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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 125



Verse 1

1. They that trust in the Lord—Trust in Jehovah, and not in circumstances, is the theme. Outwardly, it went ill with them; but to those who firmly trusted in the Lord, and remained true to his commands, the happy result was sure.

Mount Zion—Mentioned here in contradistinction from other mountains, because it was the place of Jehovah’s visible abodethe visible stronghold and defense of the Church. “He compares the firmness of the Church itself to that of her external seat, the immovableness of the spiritual to that of the material Zion.” Hengstenberg.

Cannot be removed—The word “removed,” signifies passively to be wavered, shaken, or caused to totter. His eye is on those described, (Psalms 125:5,) who turn aside, pervertsmen who swerve or incline to evil, not trusting God. Opposed to these are men of true faith, who, like “Mount Zion,” are fixed.

Verse 2

2. Mountains… round about Jerusalem—Jerusalem lies close upon the watershed of the great range of mountains running from the plain of Esdraelon to the latitude of the southern limit of the Dead Sea, 2,500 feet above the sea level. Viewed from its immediate vicinity, it appears to stand on a ridge of land, the backbone of the mountain, guarded on the east, southeast, and northeast by Olivet, but apparently open on the west and north. On the west and northwest, however, at the distance of about six miles, rise the hills of Mizpeh, Ramah, and Gibeah; on the north, the bend of the ridge which connects with the Mount of Olives, (Robinson,) and on the immediate south, the hill of Evil Counsel, and farther on, the ridge which divides it from Bethlehem. Back of Olivet, in the remoter east, rise the mountains of Moab, as a guard against an eastern invasion. Thus the plain on the west and north of the city “is encompassed with a barrier of heights, which shut out the view of Jerusalem till within a very short distance of the city, and must always have acted as a defence to it,” (Stanley,) while the background of eastern mountains wholly obstruct all approach of a hostile army. These were the emblems and pledges of God’s care and defence of the homes of his ancient peoplethe Jewish Church.

Verse 3

3. The rod of the wicked—Their scepter, the emblem of their oppressive power; or, perhaps, the measuring “rod,” as a sign of possession.

Shall not rest— “Shall not” settle down, abide. Israel was feeling the pressure of the “rod” of Persian rule under Cambyses and succeeding reigns, through the intrigues and false representations of the Samaritans, (Ezra 4,) but faith saw it was transient.

Lot of the righteous—This is an abstract and universal statement, applying to the righteous as such in all ages, but specially to the righteous nationGod’s covenant peoplewhose “lot,” or portion, fallen to them, was the land of Palestine, with the rights, civil and religious, of an independent people.

Lest the righteous—This is the reason for the foregoing statement, namely, that the righteous may not be driven or seduced to take sides with unrighteousness in order to their protection and welfare.

Verse 4

4. Do good… unto those… good—The true Israel. An evident distinction between true and false Israelites. Though the whole nation, by profession and covenant, were holy, yet it was well understood that “they were not all Israel that were of Israel,” (Romans 9:6,) and the Old Testament everywhere draws this line of distinction. See notes on Psalms 115:9; Psalms 115:11

Verse 5

5. Such as turn aside—Incline to crooked ways. See introduction to the psalm, Haggai 1, and Zechariah 1:1-6. In all ages there have been superficial and unstable professors of the true religion, ready to give up their faith at sight of persecution. See Matthew 13:20-21; Malachi 3:8-15.

Crooked ways—The paths of an apostate, ever devious through a worldly policy, and opposed to integrity, uprightness, fidelity. See Matthew 7:14; Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 18:15.

The Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity—God shall classify these false professors with the openly wicked and abandoned, and treat them as such in the judgment. The leading forth is judicialthe bringing them to trial and execution.

But peace shall be upon Israel—Can language make it more plain, that false profession is irreligion, and that the outcome of the lives of the true and false Israelites shall be finally and totally different?


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 125:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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