What are wisdom Psalms? (How many wisdom psalms are there?)

While learning about the various Books of Psalms, one of my students was curious to know more about the Wisdom of Psalms. The question raised more questions, like how many they were and what they meant.

Given my theological knowledge and deep understanding of the Psalms, I was able to answer all the questions. After the class, I saw it as a good idea to write this article to help others with similar questions.

So, what is wisdom psalms?

Wisdom psalms are psalms that reflect on Wisdom, the law of God, and the fate of the wicked and the righteous. They teach believers to fix their minds and hearts on the truly ultimate things rather than living for short-term gain.

Join me in this article as we delve further into Wisdom Psalms. We will explore their characteristics, how many they are, and why they are called wisdom psalms, so read until the end.

Why are they called wisdom psalms?

Some Psalms are called wisdom Psalms because they focus on the primary importance of Wisdom as they offer words of Wisdom.

They teach about the characters of the righteous and the wicked and how their pursuit leads to their fates. They also emphasize the fear of the Lord.

For instance, Psalms 1:1 declares that blessed are people who don’t entertain the wicked but are enjoyable in the law of God: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

This Wisdom psalm teaches that following the ways of the Lord brings prosperity and blessings.

One has to be wise to choose the right path of the Lord because foolish people will be manipulated by the wicked.

How many wisdom psalms are there?

What are wisdom Psalms? 
How many wisdom psalms are there? Image source: Pixabay

Though many Psalms discuss the aspect of Wisdom, there are eight Psalms of Wisdom that focus on the theme of Wisdom and speak about the fear of the Lord. They include Psalms 1, 14, 37, 73, 91, 112, 119, and 128.

Psalm 1 states happy are those who delight in the law of God and do not follow the ways of the wicked. Psalm 14 defines wise people as those who seek after the Lord.

Psalm 37 reflects on the respective fates of the wicked and the righteous.

Psalm 73 is a bit different from the other psalms of Wisdom since it admits the problems of the wicked. Psalms 91 and Psalms 119 are more focused on the meditation of the Torah (the law of the Lord) and less concerned with retribution.

Psalm 112 is also a bit different since it focuses on the wise with the virtue of generosity. Psalm 128 emphasizes more on the fruits of Wisdom.

What are the characteristics of wisdom psalms?

One characteristic of Wisdom psalms is that their tone tends toward meditation, reflection, and contemplation. They also have a didactic character. They are focused on a moralistic nature.

In addition, they focus on the fate of the wise (righteous) vs. the foolish (wicked). They show the difference between the righteous, who seek God and his Wisdom, and the wicked, who are foolish and focus on the ways of the wicked.

Wisdom psalms also focus on the law of God. Often, some of the wisdom Psalms, such as Psalms 119, are referred to as Torah Psalms because they emphasize the law of God.

What is the Wisdom of Psalm 1?

The Wisdom of Psalm 1 is that happiness comes from choosing to walk on a righteous path by following the law of the Lord and not the advice of the wicked.

This Wisdom is connected to other people as it teaches us to avoid people who influence us to do wrong things or lead us to wicked ways.

It warns the believers that if they follow the advice of the wicked, they will be blown away like chaff. It also assured the believer that if they follow the law of the Lord, they will prosper.

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