Psalms 126:1-6 . To praise for God's favor to His people is added a prayer for its continued manifestation.
1-3. When the Lord, &c.--The joy of those returned from Babylon was ecstatic, and elicited the admiration even of the heathen, as illustrating God's great power and goodness.
turned again the captivity--that is, restored from it ( Job 39:12 , Psalms 14:7 , Proverbs 12:14 ). HENGSTENBERG translates: "When the Lord turned Himself to the turning of Zion" (see Margin), God returns to His people when they return to Him ( Deuteronomy 30:2 Deuteronomy 30:3 ).
4. All did not return at once; hence the prayer for repeated favors.
as the streams in the south--or, the torrents in the desert south of Judea, dependent on rain ( Joshua 15:9 ), reappearing after dry seasons (compare Job 6:15 , Psalms 68:9 ). The point of comparison is joy at the reappearing of what has been so painfully missed.
5, 6. As in husbandry the sower may cast his seed in a dry and parched soil with desponding fears, so those shall reap abundant fruit who toil in tears with the prayer of faith. (Compare the history, Ezra 6:16 Ezra 6:22 ).
6. He that goeth forth--literally, better, "He goes--he comes, he comes," &c. The repetition implies there is no end of weeping here, as there shall be no end of joy hereafter ( Isaiah 35:10 ).
precious seed--rather, seed to be drawn from the seed box for sowing; literally, "seed-draught." Compare on this Psalm, Jeremiah 31:9 , &c.