125:1 For Israel, Zion represented the center of the earth and the place where the Lord dwelt. The Hebrew word mut (shaken) functions as a wordplay with Hebrew hammattiym, “turn aside” (v. 5). Those who trust the Lord will remain stable, while those who depend on evil ways will be turned aside.
125:2 The psalm emphasizes the protection of Zion and her inhabitants as the Lord’s chosen nation.
125:3 An unusual expression, the scepter of the wicked refers to the authority of evildoers (Ezk 19:11-14), which would not continue to dominate the land of the righteous. On Judah as the “scepter of righteousness,” see Gn 49:10. Those who lived in the land of their inheritance would conduct themselves as God’s people, avoiding evil and injustice (Ps 82:2; 107:42).
125:4 The actions and motives of the righteous coincide.