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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary
Psalms 135

 

 


Verses 1-26

Psalms 135-136 God's choice of Israel

Two hymns for use in Israel's public worship appear here side by side. The first is a hymn of praise, the second a hymn of thanksgiving. The two hymns are similar in that they both recall God's loving acts in nature and on behalf of his people Israel. These acts display God's incomparable greatness on the one hand and show up the uselessness of the gods of the heathen on the other.

A call goes out to the worshippers gathered in the temple to praise God because he has chosen the nation Israel to be his people (135:1-4). God's choice of Israel is particularly significant, because anything God does is deliberate. It is as sure and certain as his acts in the creation and control of nature (5-7). He demonstrated his special care for the people of Israel by rescuing them from Egypt, conquering their foes and giving them Canaan for their homeland (8-14). By contrast the so-called gods of other nations are merely useless pieces of metal (15-18). All Israelites should therefore offer thankful worship to their covenant God (19-21).

In the Jewish tradition, Psalm 136 was sung after the Hallel at the Passover Feast (see note introducing Psalm 113). In each verse the leader sings of the greatness of God, and the congregation replies that this is seen in his loyal love to his people, a love that will never end. Israel's God is good, and he is the only true God (136:1-3). He has perfect wisdom and he made all things (4-9). He saved his people from Egypt (10-15), gave them victory over their enemies (16-20) and led them into Canaan (21-22). All this was not because his people deserved his blessings, but because he exercised his steadfast love towards them (23-26).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Psalms 135:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/psalms-135.html. 2005.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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