While they eventually succeeded in rebuilding the temple, their temple was a pale substitute for the grand Solomon’s Temple. We use cookies to let us know when you visit our websites, how you interact with us, to enrich your user experience, and to customize your relationship with our website. Psalm 126 1 Psalm 126 A song of ascents. Cross References Psalms 128:6 Yes, may you … When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. This verse repeats the thoughts of verse 5 with a bit of added detail. 85:1; Jer. The psalmist is saying that the goyim (the nations, the Gentiles, those not in a covenant relationship with God) have noticed the great thing that Yahweh has done for Israel––and have responded by affirming Yahweh’s actions in behalf of Israel. Verses 1-3 speak of a wondrous, joyful time “when Yahweh brought back those who returned to Zion.”  This almost certainly refers to the miraculous return of Jewish exiles from Babylonia, which took place when Cyrus, king of Persia, defeated Babylonia and in 538 B.C. The LORD has done great things for us, Check to enable permanent hiding of message bar and refuse all cookies if you do not opt in. Please see our Privacy Policy for cookie usage details. Psalm 12 Commentary: God Protects His Own And because God’s words are pure, the needy who are marginalized and oppressed when a society exalts vileness – they can be sure of God’s protection. Click to enable/disable _ga - Google Analytics Cookie. You always can block or delete cookies by changing your browser settings and force blocking all cookies on this website. This is not a worked-up, hyped-up enthusiasm. So the psalmist is praying that God will restore Israel to vitality, just as he restores the streams of the Negev when it rains. ii. Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD: The proper honor and respect the This song likely was composed after the exile, in wondrous gratitude for God’s restoration, and in prayer for a furtherance of that work. 126 When the Lord brought back [] the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. We were like those who dream. When the Lord, &c.- … Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET PSALM 126 Psa 126:1-6. Those who sow in tears The ASV, which is also in the public domain due to expired copyrights, was a very good translation, but included many archaic words (hast, shineth, etc. The following cookies are also needed - You can choose if you want to allow them: You can read about our cookies and privacy settings in detail on our Privacy Policy Page. This is one of 15 psalms (120-134) that begin with this superscription. This is from the New King James Version of The Bible. It promises Yahweh's protection. ), Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 2006), Renn, Stephen D., Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words: Word Studies for Key English Bible Words Based on the Hebrew and Greek Texts (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2005), Richards, Lawrence O., Encyclopedia of Bible Words (Zondervan, 1985, 1991), Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob (ed. and our tongue with singing. Shall reap in joy. The LORD has done great things for them: The sense of joyful amazement was not confined to the people of God. Who can tell how many hearts they have braced, how much patient toil they have inspired? Then they said2 3 ; and Briggs, Charles A., The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1906, 2004), Doniach, N.S. 3  (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2016), Tate, Marvin E., Word Biblical Commentary: Psalms 51-100 (Dallas: Word Books, 1990), Waltner, James H., Believers Church Bible Commentary: Psalms (Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 2006), Baker, Warren (ed. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy — This seems to refer to the foregoing prayer; as if he had said, And this thou wilt do in thy good time: thou wilt give them, as thou hast given us, a joyful return after so sad a time of captivity. But the psalmist had faith that Yahweh, who had made possible their return, would also restore their earlier prosperity. Those streams could appear suddenly and rush with a mighty flow, sometimes known as flash floods. Psalm 126 Restore Our Fortunes, O Lord 1 When a the LORD brought back 1 the captivity of Zion, b We were like those who dream. Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the website, refuseing them will have impact how our site functions. “like the streams in the Negev” (also spelled Negeb) (v. 4b). 