Psalms 120:4

4 A warrior's sharp arrows, with glowing coals of the broom tree!

Psalms 120:4 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 120:4

Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.
] Some think these words describe lying lips, and a false tongue; which are like arrows, sharp ones, sent out from a bow drawn with a mighty hand, which come with great force, suddenly and swiftly, and do much mischief; see ( Psalms 11:2 ) ( 57:4 ) ( 64:4 ) ; and to "coals of juniper", very distressing and tormenting; the tongue being a fire, set on fire of hell, and sets on fire the course of nature; and throws out devouring words, which consume like fire, ( James 3:6 ) ( Psalms 52:4 ) . But rather the punishment of an evil tongue from the Lord is intended, whose sore judgments are often compared to arrows, ( Deuteronomy 32:23 Deuteronomy 32:42 ) ( Ezekiel 5:16 ) ( Psalms 7:13 ) ; because they come from above, and bring swift and sudden destruction with them; and are very sharp in the hearts of his enemies; are very severe and cutting, and come with power irresistible, being the arrows of the Almighty, ( Job 6:4 ) ; see ( Jeremiah 50:9 ) ; and these may be compared to "coals of juniper", which are very vehement and strong, and very lasting and durable. Jerom F23 and Isidore F24 say they will last a whole year; and the Midrash on the place reports of two men, who had prepared food with them, and at the end of a year returned and found them burning, and warmed their feet at them. These fitly express the lake of fire and brimstone, the portion of liars; whose fire is very strong, and flames devouring, being kindled by the breath of the Lord of hosts, like a stream of brimstone: and the fire of hell is everlasting; its burnings are everlasting burnings; a worm that dieth not, a fire that is not quenched; the smoke of the torments of which ascend for ever and ever, ( Isaiah 30:23 ) ( 33:14 ) ( 66:24 ) ( Revelation 14:11 ) ( 21:8 ) . The Targum speaks of these arrows as lightnings from above, and of the coals of juniper as kindled in hell below; and they are interpreted of hell in the Talmud F25.


F23 Ad Fabiolam de 42. Mans. tom. 3. fol. 15. I.
F24 Origin. l. 17. c. 7. Schindler. col. 1776.
F25 T. Bab. Eracin, c. 3. fol. 15. 2.

Psalms 120:4 In-Context

2 "Deliver me, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue."
3 What shall be given to you? And what more shall be done to you, you deceitful tongue?
4 A warrior's sharp arrows, with glowing coals of the broom tree!
5 Woe is me, that I am an alien in Meshech, that I must live among the tents of Kedar.
6 Too long have I had my dwelling among those who hate peace.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.