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|This is the New King James text of the passages.|
Psalms 1; 2; 15; 22; 23; 24; 47; 68 Listen
The righteous before God compared to the unrighteous (Psalm 1)
1 ¶ Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
In this Psalm we have a comparison between the plight of the righteous and the unrighteous. While it does not say so, many accept that David wrote this Psalm. Verses 1-3 capture the essence of a life committed to God, while verses 4-6 do the same for those who reject God. It's the difference between blessings or cursings.
Here's a Messianic Psalm (Psalm 2)
1 ¶ Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The LORD shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”
7 “I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”
10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.
This Psalm gets considerable mention in the New Testament with regard to Christ. As recorded by all three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22 - see notes), verse 7 of this familiar Psalm seems likely to be the purpose of God's voice from Heaven at the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist saying, "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
We see in Acts the acceptance of David's authorship of Psalms 2. Acts 4:25-28 (see notes) says,
who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: “Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’ “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
We further see in this passage that it was accepted that Psalm 2 was a direct reference to the Messiahship of Christ. Paul also quotes from this Psalm in Acts 13:32-33 (see notes),
And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. [Quoted from Psalm 2:7]
Furthermore, Psalm 2:7 is quoted as a reference to Jesus in Hebrews 1:5 (see notes) as well as Hebrews 5:5 (see notes). Therefore, while not specifically stated in the Psalm itself, this Psalm is most definitely Messianic and refers to Jesus himself as the future Messiah.
What Holy Hill? (Psalm 15)
A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
2 He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the LORD;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
From Expositor's Bible Commentary regarding verse 1:
The complementary usage of sanctuary and your holy hill suggests the background of a pilgrimage to Mount Zion, Gods holy hill. There David had first placed a tent for the ark of the covenant (cf. 2 Sam 6:1-19). On that site the tent was later replaced by the magnificent temple of Solomon. The word sanctuary (ohel tent) is a technical term for the tabernacle of God among Israel.
In this Psalm, David outlines the outward traits of those who have an abiding relationship with God as follows:
David goes from suffering to praise (Psalm 22)
To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Deer of the Dawn.” A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.
3 But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
5 They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
6 But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7 All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 “He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
9 But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
11 Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13 They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
17 I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.
19 But You, O LORD, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20 Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!
You have answered Me.
22 I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
25 My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the LORD.
Let your heart live forever!
27 All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
28 For the kingdom is the LORD’S,
And He rules over the nations.
29 All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.
30 A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this.
David is mentioned in the introductory title as the author of this one.
We see the transition from suffering to praise taking place in verse 25. And notice that Christ draws from this Psalm when he is on the cross in Matthew 27:46 (see notes). At first glance, it would seem that David is talking of his own relationship with God here, and that this passage is not meant to be messianic. However, Jesus' words from the cross were, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" That's an exact quotation of David. This statement identified his suffering with that of David and sealed into the minds of those familiar with the Psalms that this was the Messiah identifying with the suffering of David.
Add to that the messianic implications of verse 18, "They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." This is exactly what the Roman soldiers did after the crucifixion of Jesus in John 19:23-24 (see notes) where John points out to his readers that this is a fulfillment of prophecy i.e. Psalm 22:18. It is for that reason that, whether David was speaking of his own adversities or not, the work of the Messiah was in clear view and recognized as such by the Gospel writers.
The Lord is my shepherd (Psalm 23)
A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
In this familiar Psalm, David personalizes his relationship with God. He expresses the confidence he has in God by the analogy of the good shepherd and his sheep. Christ was certainly depending on the familiarity of the Pharisees with this Psalm when he used this same analogy in John 10:1-21 (see notes). In that passage, the Jewish leadership had forsaken their flock, something a good shepherd would never do.
What you need to know about God (Psalm 24)
A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ The earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
2 For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.
3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive blessing from the LORD,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face.
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
He is the King of glory.
This Psalm of David simply praises the Lord God Jehovah.
