Why are many Psalms attributed to authors other than David? I read through Psalms and tried to figure it out but I just can't find it.

  • Psalms is a collection of songs. Some songs are dedicated to David, but not even written by David. This was common practice back then to make your work noiced.
    – 2pietjuh2
    Jul 24 '14 at 7:07
  • Why would anyone expect all the psalms in the Jewish hymnal to be written by a single person? That would mean they would have had nothing to sing prior to David, but Moses wrote some, or at least recorded some.
    – Narnian
    Jul 24 '14 at 16:26
  • This is actually a very good question but it might be better if you ask it on Mi Yodeya. Jul 24 '14 at 16:47
  • 3
    I'm having trouble understanding this question. Why exactly is it surprising that Psalms is written by multiple people? I don't see why it would be surprising either way (written by one versus multiple people). Jan 10 '16 at 3:12

Psalms is a collection of songs written by many people, compiled latter by some unknown editor. Though David wrote many songs, he did not write all the songs. Some songs were written before David and some after him.

The Psalms were written by numerous people over 1,000 years of Israel 's history. Some of the Psalms were written as far back as the time of Moses in 1500 BC. Others were written as late as the time of Ezra around 500 BC. Most, however, were written in the time of King David. David himself wrote more of the Psalms than any other author, composing 73 songs in this collection. While modern scholars often express doubts as to David's authorship, the bible affirms that the king was an accomplished musician (1 Samuel 16:18) who was also a great patron of the temple music (1 Chronicles). He is titled in 2 Samuel 23:1 as the sweet psalmist of Israel .

The Psalms were collected and compiled at various times throughout Israel 's history. Various collections and books of Psalms were gathered together and published as song books and hymnals. There is evidence of heavy editing of the Psalms. For example, Psalm 14 is almost identical to Psalm 53, except in Psalm 14 the name Yahweh is used for God, while in Psalm 53, the name Elohim is used. Psalm 108 is a medley of Psalm 57 and Psalm 60, put together for a new occasion.

Therefore, the final order and arrangement of the Psalms suggests a single editor who brought ancient collections and songs together into the final form. The final form of the Psalms is arranged into five books.

There are some scholars who connect the five books of the Psalms with the five books of the Torah. Most of these connections, however, stretch the connection beyond what is reasonable.


The date of compilation is unknown. Some suggest it to be about 537 B.C. and some believe it to be around the Third Century B.C.


The Asaphites that handled the worship service, possibly Levites and belonging to the priesthood, are some of those who wrote Psalms for worship other than David. Moses also wrote some Psalms, long before David. All the Psalms, written by David or others, were inspired by the Holy Spirit and therefore is the ultimate author of them all.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

2 Timothy 3:16

  • This doesn't make much sence. Your first sentence isn't even grammatical.
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 24 '14 at 22:55
  • 1
    @curiousdannii Thanks. It has now been fixed.
    – jlaverde
    Jul 25 '14 at 13:33

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