The Psalms were written by various authors spanning a time period of almost 1000 years. Among the authors were Moses, David and Solomon, and also priests or Levites who were responsible for providing music for sanctuary worship during David's reign. Fifty of the psalms designate no specific person as author. The oldest psalm in the collection is probably Psalm 90, the prayer of Moses and the latest psalm is probably 137, a song of mourning written when the Israelites were being held captive. The book of Psalms is a compilation of prayers, poems, and hymns that focus on praising and adoring God. Some were used in worship services of ancient Israel. According to Talmudic tradition, psalms were sung by the Levites immediately after the daily pouring of the wine offering. The word Psalm comes from the Greek word psalmoi meaning pious songs. The Hebrew title is Tehilim which means “hymns of praise.” There are several types of Psalms, among them are hymns of praise, instructional hymns, and funereal songs.
The New Testament illustrates virtually the whole history of salvation in the light of the Psalms.
Jesus is the Son of God: Psalm 2:7, 22:10
Jesus is the Shepherd: Psalm 23
Jesus spoke in parables: Psalm 78:2
Jesus calmed the storm: Psalm 89:9
Jesus was rejected: Psalm 69:8, 20
Jesus was conspired against: Psalm 31:13
Jesus was betrayed by Judas: Psalm 41:9, 55: 12 – 14
Jesus was crucified: Psalm 22:1,2,7,8, Psalm 89:50-51, 69:21, Psalm 22:14-18, 129:3, Psalm 34:20
Jesus conquered death: Psalm 16:10, Psalm 68: 18, Psalm 118: 20, Psalm 110:1, Psalm 80:17
Jesus is the King of Righteousness: Psalm 110:4
Jesus will judge the nations: Psalm 89: 3 – 5
His reign is eternal: Psalm 89: 35 – 37
He will rule the Earth: Psalm 72: 8, 11
He will judge the Earth: Psalm 98:9, 50:4
The New Testament as a whole has 224 separate passages from 103 different psalms. Some passages appear in different places making a total of 280 psalm quotations in the New Testament.
I’ve studied the acrostic verses in Psalms before studying each book of scripture because they are linked to each Hebrew letter and to each book of scripture in a supernaturally amazing relationship (see Crossing theScriptures). To explain again, the acrostic (or alphabetic) verses are when the writer has used the letters of the Hebrew alphabet as the initial letter for a sequence of verses. Starting each verse or stanza with the next consecutive letter may have been an easier way of memorizing Scripture, but it is also an astounding proof that God has ordered the books of the Bible to fit with the key alphabetic words revealed in these special verses. Acrostics occur in Psalms 111 and 112, where each letter begins a line; in Psalms 25, 34, and 145, where each letter begins a verse; and in Psalm 37, where each letter begins every other whole verse with 4 exceptions where the letter starts 1 or 3 verses for a total of 40 verses. Psalm 119 is the most elaborate manifestation of the acrostic method where, in each section of eight verses, the same opening letter is used, and the twenty-two sections of the psalm move through the Hebrew alphabet, letter after letter. There are 176 verses, 8 verses for each of the 22 Hebrew letters. The first 8 verses each start with the Hebrew letter Aleph, the next 8 with Bet and so on through the alphabet (alephbet). We have lost the amazing beauty of the psalm in translation.