Psalms 135

1 Hallelujah! Praise the name of God, praise the works of God.
2 All you priests on duty in God's temple, serving in the sacred halls of our God,
3 Shout "Hallelujah!" because God's so good, sing anthems to his beautiful name.
4 And why? Because God chose Jacob, embraced Israel as a prize possession.
5 I too give witness to the greatness of God, our Lord, high above all other gods.
6 He does just as he pleases - however, wherever, whenever.
7 He makes the weather - clouds and thunder, lightning and rain, wind pouring out of the north.
8 He struck down the Egyptian firstborn, both human and animal firstborn.
9 He made Egypt sit up and take notice, confronted Pharaoh and his servants with miracles.
10 Yes, he struck down great nations, he slew mighty kings -
11 Sihon king of the Amorites, also Og of Bashan - every last one of the Canaanite kings!
12 Then he turned their land over to Israel, a gift of good land to his people.
13 God, your name is eternal, God, you'll never be out-of-date.
14 God stands up for his people, God holds the hands of his people.
15 The gods of the godless nations are mere trinkets, made for quick sale in the markets:
16 Chiseled mouths that can't talk, painted eyes that can't see,
17 Carved ears that can't hear - dead wood! cold metal!
18 Those who make and trust them become like them.
19 Family of Israel, bless God! Family of Aaron, bless God!
20 Family of Levi, bless God! You who fear God, bless God!
21 Oh, blessed be God of Zion, First Citizen of Jerusalem! Hallelujah!

Psalms 135 Commentary

Chapter 135

God to be praised for his mercy. (1-4) For his power and judgments. (5-14) The vanity of idols. (15-21)

Verses 1-4 The subject-matter of praise, is the blessings of grace flowing from the everlasting love of God. The name of God as a covenant God and Father in Christ, blessing us with all spiritual blessings in him, is to be loved and praised. The Lord chose a people to himself, that they might be unto him for a name and a praise. If they do not praise him for this distinguishing favour, they are the most unworthy and ungrateful of all people.

Verses 5-14 God is, and will be always, the same to his church, a gracious, faithful, wonder-working God. And his church is, and will be, the same to him, a thankful, praising people: thus his name endures for ever. He will return in ways of mercy to them, and will delight to do them good.

Verses 15-21 These verses arm believers against idolatry and all false worship, by showing what sort of gods the heathen worshipped. And the more deplorable the condition of the Gentile nations that worship idols, the more are we to be thankful that we know better. Let us pity, and pray for, and seek to benefit benighted heathens and deluded sinners. Let us endeavour to glorify his name, and recommend his truth, not only with our lips, but by holy lives, copying the example of Christ's goodness and truth.

Chapter Summary


This psalm was written very probably by the same hand as the former. It begins in much the same manner; it has some likeness with Psalm 113 and 114. It begins and ends with "hallelujah"; and is throughout an exhortation of praise to God, on account of his name, nature, and perfections; and because of his works of creation, providence, and grace, many of which are enumerated. The Syriac interpreter says, there is an intimation in it of the conversion of the people of the Messiah unto the faith.

Psalms 135 Commentaries

Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.