A few days ago, in the morning, as is our customary practice before we each head off to work, we were doing some scripture study. More specifically, I was reading Psalm 72 aloud while my wife was getting herself ready. I hit the last verse of that Psalm and closed the book and then she asked me “why does that last verse say that if there are 150 Psalms in the book?”

I couldn’t even remember what that last verse said. I had been reading a bit mechanically I suppose and wasn’t paying attention. So I had to open up the Psalm again and re-read Psalms 72:20, which says:

The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.

We’re not even halfway through Psalms yet and it’s saying the book is done? I thought that was a good question she was asking and started googling around.

One of the first links in my searches popped across some plausible answers in a specific text – and I thought others might be interested in this find as well. Thomas Hartwell Horne‘s “An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures” (originally published in 1818) is available for free download from Google Books.  I have only glanced at certain things in this text – but so far it looks interesting and useful.

As for the actual answer(s) to the initial question being asked – now you know one place to to look!