The book of Psalms contains some of the most beautiful poetry ever written, but many people find that these verses describe human problems so well that they make excellent prayers. The book of Psalms is the place to go when you're hurting.


The Hebrew title of the book translates to "praises." The word "psalm" comes from the Greek psalmoi, meaning "songs." This book is also called the Psalter. Originally, these 150 poems were meant to be sung and were used in ancient Jewish worship services, accompanied by lyres, flutes, horns, and cymbals. King David established a 4,000 piece orchestra to play during worship (1 Chronicles 23:5).


Because the Psalms are poems, they use poetic devices such as imagery, metaphors, similes, personification, and hyperbole. In reading the Psalms, believers must take these tools of language into account.


Over the centuries, Bible scholars have debated over categorizing the Psalms. They fall into these general types of hymns: laments, praise, thanksgiving, celebrations of God's law, wisdom, and expressions of confidence in God.


Further, some pay tribute to Israel's royalty, while others are historical or prophetic.


Jesus Christ loved the Psalms. With his dying breath, he quoted Psalm 31:5 from the cross: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46, NIV)

Writer of the Book:


Key Thought:

Following are the authors and the number of Psalms attributed to them: David, 73; Asaph, 12; sons of Korah, 9; Solomon, 2; Heman, 1; Ethan, 1; Moses, 1; and anonymous, 51.   Praise

Number of Chapters:


Conclusion of the Book:

150   Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness and give to Him the glory due His name.

Christ seen as:


Key Verse:

Son of God   Psalms 29:2


Approximately B.C. 1440 to B.C. 586.    

Book I. Songs of Deliverance, Psalm 1-41

Chapter 1 - The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked. Chapter 2 -The Reign of the Lord's Anointed Chapter 3 - Save Me, O My God Chapter 4 -

Answer Me When I Call

Chapter 5 -

Lead Me in Your Righteousness

Chapter 6 -

O Lord, Deliver My Life

Chapter 7 -

In You Do I Take Refuge

Chapter 8 - How Majestic Is Your Name Chapter 9 - I Will Recount Your Wonderful Deeds Chapter 10 -

Why Do You Hide Yourself?

Chapter 11 - The Lord Is in His Holy Temple Chapter 12 -

The Faithful Have Vanished

Chapter 13 - How Long, O Lord? Chapter 14 - The Fool Says, There Is No God Chapter 15 - Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?
Chapter 16 - You Will Not Abandon My Soul Chapter 17 -

In the Shadow of Your Wings

Chapter 18 -

The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

Chapter 19 - The Law of the Lord Is Perfect Chapter 20 -

Trust in the Name of the Lord Our God

Chapter 21 - The King Rejoices in the Lord's Strength Chapter 22 - Why Have You Forsaken Me? Chapter 23 -The Lord Is My Shepherd Chapter 24 - The King of Glory Chapter 25 - Teach Me Your Paths
Chapter 26 - I Will Bless the Lord Chapter 27 - The Lord Is My Light and My Salvation Chapter 28 - The Lord Is My Strength and My Shield

Chapter 29 -

- Ascribe to the Lord Glory

Chapter 30 - - Joy Comes with the Morning

Chapter 31 -

Into Your Hand I Commit My Spirit
Chapter 32 - Blessed Are the Forgiven Chapter 33 - The Steadfast Love of the Lord Chapter 34 - Taste and See That the Lord Is Good Chapter 35 - Great Is the Lord
Chapter 36 - How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love Chapter 37 -

He Will Not Forsake His Saints

Chapter 38 - Do Not Forsake Me, O Lord Chapter  39 - What Is the Measure of My Days? Chapter 40 - My Help and My Deliverer
    Chapter 41 - O Lord, Be Gracious to Me    

Themes in the Book of Psalms:

Psalms covers timeless themes, which explains why it is as relevant to God's people today as when the songs were written thousands of years ago. Trusting in God is certainly the dominant theme, followed by praising God for his love. Rejoicing in God is simply the joyous celebration of Jehovah. Mercy is another important theme, as David the sinner pleads for God's forgiveness.

Landscape of the Book of Psalms

Only a few Psalms detail Israel's history, but many were written during crucial events in the life of David and reflect his feelings during those crises.

Key Verses:

Psalm 23:1-4

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (KJV)

Psalm 37:3-4

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (KJV)

Psalm 103:11-12

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (KJV)

Psalm 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (KJV)

Brief Overview of The Book of Psalms

  • Book 1 - Psalms 1-41 - The five divisions correspond roughly to the five books of Moses. The first book is like Genesis, detailing blessing, fall, and redemption.
  • Book 2 - Psalms 42-72 - Like Exodus, this book describes ruin, and rescue by God.
  • Book 3 - Psalms 73-89 - As Leviticus covers God's tabernacle, this book covers God's temple.
  • Book 4 - Psalms 90-106 - Numbers tells of Israel's relationship to other nations; this book tells of God's kingdom compared to neighboring nations.
  • Book 5 - Psalms 107-150 - Deuteronomy was about God and his Word, and this book consists of praise for God and his Word.


Book II. The Divine Judgments, Psalm 42-72

Chapter 42 -

Why Are You Cast Down, O My Soul?

