Register

Log in

Psalm Types

The Psalms are divided in a couple of different ways. In the “Introduction to the Psalms” I gave a list of how they were divided into five books. There is a further breakdown into more specific types, depending upon the tone of each individual Psalm.

Below, I list the Psalm number first, then the type of Psalm and follow with a short description of what you might find in that type.

There are probably as many ways to classify the Psalms as there are people who want to classify them. I searched several resources and found some that are very simple and useful; one, I found, went so far as to classify individual verses in a Psalm.

I have pooled the best resources and made one big table of classification. You’ll see some Psalms listed twice in various categories. That’s fine. Each Psalm is likely to have different characteristics that fit into a couple of different categories. For instance, the Psalmist could have a lament in the first part, an imprecatory prayer half-way through and end up in the thanksgiving category.

3-5, 7, 11, 13, 16, 17, 22, 26-28, 31, 35, 41-44, 54-57, 59-64, 69-71, 74, 77, 79, 80, 83, 84, 86, 88, 89, 94, 102, 109, 120, 123, 129, 137, 140-143 Afflictions (Lament) Prayers for God’s deliverance and for comfort when everything seems to be going wrong.
1, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 24, 25, 32, 34, 36, 37, 39, 49, 50, 52, 53, 58, 73, 75, 82, 84, 90, 91, 92, 94, 101, 112, 119, 121, 125, 127, 128, 131, 133 Didactic Psalms intended to teach.
78, 105, 106 Historical Deals with a portion of Jewish history — commonly with the flight from Egypt.
5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 25, 28, 31, 35, 40, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 68, 69, 70, 71, 79, 83, 94, 109, 119, 129, 137, 139, 140, 143, 144 Imprecatory Prayers of a man for vengeance on his enemies.
20, 67, 112, 122, 132, 134, 144 Intercessional Prayers requesting favor for another.
2, 16, 67, 68, 69, 72, 93, 96, 97, 98, 99, 110, 118 Messianic Psalms that contain references to Christ.
6, 25, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143 Penitential Psalms that deal with sin and forgiveness.
8, 19, 24, 29, 33, 47, 50, 65, 66, 76, 77, 93, 95, 96, 97, 99, 104, 111, 113, 114, 115, 134, 139, 147, 148, 150 Praise
2, 16, 22, 40, 45, 68, 69, 72, 87, 97, 110, 118 Prophetic Psalms regarding the coming Messiah.
8, 9, 18, 19, 21, 23, 29, 30, 32, 34, 36, 40, 41, 46, 48, 65, 66, 68, 75, 76, 81, 85, 91, 98, 100, 103-108, 111, 116, 117, 118, 121, 124, 126, 129, 135, 136, 138, 144, 145, 146, 149 Thanksgiving Praise God for His graciousness and show gratitude for the blessings He gives.
113, 118 Hallel These were sung on the night of Passover. Hallel means praise.
43, 46, 48, 76, 84, 87, 120,134 Pilgrimage — Psalms of Ascent Songs of worship for pilgrims. They express celebration and reverence.
2, 18, 20, 21, 45, 72, 89, 101, 110, 132, 144 Royal Proclaims the reign of the earthly king and the heavenly King. Illustrates the need to make the Lord the master in our daily lives.
47, 93, 96,99 Enthronement Describes God’s sovereign rule and affirms His position as a powerful Creator and sovereign Lord.
1, 37, 119 Wisdom Guides us to the path of righteousness. Shows us to seek God’s will and direction.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.