's king reigning over the redeemed nation. The book concludes with a Benediction and a double "Amen".
C. Chapters 73-89; THE LEVITICUS BOOK: CONCERNING THE SANCTUARY. The counsels of God concerning the Sanctuary in its relation to man, and the Sanctuary in relation to Yehovah. The Sanctuary, Congregation, Assembly, or Zion, are referred to in nearly every Psalm. The book concludes with a Benediction and a double "Amen"
D. Chapters 90-106; THE BOOK OF NUMBERS: CONCERNING ISRAEL AND THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH. The counsels of God concerning the Earth, showing that there is no hope or rest for the nations of the Earth apart from Yehovah. It's figures and similes are from this worked as a wilderness, in reference to mountains, hill, floods, grass, trees, pestilence, etc. This book begins with the prayer of Moses [the man in the wilderness] Psalms 90, and closes with Israel's rebellions in the wilderness [Psalms 106. Note "the new Song" for "all the earth" in Psalms 96:11, where the theme is contained in one sentence which an Acrostic, spelling the "YehovaH". "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad" are the initials of the four Hebrew words making his sentence to form an acrostic here; giving the four letters of the word Yehovah [Y H V H]. This book concludes with a Benediction and "Amen, Hallelujah".
E. Chapters 107-150; THE BOOK OF
CONCERNS GOD AND HIS WORD. The counsels of God concerning His
Word, showing that all blessing for Man [book 1], all blessings for
Israel [book 2], all blessings for the Earth and the Nations [book
4]bound up with living on the Word of God [Deuteronomy 8:3].
Disobedience to Yehovah's words was the source of Man's sorrows,
Israel's dispersion, the Sanctuary's ruin, and Earth's miseries.
The book begins with Ps. 107, and in verse 20 we read, "He
sent His Word and healed them", and it concludes with five
Psalms [one for each of the five books], each Psalm beginning and
ending with "Hallelujah".
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