What does Psalm chapter 1 mean?The book of Psalms contains 150 inspired songs, each referred to as a "psalm," written mainly by King David. Fifty of the psalms are anonymous. Asaph, a worship leader and prophet, wrote twelve psalms. The sons of Korah wrote ten. King Solomon wrote two (Psalm 72; Psalm 127). It is thought that Heman (Psalm 88) and Ethan (Psalm 89) each wrote a psalm, and Moses also wrote one (Psalm 90). All 150 psalms are poetic works which offer praise to God. These cover a wide range of topics from joy to depression, from peace to persecution, from contemplation to confession, from praise to prophecy, from creation to coronation, and from anxiety to adoration.
This collection was known to the Jews as Sepher Telhillim, "Book of Praises." Set to stringed instrumental accompaniment, Psalms became the hymnbook for temple worship. The Book of Psalms takes its place among the Old Testament's poetic Books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
The Book of Psalms has five divisions. The first of these extends from Psalm 1 to Psalm 41 and relates to Genesis because of its recurring theme of creation. The second division extends from Psalm 42 to Psalm 72 and relates to Exodus because of its theme of redemption. Psalms 73 to 89 comprise the third division and relate to Leviticus because of their emphasis on worship. The fourth division is Psalm 90 to Psalm 106 and relates to Numbers with its many references to Israel's wanderings in the desert. The fifth division extends from Psalm 107 to Psalm 150 and relates to Deuteronomy because of its emphasis on God's Word.
Psalm 1 proclaims truths echoed in the book of Proverbs: that following the wisdom of God is the best and wisest way to live. Like Proverbs, this psalm declares that those who obey God's teachings can avoid consequences arising from sin and disobedience.