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. O how happy are we!” (Clarke), ii. In the second image (the harvest after the difficult work of plowing and sowing seed, vv. “The mercy was so unexpected, so amazing, so singular that they could not do less than laugh; and they laughed much, so that their mouths were full of it, and that because their hearts were full too.” (Spurgeon), ii. Natives told me that, although they got little rain, the rain that fell often did so torrentially. iii. The person who carries his sheaves is “bringing home the bacon”––bringing in the harvest––reaping the reward for long months of toil. This is a powerful and great promise that our tears and sorrows need not be wasted, but can be sown for a joyful harvest received in a better season. This word renanah means a joyful shout or singing. Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking. As one of the Songs of Ascents, we imagine these words in the mouths of pilgrims on the way to or having arrived at Jerusalem. We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. But this will always prompt you to accept/refuse cookies when revisiting our site. The phrase ‘seed to sow’ (v. 6) is reminiscent of Haggai’s encouragement to the people to sow whatever little they had left, because the Lord will bless them.” (VanGemeren), ii. 1-3. Our Price: $59.99Buy Now NKJV, The Story: The Bible as … In the joy of the present pilgrim gathering, we sense the singers enjoying that harvest, yet wisely understanding that there will be future tears to sow in faith. That, to the singer, was the condition of the people. BIBLICAL COMMENTARY (Bible Study) Psalm 121 EXEGESIS: INTRODUCTION: Psalm 121 encourages pilgrims braving dangerous roads to Jerusalem. The change in personal pronouns between verses 1-2 (I-my) and verses 3-8 (you-your) may signal a dialogue between pilgrims or groups of pilgrims. Then our mouth was filled with laughter: They celebrated God’s amazing work with laughter and singing. PSALM 121 OVERVIEW. Laughter and singing are expressions of joy. Those of us who were responsible for the conduct of the camp had the great joy of sitting back and seeing God work in a sovereign way. When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, These are the disciples in whose hearts should be planted laughter and joy, and that by the authority of the Holy Ghost, which this verse setteth forth.” (Luther, cited in Spurgeon). Click to enable/disable _gid - Google Analytics Cookie. When they finally got to Jerusalem, even though it was in ruins, they could imagine restoring it to its former glory. Thou ‘sowest,’ perhaps, ‘in tears;’ thou doest thy duty amidst persecution and affliction, sickness, pain, and sorrow; thou laborest in the church, and no account is made of thy labours; no profit seems to arise from them…. “Their [reluctant] acknowledgment is caught up triumphantly by the singer. Psalms 126:1-6 NKJV When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. And our tongue with singing. i. Verse 1:-. In this context, it means that Yahweh has done great things––magnificent things––for Israel. i. These were apparently people who voluntarily remained in Babylonia rather than facing the rigors of a journey back to Jerusalem, which they knew to be a ruined city. “Because the Lord has written doubtless, take heed that you do not doubt. Thus they would reap in joy. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. No reason for doubt can remain after the Lord has spoken.” (Spurgeon). 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, 126 When the Lord brought back [ a]the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. This psalm is titled A Song of Ascents. We might be able to picture a national prayer for help, much as we … Continue reading "Commentary on Psalm 124" ), Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000), Mounce, William D., (ed. I lived for a short time in El Paso, which gets ten inches of rain a year. A Joyful Return to Zion A The product is one of the grandest, most eloquent lyrical prayers in the Psalter. The psalmist was sowing seed, the fruit of which he little dreamed of, when he wrote them, and his sheaves will be an exceeding weight indeed.”, vi. Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Psalm 126: At first glance the setting of this psalm appears to be the return from the Babylonian exile. He, as it were, thanks the Gentiles for teaching him that word.” (Maclaren). Psalm 126:5-6. Those who have endured much weeping, if they truly carry it as seed for sowing – holding and casting it with faith in God and in His promise – those may be assured of reaping a good harvest. It is the seventh in the series of 15 songs for pilgrims coming to Jerusalem. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Only a remnant had returned; others remained in Babylon. Then they said among the nations, Then they2 They are grateful and amazed at what He has done, yet can in the next moment consider how much more needs to be done. They remembered how wonderful it was and how free they had been there. Perhaps they considered their seasons away from Jerusalem as a symbolic captivity, and they celebrated the larger return from exile and their current, personal experience of such. “Restore (Hebrew: sub) our fortunes (Hebrew: sebut) again, Yahweh” (v. 4a). the lively paraphrase in Today’s English Version: ‘it was like a dream! Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy: The gladness of the first half of this psalm was real, but only part of the picture. But Ross, because of the proximity of this verse to verse 4, says “the psalmist’s concern was not with a harvest of wheat, but people” (Ross, 670). B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2014), Gower, Ralph, The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times (Chicago: Moody Press, 1987), Kidner, Derek, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Psalms 73-150, Vol. 4 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996), Ross, Allen P., A Commentary on the Psalms, 90-150, Vol. For all the saints. a. Corporate prayers of confession, pleading for mercy for the people, issue in the dawning of salvation, and thus a National Thanksgiving. c. Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing: Tears truly sown in faith will bring in time a true harvest of rejoicing, as if the reapers held heavy sheaves of grain. NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB Thanksgiving for Return from Captivity MT Intro A Song of Ascents. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing: The idea is repeated and enlarged. Jerusalem is on Mount Zion, so this verse speaks of the return of the exiles to Jerusalem. No sigh, no tear, no prayer, inspired by the Spirit of God can positively be lost or unproductive. Let’s read verse 7. Click to enable/disable _gat_* - Google Analytics Cookie. a. It was known to wash cars down the street. Psalms 126 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, by the leading authority in the Church of Christ, presents a verse level look at the Bible. “When Yahweh brought back those who returned to Zion” (v. 1a). They were like those ‘who dreamed.’ It all happened too quickly and seemed like a mirage.” (VanGemeren), iii. 2 Then c our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. “we were like those who dream” (v. 1b). The first of them is all suddenness, a sheer gift from heaven; the second is slow and arduous, with man allotted a crucial part to play in it.” (Kidner). Study Psalm 126 using Charles H. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David to better understand Scripture with full outline and verse meaning. 3 Yahweh has done great things for us, “Yahweh has done great things (Hebrew: gadal)  for us” (v. 3a). 1 When a the Lord brought back 1 the captivity of Zion, b We were like those who dream. Click on the different category headings to find out more. These psalms may have been sung by pilgrims ascending the road to Jerusalem (which was on a mountain) for the three great festivals:  Passover, the Feast of Weeks (which we know as Pentecost), and the Feast of Tabernacles. It became the declaration of what God had done for us. set the exiles free to return to Jerusalem. i. Bring back our captivity, O LORD: The second half of this psalm does not deny the amazed joy of the first half, but it recognizes that there is still work yet to be done. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), Freedman, David Noel (Ed. The psalmist prayed for a mighty, sudden work of God to further the work of restoration among His people. We were like those who dream: With power and beauty, the poet described the sense of happy, grateful astonishment at the power and goodness of God in bringing back His people from the captivity of Zion. Each grain leaves his hand with anxious prayer that it may not be lost: he thinks little of himself, but much of his seed, and he eagerly asks, ‘Will it prosper? They remembered the grandeur of Solomon’s temple and their worship there. Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, And we are glad. 29:14; Hos. Sorrow is our sowing, rejoicing shall be our reaping. They dreamed of returning one day­­–– although they could hardly imagine how that might be possible. and Kahane, Ahuvia, The Oxford English-Hebrew Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1998), Fohrer, Georg, Hebrew & Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament (SCM Press, 2012), Freedman, David Noel (ed. SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain (no copyright) modern English translation of the Holy Bible. we say; wonderful, but gone forever. Click to enable/disable Google reCaptcha. 