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Bible Old Testament wisdom literature (Job-Song of Songs)

An overview of Old Testament wisdom literature and lists of helpful references for further research and understanding. Prepared by Major Bill Garrett's Messengers of the Kingdom BS104 Class.

How Did Psalms Come Together? (David Kumar)

It is suggested that the time frame for the construction of the Psalms ranged from 1410 BC to 430 BC. The first (Psalm 90) written by Moses during the 40 years in the wilderness would have been the first. The majority of Psalms were written during the reign of King David and King Solomon. (1010 BC-930 BC).

The word psalms comes from the Greek word psalmoi. It suggests the idea of a “praise song,” as does the Hebrew word tehillim.

I would suggest that over time scribes would put together these books and more and more writings would be added over time. (Ex: Moses’ Psalm in ch.90 was written way before all this was compiled, but yet at some point was added to the collection.

Online Reference (Nereus Mogaria)

Book divisions (Shawn)

Book Divisions Explained: 

Divided into 5 sections (1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150).

Each “book” concludes with a doxology. Psalm 150 concludes with a final doxology over the book of Psalms as a whole. 

  • Book I: Psalms 1-41. The first forty-one psalms were probably gathered together during the early days of the Jewish monarchy by either David or Solomon. Book I was basically assigned to David. This first book highlights God’s power in creation (Pss. 8; 19) and is dominated by the themes of sin and redemption.  

  • Book II: Psalms 42-72. These thirty-one psalms were collected and assembled at a later time to form Book II, possibly three hundred years after Book I was compiled during the reign of Judah’s king, Hezekiah (c.715-686 B.C.). If so, the “men of Hezekiah,” an active Bible committee that collected many of the proverbs of Solomon (Prov. 25:1), possibly organized these psalms into a literary unit and added them to Book I. It is also possible that these psalms were collected during the reign of King Josiah (640- 609 B.C.). Interpreters have noted that this second book of psalms focuses upon Israel’s ruin and redemption and thus, can be related to the Book of Exodus. 

  •  Book III: Psalms 73-89. These seventeen psalms were subsequently compiled into Book III, probably during the same era by the men of Hezekiah as previously mentioned for Book II, or by Josiah, sixteenth ruler of the Southern Kingdom (640-609 B.C.). This third book begins with eleven consecutive psalms written by Asaph, a Levite who led one of the temple choirs (Pss. 73-83), and includes a few songs written by David (Pss. 86; 101; 103). These psalms center primarily upon the holiness of Israel’s sanctuary and coincides with the concern of the Book of Leviticus.  

  • Book IV: Psalms 90-106. This cluster of seventeen psalms was collected about two hundred to three hundred years later and added to the first three books, probably during the postexilic days when Israel returned to her land under Ezra (458 B.C.) and Nehemiah (445 B.C.). This division of the Psalms focuses upon Israel’s relapse and recovery in the wilderness, echoing the theme of the Book of Numbers. Appropriately, Book IV begins with Psalm 90, the only psalm written by Moses during Israel’s forty years of wilderness wanderings. This was a severe time of testing recorded in Numbers. Book IV contains the recurring theme of God’s sovereign kingdom which dominates the kingdoms of the nations just as Numbers documents Israel’s relationship to the surrounding nations.  

  • Book V: Psalms 107-150. These last forty-four psalms make up Book V. Like Book IV, they were probably collected and added to the Book of Psalms during the postexilic days of Ezra, almost six hundred years after Book I was collated. This fifth book focuses upon the sufficiency of God’s Word (Ps. 119) and the universal praise due to the Lord’s name (Pss. 146-150), much like the Book of Deuteronomy focuses on God and His Word. 


Book References (Nereus Mogaria)

Se sugiere que el período de tiempo que los Salmos se unieron es entre 1410 aC y 430 aC. El primero (Salmo 90) escrito por Moisés durante los 40 años en el desierto. La mayoría de los salmos fueron escritos durante el reinado del rey David y el rey Salomón. (1010 aC-930 aC).

La palabra salmos proviene de la palabra griega psalmoi. Sugiere la idea de una "canción de alabanza", como lo hace la palabra hebrea tehillim.

Yo sugeriría que con el tiempo los escribas armarían estos libros y se agregarían más y más escritos a lo largo del tiempo. (Ejemplo: el Salmo de Moisés en el capítulo 90 se escribió mucho antes de compilar todo esto, pero en algún momento se agregó a la colección.