The Book of Psalms is a collection of short writings believed to have been produced by a number of anonymous authors over a period of two or three hundred years during and after the Babylonian Exile. We do not know who selected the psalms for inclusion in the Book of Psalms, or who first wrote the book as a single collection on a scroll.
Many psalms are signed by their author but others are not. Seventy-three bear David’s name . Asaph is listed on twelve. Some are attributed to Solomon. Moses Ethan and Heman are thought to have written one each. The remainder are unknown in authorship. The Davidic psalms bear other hallmarks of David. He was known as a master musician throughout the Old Testament period and these psalms bear testimony to this. Many are reflections of events in his life. The New Testament writers also referred to David as being the author of specific psalms. The Sons of Korah wrote 11.
Facts About the Psalms
There are many interesting facts about the psalms:
- The Book of Psalms is the longest book of the Bible.
- The Book of Psalms is also known as the Psalter.
- There are 150 psalms in this collection.
- The psalms are used in both Christian and Jewish worship.
- The psalms were composed over a period of approximately 1000 years.
- Psalm 117, with 2 verses, is the shortest psalm. Psalm 119, with 176 verses, is the longest psalm.
- The Book of Psalms is sometimes called the Bible within the Bible because it covers all of the major themes of the Bible story.
- Jesus used quotes from the Book of Psalms more than from any other part of the Old Testament.
Divisions of the Book of Psalms
The Book of Psalms is divided into five books, each of which corresponds with the first five books of the Bible also known as the Pentateuch.
- Book One: Psalms 1-41 corresponds to Genesis.
- Book Two: Psalms 42-72 corresponds to Exodus.
- Book Three: Psalms 73-89 corresponds to Leviticus.
- Book Four: Psalms 90-106 corresponds to Numbers.
- Book Five: Psalms 107-150 corresponds to Deuteronomy.
Location, Location, Location
- The middle chapter of the Bible is Psalm 118.
- The longest Chapter of the Bible is Psalm 119.
- The shortest chapter of the Bible is Psalm 117.
Adding It All Up
- How many chapters exist before Psalm 118? 594
- How many chapters of the Bible exist after Psalm 118? 594
- Add the two together and you get 1188.
- What is the verse at the very center of the Bible? Psalm 118:8*
Psalm 118:8 – “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” (NIV)