Tehillim is plural of Tehilla (תהלה). Tehilla looks like a feminine noun, which is why there's a word called תהלות.

So why is the sefer called Sefer Tehillim?

  • Hebrew not Judaism?
    – andrewmh20
    Oct 3, 2015 at 21:56
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    Note that it is sometimes called "T'hilos".
    – msh210
    Oct 4, 2015 at 1:08
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    @NoachmiFrankfurt it's not a word in Tanach, it's just about grammar relating to our name for a book of Tanach.
    – andrewmh20
    Oct 4, 2015 at 7:51
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    @andrewmh20, yes, it's "about grammar relating to our name for a book of Tanach", which makes it about "language used in Judaism" and puts it squarely within our scope.
    – msh210
    Oct 4, 2015 at 18:45
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    Ibn Ezra and Malbim, both grammarians, called it ספר תהילות Oct 19, 2015 at 20:12

1 Answer 1


It’s basically chazal’s version of The Praises. It is a way to distinguish it from random praises. It is a formal noun. Another example is that Teffilin is called teffilin to make it a formal noun, and to distinguish it from tefillot.

  • 1
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, where we value sourced answers. (After all, nobody knows who I am, so nobody has any reason to trust what I say unless I support it.) Specifically, this claim is interesting and seems somewhat plausible, but do you have any source or argument in its support? In any event, I hope you stick around and enjoy the site, including its 222 other grammar-dikduk questions. Please consider registering your account, to enable more site features.
    – msh210
    Jan 27, 2016 at 16:44

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