What is the Psalter?

Elena Melnichenko
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What is the Psalter?

The Psalter is the name of one of the many books of the Bible. To explain what the Psalter is, you need to understand from which word it comes. The name Psalter is associated with the name of the string instrument used to sing psalms, this instrument is called psaltiri. The second title of the book Psalter - Psalm, while the word "psalm" means a song of praise that praises God and is used to worship him.


This book, located in the Hebrew Scriptures or the Old Testament, consists of 150 chapters or songs. At the time of the writing of the Psalter, all the songs that were there were intended to be played to music in the temple in Jerusalem, where the Israelites worshiped God Jehovah (Yahweh).

In addition to the songs of praise, the Psalter includes prayers that convey the feelings of the authors of these songs, express requests for help and mercy to God, as well as feelings of hope and confidence.


In some psalms there are headlines in which the name of the author who composed the song is indicated.Most often you can find the name of David - the king in Israel. The Psalter is divided into five separate books. For example, the first book includes chapters from 1 to 41, and the second book - chapters from 42 to 72, etc.

The nine psalms are written in a special style called acrostic. It assumes the alphabetic spelling of the text. In this case, the first verse of the chapter or the first verse in the stanza begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The next verse or second stanza begins with the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet. And so it continues until the end of the alphabet.


The numbering of the psalms is different. For example, there are two types of numbering: Greek and Masoretic. Some translations, such as the Synodal Bible translation, use Greek numbering. In other Bible translations, the Masoretic type is used to number the Psalms.

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