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17th century Dr. John Lightfoot (1602-75) suggested this interpretation over 300 years
ago in his Old Testament Chronology.
These Songs of Degrees are 15 which correspond to the years added to Hezekiah's
life, 10 of them are anonymous, corresponding to the number of degrees by which "the
shadow of the sun went backward". These could have been by Hezekiah himself for he
says in his praise and gratitude:
"The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed
instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord" (Isa. 38: 20).
These were evidently handed over to the chief Musician together with one Psalm by
Solomon in the centre and 2 by David on either side. They find their counterpart in
Hezekiah's life and for details of this the reader should consult Appendix 67 of The
The Messianic character of the Psalms.
Not only are many of the Psalms intensely prophetic, looking forward to the
establishment of God's kingdom on earth, but a large number are profoundly Messianic,
and portray in advance the Lord Jesus Christ as Israel's Messiah, Redeemer and King.
This is a very important aspect of the Psalms. We have the authority of the Lord Jesus
Himself that the Psalms point forward to Him, for He said:
"All things must be fulfilled which were written in . . . . . the Psalms concerning Me"
(Luke 24: 44).
Not only this, but we have the warrant of the N.T. that this is so, as the following
references will make clear:
"What is man that Thou art mindful of him? . . . . . For Thou hast made him a little
lower than the angels and hast crowned him with glory and honour . . . . . Thou hast put
all things under his feet" (Psa. 8: 5, 6).
"What is man that Thou art mindful of him . . . . . Thou madest him a little lower than
the angels; Thou crownedst him with glory and honour . . . . . Thou hast put all things in
subjection under his feet . . . . . But now we see not yet all things put under him, but we
see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels . . . . ." (Heb. 2: 6-9).
"I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son: this day
have I begotten Thee" (Psa. 2: 7).
"For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art My Son; this day have I
begotten Thee?" (Heb. 1: 5).
"God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus
again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art My Son, this day have I
begotten Thee" (Acts 13: 33).
"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand until I make Thine enemies
Thy footstool" (Psa. 110: 1).