Introduction to the book of Psalms

The first series of chiasms will be from the Book of Psalms. The book of Psalms is a collection of writings from different authors over a large span of time. These books were collected into a single collection to be used in worship and praise. It is organized into five books (sections) and these five books are organized as a chiastic.

Book 1 – The Enduring Kingdom

   Book 2 – Lament/Judgement of YHWH

      Book 3 – Deliverance

   Book 4 – Praise/Sovereignty of YHWH 

Book 5 – The Enduring Mercy of YHWH

These writings are human and divine; historic and prophetic. This dichotomy should not be surprising – YHWH Was, and Is, and Is to Come (Rev. 1:8) His Word is from everlasting to everlasting (Ps 106:48). Therefore, since YHWH exists outside of time, it makes sense for there to be multiple interpretations of a single psalm. 

Psalm 51 is a great example. David begs for a clean heart. This WAS very true for David. He was crying out for forgiveness for his sin.  It IS very true for us today. We need our hearts of stone replaced with a clean heart of flesh. This WILL BE true in times to come. We will be purged with hyssop once and for all and the walls of Jerusalem will be rebuilt.

Each book will begin with an overview of the organization and context, followed by a breakdown of the individual psalms for deeper understanding. At the end of each book, we will review the structure to add insight from the studies.

There will be three layers of analysis for the individual psalms: structural, complex, and interpretive. First, the overall structure will be identified and described. The complex analysis will explore the deeper themes hidden in the language and patterns of the psalm.  Finally, the interpretive analysis will search for thematic connections throughout Scripture. A final summary will reassemble the layers in a meaningful way.

A PDF version all posts will be available. The PDF will contain color coding and images to better illustrate certain ideas. The PDF files can be found in the Chiasms Tab at the top of the MessiLife page.

I pray through this study, you hear the voice of YHWH calling you to His purpose, His way, His kingdom.

Cynthia Simo  

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