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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Psalms 136

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 136:1 O give thanks unto the LORD for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 1. O give thanks unto the Lord] This psalm is by the Jews called Hillel gadol, the great gratulatory. See Psalms 106:1; Psalms 107:1; Psalms 118:1.

For his mercy endureth for ever] His covenant mercy, that precious Church privilege; this is perpetual to his people, and should perpetually shine as a picture in our hearts. For which purpose this psalm was appointed to be daily sung in the old church, by the Levites, 1 Chronicles 16:41.


Verse 2

Psalms 136:2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 2. For his mercy endureth for ever] This is the foot or burden of the whole song; neither is it any idle repetition, but a notable expression of the saints’ unsatisfiableness in praising God for his never failing mercy. These heavenly birds, having got a note, record it over and over. In the last psalm there are but six verses, yet twelve Hallelujahs.


Verse 3

Psalms 136:3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 3. O give thanks unto the Lord of lords] That is, to God the Son, saith Jerome; as by God of gods, saith he, in the former verse, is meant God the Father; who, because they are no more but one God only, it is added,


Verse 4

Psalms 136:4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 4. To him who alone doeth great wonders] Wondrous things the creature may do, but not wonders; mira sed non miracula. God alone is the great Thaumaturgus, that is, wonder worker.


Verse 5

Psalms 136:5 To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 5. To him that by wisdom, &c.] Singulari ingenio et summa industria, yet without tool or toil. See Hebrews 11:10. {See Trapp on "Hebrews 11:10"}


Verse 6

Psalms 136:6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 6. To him that stretched out the earth, &c.] A perpetual mercy to all earthly creatures, as is elsewhere set forth, Genesis 1:9, Psalms 24:2.


Verse 7

Psalms 136:7 To him that made great lights: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 7. To him that made great lights] Without which we should have no more comfort of the air we breathe in than the Egyptians had in that three days’ darkness. Now the sun and moon are called great luminaries, not great stars or bodies (for the sun is less than some stars, and the moon is least of all), first, for the excellence of light which these two do more abundantly impart to the earth; and, secondly, for the effects they work; the sun by his access making all green and flourishing, and the contrary by his recess; the moon by its various aspect causing humours and marrows to increase or decrease, &c.


Verse 8

Psalms 136:8 The sun to rule by day: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 8. The sun to rule by day] Heb. for the rulings by day, sc. by his light, heat, motion, and influences, whereby he worketh upon these inferior bodies, being a servant to all, as his name importeth, notwithstanding his ruledom; and therefore in no wise to have been worshipped.


Verse 9

Psalms 136:9 The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 9. The moon and stars to rule by night] For by day they all veil to the sun; from whom also they borrow much of their light. The moon hath her name in Hebrew from moisture, as refreshing the earth with her cool influences; and thrusting forth precious things therein, Deuteronomy 33:14.


Verse 10

Psalms 136:10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 10. To him that smote Egypt] See Psalms 135:8.


Verse 11

Psalms 136:11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 11. And brought out Israel] viz. By that last plague; for the former would not do. God will have the better of his enemies, for the good of his people; for it is not fit that he should lay down the bucklers first.


Verse 12

Psalms 136:12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 12. And with a stretched out arm] A metaphor from soldiers’ exercising their arms, with utmost might and sleight.


Verse 13

Psalms 136:13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 13. To him which divided the Red Sea] Into twelve several parts, say the Jews, for the twelve tribes to pass through.


Verse 14

Psalms 136:14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 14. And made Israel to pass, &c.] It is many times hail with the saints, when ill with the wicked. Abraham from the hill seeth Sodom on fire.


Verse 15

Psalms 136:15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 15. But overthrew Pharaoh] Praecipitavit, pitched him in headlong; having before paved a way for him. Subito tollitur qui diu toleratur.


Verse 16

Psalms 136:16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 16. To him which led his people] As a horse, that they should not stumble, Isaiah 63:13; as a shepherd his sheep; providing for them so, as never was any prince so served in his greatest pomp.


Verse 17

Psalms 136:17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 17. To him which smote great kings] Great, as those times accounted them, when every small city almost had their king; Canaan had thirty and more of them. Great also in regard of their stature and strength; for they were of the giant’s race, Deuteronomy 3:11-13, Amos 2:1


Verse 18

Psalms 136:18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 18. And slew famous kings] Magnificos, sumptuosos, fastuosos, et arrogantes.


Verse 19

Psalms 136:19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 19. See Psalms 135:11. Sihon’s country was afterwards called Decapolis, and the metropolls of it Scythopolis (Joseph. de Bel,

l. 3, c. 2.)


Verse 20

Psalms 136:20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 20. See Psalms 135:11. Sihon’s country was afterwards called Decapolis, and the metropolls of it Scythopolis (Joseph. de Bel,

l. 3, c. 2.)


Verse 21

Psalms 136:21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 21. And gave] Psalms 135:12, Joshua 12:7, he paid them well for their pains, after that he had made use of their sword and service against those sinners against their own souls.


Verse 22

Psalms 136:22 [Even] an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 22. And gave] Psalms 135:12, Joshua 12:7, he paid them well for their pains, after that he had made use of their sword and service against those sinners against their own souls.


Verse 23

Psalms 136:23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy [endureth] for ever:

Ver. 23. Who remembered us in our low estate] Still God helpeth those who are forsaken of their hopes, et vindictae gladium miserationis oleo emollit, as Nicephorus saith.


Verse 24

Psalms 136:24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 24. And hath redeemed us] Or, broken us off, pulled us away, as by violence; for they would never else have loosed us. This is priori maior misericordia, a greater mercy than the former, saith Kimchi; to redeem is more than to preserve.


Verse 25

Psalms 136:25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 25. Who giveth food to all flesh] Food agreeable to their several appetites and temperaments, suitable and seasonable.


Verse 26

Psalms 136:26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

Ver. 26. O give thanks unto the God of heaven] His mercy in providing heaven for his people is more than all the rest.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 136:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-136.html. 1865-1868.

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Friday, December 6th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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