INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF PSALMS
Psalms Part I
The word "Psalm," simply transliterates a Greek word "psalmoi," which in turn translates the Hebrew "mizmor." The word in the singular meant primarily the twanging with the fingers, playing on a stringed instrument, then it was used to mean the sound of the harp and finally a song sung to the harp.
The Hebrew name of this book is "The Book of Praises (Hymns)" (Sepher Tehillim). Whether the mood is elation or sorrow, bewail, ferment or confidence, these songs are intended as anthems to the glory of God. They usher us into the sanctuary where the Lord is enthroned on the praises of His people(Ps. 22: 3).
While the Book of Job provides an answer for the following two questions: Why is there suffering in our lives? and How do we handle pain and suffering? the Book of Psalms answers two questions: How can we worship God in a wicked world? and How do we stay pure while being persecuted? In Job, man is taught to know himself, while in the Psalms he is taught to know the Lord and to be in close contact with Him ....
Father Tadros Y. Malaty