The Psalms: An Overview


The Book of Psalms contains songs and prayers for every occasion. In fact, the Psalms collectively cover so much of the faith that they were rightly called a “little Bible” by the Church Fathers. This selection provides a summary of each of the 150 psalms, serving as both an overview of the Book of Psalms and a guide. The psalms are grouped by their traditional “books,” or series of Psalms, ending with a doxology.

This blog post is adapted from Lutheran Bible Companion, Volume 1: Introduction and Old Testament.

Book I, 1–41; Called the “Yahweh Psalter” 

  • Psalm 1 The first psalm shows us the destiny of both the righteous and the wicked. The wicked will, at the final judgment, find themselves alienated from God and, ultimately, inheritors of eternal damnation. No one is exempt from this most frightening fate. Yet God has provided the way of righteousness.
  • Psalm 2 Those who plot against God’s elect incite God’s wrath. The Lord, not human beings, anointed Israel’s king and elected this nation for His plan of salvation.
  • Psalm 3 This psalm recounts a dark period in David’s life. His enemies, including his own son, have overwhelmed and opposed him. Despite his foes’ claim that David’s sins preclude him from salvation, David remains confident that God will protect and deliver him.
  • Psalm 4 David complains that his enemies are speaking ill of him as king in an attempt to shame him. He reminds them that God sets apart the godly from those who behave in such a manner.
  • Psalm 5 Boasting and deceit inevitably lead to destruction. David’s petition reveals that God leads us out of such sins and covers us with His favor.
  • Psalm 6 The first penitential psalm. David pleads with the Lord for deliverance from anxiety, physical discomfort, and sickness caused by a growing awareness of his sinful condition.
  • Psalm 7 David, confident of his righteousness, petitions the Lord to judge him and his enemies justly. He repeatedly asserts that the righteousness of God’s justice must destroy unrepentant sinners, and he compares God’s wrath to that of a soldier preparing to meet his foe.
  • Psalm 8 David thanks the Lord, our Ruler, for His great and inestimable blessing, for establishing such a kingdom and calling and gathering His people.
  • Psalm 9 “The wicked are snared in the work of their own hands,” David observes in this psalm. Because the Lord reigns, the righteous can “be glad and exult” (v 2) in His name.
  • Psalm 10 The psalmist confidently prays that God will root out those who are wicked and take advantage of the weak and poor throughout Israel so that they “may strike terror no more” (v 18).
  • Psalm 11 David confesses his confidence in the Lord’s unmovable favor. The Lord “tests the righteous” (v 5). God’s faithfulness and mercy toward us, however, never wanes or fails.
  • Psalm 12 A cry for help in the face of treachery and deceit.
  • Psalm 13 In moments of fear and frustration, our prayers can easily slip into blaming God for our problems. Asking “How long, O LORD?” (v 1) is okay. The psalm ends with confidence in the Lord.
  • Psalm 14 This psalm clarifies the depth of human sinfulness, while it also illumines the greatness of redemption.
  • Psalm 15 Sincerity and the righteous treatment of others, as taught in the Ten Commandments, are emphasized as the foundation to genuine worship.
  • Psalm 16 The psalm praises the Lord for numerous earthly blessings but moves toward a climactic expression of hope for life in God’s presence beyond the grave.
  • Psalm 17 David begs for protection from a bloodthirsty enemy and trusts confidently in the Lord.
  • Psalm 18 David exults, “The LORD . . . is worthy to be praised” (v 3) and recounts a time when the very cords of death were dragging him down into the abyss. The Lord hears his appeal and comes to his rescue.
