Blessing Yahweh (Ps 135:19-135:21)

“O house of Israel!

Bless Yahweh!

O house of Aaron!

Bless Yahweh!

O house of Levi!

Bless Yahweh!

You that fear Yahweh!

Bless Yahweh!

Blessed be Yahweh

From Zion!

He who dwells in Jerusalem!

Praise Yahweh!”

This psalm ends with a blessing from Israel, the house of Aaron, the Levites, all who fear Yahweh, and Jerusalem itself. Everyone is to bless Yahweh. The psalm ends with the alleluia, praise Yahweh, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” In this recitation of people to bless Yahweh, the house of Aaron and the house of Levi get a special mention.

Praise Yahweh (Ps 135:1-135:4)

“Praise Yahweh!

Praise the name of Yahweh!

Give praise!

O servants of Yahweh!

You stand in the house of Yahweh!

You stand in the courts of the house of our God!

Praise Yahweh!

Yahweh is good!

Sing to his name!

He is gracious!

Yahweh has chosen Jacob for himself.

Israel is his own possession.”

Psalm 135 does not have a title as this hymn praises God for his mighty deeds. This psalm begins with a “praise Yahweh” that is equivalent to an “alleluia,” the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” The psalmist wanted all the servants of Yahweh to praise his name. They were standing in the house of Yahweh, in the courtyards. They were to praise Yahweh and sing to his name. After all, Yahweh was gracious. He had chosen Jacob and made Israel his possession.

Praise Yahweh (Ps 117:1-117:2)

“Praise Yahweh!

All you nations!

Extol him!

All you peoples!

Great is his steadfast love

Toward us.

The faithfulness of Yahweh

Endures forever.

Praise Yahweh!”

Psalm 117 is the shortest psalm with only two verses. This is really a doxology or praise refrain. All the nations and people are to praise Yahweh for his great steadfast love and enduring faithfulness. This psalm begins and ends with the refrain of “Praise Yahweh,” “alleluia,” the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

Servant of Yahweh (Ps 116:16-116:19)

“Yahweh!

I am your servant.

I am your servant.

I am the child of your servant girl.

You have loosed my bonds.

I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice.

I will call on the name of Yahweh.

I will pay my vows to Yahweh

In the presence of all his people,

In the courts of the house of Yahweh,

In your midst,

O Jerusalem!

Praise Yahweh!”

The psalmist is a servant for Yahweh. He was the child of a servant. However, Yahweh set him free. Therefore he was going to offer a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of Yahweh. He, like he said earlier, was going to pay his vows to Yahweh in the presence of all the people, in the courts of the house of Yahweh. He would be there in the midst of Jerusalem. He ended this psalm with the rousing, “Praise Yahweh” or the alleluia refrain, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

Praise Yahweh (Ps 115:16-115:18)

“The heavens are Yahweh’s heavens.

The earth he has given to human beings.

The dead do not praise Yahweh.

Those that go down into silence

Do not praise Yahweh.

We will bless Yahweh

From this time on and forevermore.

Praise Yahweh!”

This psalm ends with a rousing praise to Yahweh or an Alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” In a sharp distinction this psalmist says that the heavens belong to Yahweh, but he has given earth to the humans. The dead and those who are silenced in Sheol cannot praise Yahweh. The living on earth will bless and praise Yahweh from this time on and forever.

Yahweh helps the poor (Ps 113:7-113:9)

“Yahweh raises the poor from the dust.

He lifts the needy from the ash heap.

He makes them sit with princes.

He makes them sit with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home.

He makes her the joyous mother of children.

Praise Yahweh!”

This short psalm ends with Yahweh, from his heights, raising up the poor from the dust. He lifted the needy from the ash heaps. He made them sit with the princes of his people. He provided the barren women with homes and children so that they could be happy. Thus we all should join in and praise Yahweh as this short psalm concludes with the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

Praise to Yahweh (Ps 113:1-113:1)

“Praise Yahweh!

Praise!

O servants of Yahweh!

Praise the name of Yahweh!”

Psalm 113 continued the idea of praise to Yahweh, or the Alleluia cry to begin this short psalm without any titles. This Alleluia cry, the Hebrew “Hallelujah,” may also be a call to worship Yahweh. The servants of Yahweh, the Israelites were called to prayer. They were to praise the name of Yahweh.

The righteous (Ps 112:1-112:6)

“Praise Yahweh!

Aleph 

Happy are those who fear Yahweh!

Bet      

Happy are those who greatly delight in his commandments!

Gimel

Their descendants will be mighty in the land.

Dalet  

The generation of the upright will be blessed.

He      

Wealth and riches are in their houses.

Vav     

Their righteousness endures forever.

Zain   

They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright.

Het     

They are gracious, merciful, and righteous.

Tet      

It is well with those who deal generously and lend.

Yod     

They conduct their affairs with justice.

Kaph  

The righteous will never be moved.

Lamed

They will be remembered forever.”

Psalm 112 is a companion psalm to Psalm 111. Even though it is fairly short, it is another line by line acrostic or Hebrew alphabet psalm without any title. Just like the preceding psalm, it also starts with the refrain “Praise Yahweh” or the Alleluia cry, the Hebrew word “Hallelujah.” Although there is a comparison between the righteous and the wicked, the emphasis is mostly on the righteous. The righteous are happy because they fear God. They delight in his commandments. Their descendants will be mighty. The generations of the upright are blessed and happy since their righteousness endures forever. They will have wealth and riches in their houses. They will be the light in the darkness. They are gracious, merciful, and righteous, just like Yahweh. They will be generous and just. They will be remembered because of their righteousness.

 

Hymn of praise for the works of Yahweh (Ps 111:1-111:4)

“Praise Yahweh!

Aleph 

I will give thanks to Yahweh,

With my whole heart,

Bet      

In the company of the upright,

In the congregation.

Gimel

Great are the works of Yahweh,

Dalet  

Studied by all who delight in them.

He      

Full of honor and majesty is his work.

Vav     

His righteousness endures forever.

Zain   

He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds.”

Psalm 111 is a hymn of praise to Yahweh because he has kept his covenant with Israel. Although there is no title, this fairly short acrostic or Hebrew alphabet psalm has a letter for every line. Like the next 2 psalms, it starts with the refrain “Praise Yahweh” or the Alleluia cry, which is the Hebrew word “Hallelujah.” The psalmist will give thanks to Yahweh with his whole heart at the congregational meeting. He talked about the great works of Yahweh that delights those who study them. Yahweh is full of honor and majesty in his work. Of course, his righteousness lasts forever because he has become well known by his wonderful actions.

Praise Yahweh (Ps 106:48-106:48)

“Blessed be Yahweh!

The God of Israel!

From everlasting to everlasting!

Let all the people say.

‘Amen!’

Praise Yahweh!”

This 4th book of psalms ends with a rousing Alleluia, praise to Yahweh, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” This doxology praise is an addition to this psalm since it probably belonged at the end of Psalm 105. However, it seems a fitting end to this book of psalms with this everlasting praise to Yahweh with the great “Amen.”