Ps 129 title On ascents, see note at Ps 120 title.
129:1-2 Israel often suffered affliction from enemies in her early days (106:41-43). On let Israel say, compare 118:2-4; 124:1.
129:3 Slaves were often beaten by overseers and owners, creating stripes on their backs (Ex 5:14; Is 50:6; 53:4-6).
129:4 The Lord will prevent the wicked from harming his people by eliminating the weapons used to force submission (46:9; Jb 41:26).
129:5-7 The psalmist prayed an imprecation or curse upon those who hated the Lord and his people (see note at 109:1-31). Those who oppose the Lord will be like grass that sprouts briefly only to become scorched and withered, not living long enough to bear fruit. This is the opposite of 126:6, where the righteous person rejoiced in his harvest.
129:8 Those who hate Zion (v. 5) will suffer God’s curse on their harvests. No one who sees them will offer a cheerful greeting (see Ru 2:4).