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Psalms 121:4-8

Context

121:4 Look! Israel’s protector 1 

does not sleep or slumber!

121:5 The Lord is your protector;

the Lord is the shade at your right hand.

121:6 The sun will not harm you by day,

or the moon by night. 2 

121:7 The Lord will protect you from all harm;

he will protect your life.

121:8 The Lord will protect you in all you do, 3 

now and forevermore.

1 tn Heb “the one who guards Israel.”

2 sn One hardly thinks of the moon’s rays as being physically harmful, like those of the sun. The reference to the moon may simply lend poetic balance to the verse, but it is likely that the verse reflects an ancient, primitive belief that the moon could have an adverse effect on the mind (note the English expression “moonstruck,” which reflects such a belief). Another possibility is that the sun and moon stand by metonymy for harmful forces characteristic of the day and night, respectively.

3 tn Heb “your going out and your coming in.”



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