PSALMS 135      Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  meaning  -  Psalms  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


  1. hallelujah! Praise you the name of jehovah: praise it, you servants of jehovah!
  2. You who stand in the house of jehovah, in the courts of the house of our god.
  3. hallelujah! for jehovah is good; sing praises to his name, for it is delightful.
  4. For jah has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel for his own possession.
  5. Truly, I know that jehovah is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
  6. jehovah does all things which it pleases him, in heaven, and upon earth, in the seas, and in all deeps.
  7. He causes the vapours to rise from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings with rain, he brings the wind out of his treasures.
  8. Who smote the first-born of Egypt, from man even to beast.
  9. Who sent forth signs and wonders in the midst of you, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and against all his servants.
  10. Who smote great nations, and slew powerful kings.
  11. Sihon, king of the Amorites; and Og, the king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan.
  12. And gave their land as an inheritance,—an inheritance to Israel, his people.
  13. O jehovah, your name endures forever; your memorial, O jehovah, through successive generations.
  14. For jehovah will judge his people, and he will repent concerning his servants.
  15. The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
  16. They have mouths, but they speak not; they have eyes, but they see not;
  17. They have ears, but they hear not; yea, there is no breath in their mouth.
  18. Like to them are those who make them, all who place confidence in them.
  19. O house of Israel, bless you jehovah! O house of Aaron, bless you jehovah!
  20. O house of Levi, bless you jehovah! O you who fear jehovah, bless you jehovah!
  21. Blessed be jehovah, out of Zion, who inhabits Jerusalem. hallelujah!

The Internal Sense

Celebration of the lord in his Divine Human, verses 1 to 3; who has established the church, verse 4; and who is the only god, verse 5; who alone teaches the church external and internal truths, verses 6, 7; who delivers the natural man from the falses of evil, verses 8 to 11; and implants therein the church, verse 12; that the lord does this, verse 13; who leads the church, verse 14; that self-intelligence avails nothing, verse 15 to 18; the spiritual and celestial church worships the lord, who is the god of the church, verses 19 to 21.


Verse 1. Praise you the name of jehovah. What is signified by the name of Jehovah, see Psalm 79:9, Exposition.

Verses 1, 2. Praise you the name of jehovah who stand in his house, in the courts of the house of our god. By court in the Word is signified the external of the church; for there were two courts, through which it was necessary to pass, in order to go into the temple at Jerusalem, and because by the temple was signified the church as to its internal, therefore by the courts was signified the church as to its external; for which reason strangers from among the gentiles were admitted into the courts, but not into the temple itself: and whereas the external of the church is signified by court, therefore by it also is signified the church on earth, and likewise heaven in ultimates, because the church on earth is the entrance into heaven, and in like manner it is heaven in ultimates. AR 487.

Verses 1, 3, 4. Hallelujah—Jah. For the meaning of Jah, see Psalm 68:4, Exposition.

Verse 7. He causes the vapours to rise from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings with rain, he brings the wind out of his treasures. Ultimate truths, which are knowledges from the literal sense of the Word, are signified by vapours from the ends of the earth, spiritual things thence derived, are signified by lightnings with rain, lightnings being predicated of the light of heaven, and rain of influx; reformation thence by Divine truth from the lord, is signified by he brings the wind out of his treasures.F AE 419.

Verse 9. Signs and wonders; see Psalm 77:43, Exposition.

Verse 11. Sihon king of the Amorites. As to what concerns the Amorites, it is to be noted, that by them is signified evil, as also by the Canaanites; and by the rest of the nations in that land, which are named in the Word, are signified the various kinds" of evil and also of the false; such things the nations represented, when the sons of Israel came into possession of the land of Canaan; the reason was, that when the sons of Israel represented things celestial, those nations represented things infernal, and thereby the land of Canaan represented every state of the other life; and inasmuch as the nations represented things infernal, therefore they were given to the curse, and with those which remained, it was forbidden to enter into a covenant. That the sons of Israel took possession of and dwelt in the land of those who represented the hells, was a representative that the infernals, about the time of the lord's coming, occupied a consider-able part of heaven, but that the lord, by coming into the world, and making the Human principle in himself Divine, expelled them thence, and cast them down into the hells, and thus delivered heaven from them, which he then gave for an inheritance to those who were of his spiritual kingdom. That by the nation of the Amorites was represented evil in general, is evident from those passages where it is named, as in Ezekiel, "Jerusalem, your tradings and your generations were from the land of the Canaanite; your father was an Amorite, and your mother an Hittite," Ezekiel 16:3, 45; inasmuch as father in the internal sense signifies the good of the church, but in the opposite sense evil, and mother signifies the truth of the church, but in the opposite sense the false, therefore it is said, your father was an Amorite, and your mother an Hittite, And in Amos, "I destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was as the height of cedars, and he was strong as the oak. I led them in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite" Amos 2:9, 10, where also the Amorite denotes evil, for the evil of self-love is described by the height of cedars and the strength of the oak. The reason why the Amorite denotes evil in general is because the whole land of Canaan was called the land of the Amorite., for it is said, I led you in the wilderness to possess the land of the Amorite. Moreover in the Book of Kings, "Manasseh king of Judah did evil above all the evil which the Amorites did who were before him," 2 Kings 21:11. AC 6306.

