Summary of Psalms

psalm summary

Short summary of Psalms. This is the longest book in the Bible with 150 chapters and chapter 119 being the longest at 176 verses. This summary is an extract from The Bible Brief – a Bible summary book by James Paris.

From the outset I have to confess that to summarise a lengthy work such as the book of Psalms in around 500 words or less, is really a preposterous idea, or at best ‘an exercise in futility’.

However that is the remit of the book – to summarise all the books in the Bible in around 500 words – so that is what we have here – enjoy!

When Psalms was written:

Written throughout the period of Israel’s history; most probably put together after the return from Babylon, around 537 B.C.


King David; King Solomon; Moses; Asaph; The sons of Korah; Heman; Ethan the Ezrahite

People & Places:

King David; King Solomon, Jerusalem; Judah; Israel; Egypt

Sound Bites:

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. (Ch.1:1-2)

The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. (Ch.19:1)

For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.

17. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me;

18. They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots. (Ch.22:16-18)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Ch.51:10)

The Messianic Link:

Messiah would be the Son of God (Ps 2:7, 12,)

Messiah would not be abandoned to death (Ps 16:8-10,)

Messiah would be scorned & crucified (Ps 22:6-8)

Messiah would be unjustly hated (Ps 69:4,)

Messiah would be Lord, seated at the right hand of God (Ps 110:1,5,)

In the line of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4,)

Messiah would be rejected ‘stone’ (Ps 118:22 )

Other Messianic Psalms: Chapters 2, 8, 16, 22, 45, 69, 89, 109, 110, 118

The Book in brief:

This book gets its name from the Greek, “a song sung to the accompaniment of a musical instrument.” Fundamentally it is aimed at praise and worship; however it also covers many aspects of human existence such as tragedy, war, wisdom, love, justice, fear and lamentation.

Prophecies and verses relating to the coming Messiah are peppered throughout the book—as seen in the previous ‘Messianic Links’—and a large part of it describes the trials & sufferings of David as he runs from a vengeful Saul; indeed King David is listed as author on 73 different occasions.

Psalm 22 is perhaps one of the most powerful, as it describes the suffering of the Messiah on the cross in great detail—an example of  prophecy in the psalms that was fulfilled in full with the crucified Christ.

Notes & Quotes:

Although this book is generally not regarded as a theological work, it nevertheless plays a major role in our understanding of God and his dealings with us. It teaches us and comforts us in equal measures, thanks to the vast range of subjects that are discussed throughout.

The influence of the book of Psalms continues to play an important part in the praise and worship that we enjoy today, as well as enabling us to enjoy The Lord’s presence even in the most troublesome of circumstances; through the reading of this powerful work.

There is a Psalm for every occasion it seems. Whether you are in a situation that calls for celebration, lamentation or simple reflection, the book of Psalms has it all.


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