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Psalms 124

Psalm 124 1 

A song of ascents, 2  by David.

124:1 “If the Lord had not been on our side” –

let Israel say this! –

124:2 if the Lord had not been on our side,

when men attacked us, 3 

124:3 they would have swallowed us alive,

when their anger raged against us.

124:4 The water would have overpowered us;

the current 4  would have overwhelmed 5  us. 6 

124:5 The raging water

would have overwhelmed us. 7 

124:6 The Lord deserves praise, 8 

for 9  he did not hand us over as prey to their teeth.

124:7 We escaped with our lives, 10  like a bird from a hunter’s snare.

The snare broke, and we escaped.

124:8 Our deliverer is the Lord, 11 

the Creator 12  of heaven and earth.

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1 sn Psalm 124. Israel acknowledges that the Lord delivered them from certain disaster.

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 “rose up against us.”

4 tn Or “stream.”

5 tn Heb “would have passed over.”

6 tn Heb “our being.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with a pronominal suffix is often equivalent to a pronoun, especially in poetry (see BDB 660 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ 4.a).

7 tn Heb “then they would have passed over our being, the raging waters.”

8 tn Heb “blessed [be] the Lord.”

9 tn Heb “[the one] who.”

10 tn Heb “our life escaped.”

11 tn Heb “our help [is] in the name of the Lord.”

12 tn Or “Maker.”

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