  • Psalm 19 The heavens continually declare God’s praise, and the forces of nature daily show forth His glory as they faithfully carry out the duties He has assigned them.
  • Psalm 20 The people desire God’s blessing for their king as he prepares to lead them into battle.
  • Psalm 21 This psalm not only offers thanks to God for Israel’s king (vv 1–7) but also encourages him with promises of the Lord’s blessing (vv 8–12).
  • Psalm 22 facing great opposition, the psalmist initially feels that God has forsaken him and is ignoring his prayers. After remembering God’s faithfulness and deliverance, he believes that God will deliver him and commits himself to telling that message to others.
  • Psalm 23 The Good Shepherd Psalm. In faith, David declares that since Yahweh is his shepherd, he “shall not want” (v 1).
  • Psalm 24 A call for God’s people to worship, noting His creation and glory. Possibly written for the return of the ark of the covenant to the tabernacle (2Sm 6:12–15).
  • Psalm 25 This acrostic psalm includes prayers for victory, teaching, forgiveness, and deliverance.
  • Psalm 26 Pleas of one falsely accused of wrongdoing.
  • Psalm 27 David’s confession of confidence in God, followed by a prayer for help, forgiveness, and guidance.
  • Psalm 28 Facing personal crisis, David realizes he is unable to protect and save himself. He needs God to be his strength and shield.
  • Psalm 29 God’s power is a terrifying thing. The sound of His voice brings forth creation, shakes the mountains and trees, and unleashes the great flood that destroyed the earth.
  • Psalm 30 David summarizes his feelings and God’s response in v 5. Trusting in God’s deliverance, David knows that the sorrow he feels will be replaced with joy as God comforts him.
  • Psalm 31 David says that he hates those who trust in worthless idols; he trusts in the Lord (v 6).
  • Psalm 32 The second penitential psalm. Luther wrote, “The beginning of this psalm teaches two things: first, that all are in sins [no one is righteous] and no one is blessed; second, that no one is capable of meriting the forgiveness of sin, but it is the Lord alone who forgives freely by not imputing [guilt]” (AE 10:147). Psalm 32 also shows the physical, mental, and spiritual implications of being silent in sin.
  • Psalm 33 God’s people are always to put their trust in Him alone and not in arms, generals, national defenses, and so on.
  • Psalm 34 The Lord turns His countenance of favor toward His children, saves them, and blesses them. The Lord turns His countenance away from the wicked and condemns them to eternal death, though His will is to save all people.
  • Psalm 35 David appeals to God Almighty as divine warrior and righteous judge. He prays that God will come to his defense and rescue him from those who were once close friends but who now accuse, slander, and condemn him with malice.
  • Psalm 36 The wicked continuously plot against the Lord’s servants, but His steadfast love is a refuge to those who know Him.
  • Psalm 37 This psalm stresses two things: the righteous are blessed of God in due season, and divine punishment will overtake the wicked.
  • Psalm 38 The third penitential psalm. The Lord chastises His children in order to turn them from temptation and sin and to keep them safe and faithful to Him.
  • Psalm 39 Veiled in uncertainty is a flickering faith that puts its hope in God and in His strength and promise to rescue all who call on His name. 
  • Psalm 40 One who has fallen away from God now cries out for His fatherly kindness and mercy.
  • Psalm 41 Two experiences afflict David: he is sick, and he suffers at the hands of enemies (traitors) who want his throne and his life.

