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The Book of Psalms is the largest and perhaps most widely used book in the Bible. It explores the full range of human experience in a very personal and practical way. Its 150 "songs" run from the Creation through the patriarchal, theocratic, monarchical, exilic, and postexilic periods. The tremendous breadth of subject matter into the Psalms includes diverse topics, such as jubilation, war, peace, worship, judgement, messianic prophecy, praise, and lament. The Psalms were set to the accompaniment o stringed instruments and served as the temple hymnbook and devotional guide for the Jewish people.
The Book of Psalms was gradually collected and originally unnamed, perhaps due to the great variety of material. It came to be known as Sepher Tehillim " Book of Praises" because almost every psalm contains some note of praise to God. The Septuagint uses the Greek word Psalmoi as its title for this book, meaning "Poems Sung to the Accompaniment of Musical Instruments". It also calls it the Psalterium (" A Collection of Songs"), and this word is the basis for the term Psalter. The Latin title is Liber Psalmorum, "Book of Psalms".
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