Psalms 120:1-7 . This is the first of fifteen Psalms (Psalms 120-134) entitled "A Song of Degrees" ( Psalms 121:1 --literally, "A song for the degrees"), or ascents. It seems most probable they were designed for the use of the people when going up (compare 1 Kings 12:27 1 Kings 12:28 ) to Jerusalem on the festival occasions ( Deuteronomy 16:16 ), three times a year. David appears as the author of four, Solomon of one ( Psalms 127:1 ), and the other ten are anonymous, probably composed after the captivity. In this Psalm the writer acknowledges God's mercy, prays for relief from a malicious foe, whose punishment he anticipates, and then repeats his complaint.
4. Sharp arrows of the mighty--destructive inflictions.
coals of juniper--which retain heat long. This verse may be read as a description of the wicked, but better as their punishment, in reply to the question of Psalms 120:3 .
5. A residence in these remote lands pictures his miserable condition.
6, 7. While those who surrounded him were maliciously hostile, he was disposed to peace. This Psalm may well begin such a series as this, as a contrast to the promised joys of God's worship.