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Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21

You’ve heard of songs of praise. Psalm 145 is a psalm of praise. It is titled a Tehillah of David. In English, Tehillah is praise. This is the only psalm in the entire psalter to wear that title. While psalms of supplication are more numerous than psalms of praise in the psalter, Jewish tradition regards the purpose of the psalms to be praise to God. The Jewish Talmud highlights the importance of this psalm: “Everyone who repeats the Tehillah of David three times a day may be sure that they are a child of the world to come” (Berakhot, 4b).[1]

As an acrostic psalm, each verse begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which has 21 letters. The 14th letter, nun, is missing in the Masoretic texts, but exists in the text found at Qumran. A number of versions add it as verse 13b.[2] The other acrostic psalms are 9, 10, 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, and 119. Of these nine acrostic psalms, five are attributed to David. He had a real gift for language.

Donald Williams provides the following structure for this psalm:

Commitment to Praise (vv. 1–3)

Generations Praise You (vv. 4–9)

Your Work Praises You (vv. 10–13)

You Uphold Those Who Fall (vv. 14–16)

You are Righteous to All Who Call Upon You (vv. 17–21)[3]