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The Psalms
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The book of Psalms (occasionally called the Psalter) is a book of the Old Testament. Because of its original meaning as a song or chant, the word "psalm" can be used to mean any religious chant or poem of praise. The main author is traditionally thought to be King David. The poetry of the Psalms is beautiful. Perhaps one of the most well-known sections is chapter 23 - "The Lord is my shepherd"

The psalms explore the full range of human experiences in a very personal and practical way. Its 150 "songs" run from the Creation through the patriachal, theocratic, monarchical, exilic, and postexilic periods. The tremendous breadth of subject matter in the Psalms includes diverse topics, such as jubilation, war, peace, worship, judgement, messianic prophecy, praise, and lament. The Psalms were set to the accompaniment of stringed instruments and served as the temple hymnbook and devotional guide for the Jewish people.

The Book of Psalms was gradually collected and originally unnamed, perhaps due to the great variety of material. It came to be known as Sepher Tehillim -- "Book of Praises" -- because almost every psalm contains some note of praise to God. The Septuagint uses the Greek word "Psalmoi" (ψαλμοι) as its title for this book, meaning "Poems Sung to the Accompaniment of Musical Instruments." It also calls it the Psalterium ("A Collection of Songs"), and this word is the basis for the term Psalter. The Latin title is Liber Psalmorum, "Book of Psalms."

Read Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary on Psalms

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