Psalms - God’s Song Book

  • Psalms means “book of praise songs” (this is the national hymn book of Israel).
  • The Psalms are poems, and they are intended to be sung.
  • This is the largest book in the Bible.
  • There is a surprising similarity throughout the Psalms, and yet none are quite identical.
  • David was the main writer of the Psalms, but he did not write all of them.
  • The Psalms frequently refer to musical instruments, singing, and clapping in the religious activities.
  • These poetic songs were a vital part of both the public and private worship of ancient Israel (II Chronicles 29:30).
  • The early church quickly adapted the Psalms as part of their praise to God (Ephesians 5:19).
  • It is believed that the Psalms were written over the course of many years, but they did not begin to be put together into a collection until the time of David.
  • The Psalms came from a relatively few historical settings. Some were born during David’s fugitive years in the days of Saul or during the rebellion of Absalom. Others were written when David was firmly enthroned as Israel’s king. A few were penned in the days of agony that followed his sin with Bathsheba. It is believed that Hezekiah wrote a small number of the Psalms during the Assyrian invasion. Some relate to the experiences of Israel during the Babylonian captivity and others to the hardships of returning to the Promised Land.
  • It is a book of prayer and praise and is valuable as a manual, guide, and model for the devotional needs of the individual believer.

The Qumran scrolls (found near the Dead Sea) show that the Psalms were divided into five volumes:

  1. Book 1 - Trust in times of testing (chapters 1-41).
  2. Book 2 - Confidence in God stressed (chapters 42-72).
  3. Book 3 - Resting in His mercy (chapters 73-89).
  4. Book 4 - Assurance and praise (chapters 90-106).
  5. Book 5 - Variety of themes (chapters 107-150).