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The Psalms: A Historical and Spiritual Commentary with an Introduction and Translation

, 2003
ISBN: 9780567089793
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Eaton devotes the first fifty-eight pages to surveying the historical areas surrounding the Psalms, delving into such topics as the Psalms’ authors, music, poetry, and divine names and titles, including a look at how the book of Psalms has been viewed through the ages. In the commentary, Eaton follows a simple pattern for each psalm: he offers his own translation; provides introductory remarks on the psalm’s character, position and setting; then proceeds with the commentary, concluding with a holistic appreciation of the psalm and a prayer. For closer study, Eaton has placed notes on textual details, poetic parallels and the views of other scholars in an Appendix.

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Top Highlights

“New Testament times the idea that David was the main author of the Psalms was taken for granted” (Page 6)

“they are words spoken, we might say, in the presence of God.” (Page 3)

“We have to think of the Psalms, then, as among the great foundational elements of Hebrew religion” (Page 4)

“The Individual’s Songs of Lament (/Complaint), sung by an individual” (Page 18)

“But there is also here the theme of the royal covenant. The generous gestures of the Lord to this single guest are done in the sight of and over against his adversaries; they are demonstrative, warning foes that the Covenant-Lord will protect this his Chosen One.” (Page 124)

John Eaton taught Old Testament at Birmingham University in England until his retirement. He is the author of many notable books on the Psalms and the Old Testament, including Vision in Worship, The Circle of Creation, and The Psalms: A Historical and Spiritual Commentary with an Introduction and Translation (included in Psalms: A Commentary, and Its New Testament Relevance).


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  1. Daniel Chan

    Daniel Chan


  2. Richard C. Hammond, Jr.
  3. Levi DeLange

    Levi DeLange


    I'm loving this translation/commentary. It's concise and well written. His perspective on not allowing modern scholasticism to steal the show in interpreting Scripture is rare and wonderful among commentators and I'm deeply appreciative of it. He wrote this about Psalm 87, for example, "Perhaps this abruptness is connected with its prophetic character, shafts of meaning emerging from mysterious depths. At all events, it is wiser to accept the text as it is, jagged and forceful, than with many scholars to reconstruct it as a text we might have expected."
  4. Ryk Botes

    Ryk Botes