Chapter 43 - Send Out Your Light and Your Truth
Chapter 44 -

Come to Our Help

Chapter 45 -

Your Throne, O God, Is Forever

Chapter 46 - God Is Our Fortress
Chapter 47 - God Is King over All the Earth Chapter 48 -

Zion, the City of Our God

Chapter 49 - Why Should I Fear in Times of Trouble? Chapter 50 -

God Himself Is Judge

Chapter 51 - Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
Chapter 52 - The Steadfast Love of God Endures Chapter 53 - There Is None Who Does Good Chapter 54 - The Lord Upholds My Life Chapter 55 - Cast Your Burden on the Lord
Chapter 56 -

In God I Trust

Chapter 57 -

Let Your Glory Be over All the Earth

Chapter 58 - God Who Judges the Earth Chapter 59 - Deliver Me from My Enemies Chapter 60 - He Will Tread Down Our Foes Chapter 61

Lead Me to the Rock

Chapter 62 - My Soul Waits for God Alone Chapter 63 My Soul Thirsts for You Chapter 64 - Hide Me from the Wicked Chapter 65 - O God of Our Salvation Chapter 66  -

How Awesome Are Your Deeds

Chapter 67 -

Make Your Face Shine upon Us

Chapter 68 -

God Shall Scatter His Enemies

Chapter 69 - Save Me, O God Chapter 70 - O Lord, Do Not Delay Chapter 71 - Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent
    Chapter 72 -

Give the King Your Justice


Book III. National Hymns of Judah, Psalm 73-89

Chapter 73 - God Is My Strength and Portion Forever Chapter 74 - Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause Chapter 75 - God Will Judge with Equity Chapter 76 - Who Can Stand Before You? Chapter 77 - In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord
Chapter 78 - Tell the Coming Generation Chapter 79 - How Long, O Lord? Chapter 80 - Restore Us, O God Chapter 81 - Oh, That My People Would Listen to Me Chapter 82 - Rescue the Weak and Needy
Chapter 83 - O God, Do Not Keep Silence Chapter 84 - My Soul Longs for the Courts of the Lord Chapter 85 -Revive Us Again Chapter 86 - Great Is Your Steadfast Love Chapter 87 - Glorious Things of You Are Spoken
Chapter 88 - I Cry Out Day and Night Before You Chapter 89 - I Will Sing of the Steadfast Love of the Lord      

Book IV. The Over-ruling Kingdom, Psalm 90-106

Chapter 90 - From Everlasting to Everlasting. Chapter 91 - My Refuge and My Fortress  Chapter 92 - How Great Are Your Works Chapter 93 - The Lord Reigns Chapter 94 -

The Lord Will Not Forsake His People

Chapter 95 - Let Us Sing Songs of Praise Chapter 96 - Worship in the Splendor of Holiness Chapter 97 - The Lord Reigns Chapter 98 - Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord Chapter 99 - The Lord Our God Is Holy
Chapter 100 - His Steadfast Love Endures Forever Chapter 101 - I Will Walk with Integrity Chapter 102 - Do Not Hide Your Face from Me Chapter 103 - Bless the Lord, O My Soul Chapter 104 - O Lord My God, You Are Very Great.
  Chapter 105 - Tell of All His Wonderful Works   Chapter 106 - Give Thanks to the Lord, for He Is Good  

Book V. Anthems of Praise and Thanksgiving, Psalm 107-150

Chapter 107 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So Chapter 108 - With God We Shall Do Valiantly Chapter 109 - Help Me, O Lord My God Chapter 110 - Sit at My Right Hand Chapter 111 -

Great Are the Lord's Works

Chapter 112 - The Righteous Will Never Be Moved Chapter 113 -  Who Is like the Lord Our God? Chapter 114 - Tremble at the Presence of the Lord Chapter 115 - To Your Name Give Glory Chapter 116 - I Love the Lord
Chapter 117 - The Lord's Faithfulness Endures Forever Chapter 118 - His Steadfast Love Endures Forever Chapter 119 - Your Word Is a Lamp to My Feet Chapter 120 - Deliver Me, O Lord Chapter 121 - My Help Comes from the Lord
Chapter 122 - Let Us Go to the House of the Lord Chapter 123 - Our Eyes Look to the Lord Our God Chapter 124 - Our Help Is in the Name of the Lord Chapter 125 - The Lord Surrounds His People Chapter 126 - Restore Our Fortunes, O Lord
Chapter 127 - Unless the Lord Builds the House Chapter 128 - Blessed Is Everyone Who Fears the Lord Chapter 129 - They Have Afflicted Me from My Youth Chapter 130 -  My Soul Waits for the Lord Chapter 131 - I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul
Chapter 132 - The Lord Has Chosen Zion Chapter 133 - When Brothers Dwell in Unity Chapter 134 - Come, Bless the Lord Chapter 135 - Your Name, O Lord, Endures Forever Chapter 136 - His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
Chapter 137 - How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song? Chapter 138 - Give Thanks to the Lord Chapter 139 - Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart Chapter 140 - Deliver Me, O Lord, from Evil Men Chapter 141 - Give Ear to My Voice
Chapter 142 - You Are My Refuge Chapter 143 - My Soul Thirsts for You Chapter 144 - My Rock and My Fortress. Chapter 145 - Great Is the Lord Chapter 146 - Put Not Your Trust in Princes
Chapter 147 - He Heals the Brokenhearted Chapter 148 - Praise the Name of the Lord Chapter 149 - Sing to the Lord a New Song Chapter 150 -  Let Everything Praise the Lord  

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by 


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