Third Book of Psalms - Psalms 73 to 89




The Third Book of Psalms covers SL 73 to 89. They are, above all, prayers of supplication and hymns of thanksgiving to God.

The language of the Psalms is simple and accessible. Through metaphors, parallelisms, repetitions, and other writing techniques, the authors of the Book of Psalms portray the most basic essence of ‘people’ and ‘peoples’ collectively. In human life, a series of experiences of suffering, persecution, despair, violence, and injustice occur. These, as described in the Psalms hundreds of years ago, still mark individuals and societies today, shaping them. That is why the themes related to the First Book of Psalms are timeless and various cultures pray the Psalms with equal faith and devotion.

The Book of Psalms

The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm books. Each book closes with short hymns of praise to God. The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation, supplication, praise, and gratitude. The five Books are:

  • Book I  - Psalms 1 to 41
  • Book II  - Psalms 42 to 72
  • Book III  - Psalms 73 to 89
  • Book IV  - Psalms 90 to 106
  • Book V  - Psalms 107 to 150

The name of  Psalms, given to the one hundred and fifty church songs, is derived from the Greek  Psalmoi and was coined for the Greek translation in the century. III A.C. Before that, it may have had other names in Hebrew such as  Mizmor, a  term meaning “Poetic songs”. De Tefillot’s title, “Prayers” could equally have been in use. Tehillim, which means “Praises”, was the name that eventually prevailed in the Hebrew Bible.

The Word of God and Justice among Men of Peace

The victims’ reaction can trigger the violence of revenge and aggression, perpetuating the chain of evil. The suffering brought about by the brutal experience of evil (the enemy’s persecution, the deadly threat of disease, the frailty of life approaching death, the interior and relational disorder of sin) is the context for the believer/Psalmist to summon for God, asking for help, compassion, help, forgiveness.

From the personal and peoples’ vulnerability, which experience the danger of existence, interior transformation and the belief that it is possible to be reborn in the trust and hope of God’s mercy is born. The pleas that relationship to violence and anguish are already a cry for liberation, a call for help, and a promise of a better future in the goodness of God.

The Third Book of Psalms

The themes of the titles of the Third Book of Psalms are, above all, a glorification of God’s predicates. God, in his infinite wisdom, is the guarantor of justice among the gods and on Earth, among men.

The Psalmist turns to God to cleanse his sorrows and ask for punishment against the wicked and personal and collective enemies. The city of Jerusalem is glorified and the temple that welcomes the spirit of God is proclaimed the palace of palaces.

God is mercy and truth; the perfection of the human world is peace and justice. The idea is to meet and work together in perfect harmony. In the Hebrew world, nothing superseded the concept of justice. ” Mercy and truth will meet, peace and justice will kiss .” (SL 85).

  • Psalm 73 - Retribution for Evil and Good
  • Psalm 74 - Prayer for the Liberation of the People
  • Psalm 75 - God, Judge of the Peoples and the World
  • Psalm 76 - Triumphal Song of Jerusalem
  • Psalm 77 - Meditation on the Past
  • Psalm 78 - The Wonders of God and His People
  • Psalm 79 - Destruction of Jerusalem
  • Psalm 80 - Prayer for the Restoration of Israel
  • Psalm 81 - God’s Eternal Covenant and the Chosen People
  • Psalm 82 - God, Supreme Judge in the Divine Assembly
  • Psalm 83 - The Enemies of God’s People
  • Psalm 84 - Longing for the House of God
  • Psalm 85 - Salvation Is Near: God’s Justice
  • Psalm 86 - The Humble’s Prayer to God
  • Psalm 87 - The Glory of Zion
  • Psalm 88 - Prayer amid suffering
  • Psalm 89 - Messianic Covenant and God’s Celebration

Who Wrote the Psalms?

The earliest collection of Psalms, the oldest, is attributed to King David (Psalms 3–41), the ancestor of Jesus Christ and the most charismatic ruler of the nation of Israel. Another collection attributed to this author is constituted by Psalms 51 to 72, the date on which the exile began.

Psalms 42 to 49 are attributed to the sons of Korah, Levites who served in the temple and report the pilgrimage, and the defeats. Most of them predate the destruction of Jerusalem. King Solomon is the author of at least two Psalms.

Psalms 73 to 83 are attributed to the sons of Asaph, the father of Joah, and a character mentioned in the Old Testament Bible, before the exile. Psalm 50, attributed to Asaf, joins the Davidic collection 3 to 41. Even so, the authorship of many Psalms remains unknown.

The Joy of Living in Communion with God’s Law

The Psalms are poetic prayers addressed to God, known to be the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the common man, with his failures, insecurities, fears, and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received.

The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move, sensitize, awaken feelings, inspire and enchant. In them, we can identify anguish and joy, deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom, and prophetic words.

Written for different situations, some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author’s relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, the rest are compositions for specific holy events such as rituals and pilgrimages.

The Power of Prayer

The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word. Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word, or image addressed to God is called prayer. It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life. Prayer can produce miracles, turn dreams into reality, and give us hope for change, harmony, and peace with ourselves and the world.

Each Psalm and the First Book of Psalms well reflects these principles and has an intention that helps us to meditate and walk beside our God. For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or rosy tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.

The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for spiritual self-protection, family protection, and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace, well-being, hope, and goodness in front of everyone and everything results.

Faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination. The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with higher energy.