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Bible Commentaries

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

Psalms 136

 

 

Verses 1-26

Exhortation to Give Thanks to God.

An antiphonal hymn, which takes up the theme of the preceding psalm and was intended to be sung in alternation by the choir and the congregation, the former chanting the invitation and the latter responding with the call, stating the reason for the hymn of praise.

v. 1. O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, exhibiting His goodness in all His works for the benefit of His children; for His mercy, His free favor and unmerited loving-kindness, endureth forever.

v. 2. O give thanks unto the God of gods, the Sovereign, whose creative and providential power is over every rank of government and everything that is worshiped falsely; for His mercy endureth forever.

v. 3. O give thanks to the Lord of lords, in whose hands is all power, the direction of all affairs of the universe; for His mercy endureth forever.

v. 4. To Him who alone doeth great wonders, all help and interference on the part of any creature being excluded; for His mercy endureth forever.

v. 5. To Him that by wisdom, by the application of divine knowledge and understanding. made the heavens; for His mercy endureth forever.

v. 6. To Him that stretched out the earth above the waters, the water of the world being partly visible, in the oceans, and partly invisible, in the underground streams and springs; for His mercy endureth forever.

v. 7. To Him that made great lights, Gen_1:14; for His mercy endureth forever:

v. 8. the sun to rule by day, to have dominion in controlling the division of time; for His mercy endureth forever:

v. 9. the moon and stars to rule by night, Gen_1:16; for His mercy endureth forever. The deliverance out of the bondage of Egypt is next proclaimed:

v. 10. To Him that smote Egypt in their first-born, Exo_12:29; for His mercy endureth forever;

v. 11. and brought out Israel from among them, Exo_12:51; for His mercy endureth forever;

v. 12. with a strong hand and with a stretched-out arm, with a manifestation of His majesty and power; for His mercy endureth forever.

v. 13. To Him which divided the Red Sea into parts, when Moses, at His command, stretched out his staff over the sea, Exo_14:21-22; for His mercy endureth forever;

v. 14. and made Israel to pass through the midst of it, the waters standing on either side like walls; for His mercy endureth forever;

v. 15. but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, literally, "shaking them," as one would shake small particles in a bottle, the figure picturing the utter annihilation of the enemies; for His mercy endureth forever.

v. 16. To Him which led His people through the wilderness, during the forty-year journey, Deu_8:15; for His mercy endureth forever.

v. 17. To Him which smote great kings, such as possessed great power, mighty armies; for His mercy endureth forever;

v. 18. and slew famous kings, such as were celebrated far and wide for their power; for His mercy endureth forever:

v. 19. Sihon, king of the Amorites; for His mercy endureth forever;

v. 20. and Og, the king of Bashan; for His mercy endureth forever;

v. 21. and gave their land for an heritage; for His mercy endureth forever;

v. 22. even an heritage unto Israel, His servant; for His mercy endureth forever. Cf Psa_135:10-12; Deu_2:32 to Deu_3:11.

v. 23. Who remembered us in our low estate, either in the bondage of Egypt or in the captivity of Babylonia; for His mercy endureth forever;

v. 24. and hath redeemed us from our enemies, snatching them suddenly out of the hands of their adversaries; for His mercy endureth forever.

v. 25. Who giveth food to all flesh, His providential care embracing all His creatures; for His mercy endureth forever. The psalmist therefore sums up his exhortation in one final call:

v. 26. O give thanks unto the God of heaven, the great Ruler of the heavens and therefore the Sovereign of the earth as well; for His mercy endureth forever. It is a wonderful prayer of thanksgiving, which the Church and all its members will gladly send up to the throne of grace at all times.

 


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Bibliography Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Psalms 136:4". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/psalms-136.html. 1921-23.

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