Many Psalms have much in common with other Psalms. They resemble each other in structure or function. This similarity and commonality allows these Psalms to be grouped together into types or categories of Psalms, which can then be compared and contrasted with each other. In art and literature we often refer to these categories as “genre”. As we encounter different genres in our journey though the Psalms we will introduce them here.
The first Psalm we looked at was a Hymn, and more specifically, a “Call to Worship”.
Examples: Psalm 8, 19, 29, 33, 65, 67-68, 96, 98, 100, 103-105, 111, 113-114, 117, 135, 145-150
Features: Hymns are songs of praise. Hymns are the type of Psalms which give the book its name in Hebrew (tehillim). They are often marked by the plural imperative, “Hallelujah!”, which means “Praise the LORD!” This exhortation frequently begins and ends a hymn. A Hymn marked like this may also be referred to as a “Call to Worship” or a “Doxology”. Hymns often begin with a call to others to praise the LORD, or by calling upon the LORD directly. The typical form of a hymn is to call for praise to the LORD followed by reasons the LORD should be praised. The transition from the call for praise to the reasons for praise is usually marked with the word “for”. You will find hymnic elements is many other types of Psalms.
I. (vv. 1-6) Praise the LORD from the heavens.
II. (vv. 7-14) Praise the LORD from the earth.