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Old Testament Summaries: Book of Psalms
Posted In: Religion Articles  6/18/12
By: Yona Williams

It took several centuries to form the religious text known as the Book of Psalms ("Book of Praises"), which appears in the Old Testament. Throughout the pages, you will encounter the writing of several different authors that present a variety of themes. Some of the main topics concentrate on prayer, praise, and worship of God. In this article, you will learn the religious importance of the Book of Psalms.

One of the main authors of Psalms is David, who is listed as the writer in 73 different mentions. When reading the psalms, you can easily pick out the personality of David (if you are familiar with his writing). He wrote many of the individual psalms, but is not the author of all of the psalms. For examples, Solomon (David's son and successor) is credited with writing psalms 72 and 127.  Moses is attributed with writing the prayer psalm 90. Other authors mentioned include the family of Asaph, the sons of Koran, Heman, and Ethan the Ezrahite.

The Book of Psalms was written over the course of many centuries – when taking into account the topics discussed in the text. Over time, the psalms were collected and an unknown individual put them all together. It is estimated that this act took place around 537 BC. Out of all the psalms, the oldest is most likely the prayer of Moses (90), which examines the frailty of man in comparison to the eternity of God. One of the last psalms written is most likely 137, which offers a song of lament that has a distinct connection to the days when the Hebrews were being held captive by the Babylonians. This event took place from 586 to 538 BC.

The Book of Psalms is the longest book in the Bible – there is 150 individual psalms to read and presents one of the most diverse religious texts. Some of the subjects discussed include His creation, worship, wisdom, judgment, justice, as well as the coming of the Messiah. Heated topics such as war, sin and evil are also in the text.

Sections of the Book of Psalms were used as a hymnal during ancient Israel days for their worship services.

Passages from the Book of Psalms include:

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Psalm 19:1)

"Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." (Psalm 22:16-19)

"The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want." (Psalm 23:1)

"Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart." (Psalm 119:1-2)


 

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