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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 124

 

 

Verse 1

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;

Psalms 124:1-8.-Israel declares how inevitably she must have been swallowed up if the Lord had not been on our side (Psalms 124:1-5); she blesses Him for escape frown the snare, His name being her sole help (Psalms 124:6-8).

David was the author, as the title declares. The occasion in his reign when Israel was in extreme jeopardy, was in the Aramaic or Syrian and Edomite war, (Psalms 44:1-26; Psalms 60:1-12.) The mild air of the psalms after the captivity does not appear in this psalm, but somewhat of David's impetuosity.

If (it had not been) the Lord who was on our side (Psalms 56:9, end) - If it had been any one else who undertook to help us, such was the power of the enemy and so imminent was our peril, nothing could have saved us from destruction.


Verse 2

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us:

If (it had not been) the Lord who was on our side. The repetition (cf. Psalms 124:1) marks that the Lord's interposition had been more than once.

When men rose up against us. However many and powerful be men, the believer, who has the Lord on his side, need not fear what man (a creature of earth) can do unto him (Psalms 56:11).


Verse 3

Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:

Then they had swallowed us up quick - i:e., alive, as in Psalms 55:15; Proverbs 1:12. They thought to swallow us up; but it is themselves who shall be swallowed up in their native earth: as Korah and his company were swallowed up alive (Numbers 16:32-33). David used a similar Hebrew term and thought in Psalms 56:2; Psalms 57:3.


Verse 4

Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: Then the waters had overwhelmed us. So in David's psalm, Psalms 18:16; Psalms 144:7,

The stream had gone over our soul - rather, 'the flood,' as in Psalms 18:4 : cf. Psalms 79:2.


Verse 5

Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.

Then the proud waters had gone over our soul. The term "proud" implies that the waters are figurative-namely, haughty enemies (Psalms 89:9).


Verse 6

Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.

Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth - as wild beasts thirst for the blood of their prey.


Verse 7

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.

Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers - (Psalms 91:3.)

The snare is broken, and we are escaped. The bird is shut out from escape, unless the snare be broken (cf. Psalms 25:15).


Verse 8

Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Our help is in the name (i:e., the manifested grace and might) of the Lord, who made heaven and earth - (Psalms 121:2; cf. Psalms 33:22.)

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 124:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-124.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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