|Book||Book of Psalms|
|Hebrew Bible part||Ketuvim|
|Order in the Hebrew part||1|
|Christian Bible part||Old Testament|
|Order in the Christian part||19|
Psalm 136 is the 136th psalm of the biblical Book of Psalms. It is sometimes referred to as "The Great Hallel". The Jerusalem Bible calls it a "Litany of Thanksgiving". It is notable for the refrain which forms the second half of each verse, translated as "For His mercy endures forever" in the New King James Version, or "for his steadfast love endures for ever" in the Revised Standard Version.
The psalm is arranged in well marked groups of three verses to the end of verse 18, after which follow two groups of four verses.
The term Great Hallel (Hallel HaGadol), meaning "great praise", is used to refer to Psalm 136. It is called "great" to differentiate it from the Egyptian Hallel, another prayer of praise comprising psalms 113 to 118. In the Talmud, opinions vary whether Great Hallel includes only Psalm 136, or else chapters 135-136, or else chapters 134-136; the accepted opinion is that it only includes 136.
- The Hebrew text of the Book of Ecclesiasticus contains a hymn of thanksgiving inserted after Ecclesiasticus 51:12 which is "an obvious imitation" of this psalm, see Ecclesiasticus 51 in the New American Bible Revised Edition.
- This psalm is recited in its entirety during the Pesukei Dezimra on Shabbat, Yom Tov, and Hoshana Rabbah.
- It is recited on the eighth day of Passover in some traditions.
- Verse 1 is part of the final paragraph of Birkat Hamazon.
- Verse 4 is recited when opening the Hakafot on Simchat Torah.
- Verse 6 is recited in Rokah Ha'aertz Al Hamayim of Birkat HaShachar.
- Verse 7 is part of Likel Barukh in Blessings before the Shema.
- Verse 25 is part of the opening paragraph of Birkat Hamazon.
- [They] worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,
- "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever"
- Along with Psalm 135 (LXX numbers as 134 and 135 respectively) this psalm is called the Polyeleos or translated to "Many Mercies", named such after the refrain used "for His mercy endures forever". The Polyeleos is sung at Orthros (Matins) of a Feast Day and at Vigils. In some Slavic traditions and on Mount Athos it is read every Sunday at Orthros.
- On Mount Athos, it is considered one of the most joyful periods of Matins-Liturgy, and the highest point of Matins. In Athonite practice, all the candles are lit, and the chandeliers are made to swing as the Psalms are sung, it is also accompanied by a joyful peal of the bells and censing of the church, sometimes with a hand censer which has many bells on it.
- At vigils, it accompanies the opening of the Royal Doors and a great censing of the nave by the Priest(s) or Deacon(s).
- Light and Fire of the Baal Shem Tov by Yitzhak Buxbaum, page 399
- Jerusalem Bible (1966), Sub-title to Psalm 136
- Kirkpatrick, A., Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Psalm 136, accessed 22 June 2022
- Psalm 136: NKJV
- Psalm 136: RSV
- "הלל המצרי והלל הגדול בליל הסדר | בית המדרש | שיעורי תורה". אתר ישיבה.
- Pesachim 118a
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 480:1
- The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 384
- The Artscroll Tehillim, page 329
- The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 195
- The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 759
- The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 20
- The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 88
- The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 185
- 2 Chronicles 7:3
- Spurgeon, C., Treasury of David - Psalm 136, accessed 25 February 2021
- Milton, John (2003). Orgel, Stephen; Goldberg, Jonathan (eds.). The Major Works. Oxford world's classics (illustrated, reprint ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 11–13. ISBN 978-0192804099.