Shining a light on the weekly Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly®

Everlasting Punishment

Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Like Psalms 78, 105, and 136, this psalm is considered a historical poem. In it, the psalmist reflects on the shortcomings of God’s people, especially their failure to honor God’s covenant with them. Yet he opens and closes with praise and thanksgiving to God (see also vv. 47, 48).

No single English word is equivalent to hesed, the Hebrew term rendered mercy in this verse. Encompassing compassion, goodness, and devotion—and sometimes translated kindness or lovingkindness (see examples in Psalms 31:21; Isaiah 63:7; Micah 6:8)—hesed expresses the faithful commitment of a covenant relationship. 

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Resources cited in this issue

Cit. 1: Perowne, John J. S., Alexander F. Kirkpatrick, Frederic H. Chase, Reginald St. John Parry, and Alexander Nairne, eds. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. 58 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1882–1922. Also available at; Barnes, Albert. Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible. New York, 1834–85. Also available at  

Cit. 6: Keck, Leander E., et al., eds. The New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary. Vol. 5, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi. Nashville: Abingdon, 2015.

Cit. 12: NLT Study Bible. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2017.

Cit. 15: Barker, Kenneth L., John R. Kohlenberger, Verlyn Verbrugge, and Richard Polcyn. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004; Davids, Peter H. New International Biblical Commentary—James. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1989.

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October 23, 2023

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