Psalms 124

“If the Lord had not been on our side” –
let Israel say this! –
if the Lord had not been on our side,
when men attacked us,
Heb “rose up against us.”

they would have swallowed us alive,
when their anger raged against us.
The water would have overpowered us;
the current
Or “stream.”
would have overwhelmed
Heb “would have passed over.”
Heb “our being.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).

The raging water
would have overwhelmed us.
Heb “then they would have passed over our being, the raging waters.”

The Lord deserves praise,
Heb “blessed [be] the Lord.”

Heb “[the one] who.”
he did not hand us over as prey to their teeth.
We escaped with our lives,
Heb “our life escaped.”
like a bird from a hunter’s snare.
The snare broke, and we escaped.
Our deliverer is the Lord
Heb “our help [is] in the name of the Lord.”

the Creator
Or “Maker.”
of heaven and earth.

Psalm 125

Psalm 125. The psalmist affirms his confidence in the Lord’s protection and justice.

A song of ascents.

The precise significance of this title, which appears in Pss 120–134, is unclear. Perhaps worshipers recited these psalms when they ascended the road to Jerusalem to celebrate annual religious festivals. For a discussion of their background see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101–150 (WBC), 219-21.
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