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Psalms 128

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Psalm 128 1 

A song of ascents. 2 

128:1 How blessed is every one of the Lord’s loyal followers, 3 

each one who keeps his commands! 4 

128:2 You 5  will eat what you worked so hard to grow. 6 

You will be blessed and secure. 7 

128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine 8 

in the inner rooms of your house;

your children 9  will be like olive branches,

as they sit all around your table.

128:4 Yes indeed, the man who fears the Lord

will be blessed in this way. 10 

128:5 May the Lord bless you 11  from Zion,

that you might see 12  Jerusalem 13  prosper

all the days of your life,

128:6 and that you might see 14  your grandchildren. 15 

May Israel experience peace! 16 

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1 sn Psalm 128. The psalmist observes that the godly individual has genuine happiness because the Lord rewards such a person with prosperity and numerous children.

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 tn Heb “every fearer of the Lord.”

4 tn Heb “the one who walks in his ways.”

5 tn The psalmist addresses the representative God-fearing man, as indicated by the references to “your wife” (v. 3) and “the man” (v. 4), as well as the second masculine singular pronominal and verbal forms in vv. 2-6.

6 tn Heb “the work of your hands, indeed you will eat.”

7 tn Heb “how blessed you [will be] and it will be good for you.”

8 sn The metaphor of the fruitful vine pictures the wife as fertile; she will give her husband numerous children (see the next line).

9 tn One could translate “sons” (see Ps 127:3 and the note on the word “sons” there), but here the term seems to refer more generally to children of both genders.

10 tn Heb “look, indeed thus will the man, the fearer of the Lord, be blessed.”

11 tn The prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive of prayer (note the imperatives that are subordinated to this clause in vv. 5b-6a). Having described the blessings that typically come to the godly, the psalmist concludes by praying that this ideal may become reality for the representative godly man being addressed.

12 tn The imperative with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding jussive.

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

14 tn The imperative with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the jussive in v. 5a.

15 tn Heb “sons to your sons.”

16 tn Heb “peace [be] upon Israel.” The statement is understood as a prayer (see Ps 125:5).



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