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Who Wrote the Books of Psalms

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Topic: Author of Psalms

Julie Lupas from Toronto, Ontario wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

How could King David have written "Shir Hama'alot" if it describes the Jewish return to Israel which happened long after his time?

Dear Julie Lupas,

Excellent question. The Psalms, written by King David, describe events that happened long after David lived. Here's another example: In Psalm 137, King David describes the destruction of the Second Temple. He even names the nation, Edom (Rome), which is to destroy it. How can this be?

The answer is really very simple. Starting with Moshe and ending around the beginning of the Second Temple, the Jewish Nation enjoyed a period of prophecy. King David was one of the many prophets among the Jewish Nation during that period. We find the phrase "As G-d said to David" several times in the written Torah. King David wrote Psalms using his prophetic abilities.


  • Kings I 8:19
  • Talmud Tractate Gittin 57b

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