Psalms 9-16

#9 and 10

#9 is attributed to David, but #10 doesn’t mention an author at all and is not one of those attributed to David in the sources I checked. However a footnote in the NIV to #9 states that these two psalms “may originally have been a single acrostic poem in which alternating lines began with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In the Septuagint they constitute one psalm.” (An acrostic is a poem or other form of writing in which the first letter, syllable or word of each line, paragraph or other recurring feature in the text spells out a word or a message.) So then if one is attributed to David, wouldn’t they both have been written by David? Why, oh why do I bother trying to figure this stuff out?

In any case, #9 is a song of praise to god for destroying David’s enemies; in fact David seems obsessed with keeping score and seeking vengeance throughout the whole thing.

Psalm 10At the beginning of #10, the author (presumably still David) asks why god is nowhere to be found in times of trouble. Good question! But then he continues to obsess again about punishment for the wicked – read it, and see if you agree that this author has kind of lost it. Never fear, though – no Psalm is too distasteful for some apologist to create a meme out of it.

I’ll make it easy for the next bit and tell you that all of the next bunch of psalms, up to #41, are attributed to David. I hope he doesn’t continue in the same vein, but I have this feeling…


Yup, still looking for god to punish the wicked. Verse 6 sounds to me like the description of a volcano – no doubt another natural phenomenon attributed to the supernatural in the prescientific era.


More of the same. David sounds bitter. He’s sure got it in for those ‘wicked’ people, whoever they are. And who are they, anyway? Funny that it doesn’t say.


David is sucking up to god. He sounds like a whining kid wanting attention. Good grief.


Oh boy, now here are some familiar lines. Not from church, no; we sure as heck never sang any of these psalms in my church. But read this psalm in the KJV and you’ll recognize the lines that all the bible thumping fundies like to quote in comments on social media or news articles. “The fool hath said in his heart there is no god….” Yup, heard that one a few times!


David is just being sanctimonious – I’m sure he believes he fits in with the do-gooders he describes here.


This one is titled a Michtam (or Miktam) of David. I looked this up and its meaning is obscure, although it is translated as ‘golden psalm’. Something special about this psalm, perhaps? The word is used in the titles of 6 psalms attributed to David – this one and then #’s 56-60. I can’t see anything special about this – it’s just David sucking up again, seeking reassurance that he is one of the good ones and the rest of the world is wicked.

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