4 Restore our fortunes again, Yahweh, Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. These two lines repeat the same thought in different words, as do many psalm verses. “They desired that their return might be as rapid and as abundant as the waters of those rivers.” (Clarke), iv. We may request cookies to be set on your device. “The people knew about the promises of restoration; but when the actual moment of restoration came, it was an overwhelming experience. Bible commentary on the Book of Psalms, chapter 126, by Dr. Bob Utley, retired professor of hermeneutics. “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing” (Hebrew: renanah) (v. 2a). Ross says that this is a prayer that Yahweh would return the remaining captives to Jerusalem (Ross, 669). 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Psalm 126 EXEGESIS: CONTEXT: This psalm is composed of two sections: Verses 1-3 speak of a wondrous, joyful time "when Yahweh brought back those who returned to Zion." “For thus thy blessed Master ‘went forth weeping, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, bearing precious seed,’ and sowing it around him, till at length his own body was buried, like a grain of wheat, in the furrow of the grave. iii. These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience. i. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer. As the streams in the South. Or Levites may have sung them as they ascended the fifteen steps to the temple. However, the word Zion also came to represent the nation of Israel and the people of God. “O disciple of Jesus, behold an emblem of thy present labour, and thy future reward. Then it was said among the The psalm divides naturally into two verse groups––1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8. Changes will take effect once you reload the page. This joy properly pertaineth to captives, that is, to those that feel the captivity of sin and death…. “So the song is a cry for more complete restoration.” (Morgan). Both well up from deep within our persona. Psalm 126 – Amazed at God’s Work This psalm is titled A Song of Ascents. By proceeding, you consent to our cookie usage. Why would it have such large culverts when it gets only ten inches of rain a year? We were as men that dreamed.”. They needed a large drainage system––the largest I have ever seen. If there were no sowing in tears there would be no reaping in joy. Their vineyards and farmlands had been left largely untended for fifty years, so it took massive effort and a long time to restore them. The Negev (which means dry) is the far south region of Israel, a desert-like region that gets only eight inches (200 mm) or less of rain a year––barely enough to sustain subsistence agriculture. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Read more Share . If we were never captives we could never lead our captivity captive. We may imagine the sense of one whose life is profoundly changed by Jesus Christ. “To the south of favoured Judea stretched the dry and barren district, where in summer-time all the streams ceased to flow. But in the autumn, the rains fill up the stony channels, a very river of life.” (Morgan), ii. A Joyful Return to ZionA Song of Ascents.When #Ps. i. “Those who sow in tears will reap in joy” (v. 5). See The Context (above). TITLE, ETC. This illustration puts a connection between the tears and the joy. We must sow: we may have to sow in the wet weath… But it is also possible that it is a prayer that Yahweh would restore Israel to its former prosperity. and we are glad. 1–2; 3–4; 5–6; 7–8): Before exploring the meaning of this passage in detail, here is the whole passage for your consideration from the NIV: PSALM 126 THE ARGUMENT This Psalm was composed by Ezra, or some other man of God, at the return of Israel from Babylon. 5-6) the results come only after a long period of hard work and waiting.” (Boice), ii. The returning exiles (under Ezra or David) realized there was much work yet to do, and the restoration had only yet begun. It seemed too good to be true. Psalm 126 A Joyful Return to Zion A Song of Ascents. shall I receive a reward for my labour?’ Yes…doubtless you will gather sheaves from your sowing.” (Spurgeon). “The liberty now granted was brought about in so extraordinary a way, that the very heathens saw that the hand of the great Jehovah must have been in it.” (Clarke), ii. -- This bears no other title than "A Song of degrees". Sheaves are bundles of stalks tied together after reaping. ), which the WEB has updated. A National Thanksgiving! Bring back our captivity, O LORD, At times Christian revival has been described in these terms. “The people were not to sit by idly, waiting for God to come through. []2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. “There is a world of restrained feeling, all the more impressive for the simplicity of the expression, in that quiet ‘We became glad.’ When the heathen attested the reality of the deliverance, Israel became calmly conscious of it.” (Maclaren). 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