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 48

This song of the Korahites is another royal moment, with Zion and the holy hill "the very centre of the world". (2) In modern times, this is generally regarded as a non-geographic metaphor. (See also comments made in Psalm 47 regarding 'sponsorship'.) Time and place As has been noted in relation to other songs wherein the psalmists … Continue reading Psalm 48

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 69

Sometimes themes and verses are repeated so often in the psalms that it's hard to find new inspiration. In Psalm 69, we hear again the laments and prayers of someone who feels enmity, opposition, slander and loneliness, the while giving thanks for merciful love and safety in divine provision. Fresh, however, is imagery of sinking in swirling waters -- 'up … Continue reading Psalm 69