The recurrence in this psalm of the ancient liturgic refrain (see Notes, Psalm 106:1; Psalm 118:1), not after every verse, but after every clause, marks clearly the peculiarity of its choral use, and shows that it was composed expressly for the Temple service. It is invariably allowed to be one of the latest hymns in the collection. It has generally been known among the Jews as the Great Hallel, a designation, however, at other times given to the series Psalms 120-136 (according to others Psalm 135:4-21).
Stretched out.—A word and idea peculiar to Isaiah and this psalm (Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 44:24); properly to beat out with the feet, then to overlay with a plate of metal (Isaiah 40:12). The earth is regarded as a flat plate that has been beaten out and spread on the face of the waters, whereas in Genesis it is pictured as emerging out of the waters.
“One that His mansion hath on high
Above the reach of mortal eye.”
At the end the Vulgate repeats Psalm 136:3. (See Prayer Book.)