Psalms

Whew.  Finally finished all 150 chapters of Psalms.  By far the longest book of the Bible thus far … and yet the irony is … I’m left feeling like I have much less to say about this one than any of the others I’ve read.

I’ll explain that statement in a sec, but let me first start by describing what this book is and what it’s about.  As Wikipedia describes it, “The word psalms is derived from the Greek Ψαλμοί (Psalmoi), perhaps originally meaning ‘music of the lyre’ or ‘songs sung to a harp,’ and later any piece of music.”  There’s no music included with the Bible, of course, so each chapter is basically like reading song lyrics or a poem.  The King James Bible doesn’t denote any specific section breaks in the book, but the New International Version breaks the book up into 5 sections:

  • Book I: Chapters 1 – 41psalms_east_balsam
  • Book II: Chapters 42 – 72
  • Book III: Chapters 73 – 89
  • Book IV: Chapters 90 – 106
  • Book V: Chapters 107 – 150

The New International version also specifies that some of the psalms are written from the perspective of David, some are for/about Solomon, some are just general anonymous psalms, a few are ascribed to other people, etc.  Most of Book I are psalms of David, as well as several of the psalms in other books.  Book II (ch.72) ends with the following verse: “20. This concludes the prayers of David son of Jesse.”  Despite this statement, a good number of the psalms after chapter 72 are also ascribed to David.  Other than that, I’m not really sure what the logic is behind how the sections are split.  But what I can tell you is that in terms of the content of the psalms themselves, I found that they seem to all consist of a few basic sentiments/topics:

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