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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
Psalms 135



Verses 1-3

1. Introductory call to praise135:1-3

This psalm begins and ends with, "Praise the Lord" (Hallelujah; cf. Psalm 104:35; Psalm 113:1; et al.). The call goes out in Psalm 135:3 again. The priests in particular should praise Him because He is good and because praise is pleasant (lovely).

Verses 1-21

Psalm 135

This psalm of descriptive praise lauds God for His greatness and for blessing His people. Like Psalm 134 , it calls on the priests to praise the Lord.

"The status of Psalm 135 , 136 in relation to the Great Hallel psalms ... in ancient Judaism is not clear. Some Jewish authorities include Psalm 135 , 136 as a part of the collection of Psalm 120-136 , whereas others limit the Great Hallel psalms to135-136 , or even to Psalm 136 alone. Like the Songs of Ascents, Psalm 135 is related to one of the great feasts; but it is far from clear at which feast it was sung." [Note: Ibid, pp818-19.]

"Every verse of this psalm either echoes, quotes or is quoted by some other part of Scripture." [Note: Kidner, Psalm 73-150 , p455.]

Verses 4-7

The sovereignty of God is what called forth the poet"s praise in this psalm. The Lord chose Israel as His special treasure (cf. Deuteronomy 7:6). He is also greater than all the pagan gods because He does whatever pleases Him (cf. Psalm 115:3). This is obvious in His control of nature.

Verses 4-18

2. The cause for praise135:4-18

Verses 8-12

God"s sovereignty is also clear from His control over Israel"s history. He sent the plagues on Egypt, even smiting Pharaoh"s first-born. He also defeated many kings and subdued many nations to give Israel the Promised Land. Notable among these kings were Sihon and Og ( Numbers 21).

Verse 13-14

The everlasting Lord would continue to vindicate His people in His sovereignty because of His compassion.

Verses 15-18

In contrast to Israel"s sovereign God, the idols of the nations are impotent (cf. Psalm 115:4-8). Psalm 135:15-18 illustrate Psalm 135:5 as Psalm 135:8-12 prove Psalm 135:4.

Verses 19-21

3. Concluding call to praise135:19-21

The psalm closes as it opened: with a call to God"s people to praise Him. Particularly from Zion: the Israelites, the priests, the Levites, and the godly should praise the Lord who dwells in Jerusalem.

All God"s servants should praise Him for His sovereignty as He demonstrates it in nature and history. Truly there is no other God like Him.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 135:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 29th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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