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Psalms 123

Psalm 123 1 

A song of ascents. 2 

123:1 I look up 3  toward you,

the one enthroned 4  in heaven.

123:2 Look, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,

as the eyes of a female servant look to the hand of her mistress, 5 

so my eyes will look to the Lord, our God, until he shows us favor.

123:3 Show us favor, O Lord, show us favor!

For we have had our fill of humiliation, and then some. 6 

123:4 We have had our fill 7 

of the taunts of the self-assured,

of the contempt of the proud.

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1 sn Psalm 123. The psalmist, speaking for God’s people, acknowledges his dependence on God in the midst of a crisis.

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 “I lift my eyes.”

4 tn Heb “sitting.” The Hebrew verb יָשַׁב (yashav) is here used metonymically of “sitting enthroned” (see Pss 9:7; 29:10; 55:19; 102:12).

5 sn Servants look to their master for food, shelter, and other basic needs.

6 tn Heb “for greatly we are filled [with] humiliation.”

7 tn Heb “greatly our soul is full to it.”

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