The Five Books of Psalms

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ The Five Books of Psalms

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!

Psalm 150:6

Wednesday’s Bible reading for Week 36 is Psalms 105–107. I haven’t mentioned the organization and divisions of the Psalms, but because Psalm 107 begins the fifth and last book, I wanted to give you this brief overview from J. G. S. S. Thomson:

“The Old Testament Psalter as we now have it consists of five books. This division goes back to the LXX version [Septuagint], which was begun as early as 300 BC. Every section is easily recognizable because a doxology closes each book. These doxologies are short except the one that ends Book V; there an entire psalm is given over to the closing doxology….Many have seen in this fivefold division an attempt to imitate the division of the Torah into five books, the Pentateuch.1

On the last doxology, M’Caw and Motyer write:

“There is no doxology at the end of the Psalter, possibly because Ps. 150 in itself offers a shout of praise which aptly concludes both the fifth book and the whole collection.2

This chart is based on both sources:

The Psalms
Book Chapters Doxology
One 1–41 Psalm 41:13
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting to everlasting.
Amen and Amen.
Two 42–72 Psalm 72:18, 19

Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who alone works wonders.
And blessed be His glorious name forever;
And may the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen, and Amen.
Three 73–89 Psalm 89:52

Blessed be the LORD forever!
Amen and Amen.
Four 90–106 Psalm 106:48

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
And let all the people say, “Amen.”
Praise the LORD!
Five 107–150 Psalm 150

Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty expanse.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with trumpet sound;
Praise Him with harp and lyre.
Praise Him with timbrel and dancing;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.
Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with resounding cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!

And let all the people say, “Amen.”

Isaiah 42 Photograph: – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications
1J. G. S. S. Thomson, “Psalms, Book of,” The New Bible Dictionary, J. D. Douglas, organizing ed., F. F. Bruce, J. I. Packer, R. V. G. Tasker, D. J. Wiseman, consulting eds., p. 1054.
2Leslie S. M’Caw, J. A. Motyer, “Psalms,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 447.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

3 thoughts on “The Five Books of Psalms

  1. Pingback: Psalms 125–127 |

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