Book summary

Psalms is a collection of 150 beautifully written songs, poems and prayers. They are filled with imagery and a massive range of emotions, including joy, sorrow, love, anger, hope, despair, and awe.

The Hebrew title of Psalms is tehillim, which means “praises”, while the Greek translation is psalmoi, which means “instrumental music”. There are many different known and unknown authors, though about half are attributed to David.

Psalms is divided into five parts, perhaps to imitate the five books of the Torah. Each book ends with a short hymn of praise (doxology).

Chapters 1-41 — Book I

Ch 3-41 — David I

  • [“A psalm of David.”]


  • Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. (Ps. 41:13)

Chapters 42-72 — Book II

Ch 42-49 — Sons of Korah I

  • [“Of the Sons of Korah.”]

Ch 51-65 — David II

  • [“A psalm of David.”]


  • Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. (Ps. 72:19)

Chapters 73-89 — Book III

Ch 73-83 — Asaph

  • [“A psalm of Asaph.”]

Ch 84-88 — Sons of Korah II

  • [“Of the Sons of Korah.” Except for Psalm 86, which is a psalm of David.]


  • Praise be to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen. (Ps. 89:52)

Chapters 90-106 — Book IV

Ch 95-100 — Praise I

  • [“Sing to the Lord.”]


  • Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the Lord. (Ps. 106:48)

Chapters 107-150 — Book V

Ch 113-118 — Hallel

  • [These six psalms are a Jewish prayer of praise and thanksgiving, recited on occasions such as the Passover. It’s considered likely to be the hymn that Jesus and his disciples sang at the Last Supper — see Matthew 26:30.]

Ch 120-134 — Ascent

  • [Perhaps sung by worshippers as they ascended the road to Jerusalem, or by Levites as they ascended the steps at the Temple of Jerusalem.]

Ch 138-145 — David III

  • [“A psalm of David.”]

Ch 146-150 — Praise II

  • [“Praise the Lord.”]


  • Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. (Ps. 150:6)