Biblical Hebrew

The Hebrew name of the book is
which is the m. pl. of the female noun and literally means, "praise songs."
This noun stems from the same verb that has the form "hal-lu-yah."

is a m. sg. noun meaning, "melody," and appears in 57 Psalms beginning at Psalm 3.
The English title is derived from the Greek translation ψαλμοί meaning, "instrumental music" and, by extension, "the words accompanying the music."

This is the first book of the Ketuvim ("Writings"), the third section of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh). The book is an anthology of 150 individual Psalms. 

Authors, Date
Various authors writing between the 9th and 5th centuries BC.

Many psalms (116 of the 150) have individual superscriptions (titles), 
ranging from lengthy comments to a single word.
Many carry the names of individuals, the most common (73 psalms) 
(75 if including the two Psalms attributed by the NT to David) being 'of David', 
and thirteen of these relate explicitly to incidents in the king's life. 
Others named include Asaph (12), the sons of Korah (11), Solomon (2), 
Moses (1), Ethan the Ezrahite (1), and Heman the Ezrahite (1). 

The Septuagint, the Peshitta (the Syriac Vulgate), and the Latin Vulgate each associate several Psalms (111 and 145) with Haggai and Zechariah. 
The Septuagint also attributes Psalms (112 and 135) to Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

The Book of Psalms is divided into five sections, 
each closing with a doxology (a benediction).
These divisions were probably introduced by the final editors to imitate the 
five-fold division of the Torah.
1-41  42-72  73-89  90-106  107-150

Additional psalms
The Septuagint, present in Eastern Orthodox churches, includes a Psalm 151; 
a Hebrew version of this was found in the Psalms Scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

 Some versions of the Peshitta (the Bible used in Syriac churches in the Middle East) include Psalms 152–155.
There are also the Psalms of Solomon, which are a further 18 psalms of Jewish origin, likely originally written in Hebrew, but surviving only in Greek and Syriac translation. These and other indications suggest that the current Western Christian and Jewish collection of 150 psalms were selected from a wider set.

Click here for a comprehensive article on Psalms in Wikipedia.

Psalm 1:3a
(An extract from the BHFA Volume 5 textbook)

            וְהָיָה         כְּעֵץ          שָׁתוּל      עַל־    פַּלְגֵי      מָיִם
           water    canals of     on     transplanted     like a tree    and he will be

KJB      He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams 
NASB   He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, 
ESV      He is like a tree planted by streams of water
NLT      They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
NIV      That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, 
LXX      An he will be as the tree being planted by the outlet of the waters
Vulg      And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters

Qal part. pass. of the verb   שָׁתַל  meaning, "to transplant." 
This verb occurs 10 times in the Hebrew Bible, and is always (incorrectly) translated as "plant" in modern English translations.
The MT clearly states that the tree was brought from another (less auspicious?) place, and transplanted here.

The Segholate noun  פַּלְגֵי  literally means, "channel" or "artificial canal." In this 
metaphor, a stream would emphasize the abundance of water, whereas the image of a man-made irrigating canal or channel would add the concept of a reliant source. 
In Ps 46:5 we find "a river whose streams," suggesting an irrigation canal that was dug by a farmer (God) and leading from a river to his fields.

Psalm 18:34a
(An extract from the BHFA Volume 5 textbook)

                                         מְשַׁוֶּה      רַגְלַי              כָּאַיָּלוֹת 
                         like young female antelopes    my feet      he sets

KJB      He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, 
NASB   He makes my feet like hinds' feet, 
ESV      He made my feet like the feet of a deer 
NLT      He makes me as surefooted as a deer, 
NIV      He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; 
Afr 53   Hy maak my voete soos dié van herte (hinds = female deer = doe)
Afr 83   Hy my voete soos die van n ribbok (reebok / rhebok)

Preposition כָּ + the plural form of the female noun   אַיָּלָה  which in turn is from the male noun   אַיִל  which means "ram" (for sacrificial purposes) as in Ex 29:22. 

