How many Psalms did David write? (What Psalms did David write?)

For a long time, many Christians, including myself, associated the Books of Psalms with David. In fact, some of my theology students thought that David was the only author of these books.

I wasn’t surprised by this but instead used my theological knowledge to enlighten them on the truth. Our discussion started with answering the question, how many psalms did David write?

Most Bible scholars agree that, in total, psalms directly credited to David are 73. One of the Psalms that does this is Psalm 3. Here the Bible declares that David wrote the specific song when escaping from his son Absalom. But this is among the many other Psalms that credit David.

In this article, I will unravel the mystery around David’s psalms, why most of them sound sad, and other interesting facts.

Read along to learn more.

What Psalms did David write?

A portion of Biblical scholars attribute at least 75 Psalms to David. They also claim that all but two of these bear his name.

However, they use Acts 4:24-25 and Hebrews 4:7 to verify that it is David who wrote Psalms 2 and Psalm 95, respectively.

Acts 4:24-25 says, “You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: ‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?'”

Nevertheless, others posit that according to the Jewish tradition, David wrote 88 Psalms. A good number of Christians conclude that only 73 Psalms are directly attributable to David.

These 73 Psalms include Psalm 3-9;11-32,34-41,51-65,68-70,86,101,103,108-110,122,124,131-133,138,140-145. Therefore, many Bible teachers say that David authored 73 Psalms.

Most popular Psalms of David

How many Psalms did David write? 
Most popular Psalms of David. Image source: Pixabay

Psalm 23

A good number of theologians say that this Psalm is one of the popular ones. The Bible says in this Psalm that David felt self-sufficient when walking with the Lord.

The Bible further says that David believed no one could harm him because God was with him.

Accordingly, most Christians agree that this Psalm is favored because it is a song of hope that any believer can recite. They explain that this Psalm can strengthen your faith if you are a Christian.

Psalm 27

This Psalm is also said to be very popular. In this Psalm, the Bible says that David praises God for His greatness and asks for salvation.

A subset of believers posits that this verse will help you affirm your faith in God if you are a Christian. For this reason, they say this is one of many Christians’ go-to psalms.

Psalm 37

Psalms 37 is also classified among the most popular Psalms. According to the Bible, David instructs his listeners in this hymn to trust the Lord completely.

Therefore, a good number of scholars regard this as a famous motivational psalm for believers going through difficult times.

They say that if you are a Christian, this Psalm reminds you that your pain will not last forever and evil will not win for long.

Why do many Psalms of David sound so sad?

Bible experts explain that most of these psalms pass as songs of lament, typically used in repentance. They say that David faced hardships sometimes due to his misdeeds.

David always strived to live according to God’s instructions. Accordingly, he acknowledged the imperfect nature of human beings and repented a lot.

Therefore, it is justifiable that many of them sound so sad. Other Bible scholars further explain that David had a rocky political life involving warfare.

According to most Psalms attributed to David, he had to plead with the Lord or complain about His apparent inaction through these scriptures.

What are the themes covered in the Psalms of David?

How many Psalms did David write?
What are the themes covered in the Psalms of David? Image source: Pixabay

A good number of Bible scholars agree that the themes covered in these psalms reflect sadness, discouragement, and complaints to God.


As seen in some Psalms, David complained about his life, actions, and enemies. David sometimes felt that the Lord was not doing enough to defend his people and complained about God’s silence.


When we read the Psalms attributed to David, it is clear that he did not just complain. He always acknowledged God’s might in worship within the psalms. David always concluded the Psalms with his expression of trust in the Lord.

When did David start writing the Psalms?

The Bible does not say when David started writing psalms. Certain Christians also say that David’s psalms are not chronological, making it hard to trace when he first wrote one.

They say that taking Psalm 3 as David’s first Psalm is misleading because it talks about his conflict with Absalom, which happens much later in his reign as king.

They suspect that David must have written certain psalms immediately after defeating Goliath.

Do the psalms of David reflect his life?

It is believed among Christians that these psalms reflect his life. In Psalm 18, the Bible says David wrote the song after the Lord had saved him from his enemies and Saul.

Accordingly, there are experts in Bible studies who hold that this Psalm reflects David’s troubled life involving war and battles.

According to Psalm 56, David wrote the song when the Philistines took David captive in Gath. In that passage, the Bible says that David begged God to be merciful and rescue him.

A good number of preachers use this passage to prove that the songs reflected his desperation for God’s salvation.

Why do people believe that David wrote all the books of Psalms?

Several Bible scholars conclude that the widespread assumption among Christians that David wrote all the books of Psalms is not baseless.

They acknowledge a consensus that David was undisputedly God’s chosen one. They add that this narrative exists because David was the most qualified king of Israel.

Therefore, others say that David enjoys this attribution because he was also the ideal leader of worship by the people of Israel.

Some submit that this narrative comes from previous attempts to name the entire collection differently, as stated in Psalm 72:20.

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