If I understand Thirtle’s theory correctly, the prescripts that begin a psalm are in fact the postscript from the previous psalm. In Habakkuk 3:19 the psalm ends, “For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.” Psalm 31 begins, “For the choir director. A Psalm of David.”
But what if Psalm 30 ended, “For the choir director.” and Psalm 31 begins, “A Psalm of David”? Why would this mistake happen? The OT manuscripts do not have chapter and verse. The Psalms are run together. The reader discerns a new psalm most often when “A Psalm of David” appears.
In the English Bible, none of the Psalms have postscripts like the psalm in Habakkuk 3. Why? Did all the psalm writers decide to create long prescripts? Did Habakkuk buck the trend? Both are possible. But what if in our translations and adding chapters we made the mistake?
Psalm 30 begins. “A Psalm, a song at the dedication of the House.” Psalm 30 is a prayer of thanksgiving. David praises, thanks, and prays to the Lord throughout the psalm. What if the beginning of Psalm 30 is in fact the end to Psalm 29?
Psalm 29 seems to be about worship, the voice of the Lord, His reign, and ends with giving people peace. The content of Psalm 29 seems to fit a dedication of the house better than Psalm 30. Read Psalm 29 while thinking about dedicating the Lord’s House.
This is a theory and no way we should part company with anyone over this. But rereading Psalm 29 with this in mind seems to make the most sense to me. As I read through the psalms I have learned to read the pre and postscripts to the preceding and following psalms. There are a handful of other gems like this in the Psalms. May the Lord bless us as we discover them! Feel free to let me know of any others you have found.
For good outlines and information on the Psalms, see http://drbarrick.org/teaching/psalms-books-1-2/