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Psalm 88

Note: this psalm can be divided into three parts, not  by the selah but by three appeals to YHWH. Each A section has reference to day or morning and words designating prayers. The B sections refer to death. The first and third have C sections which refer to acquaintances. Darkness also threads through the psalm.

A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician
upon Mahalath Leannoth,  Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.

1A. 1 O LORD God of my salvation,
I have cried day and night before thee:
2 Let my prayer come before thee:
incline thine ear unto my cry;

1B. 3 For my soul is full of troubles:
and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit:
I am as a man that hath no strength:
5 Free among the dead,
like the slain that lie in the grave,
whom thou rememberest no more:
and they are cut off from thy hand.
6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit,
in darkness, in the deeps.
7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me,
and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.

C. 8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me;
thou hast made me an abomination unto them:
I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction:

2A. LORD, I have called daily upon thee,
I have stretched out my hands unto thee.

2B. 10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead?
shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.
11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave?
or thy faithfulness in destruction?
12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark?
and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

3A. 13 But unto thee have I cried, O LORD;
and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

3B. 14 LORD, why castest thou off my soul?
why hidest thou thy face from me?
15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up:
while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.
16 Thy fierce wrath goeth over me;
thy terrors have cut me off.
17 They came round about me daily like water;
they compassed me about together.

3C. 18 Lover and friend hast thou put far from me,
and mine acquaintance into darkness.

Psalm 84

To the chief Musician upon Gittith,
A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

A. 1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD:
my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house,
and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.
4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:
they will be still praising thee. Selah.

B. 5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee;
in whose heart are the ways of them.
6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well;
the rain also filleth the pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer:
give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

A’. 9 Behold, O God our shield,
and look upon the face of thine anointed.
10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand.
I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God,
than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield:
the LORD will give grace and glory:
no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Psalm 80

Note the three refrains are not identical because the designation of The Lord goes from “God” to “God of hosts” to YHWH God of hosts”. Where we might expect a refrain at verse 14 we have a muted “Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts”.

To the chief Musician upon Shoshannimeduth, A Psalm of Asaph.

1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
thou that leadest Joseph like a flock;
thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh
stir up thy strength,
and come and save us.

3 Turn us again, O God,
and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

4 O LORD God of hosts,
how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
5 Thou feedest them with the bread of tears;
and givest them tears to drink in great measure.
6 Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours:
and our enemies laugh among themselves.

7 Turn us again, O God of hosts,
and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt:
thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
9 Thou preparedst room before it,
and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it,
and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea,
and her branches unto the river.

12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges,
so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?
13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it,
and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.

14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts:

A’. look down from heaven, and behold,
and visit this vine;
15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted,
and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down:
they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand,
upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
18 So will not we go back from thee:
quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts,
cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Jeremiah 12:14-17*

from Lundbom

A. 14 … Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah

B. from among them.

C. 15 And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.

C’. 16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD liveth; as they taught my people to swear by Baal;

B’. then shall they be built in the midst of my people.

A’. 17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up (uproot, uproot) and destroy that nation, saith the LORD.

Psalm 25

Note: this acrostic Psalm divides into five part according to the one spoken to or about,  and there is a neat parallel between the description of the Covenant God who will teach sinners (B) and the exhortation to sinners to enter into that covenant (B’). There are also other themes that are not specified here such as the correspondence between the needs of the psalmist in A and the character of God in B. Note that the AV   “teach” and “way” and “trust” and “mercy” obscures the use of different Hebrew words. [We also note that Dorsey has this Psalm as a 7 part symmetry (see below) centring on the character of YHWH. ]

A Psalm of David.

A. Plea to YHWH
1 Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed,
let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: 
let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:
for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses;
for they have been ever of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions:
according to thy mercy remember thou me
for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.

