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PRE FACE

THE book of Psalms is a collection of facred Hymns, composed by David, Afaph, and others; but called the Psalms of David, because he was the author of by much the greater part of them. The next author to David, to whom the greatest number of Psalms is ascribed, is Afaph; for there are twelve that bear his name. Eleven are attributed to the fons of Korah ; for since thefe Pfalms are inscribed* to them in the same form of words, as those of David are to him, we have the same reason for concluding, that they were ascribed to them as the authors, not merely as the persons who fung them. Besides these authors, we find that the xc. Psalm is attributed to Moses; the lxxxix. to Ethân, the lxxxviii. to Heman, and the cxlvi. cxlvii. cxlviii. and cxlix. to Haggai and Zecharias. That Ethan and Heman were musicians appears from i Chron. vi. 33, 44: and xv. 17, 19. They were also learned men, as appears from i Kings. iv. 31. Two

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Psalms also bear the name of Solomon, the lxxii. and cxxvii: but the former, from the concluding clause as well as other considerations, was probably written by David. It is evident, as Bishop Hare observes, that there were different collections of the Psalms made at different times ; at least two, one of which ended with the lxxii. for the concluding verse of that Pfalm is, “ the prayers of “ David, the son of Jesse are ended ;" which could not have had place there, if the following Psalms had been collected at the same time, since eighteen of these Pfalms are attributed to David. This first collection was probably made about the beginning of the Babylonish captivity, because the writer of Pfalm li. prays at the conclusion, that God would build the walls of Jerusalem. Nor is Starck's anfwer to this argument of any force, namely, that the word 793 which signifies to build, only refers to enlarging and amplification of the city, because the Psalmist immediately adds, " then shalt thou be pleaf“ed with the facrifices of righteousness,” &c. that is, “when thou shalt build the walls, our holy rites will “ be renewed,” which could have no fort of relation to the embellishing of the city, or the repairs of any breaches that might have been made in the walls of Jerusalem by David's enemies. The liii. Pfalm confirms the fame thing in the last verse,

« Oh ! “ that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion !

when God bringeth back the captivity of his peo“ple, Jacob fhall rejoice, Ifrael shall be right glad." Another collection was made by Ezra and Nehemiah after the return from captivity, which was the last ; because as Sir Ifaac Newton obferves, we meet with Pfalms as late as the return from the

сарtivity, but with none latér. Nevertheless in this latter collection are Psalms which unquestionably refer even to the time of David, and which had been omitted in the first collection. The division of the Psalms into five books, as in our Bibles at present, is ascribed 10 Ezra; but if it had been made at that time, it would have been more uniformly admitted than we find it has been. Hilary in his prologue to the explication of the Psalms, says, « Some will have the Psalms divided into five books

but we, according to the authority of the Apostles,

write and call it the book of Psalms.” The modern Jews divide the Psalter into seven parts, so that the whole may be read through in a week; and the Arabic version has no distinction of books at all. In fact the present division into five books seems to have been made by the Jews, in order that the Pfalter might thus be, as it were, another Pentas teuch, το ψαλτηριον διειλον εις πεντε βιβλια οι Εβραιοι ωσε ειναι και αυτό αλλην πεντατευχον. Epiphanius De Menf.

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We cannot but fuppofe that originally the Psalms had each the name of the author and the

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