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Why does this psalm repeat the same thing ("for his mercy endureth for ever") over and over? (Psalm 136:1–26)

"for his mercy endureth for ever"  is in EVERY verse!

Psalms 136:1

ESV - 1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Clarify Share Report Asked August 30 2020 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Many verses in early English versions of the Bible (such as the King James Version) indicated the type of structure noted in the question by placing the involved word in italics, indicating that the word itself was not in the language of the original text, but the presence or meaning of the word was to be understood from its context, or from the verses' similarity to other verses where the italicized word had been present in the original text 

The reason for the use of this rhetorical structure (known as "ellipsis") in the original text was for the purpose of de-emphasizing the omitted word, and placing increased emphasis on the remaining words of the text.

(For example, the use of the word "forever" adequately conveyed the idea of God's mercy enduring, so that adding another word (that is, "endures") to express that idea was not strictly required, which allowed the placing of greater weight or prominence on the word "mercy".) 

The multiple repetition of entire phrases (as noted in the question) was also for this purpose (that is, emphasis).

August 30 2020 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Shirley H Wife, mother, veteran in the spiritual war we all face!
This Psalm, 136, is the quintessential psalm of descriptive praise. The pattern for the psalm is..
A call for the people to praise the Lord (vs1-3)
Praise the Creator (vs 4-9)
Praise the Deliverer (vs10-22)
Praise the Lord who remembers His people (vs 23-25)
Concludes with a call for all people to praise the Lord (vs 26)

Giving thanks to Lord God always and everywhere is good. He is eternal, full of Grace and mercy. He is the God of all!

Isaiah 6:3, "...Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!"

Revelation 4:11, "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created."

Only God is worthy of praise evermore.

September 01 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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