Psalm 30—Why does the subtitle to Psalm 30 make reference to the dedication of the house of David when the psalm says nothing about it?

Problem: The subtitle to Psalm 30 is “A Song at the dedication of the house of David.” However, the psalm itself makes no reference to the house of David, and the content is concerned with a personal experience of God’s grace in time of trouble. Is this subtitle an error?

Solution: The titles and subtitles that appear in our Bibles were not part of the original inspired psalms. These were added at a later time in much the same way that study Bibles today provide titles and subtitles over various sections of a given book. In many cases they provide valuable information about the psalms with which they are connected.

However, some scholars believe that some of these sentences that have been understood to be titles of one psalm have come to be seen as postscripts of the previous psalm. This may be the case with the subtitle over Psalm 30. Some think that Psalm 29 is much better suited as a psalm of dedication, and perhaps what has been taken to be the subtitle of Psalm 30 is actually the postscript of Psalm 29.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.