Introduction to Psalm 136
This psalm was very probably composed by David, and given to the Levites to sing every day, 1 Chronicles 16:41. Solomon his son followed his example, and made use of them in singing at the dedication of the temple, 2 Chronicles 7:3; as Jehoshaphat seems to have done when he went out to war against his enemies, 2 Chronicles 20:21. The subject of it is much the same with the preceding psalm; its composition is very singular; the half of every verse: in it is, "for his mercy endureth for ever"; this is the burden of the song; and the design of it is to show, that all blessings of every kind flow from the grace, goodness, and mercy of God, which is constant and perpetual; and to impress a sense of it upon the minds of men: the inscription of the Syriac version is,
"it is said of Moses and Israel praising the Lord for those who were delivered; and concerning the deliverance of souls out of hell from Pharaoh, the devil, by Christ our Saviour, the Redeemer of them.''
R. Obadiah says it is an exhortation to the children of God in the days of the Messiah to praise the Lord.