Summary of Psalms
The book of Psalms contains the prayers, hymns, and meditations of Israel, 150 of them now gathered in a collection that includes joyful songs of praise and thanksgiving as well as sad songs of lamentation and distress. The prayers and songs are addressed to God, usually either pleading for help or bearing witness to God’s gracious acts on behalf of God’s people, which is an important function of Israel’s praise. Because of the scope of human emotion and divine activity in the psalms, believers in every generation have found them applicable to their own life and worship.
The psalms have served believers in every generation as a biblical source of prayer and praise and as models for their own response to God. The book is an invaluable resource for worship. The people of God have also heard God addressing them in the psalms, as the prayers and hymns bear witness to the nature and work of God. The The psalter is a volume containing the book of Psalms (see Psalm). In the early Middle Ages psalters were popular and contained - in addition to the psalms - calendars, litanies of saints, and other devotional texts. More is unique, bringing together human word and word of God in an inseparable unity.
WHERE DO I FIND IT?
Countless generations of children were taught to find the book of Psalms by opening their Bibles “in the middle,” and this often works. In Christian Bibles, Psalms is the nineteenth book of the Old Testament; it comes between Job and Proverbs in a collection of “writings” (Queen in Persia who prevented an anti-Jewish pogrom More, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Third king of Israel who was known for wisdom and building the first Temple More) that fall between the historical books and the prophets.
WHO WROTE IT?
Many of the psalms are said in their titles to be “of Second king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More,” who was remembered by the tradition as a musician and patron of Israel’s worship. Still, because of their wide-ranging historical backgrounds, it is not possible for David himself to have written all the psalms ascribed to him. The psalms were written or gathered from other sources by the The Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More priests and associated with David as the great singer of Israel (1 Chronicles 16:7, 37-43; Sirach 47:8-10).
WHEN WAS IT WRITTEN?
Psalms were written and collected throughout the history of ancient Israel. Prophet who led Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land and received the law at Sinai More and Moses' and Aaron's sister who danced after the exodus More sang at the sea (Exodus 15:1-21), and the title of A psalm is a song of praise. In the Old Testament 150 psalms comprise the psalter, although some of the psalms are laments and thanksgivings. In the New Testament early Christians gathered to sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. More 30 (“A Song at the dedication of the temple”) probably indicates its use at the dedication (Hanukkah) of the temple after the Macabbean revolt (164 B.C.E.). The book of Psalms contains prayers and songs from every period of Israel’s history.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The book of Psalms is the hymnbook or prayer book of the Bible, containing 150 poems, addressed to God and varying widely in content and tone; included are cries of lament, shouts of praise, and other liturgies and meditations on Israel’s life before God.
HOW DO I READ IT?
The psalms are, first and foremost, poems and should be read as such–enjoying the figurative and metaphorical language, the emotional and rhythmic character, and the expansive and evocative style that invite the reader, as Martin Luther said, to “find in it [the Psalter] also yourself…as well as God himself and all creatures” (Luther’s Works 35:257). Second, the psalms are poems that were, for the most part, meant to be sung; they are the hymns and liturgies of the temple from which we learn about Israel’s worship and which now serve as elements of present worship. Third, these poems and prayers have been read since antiquity for meditation and instruction, by individuals and communities. They continue to offer solace–providing words of comfort and hope, lamentation and praise.