Psalm 135

Like Psalm 136, to which the reader should turn for more commentary, this psalm (text here>) is a sort of history lesson or song of praise for the main events in the Torah from creation onwards. Verse 14 promising goodness and justice even repeats a verse of the song that Moses sang after handing over … Continue reading Psalm 135

Psalm 136

The immediately remarkable feature of this psalm is the antiphon inserted in each verse of the poem, which begins: Give thanks to God who is good : whose steadfast love is eternal. The phrase in the second half (in bold) is added to each verse, presumably in the original text. These repeated antiphons are shown in … Continue reading Psalm 136

Psalm 61

Divine standards of perfect love and peace seem far off and unattainable in a world full of strife, refugees, war and deceit: As high as heaven is above the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways (Is. 55:9) The good news in the psalms, here and in other songs like 31, is that … Continue reading Psalm 61

Psalm 60

It was the washbasin that put me onto it. I realised of course that there is quite a lot of repetition in the psalms - asking God to defend, save and vanquish evil, 'for human help is worthless' as in this song (Ps 60:11). But you immediately know you've been there before when you read … Continue reading Psalm 60

Psalm 51; a tale

The recent recurrence on 2 August of Psalm 51, of which much has been written in this blog, reminds us of another popular story. In Latin, the psalm begins 'Miserere' meaning 'Have mercy' (for more, see for example the post for 15 March 2015>). A quite stunning and famous setting by Gregorio Allegri was written for two choirs in about … Continue reading Psalm 51; a tale