The Psalms

14 Facts About the Book of Psalms

By Menachem Posner

1. Tehillim Is Also Known as Psalms

Tehillim, a book slim in size but towering in importance, has a special place in the Jewish library. Its Hebrew name, Tehillim (תהילים), means “praises,” and it contains many praises and supplications to G‑d. In English it is known as “Psalms,” from the Greek ψαλμοί, which means “instrumental music.”

Start Reading Psalms

2. It Was Compiled By King David

Much of the book was composed by King David, referred to as the “sweet singer of Israel.”1 Indeed, nearly half of its chapters are preceded with “Mizmor Ledavid” (“A Song to David”)2 or another opening line ascribing it to David. Some are unattributed, while some have the names of others such as Asaph,3the Sons of Korach,4 Solomon,5 and Moses.6The Talmud tells us that David composed it using the output of 10 Elders, only some of whom are named in the Book of Psalms.7

Read: Who Composed the Book of Psalms?

3. It Is Divided Into 5 Sub-Books

The Book of Psalms is divided into five smaller sections (“books”). Our sages compare it to the Torah, which also contains five books (hence the name, Five Books of Moses). The Torah was transmitted by Moses, “the greatest of the prophets,” and we received the Psalms via David, “the greatest of the kings.”8

Read: What Are the Five Books of Moses?

4. It Was Sung in the Holy Temple

When the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, the Levites would sing and play music. What would they sing? Psalms. There were special chapters for each day of the week,9 as well as Psalms reserved for when the First Fruit (bikkurim) were brought,10 and other special occasions. And of course there is the Hallel(Psalms 113-118), which was sung when the Passover sacrifice was brought.11

Read: 9 Facts About the Holy Temple in Jerusalem

5. It Gave Us the Word Hallelujah

The Psalms of Hallel (which means “praise”) often contain the word הללוי-ה, which means “praise G‑d” and has been mangled into “hallelujah” in English. The word appears a total of 24 times in Psalms, all of them in the final third of the book, and never in any other books of Scripture.

Note that since this word contains the name of G‑d, Jews do not use it in casual conversation.

Read: Why Don’t Jews Say G‑d’s Name

6. It Has 150 Chapters

Open any book of Psalms and you can easily count that there are 150 individual Psalms. Interestingly enough, however, the Talmudtells us that there are 147 Psalms, corresponding to the years of the life of Jacob, the common ancestor of all Jews.12This discrepancy is because there are certain Psalms (such as Psalms 1 and Psalms 2) which were originally considered a single chapter.

7. It Is the First Book in “Writings”

The Hebrew Scriptures contain 24 books, which are divided into three parts: Torah (the Five Books of Moses), Prophets (Neviim) and Writings (Ketuvim). In the standard editions, Tehillim is the 14th of the bunch and is the first in the section of Writings.

Read: The Structure of the Hebrew Scripture


6 thoughts on “The Psalms

  1. Complex, abstract ideas require concise & precise explanations. Antisemitism – first cause? Jewish assimilation and intermarriage. Why? 2nd Sinai commandment. How? The Torah commands, a precedent, do not follow the customs, manner, and practices of Egypt and Canaan. Assimilation violates this commandment because all Goyim cultures and customs do not accept the Torah at Sinai any more than do the customs of Egypt and Canaan. Therefore assimilation and intermarriage violates the 2nd Sinai commandment. Avoda zarah releases tumah spirits into the souls of Goyim, comparable to wind going through an open window. Who then bears full responsibility for the Shoah? The Jewish people and only the Jewish people. Why? Because we alone accepted the blessings and curses of the Torah at Sinai.

    Pesach all about removing משל\נמשל the tumah חמץ\avoda zarah. What best defines avoda zarah? Forbidden מלאכה. Clear as the sun in the sky on a cloudless Summer Day, Shabbot serves as a precedent to all the Yom Tov observances based upon forbidden מלאכה. What does this have to do with Pesach?

