The When and Where of the Psalms

  A problem in studying the Psalms is trying to assign a certain place, event  and time to which the Psalm may refer. Some of the Psalms obviously were written after the days of David because they refer to events after his death. We cannot know for certain who wrote each of the Psalms. Nor can we know what a specific Psalm may be discussing.

  Commentators will take the speculative liberty to tell us all about what nobody can know. But be careful! The theme of the Psalm rings true under circumstances depicted in it. Some can be determined because the Psalm tells us. But for others whether it refers to Absalom's revolt, David's flight from Saul, or his joy in defeating Goliath, we cannot tell. We make a mistake to assume knowledge that cannot be ours.

  Learn the theme. It will enrich your soul. Leave speculation to "experts."