Psalm 125 Study Notes

Ps 125 title On ascents, see note at Ps 120 title.

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.

125:5 On those who turn aside, see note at v. 1. The Lord will banish evildoers (lit “lead them away”; cp. Jb 12:17,19).

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