    The enslavement of Israel by Par’o and Egypt constitutes as forbidden מלאכה like as does theft, oppression, ערוה, and bribery of judges! A completely different set of forbidden מלאכות. Based upon the Tree of Good and Evil. Shabbat has a set of forbidden מלאכות and Chol as a different set of forbidden מלאכות. Just as on shabbat, permitted to do מלאכה, like moving a couch from one floor of your house to another floor. So too on chol, the Torah commands to do מלאכות, required to work and make a living.

    Pesach Jews dedicate not to do/behave toward other Jews in a manner as did Par’o toward Israel. Hence the 39 “forbidden labors” which define Shabbat observance, to not do forbidden מלאכות … so too and how much more so the 6 days of Chol … equally applicable, not to do the forbidden מלאכות, measured by which Par’o enslaved Israel in Egypt. Ya cannot dedicate the one without equally dedicating the other.

    Rosh HaShanna judges the commitment to keep the brit relationship. Yom Kippur judges the generations of our People as a whole. Moshe & Aaron & Miriam, for example, could not enter the land of Israel because their generation died in the Wilderness. Their life destiny tied to that of their generation.

    The Goyim religions have no such depth. Their primitive/barbaric cult of personality of Moshiach/messiah – utter and complete narishkeit. For over 2000+ year Jews have informed Goyim of their false messiah error. The notion that the Moshiach builds the Beit HaMikdosh/temple, exists as only a משל/metaphor. The prophet Natan obeyed direct Torah commandments, he commanded David not to copy Egyptian and Canaanite cultures and customs and build some silly Catholic like Cathedral! Israel did not come out of Egyptian slavery to worship God – not in a tent and nor in a damned Cathedral! Israel came out of Egypt for the direct & sole purpose: to conquer the lands of Canaan, and thereafter to rule these lands with justice. That’s the whole of the brit faith according to all the prophets, end of story.

    The fancy halachic ritualism practiced by Judaism, its garments of religion, confuse simple Yidden just as does the mystery of church dogmatism baffles Goyim minds. Israel did not come out of Egyptian slavery to become Frumkeit religious, and wear beaver hats and long black coats. Israel came out of Egypt, accepted the revelation of the Torah, to establish this Torah as the concrete Constitution of the Israelite Republic of Tribes, in the conquered lands of Canaan. No Goyim civilization ever made the Torah their Constitution like Saudi Arabia & Iran has made the Koran their Constitutions.

    Prior to the revelation of the Torah, יתרו/Jethro rebuked Moshe, “you cannot judge this People alone by yourself; set up courts of law”. The law court common law system which Moshe established, as seen through his final mitzva, before he passed from this world, a lateral common law court system. Not till the American revolution did Goyim attempt to establish a lateral legal system, by means of establishment of jury trials.

    The simple 3-man Torts Court breaks down into appointing 2 of the Court justices to function as both prosecutor and defence attorney. The Capital Crimes Sanhedrin courtrooms equally divided. The opposing judges attempt to persuade one another to switch sides, similar to jury duty. If at the conclusion of the case – the Court remains divided – then the Nasi of the Court makes the final ruling.

    The States of the American Republic originally sent Representatives to Congress to likewise work out majority coalitions among other States of the Union, in order to pass Bills through Congress. The idea that Political Parties could overshadow and dominate individual State interests never occurred to the Founding Fathers. That “Party discipline” over-rules the interests of the States who sent their Representatives to Congress, utterly absurd, similar to the false messiah that Goyim worship as God.

    An initial equal division of court justices into prosecution and defence matches the picture of an opposing set of scales. Lateral court judges do not receive any salary from the State. All Goyim courts exist as vertical courts, the State “bribes” their (owned) Justices and (owned) Prosecuting Attorneys, by paying their salaries.

    Fair compensation for damages inflicted, committed through negligence or with intent, a simple parameter to achieve righteous justice. In Capital Crimes cases: measure for measure means life for life. Just this simple example alone proves that Justice requires simplicity because compensation for pain and suffering should occur while the victim directly feels and endures pain and suffering – not 30 years after the fact, as commonly defines the American appellate court system today.

