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Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 127

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations


Psalms 127:0

Or rather, of Solomon, as this particle is generally used in this book. Nor is there any thing in this Psalm which gives us just ground to question whether Solomon was the author of it or no.

No success in city or family without God’s blessing and protection, Psalms 127:2. Good children are his gifts, Psalms 127:3,Psalms 127:4. Their happiness that have them, Psalms 127:5.

Verse 1

Build the house, i.e. assist and bless those that build the house; either an artificial house, the temple, or the royal palace, or any of those numerous structures which Solomon raised; or a natural or civil home, a family, or a state, or kingdom.

They labour in vain that build it; they will never bring it to perfection, nor have any comfort in it.

Verse 2

He directs his speech to the persons forementioned, the builders or watchmen, of both which sorts there are many that use the following course. To rise up early, to sit late; to use constant and unwearied diligence, from the very dawning of the day unto the dark night, that so you may accomplish your designs.

To eat the bread of sorrows; to eat the bread which you get by excessive and grievous pains. So, to wit, by his blessing, which, though not expressed, is sufficiently understood out of the former verse, where it is twice expressed. As therefore he saith it is in vain for them to build or watch, if God do not give his blessing and assistance, Psalms 127:1; so here he adds that it is in vain to be diligent in their labours and callings, understand, without God’s blessing; for so, i.e. not singly by their industry, but by his blessing upon their labours. But the Hebrew word rendered so may be and is by others rendered when, or whereas, or since; by others, rightly, or well, when it is convenient and needful for them; by others, certainly; the sleep which they have is undoubtedly from God’s blessing, without which all possible endeavours would never procure it. He; the Lord, expressed in the former and in the following verses.

Giveth, to wit, freely, without that immoderate toiling and drudgery wherewith others pursue it.

His beloved; his people, who though hated and maligned by men, are beloved of God, over whom his providence watcheth in a special manner. In this expression he seems to allude to the name of Jedidiah, which was given to Solomon, and signifies the beloved of the Lord, 2 Samuel 12:25.

Sleep; a quiet rest, both of body and mind, which many of those greedy worldlings cannot enjoy, as is observed, Ecclesiastes 5:20.

Verse 3

Children; which he mentions here, partly because they are the chief of all these blessings, and partly because all the forementioned toil and labour is in a great measure and most commonly undertaken for their sakes.

Are an heritage of the Lord; they come not from the power of nature, and from a man’s conversation with his wife, or with a multitude of wives or concubines, which Solomon had, but only from God’s blessing; even as an inheritance is not the fruit of a man’s own labour, but the gift of his father, or rather the gift of God, both enabling and inclining his father to give it to him.

His reward; not a reward of debt merited by good men, but a reward of grace, of which we read Romans 4:4, which God gives them graciously, as Jacob acknowledgeth of his children, Genesis 33:5. And although God give children and other outward comforts to ungodly men in the way of common providence, yet he gives them only to his people as favours, and in the way of promise and covenant.

Verse 4

In the hand of a mighty man; when they are shot out of a bow by a man of great strength against his enemy, which are of great use and power, both to offend the enemy, and to defend himself.

Children of the youth; children begotten in youth, as a husband or wife married in their youth are called a husband or wife of youth, Proverbs 5:18; Isaiah 54:6; Joel 1:8, and as a son begotten in old age is called a son of old age, Genesis 37:3. And these he prefers before other children in this point, partly because such are commonly more strong and vigorous than others; and partly because they live longest with their parents, and to their comfort and support, whereas children born in old age seldom come to any maturity of years before their parents’ death.

Verse 5

That hath his quiver full of them; who hath a numerous issue; which as it is a great blessing in itself, so Solomon’s want of it made it more valuable in his eyes.

They shall not be ashamed; such parents fear not the reproach of barrenness, which was grievous, especially among the Jews; of which see Luke 1:25; nor any other shame from their enemies.

They shall speak with the enemies in the gate; they shall courageously plead their cause in courts of judicature, which were in the gates, Deuteronomy 21:19; Deuteronomy 25:7, not fearing to be crushed by the might of their adversaries, as weak and helpless persons frequently are.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 127". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/psalms-127.html. 1685.
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