Psalms 129

A song of ascents.

1 “They have greatly oppressed me from my youth,” let Israel say;
2 “they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me.
3 Plowmen have plowed my back and made their furrows long.
4 But the LORD is righteous; he has cut me free from the cords of the wicked.”
5 May all who hate Zion be turned back in shame.
6 May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow;
7 a reaper cannot fill his hands with it, nor one who gathers fill his arms.
8 May those who pass by not say to them, “The blessing of the LORD be on you; we bless 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 13

  • 1. S Exodus 1:13
  • 2. S Psalms 88:15; Hosea 2:15
  • 3. Psalms 124:1
  • 4. Jeremiah 1:19; Jeremiah 15:20; Jeremiah 20:11; Matthew 16:18
  • 5. S Exodus 9:27; Psalms 119:137
  • 6. Psalms 37:9
  • 7. Psalms 140:5
  • 8. Micah 4:11
  • 9. S Psalms 70:2; Psalms 71:13
  • 10. Isaiah 37:27
  • 11. S 2 Kings 19:26; Psalms 102:11; Psalms 37:2
  • 12. S Deuteronomy 28:38; Psalms 79:12
  • 13. Ruth 2:4; Psalms 118:26

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 129

\\<>\\. 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