At New Moon a certain psalm (number not given in the Talmud) was sung in the Temple (Suk. That the "alphabetical" psalms were not intended originally for liturgical uses may be inferred at least from Ps. Most of this class reflect the study-room of the scholar, and lack entirely the spontaneity of the worshipful spirit. The division into several parts was not in every case altogether due to a desire to imitate the structure of the Pentateuch. Jewish coins display lyres of three strings, and in a single instance one of five strings. Jerome, however ("Prologus Galeatus"), has another order, in which Job is first and the Psalms second, while Sephardic manuscripts assign to Chronicles the first and to the Psalms the second place (comp. The Sefer Tehillim consists of 150 psalms divided into five books, as follows: book i. Is it the nation that pours out its feelings, or is it an individual who unburdens his soul? God's justice and mercy are the dominant notes in the theology of the Psalms. The heavens declare His glory: they are His handiwork. The Book of Psalms is one of the three poetic books denoted as (EMa T = Job [Iyyob], Proverbs [Mishle], and Psalms [Tehillim]) and having an accentuation (see Accents in Hebrew) of their own. Another principle of grouping is concerned with the character of the speaker. ix.-x.), one letter appearing in the place of another (see also Ps. The verbal terms are often anthropomorphic; the similes, bold (e.g., God is seated in the heavens with the earth as His footstool; He causes the heavens to bow down; He scatters the enemies of His people; He spreads a table). Name derived from the Greek ψαλμός (plural ψαλμοί), which signifies primarily playing on a stringed instrument, and secondarily the composition played or the song accompanied on such an instrument. The prevailing scheme is the couplet of two corresponding lines. G." 1891-94), Grimme ("Abriss der Biblisch-Hebräischen Metrik," ib. Sievers ("Studien zur Hebräischen Metrik," Leipsic, 1901; see also "Theologische Rundschau," 1905, viii. The refrain may be said to constitute one of the salient verbal features of some of the psalms (comp. God is the Father who loves and pities His children. Sin and sinners are central to some psalms, but even so is the well-assured confidence of the God-fearing. In the Septuagint (Codex Alexandrinus) ψαλτήριον is used, which denotes a large stringed instrument, also a collection of songs intended to be sung to the accompaniment of strings (harp). The triplet and quatrain occur also, though not frequently. Repentance is the path-pointer to the forgiving God. 1., for instance, rings with an Isaianic protest against sacrificial ritualism. Often the nation is made to speak; yet the "I" in the Psalms is not always national. Of the ten names two variant lists are given, namely: (1) Adam, Moses, Asaph, Heman, Abraham, Jeduthun, Melchizedek, and three sons of Korah; (2) Adam, Moses, Asaph, Heman, Abraham, Jeduthun, David, Solomon, the three sons of Korah counted as one, and Ezra (B. The traditional view was that David, the reputed author of most of these "I" psalms, was in them unbosoming his own feelings and relating his own experiences. Certain it is that the New Testament and Josephus presuppose the existence of the Biblical Psalter in the form in which it is found in the canon. Boys seem to have been added to the men's chorus ('Ar. Twelve adult Levites constituted the minimum membership of a chorus; nine of these played on the "kinnor," two on the "nebel," and one on the cymbals (ib. The kinnor, according to Josephus, had ten strings and was struck with a plectrum ("Ant." vii. The Jerusalem Talmud agrees with Josephus in assigning the nebel to the class of stringed instruments (Yer.
Most of the 150 psalms may, without straining the context and content of their language, be assigned to one or another of these three (or, with their subdivisions, seven) groups. 630) were said to have been written by David, though Adam was worthy to have composed them. ("at the dedication of the house") was ascribed to David as well as to Ezra (ib. Twenty-two times is "ashre" found in the Psalms; and this recalls the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet (ib.
were recited antiphonally by the officiating liturgist and the people.
Those designated for the semiholy days of Sukkot are enumerated in Suk.
According to Talmudic tradition, psalms were sung by the Levites immediately after the daily libation of wine; and every liturgical psalm was sung in three parts (Suk.
During the intervals between the parts the sons of Aaron blew three different blasts on the trumpet (Tamid vii. The daily psalms are named in the order in which they were recited: on Sunday, xxiv.; Monday, xlviii.; Tuesday, lxxxii.; Wednesday, xciv.; Thursday, lxxxi.; Friday, xciii.; and Sabbath, xcii. This selection shows that it was made at a time when Israel was threatened with disaster (see Rashi on Suk. The fifteen "Songs of Degrees" were sung by the Levites at the Feast of Tabernacles, at the festive drawing of water.