Verse 11. Og, the king of Bashan. In Deuteronomy we read these words concerning Og, the king of Bashan: "Og, the king of Bashan, was left of the remains of the Rephaim, or giants; behold, his bed was a bed of iron! Is it not in Rabbath, of the sons of Ammon? the length thereof was nine cubits, and the breadth thereof four cubits, after the cubit of a man," [viri] Deut 3:11. The bed of Og is here described, because he was of the remains of the Rephaim, and because he was king of Bashan; for by the Rephaim were signified those who above all others were in the love of self, and hence most natural, and from the persuasion of their own eminence above others, were in falses of every kind, see AC 581, 1268; and by Bashan was signified the external of the church, thus the natural principle, for Bashan was out of the land of Canaan where the church was, therefore the bed of Og the king of Bashan, was described, which would not have been done, but on account of the spiritual signification of Og, as mentioned above. For whatever is related in the Word, even in the historical part thereof, as to every expression, is significative; hence it is that the Word is spiritual in all its contents, and the singulars thereof, and consequently divine from inmost principles to ultimates; it is for this reason also related, that the bed was of iron, and that it was in Rabbath of the sons of Ammon, and that the length thereof was nine cubits, and the breadth thereof four cubits, after the cubit of a man, for iron signifies what is natural, as may be seen below, AE 176; Rabbath of Ammon signifies falsifications of truth, as may be seen in the Arcana Coelestia, AC 2468; and the length of nine cubits, and the breadth of four, after the cubit of a man, signifies the conjunction of evil and the false. From these considerations it may be seen, what is the quality of the Word in its inmost bosom. AE 163.

Verse 14. He will repent concerning his servants. jehovah never repents, because he foresees all and everything from eternity; and when he made man, that is, created him anew, and perfected him till he became celestial, he also foresaw, that in process of time he would be reduced to the state here described; and therefore he could not repent: this appears very plain from what Samuel said, "The invincible One of Israel does not lie, nor repent, for he is not a man that he should repent," 1 Sam 15:29.; and in Moses, "god is not a man that he should lie, or the son of man that he should repent; has he said, and shall he not do; or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good?" Numb 23:19. But to repent signifies to be merciful. The mercy of jehovah, or of the lord, implies all and every thing done by the lord towards mankind, who are in such a state, that the lord pities them, and each one according to his state; thus he pities the state of him whom he permits to be punished, and of him also to whom he grants to enjoy good; it is of mercy to be punished, because mercy turns all the evil of punishment into good; and it is of mercy to grant the enjoyment of good, because no one merits any thing that is good; for all mankind are evil, and of himself every one would rush into hell, wherefore it is a mercy that he is delivered thence; nor is it any thing but mercy, inasmuch as the lord has no need of any man. Mercy has its name from this circumstance, of its delivering man from miseries and from hell; thus it is called mercy in respect to mankind, as being in such a state of misery, and is the effect of love towards all, because they are in such a state.

But repentance and grief of heart are predicated of the lord, inasmuch as such affections appear to be in all human mercy, wherefore what is said here of the lord's repenting and grieving, is spoken according to appearance, as is the case in various other passages in the Word. What the mercy of the lord is, none can know, because it infinitely transcends the understanding of man; but what the mercy of man is, man knows, namely that it is to repent and grieve; and unless man were to form his ideas of mercy and other affections, according to his own apprehension of their qualities, it would be impossible for him to have any conception at all about them, and of consequence he could never receive instruction; and this is the reason why human properties are often predicated concerning the attributes of jehovah, or the lord, as that jehovah or the lord punishes, leads into temptation, destroys, is angry, when yet the truth is, that he never punishes any one, never leads any into temptation, never destroys any, and is never angry. Wherefore since such things are predicated of the lord, it follows that repentance also and grief must be predicated of him, for the predication of the one is a consequence of the predication of the other, as plainly appears from these passages in the Word: in Ezekiel, "Mine anger shall be accomplished, I will cause my wrath to rest, and it shall repent me," Ezekiel 5:13; where because anger and wrath are predicated of jehovah, repentance is also predicated; so in Zechariah; "When I thought to do evil, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, said jehovah of Hosts, and I repented not, so again in these days will I think to do good to Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah," Zech 8:14, 15; where it is said that jehovah thought to do evil, when yet he never thinks to do evil to any one, but to do good to all and every one; so in Moses, when he besought the faces of jehovah, "Return from the wrath of your anger, and repent of this evil against your people; and jehovah repented of the evil which he spoke to do to his people," Exodus 22:12, 14; in this passage also, wrath of anger is attributed to jehovah, and consequently repentance; so the king of Ninevah says in Jonah, "Who can tell if god will turn and repent, and turn away from the wrath of his anger that we perish not?" where in like manner repentance is predicated because anger is predicated; so in Hosea, "My heart is turned upon me, my repentings are kindled at the same time, I will not execute the wrath of mine anger," Hos 11:8, 9; where in like manner it is said of the heart, that repentings were kindled, as it is here said, that he grieved at heart, repentings evidently signify much mercy; to the same purport in Joel, "Turn you to jehovah your god, for he is gracious and merciful, long-suffering, and abundant in mercy, and repents him of the evil," Joel 2:13; where also it is very evident, that to repent signifies mercy; so in Jeremiah, "If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil," Jer 16:3; where to repent signifies to be merciful; again in the same prophet, "If that nation turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil," Jer 18:8; where also to repent signifies to be merciful, in case they would turn themselves, for it is man who turns away from himself the mercy of the lord, and not the lord who turns himself away from man.

