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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Psalms 135



Verses 1-21

This psalm is an enlargement on the subject of the preseding psalm. It calls upon the priests, the levites, and all Israel to praise the name of the Lord, on a review of his mercies to their fathers. It has no title in the Hebrew, but bears the style and character of David’s compositions.

Psalms 135:6. In all deep places; all parts of the seas, where no soundings can be found.

Psalms 135:14. He will repent him concerning his servants. When they repent under his rod, he also repents, remembering that they are but dust.


This psalm, like the hundred and fourth and fifth, excites the soul to devotion, by a survey of God’s works in the kingdom of nature, and of his mercies towards Israel. When we also praise God for similar mercies, our devotion is aided by the objects of sense, to trust in the Lord for evermore.

The style here is distinguished by a strength and majesty which leave modern poets very far behind. “He causeth vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth;” and when the heavens are covered with darkness, “he maketh lightnings for the rain: he bringeth the wind out of his treasuries.” They who in old time, says good bishop Horne, “paid their devotion to the elements, imagined those elements to be capable of giving or withholding rain at pleasure. Therefore we find the prophet Jeremiah reclaiming that power to JEHOVAH, as the God who made and governed the world. Are there any among the vanities of the gentiles that can cause rain; or can the heavens give showers? Art not thou he, oh JEHOVAH our God? Therefore we will wait upon thee, for thou hast made all these things. Jeremiah 14:22. Among the Greeks and Romans we meet with a Jupiter possessed of the thunder and the lightning, and an Æölus ruling over the winds. The psalmist teaches us to restore the celestial artillery to its rightful owner. JEHOVAH, the God of Israel, and the Creator of the universe, contrived the wonderful machinery of light and air, by which vapours are raised from the earth, compacted into clouds, and distilled in rain. At his command the winds are suddenly in motion, and as suddenly at rest again. We hear the sound, but cannot tell whence they come, or whither they go; as if they were taken from the secret storehouses of the Almighty, and then laid up, till their service was again required. The same idea God himself is pleased to give us in the book of Job, where he describes the instruments of this power, as so many weapons of war in the arsenal of a mighty prince. Hast thou entered into the treasuries of the snow; or hast thou seen the treasuries of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth? Who hath divided a watercourse for the flowing of waters; or a way for the lightning or thunder, to cause it to rain on the earth? Job 28:22. It is a great instance of the divine wisdom and goodness, that lightning should be accompanied by rain, to soften its rage, and prevent its mischievous effects, Thus, in the midst of judgment, does God remember mercy. The threatenings in his word against sinners are like lightning; they would blast and scorch us up, were it not for his promises made in the same word to penitents, which as a gracious rain, turn aside their fury, refreshing and comforting our affrighted spirits.”


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

Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 135:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 28th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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