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Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
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PSALM 136

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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