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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

The Numbering of the Psalms.

1.

The numbering of the psalms differs between the Protestant and Catholic/Orthodox traditions. The reason is that the LXX combined Ps 9 and 10 as a single psalm, Ps 9 (probably correctly), joined 115 to 114 (as Ps 113 ), and divided Ps 116 into Ps 114 (= vv. 1–9 ) and Ps 115 (= vv. 10–19 ), and Ps 147 into Ps 146 (= vv. 1–11 ) and Ps 147 (= vv. 12–20 ). It inserts ‘Alleluia’ before Ps 116:10 , and repeats its expanded form of the title to Ps 147 before v. 12 . This means that for most of the Psalter the psalm numbers in the LXX and the Vulgate, and hence the Catholic English versions (Douai and Ronald Knox) are one behind those of the Hebrew/Protestant text. JB and NJB, however, follow the Hebrew numbering.

2.

In the Hebrew the titles of the psalms are treated as part of the text. This means that where the title is longer than a few words it is counted as a separate verse (or even two verses in Ps 51; 52; 54; 60 ). For many of the psalms, therefore, the Hebrew verse numbers differ from the English translations. Some commentaries give both numbers, but in this commentary the English numbering is followed.

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Oxford University Press

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