Category: A group of biblical books that have a similar literary genre or main themes and have been placed together as a major section of the Bible.
Wisdom Poetry: The poetic books that explore the themes of biblical wisdom and musical worship.
Literary Style: A unique style of writing that follows recognized literary conventions and language patterns.
Poetry: A condensed form of writing that uses metaphorical imagery and creative language to engage the reader’s imagination and emotions.
Song: A biblical poem whose language and imagery is rooted in Israel’s musical worship and repurposed for different literary purposes (praise, lament, moral exhortation).
The book of Psalms has been designed to be the prayer book of God's people as they wait for the Messiah and his coming kingdom.
Watch our Read Scripture video on the book of Psalms, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. There is one Read Scripture video dedicated to the book of Psalms, which aims to help you see its unique contribution to the story of Jesus, but also how it works within the Bible’s overall framework.
Written to join the Hebrew Torah, or the first five books of the Old Testament, the Book of Psalms is a remarkable collection of poems from David, Moses, and other Jewish writers. But one look at Psalms makes it clear that it is much more than enlightening literature: it too is God's Word with equal importance like the Torah. The Psalms also carry an excellent order throughout its chapters and is separated into five main books. Each book carries a specific theme complete with its own introduction, key points, and endnotes.
Through the Psalms, we learn about the importance of prayer and the acknowledgment of pain, as well as the power of praise and fulfillment of prophecy. Note how the Psalms correspond particularly well with Isaiah, Zechariah, and God's covenant with David in Chapter 7 of 2 Samuel.
Teaching the Word
Focusing on the Hebrew Bible, Book 1 reminds readers to remain faithful to God's covenant and look forward to the Messiah's first – and second – coming.
Hope and a Future
Book 2 continues the momentum of prophecy and prayer, encouraging the Jews to look ahead towards a future King and New Jerusalem for all believers.
Remembering the Promise
Book 3 harkens back to Israel's Exile, teaching readers the dangers of rebellion and benefits of obedience. God's judgment and mercy are also key themes.
Origins and Praise
Book 4 recaps Israel's history with Moses and presents a picture of creation worshipping God as King. These bookends reveal our past and future.
The Messiah's Victory
Salvation and triumph resound in Book 5, disclosing the Messiah's victory over evil, praise from God's people, and the Torah's key role in Psalm 119.