Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 129

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-8


The godly own the righteousness of the Lord, both in His ways with Israel, and His judgments of the nations.

In Psalm 128 , the godly contemplate the bright prospect that lies before them: in Psalm 129 , they review their sorrowful past.

(vv. 1-3) Looking back over the past Israel may say that, from the time of the nation's childhood in Egypt, when their history as a distinct nation commenced, the nations of the world have afflicted them. Egypt, with its world power, led the way in the persecution of God's ancient people. In the days of Israel's power they were constantly opposed by nations, great and small, that surrounded their country. Throughout the centuries of their dispersion, in every country, and at different times, the nation has been subjected to petty persecution as well as wholesale massacres. Every atrocity that human wickedness could devise has been used to seek their extermination. The plowers have indeed plowed his back and made long their furrows. Yet Israel can say, “They have not prevailed against me.” Hated and opposed by powerful nations and world-wide empires, they have been preserved; while the empires that opposed them have fallen into decay and passed away. A mere handful in the midst of the great mass of mankind, they have maintained their nationality, preserved their traditions, and remained a separate people.

How true is the word of Jehovah, “Though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee” ( Jer_30:11 ).

(v. 4) The nations confess the Lord as the source of their preservation through the ages. The unrighteousness in Israel may have governmentally called for their afflictions; nevertheless, the righteousness of the Lord had not allowed the nations to prevail against Israel. Thus they own, “The Lord is righteous.” They justify the Lord in all His dealings, whether in allowing their afflictions, in preserving them in their afflictions, or finally cutting asunder the cords of the wicked and setting them free from their enemies ( Jer_30:8-9 ).

(vv. 5-8) Based upon the truth that the Lord is righteous in all His dealings, the godly remnant look for the final discomfiture of their enemies. They view the wicked, not merely as the opposers of Israel, but the haters of Zion. Behind the hatred of Israel is the hatred of the Lord and His centre of rule for the earth. Let such be like the withered grass on the housetops, useless for man, and unblessed by the Lord (cp. Rth_2:4 ).

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 129". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-129.html. 1832.
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