Book II, 42–72; Called “Elohim Psalter,” Pt. 1 

  • Psalm 42 The psalmist experiences despair at the seeming victory of the godless and his separation from God’s merciful presence at the temple.
  • Psalm 43 The psalmist desires vindication for the cause of his sufferings. He asks God for the light and truth that come from His dwelling so that he might return to His sanctuary in joyful worship.
  • Psalm 44 The psalmist recounts God’s past faithfulness but complains that God is now against His people, letting them suffer defeat despite their faithfulness to Him. They petition Him to help them once more.
  • Psalm 45 The psalmist uses a royal wedding to portray our King, who is God, and the fulfillment of His kingdom in His Son.
  • Psalm 46 The almighty and Most High God controls nature, safeguards His chosen city against attacking foes, and stands over all nations at war. He is our sure fortress. In mercy, He makes Himself accessible and is, therefore, “God with us.”
  • Psalm 47 All nations are called to praise God for what He has done for and in Israel. Israel is called to praise Him as their great King, demonstrating His universal rule and salvation.
  • Psalm 48 The Lord of heaven and earth makes His abode with humankind, where He is a strong fortress that shatters every enemy. He is, therefore, worthy of all praise, and we rightly “tell the next generation” (v 13) what He has done.
  • Psalm 49 Wealth and earthly goods cannot buy off death. Those who foolishly rely on them find a very different end than those whose fortune and trust is in the Lord.
  • Psalm 50 God comes as a judge to reprimand His people for the unbelief that hides behind careless ritualism and hypocritical religiosity.
  • Psalm 51 The fourth penitential psalm. This anguished cry of confession from the depths of guilt finds God’s absolution and renewal on the certain footing of grace alone (sola gratia).
  • Psalm 52 A deeply personal lament of David as he speaks directly
    to a vicious enemy (vv 1–7). Confident prayer remembers God’s promises, and it trusts and waits on God’s justice and love. In an unbelieving world, the wicked attack what is good, boast, and even thrive in their evil.
  • Psalm 53 When evil fools encamp against God’s people, He saves and restores them.
  • Psalm 54 The psalmist prays for deliverance amidst persecution by family and even strangers! He is confident that God will help as He always has.
  • Psalm 55 The author finds himself in a town full of wickedness and violence, betrayed by a trusted friend and colleague, with no one to help except God. He turns to the Lord in prayer, entrusting his life to God’s hand with confidence.
  • Psalm 56 The psalmist finds himself in great peril from enemies and turns to God with confidence. Even in the midst of danger, David rejoices in God’s love and His certain deliverance from death.
  • Psalm 57 David turns to God for help. Chased by Saul, his king and father- in-law, David flees for his life and hides in a cave to avoid discovery. He confidently asks God for deliverance and praises God for rescuing him even before it happens (cf 2Sm 22).
  • Psalm 58 David challenges the leaders of the people by condemning the unjust and dishonest.
  • Psalm 59 Includes a prayer for help in times of need (vv 1–7) and assurance of deliverance (vv 8–17). When surrounded by enemies, we turn to God in confidence and trust.
  • Psalm 60 God disciplines those He loves, and He tests His people to build their faith and strengthen the relationship of grace.
  • Psalm 61 David turns once more to God for help in time of need, asking God to restore him to his throne in Jerusalem and bless him in the years and generations ahead.
  • Psalm 62 Hymn of peace and confidence in God, who alone provides security and hope. Wealth deceives people by promising happiness. In the end, wealth, power, and fame turn out to be lies because they do not deliver what they seem to promise.
  • Psalm 63 On the run, cut off from God’s tabernacle and the capital city, Jerusalem, David turns to God in prayer and praise for His love and salvation.
  • Psalm 64 The psalmist’s enemies conspire against him and seek his destruction, but he turns to the Lord in prayer and receives deliverance.
  • Psalm 65 David praises God for the forgiveness of sins, peace in the world, and prosperity in the land—a straightforward song of praise to God for His awesome grace.
  • Psalm 66 A Psalm that can be offered by any believer in any time of hardship. The Lord’s deeds of salvation, culminating in the ministry of Christ, assure His people that He will make all things, even hardships, work out for their ultimate good (Rm 8:28–29).
  • Psalm 67 A psalm of benediction (cf Nu 6:24–26). There is only one way of salvation, which Israel’s God provided in the work of His Son, Jesus.
  • Psalm 68 This psalm seems to be an order of service for a procession at the Jerusalem temple (or the tabernacle). In His sanctuary, God provides His salvation. Without this sanctuary, there is only judgment.
  • Psalm 69 David offers this prayer for help in the midst of attacks and sufferings imposed on his enemies.
  • Psalm 70 An urgent plea for God to remember His people and receive His deliverance from evil.
  • Psalm 71 A psalm for an older believer struggling with assaults on his faith, including temptations to think that his faith was in vain.
  • Psalm 72 Possibly a coronation psalm for Solomon, pleading for God’s help. The psalmist realizes that even the best of the Davidic kings fell short of the ideal.

