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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms
Psalms 135



Verses 1-21

Psalm 135:1-21 :

V.I, 2. "This perhaps was the morning hymn, which the precentor, (ver4 , 5 ,) called upon the Levites to sing, at the opening of the gates of the temple; as the former was sung at the shutting up of the gates in the evening. ...Let all here present praise the most wise omnipotent goodness of the Lord : let him especially be praised by you his priests, who minister unto his Majesty : ... and by the Levites, who attend upon him in his house." Bp. Patrick. (Note, 134:)

V:3. " As his nature is most excellent, so He is the Fountain of all the good we enjoy : and no employment" is so delightful, as to acknowledge his perfections, and " commemorate the benefits we have received from him, " by singing psalms and hymns of praise and thanks unto him." Bp. Patrick.

V:4. Notes, Exodus 19:5-6. Mai3: 13-18, v: 17 , marg. Titus 2:14. 1 Peter 2:9-10.

V:5 , 6. Other nations indeed praised their gods, and celebrated their imaginary exploits : but the Psalmist, in the most decided manner, declared that he knew JEHOVAH was far above them all; and alone worthy to be thus adored and honoured, as the great Creator and absolute Sovereign of the universe. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalm 115:1-7 Isaiah 46: 10 , 11. Daniel 4:34-37. Ephesians 1:3-8.) " His one " will alone gives bounds to his power : for as none act without his leave, so none can hinder him from doing what " pleases himself." Bp. Patrick. This absolute sovereignty, however, is always exercised in perfect Wisdom of Solomon , justice, truth, and goodness.

V:7. (Notes, Job 28:23-28; Job 38:22-30. Jeremiah 10:12-15. Zechariah 10:1.) " Among the Greeks and Romans , " we meet with a Jupiter possessed of the thunder and " lightning, and an Aolus ruling over the winds. The " Psalmist teacheth us to restore the celestial artillery to its rightful Owner. ...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." Bp. Home.

V:8-12. Notes, Psalm 78:42-50. Exodus 7:-15 : Numbers 21:21-34.

V:13. (Notes, Psalm 8:1; Psalm 72:17-19. Psalm 102:12. Psalm 111:4. Exodus 3:14-15; Exodus 34:5-7. Matthew 6:9.) "O Lord, how astonishing is this thy Omnipotent goodness ! the fame " of which shall never be forgotten : but an illustrious " memory, O Lord, shall be continued of it, from generation to generation.! Bp. Patrick.

V:14. Repent.] If he judge his people, or punish them, he will compassionate their sorrows. He will be pacified towards his people. (Notes, Deuteronomy 32:36. Judges 10:15-16. Amos 7:1-6.)

V:15- 21. (Notes, Psalm 115:3-13.) In the scripture referred to, the exhortation is to " trust in the LORD " here it is " to bless the LORD." Those who trust in the Lord, honour him, and shall daily have more and more cause to praise and thank him. " The honour the heathens give " to their lifeless images ought to excite you all, with the " greater devotions, to praise the Lord of the world." Bp. Patrick. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalm 76:1-2. Psalm 132:2-9.)


How lamentable it Isaiah , that we should need so much exciting to praise our God, and yet be so negligent and formal as we often are, in this reasonable and delightful employment ! But his servants must on earth be trained up to that holy exercise, in which they are to be occupied for ever in heaven : and in his courts especially, ministers must instruct and go before them, in this sacred worship. The essential goodness and excellency of the Lord would entitle him to our utmost love and praise, were it possible for us to be free from other obligations to him : and the pleasantness of the work would endear it to us, if our hearts were free from the dire disease of sin. But to the Lord we owe our being, our rational powers, and ail our outward comforts, which demand our warmest gratitude; and the peculiar favours vouchsafed to Britons, both in providence, and in the spiritual advantages afforded us, place us in the same relation, and under the same obligations to him, as the Israelites of old were. Whilst his moderate rains fructify our land, and we are generally exempted from fatal tempests and inundations : how often has " the wind out of his treasuries " dispersed the preparations of our formidable enemies ! How inexcusable then is our national infidelity, impiety, and licentiousness ! " O foolish people, and unwise, do ye thus requite the " LORD ! " He has, however, a remnant among us, "whom " he has chosen unto him, through sanctification of the " Spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of " Jesus." (Note, 1 Peter 1:1-2.) These are indeed his " peculiar treasure " which he values, by whom he is loved and adored on earth, and in whom he will be eternally glorified. Happy then are they ! their unchangeable Friend is equally great and good; and equally able and willing to defend, uphold, and bless them. " He doeth what he " pleaseth in heaven and earth, in the seas, and in all deep " places." It has pleased him to make them his people; and it is his " good pleasure to give them the kingdom." (Note, Luke 12:22-34; Luke 5:32.) The tokens and wonders which he wrought for Israel, and the heritage that he gave them, were feeble shadows of the mercy which he has shewn to his true Israel, the redemption wrought out, and the inheritance prepared for them : and every past and present favour is a token and earnest of his future and eternal love. For he is immutably perfect, and the memorial of his wonders for his people shall endure throughout all generations. He will plead their cause, and judge between them and their enemies : and, though he afflict and correct them, he will repent concerning them, and not be wroth with them for ever. (Note, Psalm 90:13-17.) While therefore we detest and mourn over the idolatries and impiety of the world around us, let us remember with gratitude who has made us to differ : let us pity and pray for benighted heathens and deluded sinners : and let us, whether ministers or private Christians, trusting are fearing the Lord, bless him in his church on earth; rejoice in hope of praising him in his holy habitation in heaven; and endeavour to glorify his name and recommend his truth, not only with our lips, but in our holy lives, and by copying the example of his righteousness, goodness, and truth, in all our dealings with our brethren and neighbours.


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Bibliography Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 135:4". Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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