A Song of *Praise to God

Psalm 135

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 135


Gordon Churchyard

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).

Psalm 135

v1   *Hallelujah! *Praise the name of the *LORD!
  *Praise him, you servants of the *LORD!

v2   You are standing in the house of the *LORD.
  You are standing in the *courts of the house of our God.

v3   *Praise the *LORD, because the *LORD is good.
  *Praise his name with songs, because it is *pleasant to do this.

v4   (*Praise his name) because the *LORD chose *Jacob for himself.
  Israel is his own *treasure.

v5   (*Praise his name) because I know that the *LORD is great.
  Our *Lord is greater than all other gods.

v6   The *LORD does whatever he wants to do.
  (He does this) in the sky and on the earth.
  (And he does it) in the deepest parts of the sea.

v7   (The *LORD) makes clouds rise up all over the earth.
  He sends rain with *lightning.
  He brings winds from where he stores them.

v8   (God) destroyed the *firstborn in Egypt, both men and animals.

v9   He sent signs to *warn Egypt. He did *miracles in Egypt.
  (He did them) to *warn *Pharaoh and his servants.

v10   He destroyed many countries and killed many kings.

v11   (He killed) Sihon the king of the *Amorites.
  (He also killed) Og the king of *Bashan and all the kings of *Canaan.

v12   Then he gave their lands to his people Israel.
  He gave (their lands) to them as a gift.

v13   *LORD, people will always remember your name.
  You will always be famous.

v14   And the *LORD will *defend his people.
  Also, he will show his love to his servants.

v15   (Other) countries make their *idols with *silver and gold.
  Human hands made (those *idols)!

v16   They have mouths ... but they cannot speak!
  (They have) eyes ... but they cannot see!

v17   (They have) ears ... but they cannot hear!
  (They have) mouths ... but they cannot *breathe!

v18   The people that made them will become as they are.
  Also, everyone that *trusts in them (will become as they are).

v19   House of Israel, *bless the *LORD.
  House of Aaron, *bless the *LORD.

v20   House of Levi, *bless the *LORD.
  (Everyone) that is afraid of him, *bless the *LORD.

v21   Zion, *bless the *LORD that lives in Jerusalem.

The Story of Psalm 135

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

What Psalm 135 means

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.

Something to do

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.

Word List

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).

December 2002

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