Book III, 73–89; Called “Elohim Psalter,” Pt. 2 

  • Psalm 73 The psalmist expresses doubts and struggles, yet passes through them to a faith renewed by God’s faithfulness and promises.
  • Psalm 74 Likely written after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 587 BC. The psalmist feels rejected by God yet confesses that He is King and reminds Him of the covenant.
  • Psalm 75 God judges the wicked and delivers the believer according to His timetable. If He seems delayed, we should not lose heart.
  • Psalm 76 God is majestic in both judgment and salvation.
  • Psalm 77 The author expresses certain struggles of faith and doubt which plague many believers. Even strong believers and spiritual leaders among God’s people may find themselves troubled by times of weakness in their faith. But God’s powerful Word strengthens us.
  • Psalm 78 Second-longest psalm in the Psalter. refers to the divisions between the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel. God’s dealings with Israel of old point to His acts toward us today. The psalm culminates in God’s deeds to and through David, highlighting the importance of the covenant with David.
  • Psalm 79 The psalm laments Jerusalem’s destruction, perhaps in 587 BC, and calls for God to remember His people with compassion.
  • Psalm 80 This psalm begs God to restore His people after their fall before foreign armies. The psalmist recognizes that God’s acts of salvation in the past speak assurances for His salvation in the future. Israel repeatedly turned away from the Lord, thus incurring His judgment as a call to repentance.
  • Psalm 81 Even while worshiping the one true God, His people were not listening to His Word. Here God laments the plugging of their ears (v 11), longing for the day they will turn again in repentance. God loves to speak to His people!
  • Psalm 82 Alerts faithful Israelites and all believers that God concerns Himself with the care of individuals. He rebukes the powerful.
  • Psalm 83 The psalmist feels overwhelmed by his enemies, who plot against him. His only recourse is to run to God Most High, whose great deeds he remembers in prayer.
  • Psalm 84 The author has been separated from the sanctuary, where God is rightly worshiped. He now longs to return.
  • Psalm 85 The psalmist feels distress and fear at his exposure to his enemies.
  • Psalm 86 Ascribed to King David, this psalm points to God’s steadfast love (vv 5, 13, 15) as the reason why prayers are answered. He asks for protection against enemies and expresses confidence that God shall indeed act.
  • Psalm 87 God includes people of all nations among His believers, all of whom may claim to be born in Zion (v 5).
  • Psalm 88 This psalm evokes feelings of sadness and abandonment. The psalmist is so overcome by troubles that he wonders if God will hear him. God inclines His ear (v 2) toward His people, always ready to hear and answer us according to His mercy.
  • Psalm 89 Speaks primarily of David, who enjoyed God’s faithfulness (vv 2, 24) and promises. Even when David sinned and felt the weight of God’s Law (vv 38–47), he still relied completely upon God. “How long, O LORD?” (v 46) easily comes to the lips of all who, because of their sins, have suffered under the weight of God’s Law.

Book IV, 90–106

  • Psalm 90 A lament, when the frailty of life stands in stark contrast to God’s eternal strength.
  • Psalm 91 A strong confession of faith and example of life entrusted to God’s protective safety, urging all readers to seek the Lord’s refuge when fearful times arise.
  • Psalm 92 The only psalm tied specifically to the Sabbath. While the Sabbath could be described by what could not be done on that day, this psalm shows what should be done: praise and celebration of God’s great works.
  • Psalm 93 The psalmist affirms that the Lord has always reigned and will do so forever. This confident confession celebrates God’s almighty and eternal reign over even the most chaotic powers in creation.
  • Psalm 94 The psalmist pleads for God to take vengeance on His enemies, repaying the oppressors so that justice returns.
  • Psalm 95 In the midst of national crisis, this psalm assures people that God is king over all. The opening verses have been sung in the Church for centuries as the Venite (Latin for “O come”).
  • Psalm 96 A psalm for joyous occasions (cf 1Ch 16:23–34). Proclaim the marvelous deeds of God’s salvation to all nations!
  • Psalm 97 Joyfully proclaims the power and majesty of God’s rule over creation. When people stand before God to be judged, only two responses are possible: terrified humiliation or joyful thanksgiving.
  • Psalm 98 The psalm’s sole purpose is to praise the victorious God and His marvelous works.
  • Psalm 99 The psalmist proclaims that the Lord is King over all creation, highlighting His holiness, which evokes awe, reverence, and even fear. The psalm recalls Israel’s leaders Moses, Aaron, and Samuel.
  • Psalm 100 A thankful doxology, expressing joy that the Lord established Israel in His steadfast love.
  • Psalm 101 The king, as God’s servant, makes pledges and demands as he leads the people.
  • Psalm 102 The fifth penitential psalm. This lament confesses a deep faith in the Lord’s care and the security that comes from God’s creative and eternal strength.
  • Psalm 103 A call to praise the Lord, introducing psalms that do likewise (Psalm 103–6). The weaknesses of mankind are contrasted with God’s mighty rule.
  • Psalm 104 The psalmist summons himself to praise God as Creator and Preserver of creation. God is indeed Creator of all. He continues to care for His world.
  • Psalm 105 Psalms 105–6 stand together as they recall God’s promises to Abraham, focusing on God’s grace. God frees His people from slavery.
  • Psalm 106 The psalm begins with praise but then moves to confession. One of the most important words in this psalm is “nevertheless” (v 44). Despite Israel’s persistent disobedience, God consistently upheld His promises and saved them.

