The book of Psalms is the hymnbook and prayer book of the Bible. Composed by different authors over a long period of time, these hymns and prayers were collected and used by the people of Israel in their worship, and eventually this collection was included in their Scriptures.
These religious poems are of many kinds: there are hymns of praise and worship of God; prayers for help, protection, and salvation; pleas for forgiveness; songs of thanksgiving for God's blessings; and petitions for the punishment of enemies. These prayers are both personal and national; some portray the most intimate feelings of one person, while others represent the needs and feelings of all the people of God.
The psalms were used by Jesus, quoted by the writers of the New Testament, and became the treasured book of worship of the Christian Church from its beginning.
Outline of Contents
The 150 psalms are grouped into five collections, or books, as follows:
Psalms (1–41)
Psalms (42–72)
Psalms (73–89)
Psalms (90–106)
Psalms (107–150)
This poetic book consists of 150 prayers and hymns that were used by the Hebrew people as part of their public and private worship. Some date back to the time of Israel's great King David who may have been their author; others were probably written after David's time. Rich in beauty and wisdom, they continue to be an important component of Jewish and Christian worship today. Psalms expresses a wide range of human emotions—from joy to fear, from trust to anger, from hope to despair.