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Psalms 125

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Psalm 125 1 

A song of ascents. 2 

125:1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion;

it cannot be upended and will endure forever.

125:2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, 3 

so the Lord surrounds his people,

now and forevermore.

125:3 Indeed, 4  the scepter of a wicked king 5  will not settle 6 

upon the allotted land of the godly.

Otherwise the godly might

do what is wrong. 7 

125:4 Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,

to the morally upright! 8 

125:5 As for those who are bent on traveling a sinful path, 9 

may the Lord remove them, 10  along with those who behave wickedly! 11 

May Israel experience peace! 12 

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

2 sn 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.

3 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

4 tn Or “for.”

5 tn Heb “a scepter of wickedness.” The “scepter” symbolizes royal authority; when collocated with “wickedness” the phrase refers to an oppressive foreign conqueror.

6 tn Or “rest.”

7 tn Heb “so that the godly might not stretch out their hands in wrongdoing.” A wicked king who sets a sinful example can have an adverse moral and ethical effect on the people he rules.

8 tn Heb “pure of heart.” The “heart” is here viewed as the seat of one’s moral character and motives. The “pure of heart” are God’s faithful followers who trust in and love the Lord and, as a result, experience his deliverance (see Pss 7:10; 11:2; 32:11; 36:10; 64:10; 94:15; 97:11).

9 tn Heb “and the ones making their paths twisted.” A sinful lifestyle is compared to a twisting, winding road.

10 tn Heb “lead them away.” The prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive of prayer here (note the prayers directly before and after this). Another option is to translate, “the Lord will remove them” (cf. NIV, NRSV).

11 tn Heb “the workers of wickedness.”

12 tn Heb “peace [be] upon Israel.” The statement is understood as a prayer (see Ps 122:8 for a similar prayer for peace).



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