30-Day Challenge, Day 10, Psalm 136:1-12

Give thanks to Adonai, for he is good,
for his grace continues forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his grace continues forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his grace continues forever;

to him who alone has done great wonders,
for his grace continues forever;
to him who skillfully made the heavens,
for his grace continues forever;
to him who spread out the earth on the water,
for his grace continues forever;
to him who made the great lights,
for his grace continues forever;
the sun to rule the day,
for his grace continues forever;
the moon and stars to rule the night,
for his grace continues forever;

to him who struck down Egypt’s firstborn,
for his grace continues forever;
and brought Isra’el out from among them,
for his grace continues forever;
with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,
for his grace continues forever;

Notes:

This is one of the meditative or choral Psalms, where there is the repeated phrase that allows you to get into a particular rhythm as you say it aloud.  Interestingly, however, the repeated phrase changes, depending on translation – the above is the Jewish version.  King James uses “mercy” in place of “grace”; NIV uses “love” in place of “grace”; and ASV uses “lovingkindness” (is that truly one word?)  All positive attributes, of course, but the meanings are vastly different.  Additionally, “continues” is the word here, whereas endureth, endures, and is eternal are used elsewhere.  Also interesting connotations to each of those words.

This would be why I go with the Hebrew for OT readings, unless I know it was written in another language.  Interestingly, several of the Psalms were written in Syriac – a language I’ve only recently made the acquaintance of.  Despite its region of origin, I think it sounds more like Aramaic than Arabic.  However, this one’s origin is Hebrew.

Another interesting perspective can be found here.  It’s often the mechanics of things that get my complete attention, particularly when dealing with translations, poetry and why people choose how something gets translated in certain ways.  Not sure if that’s a weakness or a strength. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “30-Day Challenge, Day 10, Psalm 136:1-12

  1. Grace…..grace Gods grace,

    Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
    Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
    Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
    There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
    Refrain:
    Grace, grace, God’s grace,
    Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
    Grace, grace, God’s grace,
    Grace that is greater than all our sin!
    Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
    Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
    Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
    Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
    Dark is the stain that we cannot hide;
    What can we do to wash it away?
    Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
    Brighter than snow you may be today.
    Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
    Freely bestowed on all who believe!
    You that are longing to see His face,
    Will you this moment His grace receive? Written by Julia Johnston 1910

    Sums it up!

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