The Orthodox Church as well as the Coptic Church, Armenian Church and the Armenian Catholic Church accept Psalm 151 as canonical. Roman Catholics, Protestants, and most Jews consider it apocryphal. However, it is found in an appendix in some Catholic Bibles, such as certain editions of the Latin Vulgate, as well as in some ecumenical translations, such as the New Revised Standard Version.

Although for many years scholars believed that Psalm 151 might have been an original Greek composition and that “there is no evidence that Psalm 151 ever existed in Hebrew”, it is now known from the Dead Sea scrolls that this psalm did in fact exist in Hebrew and was a part of the psalter used by the Qumran community.

The title of the psalm states that it was written by David after his battle with Goliath. As it stands in the Greek text in this psalm, David rejoices that God favors him and hears his prayers and worship. David states that he was the least of his brothers, and yet God chose him to be anointed king (vv. 1–5). It goes on to commemorate how David cut off Goliath’s head with the Philistine’s own sword, and thereby removed Israel’s disgrace (vv. 6–7).

The psalm assumes familiarity with and draws ideas and phraseology from elsewhere in the Bible.