B. About YHWH – He keep covenant
8 Good and upright is the LORD:
therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9 The meek will he guide in judgment:
and the meek will he teach his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth
unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

C. Plea to YHWH for forgiveness
11 For thy name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

B’. Counsel to sinners – fear YHWH and enter into covenant
12 What man is he that feareth the LORD?
him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
13 His soul shall dwell at ease;
and his seed shall inherit the earth.
14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him;
and he will shew them his covenant.
15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD;
for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

A’. Plea to YHWH
16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me;
for I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged:
O bring thou me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain;
and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many;
and they hate me with cruel hatred.
20 O keep my soul, and deliver me:
let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me;
for I wait on thee.
22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.


Compare  DA Dorsey

A. Introductory cry for help
1 Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed,
let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed:
let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

B. YHWH teach me your ways
4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me:
for thou art the God of my salvation;
on thee do I wait all the day.

C. Plea for forgiveness
6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses;
for they have been ever of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions:
according to thy mercy remember thou me
for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.

D. YHWH’s good and gracious character
8 Good and upright is the LORD:
therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9 The meek will he guide in judgment:
and the meek will he teach his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth
unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

C’. Plea for forgiveness
11 For thy name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

B’. YHWH will teach his followers in the way
12 What man is he that feareth the LORD?
him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
13 His soul shall dwell at ease;
and his seed shall inherit the earth.
14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him;
and he will shew them his covenant.

A’. Concluding cry for help
15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD;
for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me;
for I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged:
O bring thou me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain;
and forgive all my sins.
19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many;
and they hate me with cruel hatred.
20 O keep my soul, and deliver me:
let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me;
for I wait on thee.

Addendum
Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Jeremiah 4:19-21

after  Lundbom

A. 19 My bowels, my bowels!

B. I am pained at my very heart;

B’. my heart maketh a noise in me;

A”. I cannot hold my peace,

A. because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.

B. 20 Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled:

B’. suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.

A’. 21 How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?

Psalm 7

From Dorsey with additional division of D. 

Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.

A. 1 O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust:
save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion,
rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.

B. David innocent – 3 O LORD my God, if I have done this;
if there be iniquity in my hands;
4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me;
(yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it;
yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.

C. 6 Arise, O LORD, in thine anger,
lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies:
and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
7 So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about:
for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
8 The LORD shall judge the people:

D. a. judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness,
and according to mine integrity that is in me.

b. 9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end;
but establish the just:

a’. for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.

C’. 11 God judgeth the righteous,
and God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword;
he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death;
he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.

B’. Cush guilty – 14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity,
and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit, and digged it,
and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His mischief shall return upon his own head,
and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

A’. 17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness:
and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Psalm 91

Note: The Psalm may be divided according to the voice speaking and the one spoken to (Christ) who also trusts in YHWH.

Psalmist of Christ
1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalmist’s personal declaration of faith
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.

Psalmist speaks about what YHWH will do for Christ
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers,
and under his wings shalt thou trust:
his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Psalmist speaks of the blessings to be experience by Christ
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side,
and ten thousand at thy right hand;
but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold
and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge,
even the most High, thy habitation;
10 There shall no evil befall thee,
neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

Psalmist speaks  about  what YHWH will do for Christ
11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.
12 They shall bear thee up in their hands,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Psalmist speaks of the blessings to be experience by Christ
13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder:
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

YHWH speaks
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him:
I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him:
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him,
and shew him my salvation.

Psalm 75

Note: the structure of this psalm is challenging. The Hebrew words for “lifted up/promotion/exalt” and for “horns” are repeated but  do not seem to define the structure. The reference to horns in v10 is a summary of the “judgment” that will become evident after the judge of all the earth is ruling. 

To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph.

A. 1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks,
unto thee do we give thanks:
for that thy name is near
thy wondrous works declare.

B. 2 When I shall receive the congregation
I will judge uprightly.
3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved:
I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.

C. 4 I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly:
and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:
5 Lift not up your horn on high:
speak not with a stiff neck.

C’. 6 For promotion cometh neither from the east,
nor from the west, nor from the south.

B’. 7 But God is the judge:
he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red;
it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same:
but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

A’. 9 But I will declare for ever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off;
but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.