From these and several other passages of the Word it may be manifest, that what is said therein is spoken according to appearances in man, wherefore whoever is disposed to confirm false principles by the appearances according to which the Word is written, may do so in innumerable instances: but there is a difference between confirming false principles by passages from the Word, and believing in simplicity what is spoken in the Word: he who confirms false principles, first assumes some principle of his own, from which he is unwilling to depart, and whose authority he is determined at all events to support, for which purpose he collects and accumulates corroborating proofs from every quarter, consequently from the Word, till he is so thoroughly self-persuaded with regard thereto, that he can no longer see the truth; but whoever in simplicity, or out of a simple heart, believes what is spoken in the Word, does not first assume principles of his own, but thinks what is spoken to be true, because the lord spoke it; and in case he is instructed in the right understanding thereof, by what is spoken in other parts of the Word, he instantly acquiesces, and in his heart rejoices. Nay, even supposing a person through simplicity to believe that the lord is wrathful, that he punishes, repents, grieves, etc. whereby he is restrained from evil, and led to do good, such belief is not at all hurtful to him, inasmuch as it leads him to believe also, that the lord sees all things both generally and particularly, and when he is principled in such belief, he is afterwards capable of being enlightened in other points of faith, at least in another life, if not before; the case is different with those who are self-persuaded in consequence of preconceived principles, and who are rivetted in the belief thereof through the pernicious influence of selfish and worldly love. AC 587—589.

Verses 15, 16. The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men's hands; they have mouths, but they speak not; they have eyes, but they see not. Their idols are silver and gold, signifies external worship without internal, confirmed from the literal sense of the Word not understood, and also from the fallacies of the senses; the work of men's hands signifies from self-derived intelligence, see above in the preceding article; they have a mouth and speak not, they have eyes and see not, signifies that from those things they have not any thought, nor any understanding of truth. The reason why nothing can come thence, but what is false, is because the proprium of man is nothing but evil, for it favours his own love and his own intelligence, wherefore they do not study truths for the sake of truths, but only for the sake of fame, of a name, glory, and gain, and when these rule, heaven cannot flow in with its light, and open the sight and illustrate, wherefore they see like owls, moles, and bats, in the dark; according to Isaiah 2:18, 20. AE 587.

Silver and gold which are idols, denote falses and evils. AC 8932.

The work of men's hands denotes what is from the proprium of man, thus what is from his own proper understanding, and from his own proper will, and those things are from the proprium of each, which are of self-love, hence the origin of all falses in the church. AC 10406.

Verse 19. O house of Aaron, bless you jehovah. Aaron was chosen to perform the office of the priesthood, because he was the brother of Moses, for thus was at the same time represented the brotherhood of the Divine truth and Divine good in heaven, for, as was above said, by Moses was represented the Divine truth, and by Aaron the Divine good. All things in the universe, both in heaven and in the world, have reference to good and to truth, that they may be something, for good is the esse of truth, and truth is the existere of good: wherefore good without truth does not exist, and truth without good is not; hence it is evident that they ought to be conjoined together: this conjunction is represented in the Word by two conjugial partners, and also by two brothers; by two conjugial partners, when the subject treated of is concerning the heavenly marriage, which is that of good and truth, and concerning the successive derivation thence; by two brothers, when the subject treated of is concerning double ministry, which is that of judgement and of worship; they who executed the ministry of judgement were called judges, afterwards kings; but they who performed the ministry of worship were; called priests; and all judgement is effected by truth, and all worship from good. On account of that brotherhood which is between truth, which is of judgement, and good which is of worship, Aaron the brother of Moses was chosen to perform the office of the priesthood; that by Aaron and his house is, on this account, signified good, is manifest from David, "O house of Israel, bless you jehovah; O house of Aaron, bless you jehovah," Psalm 135:19; the house of Israel denotes those who are in truths; the house of Aaron those who are in goods; for in the Word, where truth is treated of, good is also treated of, on account of the heavenly marriage. AC 9806.

Verse 21. Blessed be jehovah out of Zion, who inhabits Jerusalem. It was a customary form of speech amongst the ancients to say, blessed be Jehovah; by which they meant, that all blessing is from him, that is, all good; and it was also a form of thanksgiving for the lord's blessing both past and present, as in David, Psalm 135:21. AC 1096.

By Zion is signified heaven and the church, in which the lord reigns by Divine truth, and by Jerusalem, heaven and the church, as to doctrine from that Divine truth. AE 850.

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