    Justice requires compensations paid directly to the victim. Not to enrich the treasury of the State or prosecuting or defence attorneys — who profit from extended long drawn-out nightmare trials. Like any opposing team competition, a trial has a set time: A defined beginning and end; not an end, followed by a retrial, retrial, retrial etc. A Capital Crimes Case that comes to a split court decision, the Torah rests with the final decision authority made by the Nasi of the Court. Just that simple.

    Herein defines the נמשל/moral of the משל\metaphor of the mitzva of Moshiach and the building of the משל Beit HaMikdosh. Justice depends not upon a building a building, constructed of wood and stones, nor a glorified Tent in the desert with a brass & golden altar. Justice depends upon rationally determining the value and severity of damages inflicted, and to compel the guilty party to compensate the injured party for damages so inflicted.

    Justice: limited strictly to the times when Jews rule the conquered lands of Canaan, herein defines the mitzva of Moshiach for all generations of Israel. During the g’lut years of Egyptian slavery, Israel received no justice. During the 40 years of the Wilderness generation of exile, Moshe did not establish the Great/Small Federal Sanhedrin court system. Just as the Sanhedrin has no jurisdiction outside the borders of Israel today, so to Yidden cannot keep and observe Torah commandments לשמה in g’lut/exile. תמיד מעשה בראשית only applies when Jews rule and govern the lands of Canaan. Torah outside of the lands of Israel exists merely and only as but a vision of faith, never a concrete reality, historical fact of faith.

    Moshe anointed the House of Aaron as Moshiach, not primarily to burn animals upon a brass altar – this metaphor exists merely a משל. But to establish a Judicial bureaucracy which commits to swear the nation; to remember the oaths by which our forefathers established the brit faith: Justice Justice pursue – the נמשל of anointing the House of Aaron as Moshiach. Two ways the Torah permits the generations of Israel to swear a Torah oath, to cut or renew the oath brit faith. The first option: bring a korban sacrifice with the intension to swear a Torah oath. The 2nd option: to stand before a Sefer Torah. Tefillah “”Amidah”” stands instead of the משל korbanot. An explicit ruling found in the Gemara of ברכות. In a beit knesset a Yid “”stands”” before a Sefer Torah when he “swears” ברכות/blessings – the Shemone Esrei.

    Blessings, toldot/offspring\ of oaths. The Gemara in both tractates Shabbat and Baba Kama affirms that the toldot follow after the Avot. Swearing a Torah oath requires k’vanna, knowing what means the intent of שם ומלכות. Translating words accomplishes absolutely nothing, because the ברכת כהנים, קריא שמע, ותפילה all lack שם ומלכות, yet all three define a blessing as opposed to saying Tehillem. ברית does not mean ‘covenant’. All the bible and Koran translations fail to include the Name of HaShem, the 1st Sinai commandment, within their translated Books. To swear a Torah oath requires both שם ומלכות. Translating מלכות into “Kingship” means absolutely nothing.

    K’vanna requires knowledge of מלכות, meaing tohor middot revealed at Horev following the golden calf. Knowledge of the distinctions which separates the meaning of one tohor midda from another tohor middah requires a Rav. Rabbi Akiva’s פרדס logic system stands upon knowledge of the Torah 13 middot: אל רחום וחנון וכו, revealed to Moshe at Horev.

    Oral Torah common law depends upon tohor middot by which the generations of scholars interpret and understand prophetic mussar; the Aggaditah of the Talmud weaves prophetic mussar into rabbinic halacha which both defines and refines the פשט/the simple meaning of complex abstract thought. Parshat Noach teaches that the floods brought a Shoah to all bnai brit civilizations – due to peoples’ lack of fear of Heaven. They swore false oaths in courts of law because they despised justice. Much like American politicians permit a corrupt voting process in the US democracy today.


    1. Greetings. We are not arguing with you. We are spreading the gospel by sharing. The Old Testament is where Jews and Muslims parted ways as Christianity became new to the masses in truth. May our Lord and savior in and though the greatness of our creator unify us forever more. Peace.


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