This exact phrase occurs in three locations in the Hebrew Bible namely 
2 Sm 22:34, Hb 3:19, and here in Ps 18:34.

(1) Wikipedia contributors. "Nubian ibex."
(2) Wikipedia contributors. "Klipspringer." 
  "The Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) is a desert-dwelling goat species found in mountainous areas of northern and northeast Africa, and the Middle East. Its range is within Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, etc. In Israel, the historically dense ibex population, described in the Hebrew Bible 
(Psalm 104:18), was decimated in the wake of the First World War. 

 The sudden availability of rifles enabled Bedouin to hunt them to near extinction. After the establishment of the state of Israel, when hunting was outlawed and nature reserves were created in which they were protected, the ibex population rebounded. Three populations have been discovered in Israel: 
in the Judean Desert, the Negev mountains and Eilat." (1)


"The klipspringer 
(Oreotragus oreotragus) is a small antelope found in eastern and southern Africa. The vernacular name "klipspringer" is a compound of the Afrikaans words "klip" (rock) and "springer" (leaper). The klipspringer inhabits places characterized by rocky terrain and sparse vegetation. 

A klipspringer’s hooves are cylindrical and downward-pointing, giving it a tiptoe walk and provide an amazing sure-footed agility on the rocks." (2)


Psalm 46:11a
(An extract from the BHFA Volume 5 textbook.)

 הַרְפּוּ      וּדְעוּ,     כִּי־    אָנֹכִי     אֱלֹהִים
                            God            I (am)       that       and know    be calm !!

KJB       Be still, and know that I am God:
NASB   “Stop striving and know that I am God;
ESV      “Be still, and know that I am God.
NLT      “Be still, and know that I am God!
NIV       He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
CSB      “Stop fighting, and know that I am God,
LSV       Desist, and know that I [am] God,
YLT       Desist, and know that I am God,

                        Hiph'il imperative (a command) 3mp of the root רפה  
The core meaning of this root is, 
"to drop your hands (from whatever you are doing)" or "to relax."

In the Hiph'il it takes on the meaning of, "to cease doing something" 
"to keep calm"   "to relax"   "to let go"   "to desist." 

It is employed in the sense of not making an effort; 
and then would express the idea of leaving matters with God, 
and of being without anxiety about the issue at hand.



Keep Calm and Carry On 

was a motivational poster 
produced by the British 
government in 1939 in preparation for World War II. 

The poster was intended to raise the morale of the British public, threatened with widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities.


Psalm 131


                                         שִׁיר    הַמַּעֲלוֹת    לְדָוִד    
of David    of Ascents    a song   
of Pilgrims                  
of stairs / steps              
This title is found in Psalms 120-134. 
A song to be sung by Pilgrims on their way up to Jerusalem for any one of 
The Three Pilgrimage Festivals: Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Weeks or Pentecost), and Sukkot (Tabernacles, Tents or Booths).

        יְהוָה   לֹא־   גָבַהּ     לִבִּי      וְלֹא־           רָמוּ               עֵינַי    
my eyes     they will be exalted    and not   my heart   exalted   not   Yahweh   

   וְלֹא־      הִלַּכְתִּי          בִּגְדֹלוֹת   
      in great matters     I walk / tread    and not   

וּבְנִפְלָאוֹת               מִמֶּנִּי׃           
for me     nor with extraordinary things    



                                         אִם־  לֹא      שִׁוִּיתִי         וְדוֹמַמְתִּי      נַפְשִׁי    
my soul     and quieted    I have calmed   not    surely   
        כְּגָמֻל           עֲלֵי      אִמּוֹ          כַּגָּמֻל           עָלַי    נַפְשִׁי׃        
my soul   in me   as a weaned child   his mother   with    weaned child a as    


  יַחֵל   יִשְׂרָאֵל   אֶל־  יְהוָה        מֵעַתָּה        וְעַד־עוֹלָם ׃    
forever and     from this time    Yahweh     in        Israel     hope