Praise of God, the Ruler and Benefactor of Israel
Praise the name of the LORD!
Praise, you servants of the LORD,a
2Who stand in the house of the LORD,
in the courts of the house of our God!b
3Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good!
Sing to his name, for it brings joy!
4*For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel as his treasured possession.c
5For I know that the LORD is great,
that our Lord is greater than all gods.d
6Whatever the LORD desires
he does in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all the depths.e
7It is he who raises storm clouds from the end of the earth,
makes lightning for the rain,
and brings forth wind from his storehouse.f
8He struck down Egypt’s firstborn,g
of human being and beast alike,
9And sent signs and wonders against you, Egypt,
against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10It is he who struck down many nations,h
and slew mighty kings—
11Sihon, king of the Amorites,
and Og, king of Bashan,
all the kings of Canaan—
12And made their land a heritage,
a heritage for Israel his people.
13O LORD, your name is forever,
your renown, from generation to generation!i
14For the LORD defends his people,
shows mercy to his servants.j
15The idols of the nations are silver and gold,k
the work of human hands.
16They have mouths but do not speak;
they have eyes but do not see;
17They have ears but do not hear;
nor is there breath in their mouths.
18Their makers will become like them,
and anyone who trusts in them.
19House of Israel, bless the LORD!l
House of Aaron, bless the LORD!
20House of Levi, bless the LORD!
You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
21Blessed be the LORD from Zion,
who dwells in Jerusalem!
* [Psalm 135] The hymn begins and ends with an invitation to praise God (Ps 135:1–3, 19–20) for the great act of choosing Israel (Ps 135:4). The story of Israel’s emergence as a people is told in Ps 135:5–14; God created and redeemed the people, easily conquering all opposition. God’s defeat of hostile powers means that the powers themselves and their images are useless (Ps 135:15–18). The last three verses appear also in Ps 115:4–8.
* [135:4] Though all nations are God’s, Israel has a special status as God’s “treasured” people: Ex 19:5; Dt 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Mal 3:17.
c. [135:4] Ps 33:12; 144:15; Ex 19:6; Dt 7:6.
f. [135:7] Ps 148:8; Jer 10:13; 51:16; Jb 37:9.
g. [135:8–9] Ps 78:51; 105:27, 36; 136:10; Ex 12:29.
h. [135:10–12] Ps 136:17–22; Nm 21:21–35; Dt 2:24–3:17.
i. [135:13] Ps 102:13; Ex 3:15.