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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 129

 

 

Verse 1

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth, may Israel now say:

Psalms 129:1-8.-Though many and deep have been Israel's afflictions, the righteous Lord hath cut the cords of the wicked (Psalms 129:1-4); past deliverances give anticipation of the doom of Zion's haters (Psalms 129:5-8). The Jews herein, after their return from Babylon, express their hope of complete re-establishment.

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth - from the time of Israel's national youth in Egypt (Hosea 2:15; Jeremiah 2:2; Jeremiah 22:21; Ezekiel 23:3).

May Israel now say - (Psalms 124:1.)


Verse 2

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth; yet they have not prevailed against me. The repetition connects the repeated afflictions of God's people by the enemy with their invariable deliverance.


Verse 3

The plowers plowed upon my back: they made long their furrows.

The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows. The stripes laid on Israel's back are compared to the furrows made by the plow. Compare the image, 1 Samuel 14:14. The antitypical Israel saith, "I gave my back to the smiters" (Isaiah 50:6). How just the retribution in kind, that as Israel caused her King to have His back plowed by the smiters, so "Zion" was, for Israel's sin, "plowed as a field" (Micah 3:12), under the Roman Titus.


Verse 4

The LORD is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.

The Lord is righteous: he hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked. The righteousness of God is His people's ground of hoping deliverance. Israel's true standing is on the righteousness of faith: then at once, when she recognizes this, the righteousness of God, which is inseparably connected with His faithfulness to His promises to Israel's fathers, binds Him to deliver her (Romans 10:3-4). This shall be so in the latter days, (Romans 2:1-29.) "The cords of the wicked" are those with which Israel's enemies had bound her. Instead of their cords (cf. "the rod of the wicked," Psalms 125:3) remaining on Israel, Yahweh-Messiah's cords shall bind the hostile confederate world-powers themselves. They cannot "break" those "bands asunder," nor "cast" those "cords from" them (Psalms 2:3).


Verse 5

Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.

Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion - (Psalms 35:4.) Faith anticipates future triumphs over the enemy from those vouch-safed in times past. The Spirit of prophecy announces, through the Psalmist, the sinners' doom according to God's decree, in the form of an imprecation; not the language of personal revenge, but of holy zeal for God and for His people.


Verse 6

Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth afore it groweth up:

Let them be as the grass upon the house-tops, which withereth afore it groweth up - (Psalms 37:2; Isaiah 37:27.) Grass, on the flat roofs in Eastern houses, readily takes root but, having no depth of soil, speedily withers-literally, 'afore it is drawn forth.' It is better to take the Hebrew of "groweth up" [ shaalap (Hebrew #8025)], 'before (one) draweth forth the reaping hook' (Buxtorf); or 'before (one) pulleth it up' (Hengstenberg). Compare Hebrew, Ruth 4:7. So Job 34:20, "taken away without hand." So Daniel 2:34. Thus the image expresses the cutting off of the wicked suddenly by the visitation of God, before their removal in the ordinary course of nature.


Verse 7-8

Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand; nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom.

Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand, nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. The mower takes the Wherewith the mower filleth not his hand, nor he that bindeth sheaves his bosom. The mower takes the stalks into his hand to cut them; the binder takes the sheaf into his bosom to bind it.

Neither do they which go by say, The blessing of the Lord be upon you - as it was customary in God-fearing Israel for those who passed by reapers of a harvest to say to them. So Ruth 2:4.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 129:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-129.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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