In ancient times the Psalms were divided into five books, each corresponding to a different book of Moses. In The Companion Bible, Dr. Bullinger writes in his notes on the Psalms, “The Midrash on Ps. 1.1 says, ‘Moses gave to the Israelites the five books of the Law; and corresponding with them David gave them the five books of the Psalms'.”
Accordingly, Bullinger outlines the Psalms and divides them into the five books, each corresponding to a book of the Law. Each book ends with a doxology. The five books of Psalms are as follows:
The Genesis Book (Ps. 1-41), Concerning Man
The Exodus Book (Ps. 42-72), Concerning Israel as a Nation
The Leviticus Book (Ps. 73-89), Concerning the Sanctuary
The Numbers Book (Ps. 90-106), Concerning the Nations
The Deuteronomy Book (Ps. 107-150), Concerning the Word
Bullinger outlines but does not attempt to correlate the specific stories in Genesis with each of the psalms in the Genesis Book. I have taken this as a challenge to do what he probably wanted to do but lacked time. It was truly a challenge, as I discovered, because as I proceeded to study the psalms, I made discoveries which more than once forced me to start back at the beginning.
This book, then, is about the first 41 psalms of the Genesis Book. However, one of my discoveries was that this book really consists of only 40 psalms, because Psalms 9 and 10 are two halves of a single psalm. This makes it somewhat confusing, because in order to show how the psalms reflect the meaning of biblical numbers, one must know the proper number of the psalm in order to understand this important feature of the book.
Another thing that both delighted and startled me was the discovery that the psalm number had a correlation to the biblical meaning and usage of numbers themselves. To my knowledge, no one in the past has ever transformed the psalms into a study of the biblical meaning of numbers. I myself did not discover this vital correlation until I was quite far into the writing of this book. This forced me to re-start and add this fascinating feature, which has greatly enhanced the importance and uniqueness of this book.
Biblical numerology is not the same as occult numerology. The Bible uses most numbers differently. I hope that those who have studied occult numerology do not dismiss the study of numbers altogether. Numbers do have a significant place in the study of Scripture, even if occult people misconstrue them or misuse them for their purposes.
The companion to this study of the psalms is my book, The Biblical Meaning of Numbers. It was necessary to write both of these books at the same time because of their interconnectedness. I considered fusing them together into a single book, but ultimately found that this was more confusing than profitable to the reader. So they have been separated. Yet I recommend that they be studied together, because the psalms reveal the meaning of the numbers, while conversely, the meaning of the numbers helps to interpret the psalms.
In the course of my study, I discovered that the Hebrew letters also assist us in determining the meaning of the numbers—and thereby also the interpretation of the psalms. The Hebrews did not use Arabic numerals which we use today in the West. They used their own letters to signify numbers. Further, their letters are also word pictures. For example, their sixth letter is the vav, which is not only their number 6, but is also the word for a nail or peg. Each Hebrew letter, then, helps us to interpret is biblical meaning and usage.
It is my purpose in these two books to give readers some extra tools by which to understand the Scriptures in a deeper way and thereby to help each person better know the mind of God.