Psalm 136:3
O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
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136:1-9 Forgetful as we are, things must be often repeated to us. By mercy we understand the Lord's disposition to save those whom sin has rendered miserable and vile, and all the provision he has made for the redemption of sinners by Jesus Christ. The counsels of this mercy have been from everlasting, and the effects of it will endure for ever, to all who are interested in it. The Lord continues equally ready to show mercy to all who seek for it, and this is the source of all our hope and comfort.O give thanks to the Lord of lords - The Lord or Ruler of all in authority - all kings, princes, rulers. He is supreme over all. This is an attribute of Divinity; yet this is ascribed to the Lord Jesus, thus proving that he is divine. See the notes at Revelation 19:16.

For his mercy ... - The ground of praise here, as in the previous verse, is, that this God - the Supreme Ruler over all the potentates and magistrates of earth - is a merciful Being. He is kind and benignant toward those rulers, and through them to mankind.


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.

No text from Poole on this verse.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords,.... Which is not only the title of the God of Israel, as the former, Deuteronomy 10:17; but of the Messiah, Revelation 19:16; who is the Prince of the kings of the earth; under whom they are, by whom they reign, and to whom they are accountable, being higher than they; as nature, so by office, Revelation 1:5, Psalm 89:27;

for his mercy endureth for ever; in putting it into the hearts of kings and princes, which he has in his hands, to show favour to his people, even to be their nursing fathers; and in curbing the power, restraining the wrath, of oppressors; and protecting his people from their rage and violence.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3. O give thanks unto the keeper of Israel (Psalm 121:4), for &c.

Verse 3. - Oh give thanks to the Lord of lords. "Lord of lords" occurs also first in Deuteronomy 10:17. It is used likewise by St. Paul (1 Timothy 6:15) and St. John (Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16). For his mercy, etc. Psalm 136:3Like the preceding Psalm, this Psalm allies itself to the Book of Deuteronomy. Psa 136:2 and Psalm 136:3 (God of gods and Lord of lords) are taken from Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:12 (with a strong hand and stretched-out arm) from Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 5:15, and frequently (cf. Jeremiah 32:21); Psalm 136:16 like Deuteronomy 8:15 (cf. Jeremiah 2:6). With reference to the Deuteronomic colouring of Psalm 136:19-22, vid., on Psalm 135:10-12; also the expression "Israel His servant" recalls Deuteronomy 32:36 (cf. Psalm 135:14; Psalm 90:13), and still more Isaiah 40:1, where the comprehension of Israel under the unity of this notion has its own proper place. In other respects, too, the Psalm is an echo of earlier model passages. Who alone doeth great wonders sounds like Psalm 72:18 (Psalm 86:10); and the adjective "great" that is added to "wonders" shows that the poet found the formula already in existence. In connection with Psalm 136:5 he has Proverbs 3:19 or Jeremiah 10:12 in his mind; תּבוּנה, like חכמה, is the demiurgic wisdom. Psalm 136:6 calls to mind Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 44:24; the expression is "above the waters," as in Psalm 34:2 "upon the seas," because the water is partly visible and partly invisible מתּחת לארץ (Exodus 20:4). The plural אורים, luces, instead of מארות, lumina (cf. Ezekiel 32:8, מאורי אור), is without precedent. It is a controverted point whether אורת in Isaiah 26:19 signifies lights (cf. אורה, Psalm 139:12) or herbs (2 Kings 4:39). The plural ממשׁלות is also rare (occurring only besides in Psalm 114:2): it here denotes the dominion of the moon on the one hand, and (going beyond Genesis 1:16) of the stars on the other. בּלּילה, like בּיּום, is the second member of the stat. construct.
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