Psalms 129

Listen to Psalms 129
1 "Greatly[a] have they 1afflicted me 2from my youth"-- 3let Israel now say--
2 "Greatly have they 4afflicted me 5from my youth, 6yet they have not prevailed against me.
3 7The plowers plowed 8upon my back; they made long their furrows."
4 The LORD is righteous; he has cut 9the cords of the wicked.
5 May all who hate Zion be 10put to shame and turned backward!
6 Let them be like 11the grass on the housetops, which 12withers before it grows up,
7 with which the reaper does not fill his hand nor the binder of sheaves his arms,
8 nor do those who pass by say, 13"The blessing of the LORD be upon you! We 14bless you in the name of the LORD!"

Psalms 129 Commentary

Chapter 129

Thankfulness for former deliverances. (1-4) A believing prospect of the destruction of the enemies of Zion. (5-8)

Verses 1-4 The enemies of God's people have very barbarously endeavoured to wear out the saints of the Most High. But the church has been always graciously delivered. Christ has built his church upon a rock. And the Lord has many ways of disabling wicked men from doing the mischief they design against his church. The Lord is righteous in not suffering Israel to be ruined; he has promised to preserve a people to himself.

Verses 5-8 While God's people shall flourish as the loaded palm-tree, or the green and fruitful olive, their enemies shall wither as the grass upon the house-tops, which in eastern countries are flat, and what grows there never ripens; so it is with the designs of God's enemies. No wise man will pray the Lord to bless these mowers or reapers. And when we remember how Jesus arose and reigns; how his people have been supported, like the burning but unconsumed bush, we shall not fear.

Cross References 14

  • 1. [Exodus 1:14; Judges 3:8, 14; Judges 4:3; Judges 6:2; Judges 10:8]
  • 2. Isaiah 47:12; Jeremiah 2:2; Jeremiah 22:21; Hosea 2:15
  • 3. Psalms 124:1
  • 4. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 5. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 6. [2 Corinthians 4:8-10]
  • 7. Micah 3:12
  • 8. [Isaiah 50:6; Isaiah 51:23]
  • 9. Psalms 2:3
  • 10. See Psalms 35:4
  • 11. 2 Kings 19:26; Isaiah 37:27
  • 12. Psalms 37:2; Job 8:12
  • 13. Ruth 2:4
  • 14. Psalms 118:26

Footnotes 1

Chapter Summary


\\<>\\. This psalm was written in later times, after many of the distresses of Israel; very probably upon the Jews return from the Babylonish captivity, by Ezra, or some other godly person. Aben Ezra says the psalmist speaks in the language of Israel in captivity; and the same is the sense of Kimchi and Arama. The Syriac inscription is, ``a psalm without a name, concerning the distress of the people; but as to us, it intimates to us the victory and triumph of the worshippers.''

Psalms 129 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.