Psalms 90-95


This one marks the beginning of Part 4 of the Book of Psalms, and it is the only one written (supposedly) by Moses. It’s not a bad little ditty about the brevity of life; there are some nice sentiments in it if you remove the supernatural references. Note again that death is treated as final. One of the best-known hymns of all time is based on this psalm – O God Our Help in Ages Past.

Psalms 91-100 appear to have no recognized author.


This psalm contains a lovely sentiment – if only it were true! “For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.” (v 3) Alas, no such luck. Verses 11-12 were used for one of the most beautiful choruses in Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

# 92

Just a simple song of praise.


This author of this psalm asserts that god’s laws cannot be changed, and that the world stands firm and cannot be shaken. Very common ideas for concrete and pre-scientific thinkers. Makes sense in the context of the era.

Psalm 93

The author wants to know how long the wicked will continue to triumph (v 3). Have you noticed how many of these psalms rail against the concept of justice for the righteous and punishment for the wicked? Life just isn’t fair, dammit! There is so much pleading in this psalm that it’s sad to think about the guy who wrote it. I doubt he ever received the justice he begged for.


I don’t even have to read this; I can sing it for memory. In the Anglican church, it is referred to as the Venite, and is sung as part of the service of Mattins (morning prayer). I could not find the tune I know on YouTube; I suspect that’s because it’s plainsong/chant, rather than a chorale. But I found about a dozen other versions, more contemporary, and picked one that seems to be popular among youth choirs. Sigh….

Funny, but as I read the actual words now, I note a discrepancy in v 4. The KJV says “in his hand are the deep places of the earth”, but the words I know are “In his hands are all the corners of the earth”. (Of course – the earth is flat – how could I forget?) So where did those words come from? I found them online, so I’m not imagining things; I did recall correctly. (See how our childhood memories stick with us?)

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