A Song of *Praise to God
An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 135
Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.
The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word list at the end explains the other words that have a *star by them.
The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.
They went out and talked about (Jesus) everywhere (Matthew 9:31).
Bible students think that the *psalmist wrote this psalm for the second *temple. The *psalmist was the person that wrote the psalm. The *temple was Godís house in Jerusalem. King Solomon built the first *temple about 950 B.C. The letters B.C. mean "years Before Christ came to the earth". The King of Babylon destroyed this *temple. The *Jews built it again in 516 B.C. This was the second *temple.
They made the psalm from other parts of the Bible. Here is a list:
Psalm 135:1 from Psalm 134:1 and 113:1
Psalm 135:2 from Psalm 134:1
Psalm 135:3 from Psalm 147:1
Psalm 135:4 from Exodus 19:5 and Deuteronomy 7:6
Psalm 135:5 from Exodus 19:5 and 18:11
Psalm 135:6 from Psalm 115:3
Psalm 135:7 from Jeremiah 10:13 and Job 38:22
Psalm 135:8-12 from Psalm 136:10-22
Psalm 135:13-18 from Exodus 3:15; Deuteronomy 32:36; Isaiah 44:12-;20; Jeremiah 10:6-10
Psalm 135:19-20 from Psalm 115:9-11
Psalm 135:21 from Psalm 128:5 and Psalm 134:3
Hallelujah, in verses 1 and 21, means "*praise the *LORD". This means "tell the *LORD that he is very great". The *LORD is a special name for God. We call it the *covenant name. A *covenant is when two people, or groups of people, agree. Here God agrees to love and send help to his people; his people agree to love and obey him.
In verses 1 and 2, the servants of the *LORD are his people. Those that stand in the house of the *LORD are the *priests. They are special servants of God. They all came from the tribe (or large family) of Levi. Those in the courts of the *LORD are people from other *tribes. The courts were the places round the house of the *LORD.
In verse 4, Jacob is another name for the people of Israel. They were Godís treasure. This means that they were very valuable to him. There is another word *Lord in verse 5. This is not the same as *LORD in the Hebrew Bible. The *Jews spoke the Hebrew language. *Lord means someone in authority. Here it means God. God has many names in the Bible. Each one means something different from the other names.
*Lightning, in verse 7, is the light we see in the sky during a great storm. It appears for just a second, and then it is gone.
Verses 8 - 14 are about the people of Israel coming from Egypt into Palestine. Pharaoh was the king of Egypt. He would not let the *Jews go free. God warned (or told Pharaoh what would happen) with signs and miracles. A miracle is something special that only God can do. The last sign was when God killed all the firstborn in Egypt. The firstborn were the first children that people had. Or they were the first babies that animals had. When this happened, Pharaoh at last let the *Jews go free.
On the way to the promised Land of Palestine, God destroyed many kings and their people. This included Sihon and his people the Amorites. It also included Og and his people that lived in the land of Bashan. When they reached Palestine, God gave it to his people as a gift. But they had to fight for it. In those days, they called the land of Palestine "Canaan". In all this, God defended his people. This means that he gave them help when people attacked them.
Verses 15 - 18 are about *idols. An *idol is a false god. Perhaps it is a picture, or maybe someone made it from wood or stone. In verse 15, someone made it from valuable metals such as silver and gold. But these *idols cannot do anything! They cannot speak, see, hear or even *breathe. *Breathe means to take air in through our mouths and noses. If we do not *breathe, we are dead! So these *idols were dead. They were not alive as the *LORD is alive. And people that *trust in *idols will soon be as they are Ö dead! *Trust means believe in something. And hope to get help from it.
The psalm ends by telling people to *bless the *LORD. This means nearly the same as "*praise the *LORD", or *hallelujah. The difference is this. We can *praise the *LORD and not love him. But when we *bless the *LORD we love him as well.
1. Read all the verses in "The Story of Psalm 135" if you have a Bible.
2. Make sure that you do not have any *idols. Tell God that you love him and no other god.
Amorites ~ people that lived near the Jews.
Bashan ~ a country near the Jews.
bless ~ say good things, or do good things, to someone.
breathe ~ air going through our mouths.
Canaan ~ where the Jews lived 3000 years ago; old name for Palestine and Israel.
courts ~ places outside the *temple.
covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.
defend ~ stop people hurting other people.
firstborn ~ the first child that a man and woman have.
hallelujah ~ say that the *LORD is great. (Jah is *Hebrew for *LORD.)
Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.
idol ~ a false god that someone made out of wood or stone or metal.
Jacob ~ another name for Israel, both the people and the land. (Jacob was Abrahamís grandson.)
Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.
lightning ~ narrow lines of light in the sky during a storm.
LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you agree with someone).
miracles ~ great things that only God can do.
Pharaoh ~ the king of Egypt.
pleasant ~ nice; what we like to do.
praise ~ to say how great someone is; or, words that say how great someone is.
priest ~ a servant of God in his *temple.
psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm (or psalms).
silver ~ a metal of great value, like gold.
temple ~ a place where people meet to worship God.
treasure ~ something very valuable.
tribe ~ a large group of people from the same family.
trust ~ believe that someone (usually God in the psalms) will be kind to you.
warn ~ say that something (usually bad) will happen.
© 1999-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)
This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).
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