Psalms 136
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1  Praise Hashem; for He is good, His steadfast love is eternal.

א  הוֹדוּ לַיהוָה כִּי־טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

2  Praise the God of gods, His steadfast love is eternal.

ב  הוֹדוּ לֵאלֹהֵי הָאֱלֹהִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

3  Praise the Lord of lords, His steadfast love is eternal;

ג  הוֹדוּ לַאֲדֹנֵי הָאֲדֹנִים כִּי לְעֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

4  Who alone works great marvels, His steadfast love is eternal;

ד  לְעֹשֵׂה נִפְלָאוֹת גְּדֹלוֹת לְבַדּוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

5  Who made the heavens with wisdom, His steadfast love is eternal;

ה  לְעֹשֵׂה הַשָּׁמַיִם בִּתְבוּנָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

6  Who spread the earth over the water, His steadfast love is eternal;

ו  לְרֹקַע הָאָרֶץ עַל־הַמָּיִם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

7  Who made the great lights, His steadfast love is eternal;

ז  לְעֹשֵׂה אוֹרִים גְּדֹלִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

8  the sun to dominate the day, His steadfast love is eternal;

ח  אֶת־הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת בַּיּוֹם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

9  the moon and the stars to dominate the night, His steadfast love is eternal;

ט  אֶת־הַיָּרֵחַ וְכוֹכָבִים לְמֶמְשְׁלוֹת בַּלָּיְלָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

10  Who struck Egypt through their first-born, His steadfast love is eternal;

י  לְמַכֵּה מִצְרַיִם בִּבְכוֹרֵיהֶם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

11  and brought Yisrael out of their midst, His steadfast love is eternal;

יא  וַיּוֹצֵא יִשְׂרָאֵל מִתּוֹכָם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

12  with a strong hand and outstretched arm, His steadfast love is eternal;

יב  בְּיָד חֲזָקָה וּבִזְרוֹעַ נְטוּיָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

13  Who split apart the Sea of Reeds, His steadfast love is eternal;

יג  לְגֹזֵר יַם־סוּף לִגְזָרִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

14  and made Yisrael pass through it, His steadfast love is eternal;

יד  וְהֶעֱבִיר יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּתוֹכוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

15  Who hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Sea of Reeds, His steadfast love is eternal;

טו  וְנִעֵר פַּרְעֹה וְחֵילוֹ בְיַם־סוּף כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

16  Who led His people through the wilderness, His steadfast love is eternal;

טז  לְמוֹלִיךְ עַמּוֹ בַּמִּדְבָּר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

17  Who struck down great kings, His steadfast love is eternal;

יז  לְמַכֵּה מְלָכִים גְּדֹלִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

18  and slew mighty kings— His steadfast love is eternal;

יח  וַיַּהֲרֹג מְלָכִים אַדִּירִים כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

19  Sihon, king of the Amorites, His steadfast love is eternal;

יט  לְסִיחוֹן מֶלֶךְ הָאֱמֹרִי כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

20  Og, king of Bashan— His steadfast love is eternal;

כ  וּלְעוֹג מֶלֶךְ הַבָּשָׁן כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

21  and gave their land as a heritage, His steadfast love is eternal;

כא  וְנָתַן אַרְצָם לְנַחֲלָה כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

22  a heritage to His servant Yisrael, His steadfast love is eternal;

כב  נַחֲלָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל עַבְדּוֹ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

23  Who took note of us in our degradation, His steadfast love is eternal;

she-b’-shif-LAY-nu ZA-khar LA-nu KEE l’-o-LAM khas-DO

כג  שֶׁבְּשִׁפְלֵנוּ זָכַר לָנוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

136:23   Who took note of us in our degradation

This psalm praises Hashem for the kindness and mercy He has shown to the people of Israel throughout history. Each line praises God for a specific act of grace, and ends with the refrain, “His steadfast love is eternal.” The psalm begins with an account of different aspects of creation, continues with the exodus from Egypt and the travels in the desert, and concludes with the conquest of the lands of the eastern side of the Yarden river. Though it mentions that God gave the lands of Sihon and Og to the people of Israel as an inheritance, the psalm does not contain a line that explicitly praises Him for bequeathing the actual Promised Land to His people. Instead, it speaks of Hashem’s constant presence in their lives, remembering His people even in their “degradation” and delivering them from their enemies. According to some interpretations, this refers to Hashem’s dedication to the people even after they sin and are expelled from the land. It seems that the psalmist takes for granted that God has designated the land of Israel for His nation, and thus sings praises for all the events which led to the acquisition of the land, and about what happened after its settlement.1 comment

24  and rescued us from our enemies, His steadfast love is eternal;

כד  וַיִּפְרְקֵנוּ מִצָּרֵינוּ כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

25  Who gives food to all flesh, His steadfast love is eternal.

כה  נֹתֵן לֶחֶם לְכָל־בָּשָׂר כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

26  Praise the God of heaven, His steadfast love is eternal.

 

כו  הוֹדוּ לְאֵל הַשָּׁמָיִם כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃

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Psalms 135
Psalms 137

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Psalms 136

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