Psalms 123

A song of ascents.

1 I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.
3 Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt.
4 We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogant, of contempt from the proud.

Psalms 123 Commentary

Chapter 123

Confidence in God under contempt.

- Our Lord Jesus has taught us to look unto God in prayer as our Father in heaven. In every prayer a good man lifts up his soul to God; especially when in trouble. We desire mercy from him; we hope he will show us mercy, and we will continue waiting on him till it come. The eyes of a servant are to his master's directing hand, expecting that he will appoint him his work. And also to his supplying hand. Servants look to their master or their mistress for their portion of meat in due season. And to God we must look for daily bread, for grace sufficient; from him we must receive it thankfully. Where can we look for help but to our Master? And, further, to his protecting hand. If the servant is wronged and injured in his work, who should right him, but his master? And to his correcting hand. Whither should sinners turn but to him that smote them? They humble themselves under God's mighty hand. And lastly, to his rewarding hand. Hypocrites look to the world's hand, thence they have their reward; but true Christians look to God as their Master and their Rewarder. God's people find little mercy with men; but this is their comfort, that with the Lord there is mercy. Scorning and contempt have been, are, and are likely to be, the lot of God's people in this world. It is hard to bear; but the servants of God should not complain if they are treated as his beloved Son was. Let us then, when ready to faint under trials, look unto Jesus, and by faith and prayer cast ourselves upon the mercy of God.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Psalms 68:5; Isaiah 6:1; Isaiah 63:15; Psalms 11:4; Psalms 121:1; Psalms 141:8
  • 2. S Psalms 25:15

Chapter Summary


\\<>\\. This psalm is not thought to be written by David, but by some other person in later times; and at a time, as is clear, when the people of God were much exposed to the scorn and contempt of men. Dr. Patrick thinks it was written by some pious person; perhaps by Isaiah, in Hezekiah's time, when Rabshakeh poured out his contempt on God, on the king and the people. Others are of opinion, it was written by one of the Babylonish captivity, when the Jews were jeered by the Babylonians, and they tauntingly asked them to sing one of the songs of Zion; and scornfully said of Jerusalem, Is this the city men call the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth? So Aben Ezra says, the psalmist speaks of a great man of the generation, which was in captivity or in a siege; and Kimchi says, that he speaks in the language of the children of the captivity; to which agrees the Syriac inscription, ``it is said in the person of Zorobabel, the prince of the captives.'' Others think it was composed in the times of Antiochus, the little horn prophesied of by Daniel, whose look was more stout than his fellows; who magnified himself against God and his people, profaned the sanctuary, and took away the daily sacrifice: and others are of opinion it was written a little before the coming of Christ, in the person of those who were waiting for it, and spiritual redemption and salvation by it; and who were scorned and derided by the proud Scribes and Pharisees.

Psalms 123 Commentaries

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