Book V, 107–150

  • Psalm 107 Focuses on the time of restoration from the exile. History unfolds the prevailing deeds of God’s steadfast love. Because of sin, this world is chaotic and inhospitable.
  • Psalm 108 A response to stress which emphasizes God’s help. Drawn from 57:7–11 and 60:5–12, with a few variations.
  • Psalm 109 David calls for judgment and punishment on those who falsely accuse him. He believes his enemies have removed themselves beyond the reach of God’s grace.
  • Psalm 110 A royal psalm in which the Lord addresses the king. The world looks for the visible manifestation of God. David sees that manifestation prophetically in one of his future descendants: Jesus.

Hallel Psalms, 111–118 

  • Psalm 111 An acrostic psalm praising God’s works. Luther suggested that the words of v 4, “the Lord is gracious and merciful,” should be painted in golden letters around a portrait of the Lord’s Supper (AE 13:375).
  • Psalm 112 An acrostic psalm focused on the person who fears the Lord by keeping in mind His words and works. The fear of the Lord leads us in the wisdom of generosity and contentment.
  • Psalm 113 The first psalm of the “Hallel” (113–118). A general call to praise. The Lord is not overwhelmed. He is exalted on high, and He reaches down low with His salvation.
  • Psalm 114 The only Hallel psalm pointing back to the exodus by which God rescued the needy.
  • Psalm 115 The psalmist encourages Israel not to look to the outward manifestations of strength as did the idol worshipers, but to remember God’s steadfast love. Through the promises of His blessings, God calls His people beyond imagination to the truth of His existence.
  • Psalm 116 Describes the Lord as a deliverer and expresses love for Him.
  • Psalm 117 This shortest psalm celebrates God’s grace with unlimited range
  • of vision.
  • Psalm 118 The last song of the Hallel (113–118), which offers thanks for national deliverance while anticipating the life of Christ
  • Psalm 119 The Great Psalm of the Word. The psalmist’s words of devotion become as timeless as the Law (Hbr torah; “instruction”) and God’s promises, which he loves. He prays for right understanding of God’s teaching. The psalm celebrates God’s universal actions and nature, which are offered to all people in His life-giving Word.

Songs of Ascents, 120–134 

  • Psalm 120 The tongue is a powerful tool of peace or war. God warns of His approaching judgment on lying lips that are eager for war. However, He also invites people to call on Him for peace and salvation.
  • Psalm 121 Written for a pilgrim viewing Jerusalem’s hills. He finds that God, who created all things, is his helper.
  • Psalm 122 Focuses on the entry to Jerusalem as the place of God’s judgment and the peaceful gathering of His people.
  • Psalm 123 Our eyes are to be upon God, both to receive His blessings and to do His bidding. However, when our time of service is filled with contempt from others, we grow tired of waiting for God’s justice.
  • Psalm 124 Strength and safety come only by God’s hand. We are in danger from flood and snare, the overwhelming and the enticing. But God is faithful for His name’s sake. He rescues us so that we will continue to bless and call on His name.
  • Psalm 125 God’s blessing transforms us into mountains surrounding His dwelling place. We are built on His Word as an unchanging rock, and we become pillars by His grace.
  • Psalm 126 God gives the expectation that times of sudden refreshing will come from Him.
  • Psalm 127 Credited to Solomon, this psalm describes the value of the home and children and may also refer to the building of the temple.
  • Psalm 128 Likely a pilgrim song, recited by travelers in the company of their families as the mountains of Jerusalem came into view.
  • Psalm 129 God has already begun to judge, but the psalmist describes a more complete judgment still to come.
  • Psalm 130 The sixth penitential psalm. The psalmist is in a state of emotional desolation, overwhelmed with misery and guilt. Yet, as he realizes God hears his pleas and grants him full forgiveness, his darkness slowly gives way to light and the hope of “plentiful redemption” (v 7).
  • Psalm 131 Before God and the mysteries of existence, we are like little children. And like little children, we can find solace in God’s love for us.
  • Psalm 132 One of David’s sons, the Anointed One, will be enthroned forever. He will clothe His people with righteousness and salvation. This psalm curses the enemies of God’s Anointed, and He will “clothe [them] with shame” (v 18).
  • Psalm 133 Living in unity is as soothing as being anointed with oil, as refreshing as dew from the mountains on a parched desert. Descriptions of the goodness and pleasure of unity and brotherhood remind us that we often experience discord, strife, and disunity instead.
  • Psalm 134 The priests on duty at the temple during the night are urged to bless the Lord, and yet the Lord blesses us.
  • Psalm 135 God’s almighty power is evident in His creation and in His acts of redemption. The true God is contrasted with the man-made deities of false religions.
  • Psalm 136 This great psalm of thanksgiving praises God for His acts of creation and redemption, both in history and in the lives of His people. Every detail, at every stage, is a sign of God’s steadfast love, which, throughout human history, endures forever.
  • Psalm 137 By abandoning God for false religions and the evil ways of the surrounding cultures, the people lost everything. Now, in their exile, they appreciate what they threw away.
  • Psalm 138 God’s name and Word are above everything, including all of the claims of the false gods. He cares for His children, the work of His hands, and His hands will protect them and bring His plans for them to completion. God’s hand is against His enemies.
  • Psalm 139 A meditation on God’s attributes: His omniscience, His omnipresence, His omnipotence, and His holiness. The psalmist’s wonder segues into anger at those who hate God and destroy His gift of life. That God knows our every thought, word, and deed can be terrifying to a sinner. This psalm, above all, proclaims God’s love, which He expresses in His personal care and involvement in all of His creation.
  • Psalm 140 God’s judgment is harsh against those who use their words to harm others—through lies, gossip, slander, or other “poisonous” speech—as well as those who harm others through violence or subtle traps. God is on the side of the poor, the weak, and the oppressed.
  • Psalm 141 Sinners will fall into the traps they have made for themselves and will ultimately be cast down.
  • Psalm 142 David prays to the Lord, pouring out his complaints and troubles. God restores him to the fellowship of faith.
  • Psalm 143 The seventh penitential psalm. The psalmist pleads for God’s mercy, admitting that neither he nor anyone else can stand before God’s judgment. He trusts in God’s righteousness and in His name, not his own. This penitential psalm is a profound description of a repentant heart, which receives God’s grace. The psalmist, giving up on himself, trusts in God’s “steadfast love” (v 8).
  • Psalm 144 The Warrior Psalm. Joyful song of victory by King David, after defeating enemies in battle.
  • Psalm 145 The Mission Psalm. God is our King, and all generations and all the earth must hear about Him. He abounds in mercy, which extends to all His works. The Lord will draw near to those who fear Him (who have been broken by the Law).

