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Psalm 136

God’s Work in Creation and in History

1

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

2

O give thanks to the God of gods,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

3

O give thanks to the Lord of lords,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

 

4

who alone does great wonders,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

5

who by understanding made the heavens,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

6

who spread out the earth on the waters,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

7

who made the great lights,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

8

the sun to rule over the day,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

9

the moon and stars to rule over the night,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

 

10

who struck Egypt through their firstborn,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

11

and brought Israel out from among them,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

12

with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

13

who divided the Red Sea in two,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

14

and made Israel pass through the midst of it,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

15

but overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

16

who led his people through the wilderness,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

17

who struck down great kings,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

18

and killed famous kings,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

19

Sihon, king of the Amorites,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

20

and Og, king of Bashan,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

21

and gave their land as a heritage,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

22

a heritage to his servant Israel,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

 

23

It is he who remembered us in our low estate,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

24

and rescued us from our foes,

for his steadfast love endures forever;

25

who gives food to all flesh,

for his steadfast love endures forever.

 

26

O give thanks to the God of heaven,

for his steadfast love endures forever.


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Ps 136:1-26. The theme is the same as that of Psalm 135. God should be praised for His works of creation and providence, His deliverance and care of His people, and judgments on their enemies, and His goodness to all. The chorus to every verse is in terms of that of Ps 106:1; 118:1-4, and was perhaps used as the Amen by the people, in worship (compare 1Ch 16:36; Ps 105:45).

1-3. The divine titles denote supremacy.

4. alone—excluding all help.

5, 6. by wisdom—or, "in wisdom" (Ps 104:24).

made—literally, "maker of."

above the waters—or, "higher than the waters" (Ps 24:2).

12. Compare similar expressions (Ex 3:20; De 4:34, &c.).

15. overthrew—literally, "shook off," as in Ex 14:27, as a contemptuous rejection of a reptile.

23. remembered us—or, "for us" (Ps 132:1).

our low estate—that is, captivity.

24. And hath redeemed us—or, literally, "snatched us"—alluding to the sudden deliverance effected by the overthrow of Babylon.

25. To the special favors to His people is added the record of God's goodness to all His creatures (compare Mt 6:30).

26. God of heaven—occurs but once (Jon 1:9) before the captivity. It is used by the later writers as specially distinguishing God from idols.




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