Continuing a translation with comment of Psalms 107-150
Sing in praise, you slaves of Yahweh!
Sing in praise of Yahweh’s name!
May Yahweh’s name be blessed
From this time to eternity!
From the rising of the sun to its setting
Yahweh’s name is to be praised.
Yahweh is placed high above all peoples
Beyond the skies is his splendour.
Who is like our God Yahweh
Holding his home in the heights?
He lowers himself to look down
On the skies and on the earth.
He raises the poor from the rubbish-tip
And lifts the destitute out of the dung,
To place them in seats with the princes
Yes, with the princes of his people.
The childless woman he seats in honour at home
The happy mother of children.
Psalms 113-118 are called the Hallel (The Praise) by Jewish people and used in great feasts including the Passover.
This is simple yet subtle psalm which praises Yahweh’ s status beyond the universe, but then envisages him coming down to see the need of the poor, and to lift them from the depths to dine with the nobility. Yahweh’s height, his splendour, is expressed in his capacity to raise up. The psalm end with a focus on the creator’s rescue of the childless woman, who bears the disgrace of childlessness even if her husband is sterile. She is given a seat in the home, a rare honour for a woman who would be expected to serve. Israel is called to praise a. God of justice and compassion.