Psalm 117, the briefest of all Psalms in the Psalter, was once described by the Christian Hebraist W. F. Cobb as “a Halleluya writ large in two verses.” It is a hymn to universalist sensibilities in its imperative to all nations (kol go’yim) to praise God (i.e., to accept a monotheistically oriented oneness) for His two chief attributes: mercy and truth, which are held to apply to all peoples for all time. Strassburg composed this setting as an independent piece in 1965, not as part of any larger work.
Sung in English
O praise the Lord, praise the Lord, all ye nations, praise Him, all ye peoples, for His merciful kindness is great toward us.
And the truth of the Lord endureth forever and ever, praise ye the Lord.
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