- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about the Bible
- Published on Tuesday, 15 February 2011 17:01
Is there any scriptural authority for the assertion that Hezekiah wrote some of the Psalms?
Though ecclesiastical commentators seem to be attracted by such theories, we do not know of any authority, scriptural or other, for above assertion, It is enough to read an article in some Bible Dictionary, on the authorship of the anonymous Psalms, to be aware how precarious are the theories advanced. Some psalms speaking of desolation and judgment may be made to fit in with Sennacherib’s invasion, as also with any other invasion.
I believe it is possible to assign authorship to a few of the anonymous Psalms, following Psalms by well-known authors, on internal evidence. Thus it seems clear that Psalm 43: , is by the author of Psalm 42: (the same phrase “Why art thou cast down, oh my soul?” occurring in both); Psa. 91, by the author of Psalm 90: and Psalm 104: , by that of Psalm 103: , but as a rule it is safer not to attempt to be wise above that which is written. We believe the Holy Spirit spake by David and the other psalmists: that is the chief point. However, to return to our question, I read the following in a well-known Bible Dictionary,* as a whole reliable: “Book II. (i.e., of Psalms) appears by the date of its latest (I) psalm, Psalm 46: , to have been compiled in the reign of King Hezekiah.” We turn with interest to see on what this statement rests, and we find NIL. The real reason comes out later in the same article as to why Hezekiah’s name is brought in. It comes, I believe, from a misreading of the closing words of Psalm 72: , “the prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.” But there are at least fifteen subsequent psalms, e.g., Nos. 86, 103, 110, 142, which are entitled “Psalms of David,” i.e., these must be by some descendant of David, so the theory runs, Hezekiah, Josiah, or Zerubbabel, in fact you may take your choice. Now, this will never do, because in the case of Psalm 142: —the place where David wrote it is indicated, and the Lord definitely ascribes to David the authorship of Psalm 110: , and as far as we know, though Hezekiah wrote a prayer, neither he, nor the others wrote psalms, and certainly not in a cave. The explanation is simple: the word, Kãlãh, translated “ended” in Psalm 72: means also fulfilled or consummated; e.g., Ezra 1:1; Ezekiel 5:13; Daniel 11:36; Daniel 12:7. The words then refer to the prophetic subject of the Psalm, the Millennial Reign of David’s “Greater Son.” In that hope David’s prayers reached their zenith. He could not sing of anything higher. That infinitely greater Kingdom—the mystery of God’s will—was unknown to Him, when “in the dispensation of the fulness of times (i.e., the eternal state and the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ) all things in heaven and earth shall be headed up in Christ” (Eph. i. io). David prayed many subsequent prayers, but he could never reach a higher level than in that psalm.