Thanksgiving to Yahweh (Ps 136:1-136:3)

“O give thanks to Yahweh!

He is good.

His steadfast love endures forever.

O give thanks to the God of gods!

His steadfast love endures forever.

O give thanks to the Lord of lords!

His steadfast love endures forever.”

Psalm 136 is another fairly long psalm without a title, with an emphasis on giving thanks to Yahweh for all that he has done for his people. The haunting refrain, “His steadfast love endures forever” is repeated after every verse as a congregational response throughout this psalm. They were to give thanks to Yahweh because of his steadfast enduring love. He was the God of gods and the Lord of the lords.

Thanksgiving to Yahweh (Ps 118:1-118:1)

“O give thanks to Yahweh!

He is good!

His steadfast love endures forever!”

Psalm 118 opens without a title but with a shout out of thanks to Yahweh. As was often repeated the English “good” is only one “o” different that the English “God”. Thus the English God is good is almost redundant. Another major theme was the steadfast enduring love of God that once again dominates this call to worship.

Thanksgiving to Yahweh (Ps 116:12-116:15)

“What shall I return to Yahweh

For all his bounty to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation.

I will call on the name of Yahweh.

I will pay my vows to Yahweh

In the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of Yahweh

Is the death of his faithful ones.”

The psalmist wants to know what he can offer to Yahweh for all the goodness that he has shown him. He was going to lift up the cup of salvation and call on his name. This was picked up later by the Christians who emphasized this cup of salvation. He was going to pay his vows to Yahweh in the presence of all the people. He realizes that the faithful ones were precious in the sight of Yahweh.

Thanksgiving to Yahweh (Ps 9:1-9:2)

To the choirmaster leader, according to Muth-labben, a psalm of David.

I will give thanks to Yahweh!

With my whole heart!

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad.

I will exult in you.

I will sing praise to your name.

O Most High!”

There is some confusion here as to whether this is 1 psalm or 2 psalms. Sometimes this is referred to as psalms 9 and 10 or should it be 1 psalm only. The Greek Septuagint had it as only 1 psalm. I will use the Oxford Bible notataion since the Jerusalem Bible puts the numbering in italics. So this is Psalm 9. This is also an acrostic psalm as every 2nd verse starts with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Thus the content is a little incoherent at times. Nevertheless we do have a longer psalm or psalms compared to the previous short psalms. Once again, there is a remark about the choirmaster leader as a psalm of David, without any particular event. The meaning of Muth-labben is unclear. Literally it might mean upon the death of a fool or upon the death of Labben. However, it might simply mean a harp. This psalm starts out as a thanksgiving to Yahweh. David gave thanks with his whole heart. He wanted to tell everyone about the wondrous deeds of Yahweh. He was glad and exalted in the name of Yahweh, the most high one. This might be some kind of vow of thanksgiving.