Psalms 129:3

3 Their plowmen plowed long furrows up and down my back;

Psalms 129:3 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 129:3

The ploughers ploughed upon my back
"Sinners", as the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions, render it; such that plough iniquity, and sow wickedness, ( Job 4:8 ) ( Hosea 10:13 ) ; which may be understood of their carrying Israel captive, when they put yokes and bonds upon their necks, as upon oxen when they plough, as Arama interprets it; or it may design the destruction of their high places, signified by the back, such as the temple, the royal palace, and houses of their nobles, burnt with fire; yea, it was predicted that Zion should be ploughed as a field, ( Micah 3:12 ) ; and the Jews say that Turnus Rufus, the Roman general, as they call him, did plough up Jerusalem. The Syriac version is, "they whipped" their whips or scourges; with which many of the Israelites were scourged in the times of the Maccabees, ( Hebrews 11:36 ) . And the Messiah himself, who gave his back to the smiters, and was buffeted and scourged by them, ( Isaiah 50:6 ) ( Matthew 27:26 ) ; and many of his apostles and followers, ( Matthew 10:17 ) ( 2 Corinthians 11:23-25 ) . The Targum renders it

``upon my body;''

and Aben Ezra says the phrase is expressive of contempt and humiliation, and compares with it ( Isaiah 51:23 ) ;

they made long their furrows;
which signify afflictions, and the pain their enemies put them to, and the distress they gave them; as no affliction is joyous, but grievous, but like the rending and tearing up the earth with the plough; and also the length and duration of afflictions; such were the afflictions of Israel in Egypt and in Babylon, and of the church of God under Rome Pagan and Papal; but, as the longest furrows have an end, so have the most lasting afflictions. The Syriac version is, "they prolonged their humiliation", or "affliction"; Kimchi says the meaning is,

``they would give us no rest from servitude and bondage.''

Psalms 129:3 In-Context

1 "They've kicked me around ever since I was young" - this is how Israel tells it -
2 "They've kicked me around ever since I was young, but they never could keep me down.
3 Their plowmen plowed long furrows up and down my back;
4 Then God ripped the harnesses of the evil plowmen to shreds."
5 Oh, let all those who hate Zion grovel in humiliation;
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.