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Book Number 19
Testament Old
Number of Chapters 150
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Literary Genre Wisdom
References Used Bibliography: Psalms

Psalms is the largest book in the Bible, and the primary book in the section of Hebrew scriptures called the “writings”. It was originally the songbook of the Hebrew people, used as songs and prayers, but not teaching (IDB 3:942). The New Testament, however, regularly uses the Psalms as prophetic material and guides for living. The Psalms contain vivid imagery and language, but some of it uses words that we don't understand anymore and have trouble translating. This is especially true with the superscripts that say who wrote a Psalm or the apparent musical notations. Much of those notations we simply cannot easily translate or understand, and that is true even from Jesus' time.

Many of the Psalms are attributed to king David, though most are of later date and all of the Psalms were written before the third century B.C., as the Greek Septuagint was written in that time and contains all 150 Psalms. The Psalms come in a variety of types, representing every type of human emotion and state, from Hymns of praise to be sung, to Laments and pleas of rescue, poems of thanksgiving for deliverance, and prayers of well-bring for kings.

Hebrew poetry does not rhyme, even in the original text, but instead relies upon it's meter and parallelism to form poetry. These are very hard to translate and maintain both the meaning and the poetry. For this reason it is a good idea to examine a variety of translations when studying the Psalms. One translation might try to keep the meter, but lose the beauty, while another might take the meaning and convert it into English poetry while losing the original parallelisms.

The book of Psalms is divided into five smaller books, each seperated by a brief doxology.

  1. Psalms 1-41
  2. Psalms 42-72
  3. Psalms 73-89
  4. Psalms 90-106
  5. Psalms 107-150

Listed Below are the chapters of this book that already have commentary on them. If you do not see the chapter you are wanting to contribute to, please add it by using the box below.

Chapters With Commentary

Psalm 1, Psalm 111, Psalm 126, Psalm 19, Psalm 23