Psalm 150 – End: Summary of God’s Praises & Non-Canoncial Psalms

1 4341 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6 Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

An exhortation to praise God with all sorts of instruments.  Praising God in His sanctuary with everything that has breath.

Non-Canoncial Psalms 

3 Cave 3
Cave 3
The Copper Scroll was found in this cave in 1952. This was the only scroll photographed in situ.
The Copper Scroll is on display in the Amman Museum and lists 63 treasures hidden in the Judean wilderness and Jerusalem area.
2 Cave 7 right 8 left
Cave 7 (right), 8 (left)
Everything found in Cave 7 was in Greek, including a copy of the book of Exodus.

The cave collapsed shortly after the scrolls were hidden.

In Cave 8 archaeologists discovered a mezuzah, fragments of Genesis, fragments of Psalms, and dozens of squares of small leather strips.

The worker who lived here had the job of making these strips.

Among the ancient texts of the Bible scholars they sometimes encounter psalms not found in the Hebrew Bible.  A Syriac medieval Psalter includes five Apocryphal psalms numbered 151 to 155.  Psalm 151 also appears in numerous ancient versions (Greek, Latin, Ethiopic, and others).

Cave 11 of Qumran contained Hebrew versions of Ps 151, 154, and 155, and several others non-canonical psalms were discovered in caves 4 and 11.  This gives rise to the obvious question of whether these psalms were overlooked and should have been included in the Scriptures.

Psalm 151 is a pseudo-autobiographical account of the early life of David drawn from 1 Samuel, although the Hebrew version also includes some material not found in the Greek.

The Hebrew of Ps 151 includes, “The mountains do not testify to him [the LORD], and the hills do not tell [of him].  The trees praise my words and the flocks [praise] my deeds.”

Perhaps those lines were edited out of the Greek version on the grounds that they were unorthodox or simply made no sense.  Some of the non-canonical psalms have borrowed from the Biblical psalms and maintain their poetic conventions. 

4 Randall Price holding the sealed jar from Qumran.
Randall Price holding the sealed jar from Qumran.
An article set to appear in the journal Archaeometry reveals that it contains gypsum, a soft mineral used to make plaster.

For example, Ps 154 and 155 are pleas to God for help and are analogous to the Biblical Ps 1, 62, and 63Psalm 155 opens with the words: “LORD, I have called to you; hear me,” in the tradition of Ps 61:1 and 63:1. 

The reason these psalms were not included in the Bible is simply that they were written too late.  Their presence at Qumran and elsewhere indicates that liturgists continued to create songs of praise in imitation of the psalms after the canon had closed. 

In fact, we even see psalm-like songs of praise in the New Testament (e.g., Lk 1:46-55).

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