The book of Psalms is one of the most unique books in a collection of unique books!
Psalms is the largest book in the Bible. It has 150 chapters, each one a different song.
Each Psalm is not just God’s Word to us; they are also our words back to him. When we don’t know what to pray, or when we don’t feel like praying, we can turn to a favorite psalm and let that be our prayer.
One last thing: Hebrew poetry isn’t about rhyming, meter, or syllable count. It’s about pairing ideas. Broadly speaking, there are three kinds of parallelism found in the Bible. Understanding the structure leads to greater understanding.
REPEATING: The first thought is essentially restated in the second thought
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin. (Psalm 51:2)
DEVELOPING: The first thought is pushed forward in the second thought
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise. (Psalm 51:15)
CONTRASTING: The first thought is the opposite of the second thought.
The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:10)
(These aren’t the official “academic” names … they are synonymous, synthetic, and antithetical parallelism if that’s interesting to you.)