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Psalms 120:1-2

Context
Psalm 120 1 

A song of ascents. 2 

120:1 In my distress I cried out

to the Lord and he answered me.

120:2 I said, 3  “O Lord, rescue me 4 

from those who lie with their lips 5 

and those who deceive with their tongue. 6 

1 sn Psalm 120. The genre and structure of this psalm are uncertain. It begins like a thanksgiving psalm, with a brief notice that God has heard the psalmist’s prayer for help and has intervened. But v. 2 is a petition for help, followed by a taunt directed toward enemies (vv. 3-4) and a lament (vv. 5-7). Perhaps vv. 2-7 recall the psalmist’s prayer when he cried out to the Lord.

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 The words “I said” are supplied in the translation for clarification. See the introductory note for this psalm.

4 tn Or “my life.”

5 tn Heb “from a lip of falsehood.”

6 tn Heb “from a tongue of deception.”



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