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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 135

 

 

Verse 1

Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD praise him, O ye servants of the LORD.

Psalms 135:1-21.-Call to praise, as Yahweh hath chosen Israel for His treasure (Psalms 135:1-4); His omnipotence to do what He will in the heaven, the earth, the seas, and the air (Psalms 135:5-7); His wonders in Egypt performed for Israel, and His gift of Sihon's and Og's lands to His people (Psalms 135:8-12); a pledge that He will again vindicate His afflicted servant (Psalms 135:13-14); what a contrast of weakness the idols present (Psalms 135:15-18); concluding call to all to bless Yahweh (Psalms 135:19-21). As Psalms 115:1-18 belongs to the time when the second temple's foundation was laid; and Psalms 134:1-3 when the building was interrupted; so this psalm was perhaps written when Nehemiah went to Jerusalem and built the walls amidst the opposition of Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite, with the Arabians and Ashdodites. For the reference to God's past deliverances of Israel (Psalms 135:8-11) implies that God's people now again needed deliverance from foes. Psalms 135:1 refers to Psalms 134:1-2; and Psalms 135:21 to Psalms 134:3; Psalms 135:15-18 are drawn from Psalms 115:4-8; Psalms 135:19-21 from Psalms 115:9-12.

Praise ye the Lord - `Hallelujah.' The theme of the psalm, with which it opens and closes.

Praise him, O ye servants of the Lord - not only the priests, as in Psalms 134:1, but the Levites and all Israel (Psalms 135:19-20).


Verse 2

Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God,

Ye that stand in the house of the Lord - the priests and Levites.

In the courts of the house of our God - the people in general (Psalms 92:13; Luke 2:37).


Verse 3

Praise the LORD for the LORD is good: sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant.

Sing praises unto his name; for it is pleasant - or 'lovely;' i:e., His name (i:e., Himself in His manifested attributes) is lovely. The Hebrew (na'im) is the same as is translated "the beauty (no'am) of the Lord," Psalms 90:17, where see note. Others, not so well, translate, "for it is pleasant" to sing praises unto His name: as Psalms 147:1 :


Verse 4

For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.

For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure - (Exodus 19:5.) The "For" introduces the reason for the call to praise. Israel, above all people, has reason to praise Him. "The Lord" - Hebrew 'Jah;' the concentrated essence of Yahweh. "His peculiar treasures" [ c


Verse 5

For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.

For I know - from the proofs that He has given in the experience of His people individually and nationally as also in the works of nature (Psalms 135:6-12).

That the Lord is great, and that our Lord is above all gods - (Psalms 95:3; Psalms 97:9.)


Verse 6

Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth - from Psalms 115:3.


Verse 7

He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain; he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.

He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth (i:e., from the extreme horizon):

He maketh lightnings for the rain: (i:e., to be accompanied with)

He bringeth the wind out of his treasuries - from Jeremiah 10:13; Jeremiah 51:16. The earth, to its farthest limits, is under His control; and we see the clouds brought by His winds from every quarter, however remote.


Verse 8

Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast.

Who smote the first-born of Egypt, both of man and beast. From general acts of God's power He passes to special, and from those done in the heavens to those done in the kingdoms of the earth.


Verse 9

Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his servants.

Who sent tokens and wonders into the midst of thee, O Egypt. The phrase is moulded after Psalms 116:19. The allusion is to the plagues sent before that on the first-born (Psalms 135:8). Compare Exodus 15:7, "thou sentest forth thy wrath" etc.


Verse 10-11

Who smote great nations, and slew mighty kings;

Who smote ... Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bushan - the first of the subdued kings, and among the most powerful (Amos 2:9-10).

And all the kingdoms of Canaan - thirty-one in number (Joshua 12:7-24).


Verse 12

And gave their land for an heritage, an heritage unto Israel his people.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 13

Thy name, O LORD, endureth for ever; and thy memorial, O LORD, throughout all generations.

Thy name, O Lord, endureth forever. The Psalmist breaks off the enumeration, as exceeding his power with this sudden exclamation, Thy name, O Lord, is rendered ever-enduring by thy deeds in behalf of thy people. Wilt thou not again manifest its glory in their behalf?


Verse 14

For the LORD will judge his people, and he will repent himself concerning his servants.

For the Lord will judge his people ... he will repent himself concerning his servants - from Deuteronomy 32:36. Compare Moses' prayer Psalms 90:13. The connection is, turning from addressing the Lord to his fellow-men, the Psalmist implies, I said with truth, that 'the Lord's name will endure forever' (Psalms 135:13); for though now the memorial of the Lord's character as the former Deliverer of His people, seems well-nigh obliterated by our present miseries, yet at length the Lord will repent of chastising us further and will vindicate our cause. Compare Psalms 9:4; Psalms 10:18; Psalms 54:1. 'Repenting,' when attributed to the Lord, refers to His outward change of treatment of men. His essential principle and righteous will knows no change or repenting (Numbers 23:19).


Verse 15

The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hand - so are they from being able to work for men any such wonders as were performed at pleasure by Yahweh for people (Psalms 135:6; Psalms 135:9). Psalms 135:15-18 are where see notes.


Verse 16

They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 17

They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.

Neither is there any breath in their mouths. So far are they from speaking, that they have not even the breath in their mouths which dumb snips have. This verse varies from the corresponding one in Psalms 115:7, which shows how independent was the inspiration of the author of this psalm, even where he used his predecessor's materials.


Verse 18

They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.

They that make them are like unto them. A people never rise above the lord of their gods, which are to them their better nature. Compare note, Psalms 115:8.


Verse 19-20

Bless the LORD, O house of Israel: bless the LORD, O house of Aaron:

Bless the Lord, O house of Israel ... O house of Aaron ... O house of Levi: ye that fear the Lord - (Psalms 115:9-11.) But here the "house Levi" is specially mentioned, which it is not there. Compare Psalms 118:2-4.


Verse 21

Blessed be the LORD out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Blessed be the Lord out of Zion, which dwelleth at Jerusalem - (Psalms 76:2.) As in Psalms 134:3, 'The Lord blessed Israel out of Zion,' so here conversely, by a happy interchange, 'the Lord is blessed out of Zion' by the people. The praise proceeds from the same quarter from which the blessing issues.

 


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 135:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-135.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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