Hebrew Whiteboard Update: Psalm 6:7-8

Psalm 6:7-8 (Hebrew verse numbering) describe David’s personal situation in vivid metaphors. As a result of his sin and his illness he has grown exhausted, reduced to weeping, and obviously severely depressed. This stanza of the psalm displays an opening tricolor, assonance, emphatic word order, repetition, and metaphor–all skillfully woven together to present what might be the climactic moment in the poem.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 6:1-8 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-5 and 120-122.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update: Psalm 6:5-6

Urgent. Impassioned. God-centered. David’s prayer in Psalm 6:5-6 (Hebrew verse numbering) displays all three of these characteristics. In addition, he uses the literary skills God gifted him with in order to emphasize these three. Then David moves into the realm of the ungodly who have died to emphasize the fact that only in this life can one repent–after death no one can repent and begin to praise or thank God.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 6:1-6 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-5 and 120-122.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update: Psalm 6:1-4

Psalms 3-7 all begin with God. David faces tremendous difficulties, some of them due to his own sin. Such disastrous experiences and perilous times make it nearly impossible to bear up under the weight pressing down upon him and the stress draining him. So what does he do?–he kneels, and prays. He turns to the only one who can actually resolve his personal problems: Yahweh. Psalm 6:1-4 (Hebrew verse numbering) continues our analysis of the Psalter psalm by psalm, verse by verse, phrase by phrase. Psalm 6 highlights a horrific (that’s David’s word for it) situation in the psalmist’s life. The master poet displays his skillful use of the Hebrew language to express his peril and, ultimately, his praise to God, his grace-giving Savior.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 6:1-4 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-5 and 120-122.

Hebrew Whiteboard Update: Psalm 5 Complete

The final two verses of Psalm 5 (vv. 12-13, Hebrew verse numbering) close out the psalm on a very high note. It expresses a climactic crescendo of rejoicing, a six-fold emphasis centering upon Yahweh Himself, and a series of parallels with the first stanza of the psalm (vv. 2-3, Hebrew verse numbering). A striking and memorable analogy completes this psalm that in itself blesses the righteous. Please be aware that the file is large (114 slides) and will take a little time to download. These slides include the discussion and presentation of the psalm’s structure, final summaries verse-by-verse, and a closing slide containing suggested preaching propositions.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 5 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-4 and 120-122.

Hebrew Whiteboard

Structural or logical line diagramming serves as one of the chief means by which the exegete can identify verse structure in the Hebrew Bible. Since this method unlocks so much of the biblical text, I have begun a series of study helps in order to enable others to learn the method and to gain a better understanding of how it aids the process of exegesis. With this methodology the student of the Hebrew Bible will be able to examine the text with a view to its

  • psalm superscription and subscription,
  • poetic lines (by means of Masoretic accentuation),
  • grammatical relationships,
  • literary/poetic devices,
  • micro- and macrostructures,
  • resulting interpretive implications, and
  • preaching propositions.
 Below are links to the materials currently available:

Each new addition to an individual psalm will be announced by means of Hebrew Whiteboard Updates and each new psalm will be added to the list on Hebrew Whiteboard.

For my most highly recommended commentaries and studies on the Psalter, check out the following (listed in order of personal preference):



Psalms Studies


Imprecatory Psalms

Hebrew Whiteboard Update

As David pens Psalm 5:10-11 (Hebrew verse numbering) he uses the poetic device of chiasm (mirror image or inverted parallelism) to reveal multiple emphases. The artistry of one verse with its four lines, four negative descriptions of the wicked, four body parts, and four chiasms stands out and builds literary momentum as the psalm nears its concluding verses (vv. 12-13 in Hebrew). Boomerang justice stands out as one of the themes in David’s prayer. And, he leaves no doubt about who will judge the wicked–God Himself.

Click on Hebrew Whiteboard to download Psalm 5:1-11 or any of the previous studies of Psalms 1-4 and 120-122.