Hallelujah Psalms, 146–150 

  • Psalm 146 Do not put your faith in human beings—in politicians, social elite, or individuals, none of whom can save and all of whom will die. Rather, put your trust in God.
  • Psalm 147 God has built Jerusalem and brought the exiles home. His Word that governs nature has been given to the children of Israel in Scripture. The Lord has forgiven those whom He had punished, gathered them from exile, and restored the Holy City.
  • Psalm 148 Moving from the heavens to the earth, the psalm catalogs the whole range of the created order. The praise of creation culminates with praise for God’s redeemed people.
  • Psalm 149 Describes a festival procession to the Temple Mount. Joyous praise of God is interrupted with invocations for God’s “vengeance” and “punishments” (v 7). And yet, despite God’s judgment, He “adorns the humble with salvation” (v 4).
  • Psalm 150 A tenfold “hallelujah!” in the heavens and in the place of worship, with every musical instrument; everything that breathes should praise the Lord because of His mighty deeds and His “excellent greatness”!

In Close, Luther on the Psalms

I hold, however, that no finer book of examples or of the legends of the saints has ever come, or can come, to earth than the Psalter. If one were to wish that from all the examples, legends, and histories, the best should be collected and brought together and put in the best form, the result would have to be the present Psalter. For here we find not only what one or two saints have done, but what he has done who is the very head of all saints. We also find what all the saints still do, such as the attitude they take toward God, toward friends and enemies, and the way they conduct themselves amid all dangers and sufferings. Beyond that there are contained here all sorts of divine and wholesome teachings and commandments.

The Psalter ought to be a precious and beloved book, if for no other reason than this: it promises Christ’s death and resurrection so clearly—and pictures his kingdom and the condition and nature of all Christendom—that it might well be called a little Bible. In it is comprehended most beautifully and briefly everything that is in the entire Bible. It is really a fine enchiridion or handbook. In fact, I have a notion that the Holy Spirit wanted to take the trouble himself to compile a short Bible and book of examples of all Christendom or all saints, so that anyone who could not read the whole Bible would here have anyway almost an entire summary of it, comprised in one little book.

Blog post adapted from Lutheran Bible Companion, Volume 1: Introduction and Old Testament, pages 573–86, 606–7, copyright © 2014 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Learn more about the first fifty Psalms with the Concordia Commentary by Dr. Saleska!

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