Here, we see God is shown in three capacities:
We got a praise song here! (Psalm 47)
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
1 ¶ Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
2 For the LORD Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
3 He will subdue the peoples under us,
And the nations under our feet.
4 He will choose our inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves.
5 God has gone up with a shout,
The LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.
8 God reigns over the nations;
God sits on His holy throne.
9 The princes of the people have gathered together,
The people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
He is greatly exalted.
The authorship of this Psalm is not given. Note the introduction to this Psalm. The Korahites are first listed in Numbers 26:58 (see notes) among the chief Levitical families. In the description of the temple assignments in I Chronicles 26 (see notes) the Korahites are listed as gatekeepers. Notice what is said about the Korahites in the genealogical record found in I Chronicles 6:31 (see notes), "Now these are the men whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of the LORD, after the ark came to rest." The Korahites were David's designated musicians. The Psalm itself is just all about victory!
Yahweh the Divine Warrior (Psalm 68)
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.
1 ¶ Let God arise,
Let His enemies be scattered;
Let those also who hate Him flee before Him.
2 As smoke is driven away,
So drive them away;
As wax melts before the fire,
So let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3 But let the righteous be glad;
Let them rejoice before God;
Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.
4 Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
Extol Him who rides on the clouds,
By His name YAH,
And rejoice before Him.
5 A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.
6 God sets the solitary in families;
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;
But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
7 O God, when You went out before Your people,
When You marched through the wilderness,
8 The earth shook;
The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God;
Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9 You, O God, sent a plentiful rain,
Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance,
When it was weary.
10 Your congregation dwelt in it;
You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.
11 The Lord gave the word;
Great was the company of those who proclaimed it:
12 “Kings of armies flee, they flee,
And she who remains at home divides the spoil.
13 Though you lie down among the sheepfolds,
You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver,
And her feathers with yellow gold.”
14 When the Almighty scattered kings in it,
It was white as snow in Zalmon.
15 A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan;
A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan.
16 Why do you fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks?
This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in;
Yes, the LORD will dwell in it forever.
17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand,
Even thousands of thousands;
The Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place.
18 You have ascended on high,
You have led captivity captive;
You have received gifts among men,
Even from the rebellious,
That the LORD God might dwell there.
19 Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation!
20 Our God is the God of salvation;
And to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.
21 But God will wound the head of His enemies,
The hairy scalp of the one who still goes on in his trespasses.
22 The Lord said, “I will bring back from Bashan,
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
23 That your foot may crush them in blood,
And the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from your enemies.”
24 They have seen Your procession, O God,
The procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary.
25 The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after;
Among them were the maidens playing timbrels.
26 Bless God in the congregations,
The Lord, from the fountain of Israel.
27 There is little Benjamin, their leader,
The princes of Judah and their company,
The princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali.
28 Your God has commanded your strength;
Strengthen, O God, what You have done for us.
29 Because of Your temple at Jerusalem,
Kings will bring presents to You.
30 Rebuke the beasts of the reeds,
The herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples,
Till everyone submits himself with pieces of silver.
Scatter the peoples who delight in war.
31 Envoys will come out of Egypt;
Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God.
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth;
Oh, sing praises to the Lord,
33 To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!
Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.
34 Ascribe strength to God;
His excellence is over Israel,
And His strength is in the clouds.
35 O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places.
The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people.
Blessed be God!
Attributed to David in the introduction, this is one of the longer Psalms. It seems to center around Yahweh, the Divine Warrior, who comes to deliver his people in Mount Zion. This Psalm also has prophetic implications because of its usage (verse 18) by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:8 (see notes), which speaks of the delivery of the Old Testament saints to Heaven by Jesus Christ after his resurrection.
Since this Psalm focuses on the power of God, it is most interesting to note the different Hebrew designations found here for God himself. Most of these are familiar Hebrew-to-English translations with which we are familiar. They are as follows:
This Psalm is rich with allusions to Israel's history of God's provisions for them. Verse 35 nicely summarizes when it says, "O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!"